I know at a time of great economic tumult and crazy political times that venting on a personal pet peeve may seem petty and downright idiotic.

But I have been called worse.

No one knows how to count money back anymore.

Well, SOME do, I suppose. I would have to say it's less than 10% of the people who hand me change.

Is anyone even TAUGHT this important skill anymore??

For those who haven't donated as much energy into this as I have, counting money back used to be the ONLY respectable way of handing back change to someone during a sales transaction.

If the banana cost 75 cents and I gave you a five dollar bill, you would say as you handed me the quarter..."That's ONE dollar...(and then as you handed me four bills)...and two, three, four and five." Or some variation of that.

Why am I nitpicking? Because I am sick to death of clumsy and frankly uneducated cashiers (this is not a blanket attack on their personal smarts...you can be university educated and STILL not be educated about properly handing back change).who insist on lazily plunking down a mountain of coins and crumpled bills into my outstretched hand.

It's RUDE...it's WRONG...and it doesn't tell me that they are giving me the correct change or whatever amount they randomly chose to throw my way.

It's like your kid writing down the answer to a complex math problem without showing the WORK as to HOW THEY GOT TO THE ANSWER!! It's cheating in a way. And you are ultimately cheating YOURSELF because you don't really know anything in terms of being able to REPLICATE the problem or the answer because you don't understand the steps it took to get there!

This becomes even more irritating with bigger purchases. Like getting change back from a hundred dollar bill or even a twenty dollar bill when buying a soda and some breath mints.

I have considered this for many years now since I discovered this mini-calamity. Why aren't people doing this??

Because they have to THINK.

There. I said it.

We are continually being encouraged to NOT use our brains. Not thinking used to be debilitating. Now you can get through the day fairly well without offering an ounce of brain power to yourself or those around you.

It's the sad, pathetic TRUTH.

It requires no thought to just look at the amount the register says you owe and throw the money at the customer. NO SKILL REQUIRED.

Counting back change requires...GASP...basic intelligence and rudimentary math skills. You have to be able to understand first that, in the example I gave above, that if a banana costs 75 cents and someone gives you a five dollar bill, that adding 25 cents to 75 cents gives you a dollar...leaving you with 4 of the 5 bills still unaccounted for.

Notice next time the power goes out or the cash registers malfunction at your local corner store or box store or drive thru. Does anyone know how to operate the cash box WITHOUT the machine telling them what the change is?? Even on a banana?

I will be damned if my kids get out of early schooling without understanding this. It's BASIC and NECESSARY. And it's just outright rude and ignorant to do it any other way.

We aren't talking rocket science here, folks.

It's time that society stop encouraging people to take the dumb and easy way out of everything.