The scene: At the grocery store, innocently trying to buy some edamame.
Customer is trying to buy a Mounds bar, from the 50% off table. Everything on the 50% off table has a sticker with a barcode on it, which is to be swiped to achieve the discount, because of course the check-out people can’t be expected to do the math themselves.
Said customer also had a box of cereal from the 50% off table. It rang up at $1.22, after the discount. The Mounds bar, on the other hand, wasn’t cooperating. Full price, it was $1.19, but the sticker on the front wasn’t applying the discount. The cashier was having a lot of trouble, scanning, un-scanning, re-scanning.
After several minutes of this, she said, “Can I just give it to you for the $1.22 on the other sticker?”
Um…can you give 50% off a Mounds bar that is full price at $1.19, by using the 50% off sticker of something that costs $2.44? REALLY?
She said, “Oh, wait, I guess that’s not quite half off.”
At this point, I’m just dumbfounded. That is more than 100% of the cost of the thing. So no, it is NOT half off or anything close to it. She had done so much scanning that she had to call a manager for an override…OF THE WHOLE TRANSACTION. The people in the line were about to start revolting, as she started scanning all the items again.
Then she and the manager put their heads together to do the math on 50% off of $1.19. One would think that the easiest way to accomplish this would just be to round up to $1.20 and know that half of that is $0.60, so half of $1.19 would be $0.595, or still $0.60 once rounded up.
These two women together, after professing their terrible math skills, decided that half of $1.19? Is $0.52. Which is what they took OFF the price, not what they charged the customer. Which doesn’t even begin to take into account the loss of 10 minutes of his life over a Mounds bar.
I can only hope it was the best Mounds bar in the whole universe. FACEPALM.