Best practices for handing a customer bills + coins in change?
June 3, 2016 2:28 PM   Subscribe

I was having a conversation with a friend recently about returning change to a customer for a cash purchase, and we got curious about the methods, and their rationale, for handling a mix of bills and coins. Help me understand this territory!

The example that came up was paying for something in cash, and, in return, receiving from the cashier a stack of bills laid in one's outstretched hand followed by a collection of coins on top of those bills.

This can be sort of a clumsy dilemma—a bit of a balancing act to pocket it promptly without spilling change everywhere, exacerbated if one's other hand is busy carrying a purchase—but it wasn't immediately clear to me what a better option would be. And I can't particularly remember being on the receiving end of other approaches, for that matter.

So, a couple of things I'm curious about!

1. What are the rationales and counter-arguments for the bills-topped-with-change approach? Has this imperfect approach nonetheless ended up being pareto optimal because the rest of the options are worse? Or is it just social convention?

2. What other techniques are out there? Are there common alternatives? Does this have any specific regional or national variation?
posted by cortex to Society & Culture (44 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Standard protocol should be to put the coins into the customer's palm first, then the bills, counting up from the purchase price as you place each into their hand. Then they can easily cup the change in their palm while putting away bills. Putting coins on top of bills encourages spilling and takes away from the "counting up" method of making change.
posted by cosmicbandito at 2:31 PM on June 3, 2016 [31 favorites]


In Japan, it's rude to hand money directly from one person to another, so cashiers are equipped with small trays. You put the money in the tray, they take it, they put your change in the tray, you take it. You're free to take your bills or coins in whatever order you prefer.
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:33 PM on June 3, 2016 [8 favorites]


I think it comes from just cluelessness/not thinking from the cashier. They are usually closing the drawer with their other hand or otherwise closing off the sale and it is logical to select the notes first (decreasing order of size usually, right down to coins) and so they just end up with notes, with change on top. If they don't think, they hand it to you as is.

The smarter (to my mind) ones will pull the notes out, hand you the coins and then the notes on top. Or notes in thumb/forefinger and coins in the hand and then drop coins in palm and offer notes for you to take when ready.
posted by Brockles at 2:33 PM on June 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


I was taught (working in my parents' small grocery) to put change in the hand first, then bills, as part of counting back change. They were very specific; start with the total and end with the cash tendered like so: "$7.60; (place change in customer's hand) that's $8, (count dollar bills into customer's hand) that's $9 and $10, (place $10 in customer's hand) and $20". My parents are both from Korea but it's not a particularly Korean thing to do or anything. It does make it easier as a customer to sort out bills first and then put the change in your pocket.
posted by peachfuzz at 2:36 PM on June 3, 2016 [17 favorites]


To address cosmicbandito - maybe its my cultural slant, but the 'counting out of coins into the hand' seems to be an older generation thing. I'd forgot about it, and am surprised to see it these days and mainly remember it from when I was younger. Now I see people counting it out loud from the cash drawer and handing the lot to you in one go after. Possibly to avoid counting it twice?

However, I pay the vast majority of my transactions with cash, so maybe my sample size is so much smaller now that the historical aspect is misleading.
posted by Brockles at 2:36 PM on June 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Totally unscientific, just my opinion, but based on lots of experience and being elderly enough to have noticed a change (pun) in the way this is done:

The "change on top of bills" method is horrible and clumsy and any cashier thinking about it for a half second would realize this. But I think it's the most common way. IT WAS NOT ALWAYS SO. This only started happening when computers took over the job of telling how much change to give back. (Get off my lawn!)

In ye olden days, people were taught to do the math in their head and count change back, starting with the coins, then the bills. ("You gave me a 20. The purchase was $17.45. Here a nickle, that makes $17.50, 2 quarters makes $18, and 2 singles makes $20.") It made sense to count coins back first. I even remember learning this in math class in elementary school, and not because we were all destined for careers in retail.

Once the computerized till became the norm, cashiers started taking out the change the way they read it: bills then coins, and handing out that way, without regard to the crime against humanity that has been foisted upon us trying to manage a stack of coins balanced on slippery currency.

I use plastic.
posted by The Deej at 2:40 PM on June 3, 2016 [22 favorites]


I've worked in retail in the past. If I was handing notes and coins back I would hand the notes first and coins on top. For me the rationale is that the coins weigh down the notes so that everything can be handed over in one go. If you put the notes on top of the coins they can fall off/be blown off by stupidly strong instore A/C and generally be harder for the customer to get hold of quickly. I'm not sure if this was something I consciously thought through or am rationalising after the fact but as a less smart (cheers Brockles!) cashier that was how I rolled anyway.
posted by billiebee at 2:40 PM on June 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


Maybe there's a difference between old-school "manual" changemakers and Kids These Days What Don't Know Math who look at the calculated amount the register displays? When I worked registers they were manual and counting up was a way of double-checking my results, so coins went in the hand first and then the bills. KTDWDKM probably count down from left to right when pulling change from the drawer and therefore check their results with bills-then-change. Also, the latter keeps the bills from blowing away in the notoriously fickle store winds so common in North America.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:43 PM on June 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oh though I should say I'm in the UK and in my experience we don't do the whole counting out all the change thing. You just hand it over in one go. Other UK MeFites might correct me so I'll narrow it down further to an NI thing and slink off knowing I was a terrible change-giver.
posted by billiebee at 2:43 PM on June 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Coins first (often the customer will put them in their change purse or pocket right away) then bills. Cards should be handed to the customer, NOT placed on the counter. Any other method is clumsy and rude and will get you a scowl from some customers.
posted by Stonkle at 2:54 PM on June 3, 2016


In Safeway stores (here in California, presumably elsewhere) the cashier hands you the bills, and the change rolls out of a little automatic dispenser into a cup, from which you scoop the coins. Or in which you forget the coins, even after being delighted by the little ca-ching noise it makes.
posted by gyusan at 3:06 PM on June 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


Maybe it's an age thing. I learned cashiering when I was 16 in 1981 on a manual cash register that most certainly didn't tell me what change to give back. From the cashier perspective: as others have described, you counted up. Deal with the coins, then deal with the bills. Less chance for error or fumbling. Also less chance someone can pull a cash-handling con.

From the recipient's perspective: again, coins should totally be first. It gives you the opportunity to put them away first. Also the idea that the coins will weigh down the bills I guess makes some kind of sense if you're outside in a wind storm, but the reality is that fumbling with the coins so that you can get to the bills often makes everything a mess and the receiver is more likely to drop SOMETHING. So coins first, bills counted on top.

And yet, everyone seems to do it the new, dumb way. Probably because of the registers, and probably because your average cashier trainer is probably a couple years older than the cashier at most, so like buggy whip making and switchboard operating, it's skill lost in the sands of time.
posted by clone boulevard at 3:07 PM on June 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Also, my changemaking days left me with the residual ability to instantly know the additional amount I need to give the cashier so that I get the minimum number of coins back. I get a lot of puzzled looks followed by frowns of concentration and finally a look of admiration.*


*For some values of "admiration."
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:15 PM on June 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oh, huh! Thanks so far already, I suppose I can add a couple notes:

- I'm familiar with the count-up-your-change-back-to-you method several folks have mentioned, with coins and then bills bringing up the total to what you tendered, but on reflection haven't encountered that much in the last several years. The move to computerized/automated change-making seems like a compelling argument to explain the decay of that underlying driver for coins-first delivery.

- I'm in the US, specifically Portland, OR, though I've paid in cash in various parts of the country now and then over the last decade and haven't personally noticed any conspicuous regional quirks there.

- I pay for almost everything with a debit or credit card these days and so my cash interactions are relatively rare events; my sample size for current practice isn't as big as I'd like as a grounding for this, so I accept a lot of potential misrepresentation of the sample I do have to draw from on this. And most of my cash transactions are whole- or half-dollar amounts at things like food carts, in a state with no sum-ruining sales tax, so the change situation tends to be pretty simple in general when it even comes up.
posted by cortex at 3:34 PM on June 3, 2016


I cashiered for many years starting in 1995, so I didn't have to calculate the change out myself (but of course you quickly learn how to do that, after someone's total is $8.12 and they hand you a $20 and then throw a quarter on after you've rung in the $20). I always always always handed change back first, allowed the customer to put their change away if they were going to do that, and then handed over their bills. In the case above, I'd usually just fan out the $10 and two $1s, say, "$12 back" or something, and hand it to them. I only counted out the bills when it was a lot, like north of $50 or something, and then I'd count it out, splayed on the counter, and then shuffle it together and hand it over. Anyway this is all to say that change on top of bills is totally, completely wrong.
posted by jabes at 3:37 PM on June 3, 2016


I have always handed change back first, and then bills, simply because it drives me crazy to receive bills first, then change on top.
posted by epj at 3:50 PM on June 3, 2016


The only time I use cash, I am at some guy named Hoover's apartment. He usually gives me the baggie first and then the bills. Sometimes he gives me one of the bills already rolled up into a tube.
posted by AugustWest at 3:52 PM on June 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


For the love of God, put the coins into my palm first. Then they are secure and my fingers are free to fold over the bills and receipt.
This has naught to do with change making, only with the correct order of handing it over.

Someone actually crumpled a receipt today to put it in my hand with a few coins. I nearly screamed.
posted by SLC Mom at 3:53 PM on June 3, 2016 [7 favorites]


Coins, then bills, or you spend a lot more time with your line held up while people who drop their change scramble around the floor for it. Special circle in hell for drive thru cashiers who put the coins on top so you can drop them outside the car. This is not necessarily intuitive, so employers are responsible for training employees to do this properly; I always think it's a badly-run store that probably has high turnover and poor training when I get bills-then-coins-on-top.

It's just so rude to put the coins on top, which is awkward for the customer and risks them sliding off.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:19 PM on June 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


Previously, from me: The Change Trays of Japan.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:20 PM on June 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


My god. I've been a barman for 20 odd years, and I been giving change wrong the whole time. If I'm counting the change back (it happens less often than not), it'll be from my own one hand to other (in full view of customer), then putting it in their hand with the coins on top. The 'coin-on-top' thinking was that the coins were the paperweight for the notes. Apparently this annoys people. Shit.
posted by quinndexter at 4:52 PM on June 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


COINS FIRST!!
NO FUCKING CASH CANOE!
posted by tristeza at 5:16 PM on June 3, 2016 [9 favorites]


When I worked a register on a daily basis, I always gave the coins back first before I counted out the bills. It made sense to select coins first, hold them in one hand and pull bills off from the till in another. At least it did to me.
posted by lineofsight at 5:23 PM on June 3, 2016


I also hate getting a stack of bills with coins on top, so I sometimes refuse to accept them that way. When proffered to me i don't open my palm to accept the batch, but pick the coins up with my fingers, and then take the bills.
posted by TDIpod at 5:27 PM on June 3, 2016


Your change is four dollars...

(Hands over four dollars)

...and 22 cents.

(Drops 22 cents onto the four dollars)

What is confusing about this?
posted by themanwho at 5:29 PM on June 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


Joining the choir of coins first but will note this became especially important when plastic money was introduced. The coins stay put in your cupped palm and you can grip the bills with your fingers. Even a heavy coin like a toonie will slip right off a plastic bill.
posted by Mitheral at 5:32 PM on June 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


What's confusing is that, for me, the coins go in my pocket & the bills in my wallet, but I have my wallet still in one hand from where I paid with a $20, so with my other now holding the $4.22 change pile of bils with coins on top.....
posted by TDIpod at 6:07 PM on June 3, 2016


When I get coins on top of cash all I can do is close my fist, crumple it all together and jam it into my wallet as a solid mass. Every week or so I have to go in and uncrumple everything and put it in order with all the presidents facing the right way... I use cash as little as possible and then I only have to weed out the crumpled receipts.
posted by bendy at 6:22 PM on June 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Hello, I was working a till just this afternoon, so let me talk you through exactly what I do. Remember this is the UK not the US, but the mechanics are the important thing.

After a sale is entered into the till and customer hands me the tender, the till tells me exactly how much change is to be given. So it will say: Sale £2.65, Tender £10.00, Change £7.35. The cash drawer opens and I begin to count out the change. Unlike the method others describe above, I've no need to count the change back up to the tender because the till lets me know exactly how much change to give.

I'll pull out the biggest unit of currency I have that is less than the change needed, in this case a £5 note. I'll put it into my left hand (I'm left-handed) and continue drawing change with my right hand. I'll then take two £1 coins and place them in my left hand on top of the note. Because I pulled out the note first it would be awkward to put them under the note. I'll then draw the next coin, a 20p, and stack it on the £1 coins. Likewise the 10p and then the 5p. Each going on top of the last.

I'll then pinch the note and stack of coins between my thumb and forefinger while taking the receipt with my right hand. I'll slip the receipt under the note and offer the whole pile to the customer the same way up as I counted it out. The customer doesn't get any change before I've finished counting as it is important for me to be able to check that I have the right total.

In summary, two things are important here: 1) I know the desired total of change before I start and count using the "greedy algorithm"; and 2) I keep the change in my hand until I have the total needed. Nobody trained me to do it this way. I can only guess that the mechanics of the operation pretty much force you to structure the task in a specific way. Most times I am served in shops this is also the way I receive change. I guess the main alternative is to count notes and coins in different hands and to give them to the customer separately. I never do this.
posted by Emma May Smith at 7:08 PM on June 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


Whilst you're slipping the receipt under the note could you tilt the change into your right hand and the offer that to the customer first?
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:47 PM on June 3, 2016


O.k. so, a large part of my job is running a cash register. I give money as follows: I use my left hand to flip up the arms that hold the stacks of bills down, and with my right hand deposit the bill(s) you gave me, plus grabbing pennies from the spare change to make the change easier. Then I take out the coins with my left hand, bills with my right, and put the bills in my left hand (which is closer to the customer). Then while closing the register with the right hand. I hand you the bills first (which are in my finger so easily accessible), then the coins (which are cupped in the palm of my hand so impossible to get at first). Then, if you want either thing, I'll bag up your purchase and\or hand you a receipt. All this while trying say non-gibberish things to you, doing a quick mental check to make sure the total made sense, and trying not to sneeze.

First, let me list what AREN'T the reason I do it this way:

a) I'm stupid.
b) I haven't put any thought into my job.
c) I'm a monster.

I'm actually a pretty smart actual human being, and I generally DO put a little thought about the best way to do things that I have to do several times a day. The thing is, from my end, and from your end, my job looks very different. First off, I don't work for you, the customer. I work for a company, who gives me the money I get to keep. So, to be honest, I don't really have to care if you give me a dirty look. I don't really have to care if you are slightly inconvenienced by the way I hand you the bills.

What I DO have to care about is what my boss cares about, and that's mainly getting your money in the register and you out of the store as quickly as possible, and especially getting the register closed as quickly as possible. Seriously, a lot of bigger places track the interactions cashiers have per hour, and if it's not enough, they can get fired, or less hours, or crappier hours, or whatever. Look at it this way, I've NEVER heard of anyone complaining because they got their money the wrong way, but I HAVE heard lots of people complain about how long it takes to check out. You'll just have to trust me when I say, the way I do the whole transaction is MUCH quicker than if I handed you the coins first. Oh, and the time it takes me to do the whole counting change up to the bill you gave me? That's time someone could reach across the counter and grab bills out of the till and run out. And yes, I've seen that happen. We all got a lecture the next week about how important it was to shut the register as quickly as possible, which means the money gets handed to you one handed. Which means: bills on bottom.

So yeah, next time you find yourself tempted to think badly of whatever service person does something wrong according to your great big list of "How Things Go", please think about what pressures they're under from their actual employers, who have a way different list of priorities than you. Also, take a second to think that maybe your own preferences are unique, and quite frankly it's quite a lot to ask that somebody making not all that high of an hourly wage, not only magically know what everyone wants, but adjusts their muscle memory to that for everyone they see during their shift. You're just not that important.
posted by Gygesringtone at 9:58 PM on June 3, 2016 [9 favorites]


There is (or at least was, in the late 80s, but I've had cashiers apologize for it more recently) at least pockets of regional American culture in which you absolutely do not touch the customer, which is one of the reasons bills go first - you're more likely to accidentally touch them putting the change in their hand.

Like I mentioned, I have occasionally had a cashier apologize for accidentally touching me, and I have been near other customers who have obviously reacted - including one woman who snapped "you do not touch me!" - to it. I don't think any of that has happened in California, it was mostly in Texas and adjacent.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:02 PM on June 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


I worked cash registers all through high school and college well before cash registers could calculate change and always counted change out: coins first then bills, then receipt. I was trained to shut the drawer before giving the change to the customer so that meant I counted each transaction twice: once while taking the money out of the till (silently) and again aloud to the customer. I so appreciate it when I encounter the rare cashier who still does this, especially because it means the bills are sorted from smallest to largest denomination.

My least favorite cash transactions are when the cashier hands me a wad of bills, coins on top and then drapes the 3' long receipt festooned with coupons and promotions over the whole mess as though my arm was the bough of a Christmas tree (my local CVS, gah). When this happens, you can bet I'm not budging from my spot at checkout until I count my change, which holds up the line.

The coins on top do make it easier to impulsively let them slide off into the ubiquitous charity change jars that are on the counter though.
posted by jamaro at 11:03 PM on June 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


Deej is right and also coins are not paperweights. That's what your fingers are for: grabbing! Or receive with two hands, where I can drop the coins in my pocket and grab and open my wallet just as you're handing me the bills in my other hand, which puts them into the wallet in one smooth motion. Simplicity itself.

I appreciate that the point is to get the customer out as fast as possible, but this definitely slows me down in putting my money away because it's a juggle. I have my wallet in one hand when I pay, so I get the cash canoe, so I have to put my wallet down, pour the change into my free hand, put the coins in my pocket, then pick up the wallet, open it, put the bills away, and put my wallet away. That's something I do before leaving the register, unless I just cram it all into my pocket like a four year old.

I don't care if the cashier does the ritual counting.
posted by rhizome at 2:48 AM on June 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh, how I hate coins on top of notes. It's ****guaranteed**** to make me drop stuff.

I ask the cashier to put the whole mess (coins, notes) onto the counter so that I can pick up the coins first, then the notes, without dropping anything.
posted by Sockpuppets 'R' Us at 5:11 AM on June 4, 2016


The configuration of my vintage wallet is such that the bills need to get slipped in first, so that I can close it, snap it, and then open the coin purse at the side to drop the coins in and snap it shut. I blame women's clothing without damn pockets that hold money!

I have carried a variation of this wallet style for 25 years now, and it is only in the recent past that I am finding cashiers frequently unobservant enough to put change on top when I am standing there with the wallet open, having taken my bills out, anticipating change in a way that provides visual cues of how I'm expecting it. If I am getting bills or bills and change back, the wallet is still unfolded waiting to put paper/plastic money in the billfold. If I am getting change only back, I have already folded it, snapped it shut, and have the coin purse part open for change.

As someone who's been in business for these 25 years, many of them in retail, I'm finding there's less human connection and "reading" of how people want to receive their change. So on the occasion where I'm working a show and do need to make change, I take the the bills out with my right hand, and transfer them to my left, then take the coins out with my right, and "count up". With the bills in one hand and the coins in another, I thank them, state "X.XX is your change from XX" for accuracy, and to make sure there's no confusion/shortchanging and watch to see what they reach for first and meet them halfway. Their purchases are already wrapped and the receipt in the bag (handwritten.)

As far as closing the till quickly, I was always taught to leave the amount I was given across the top, and not to put it away until the correct change was acknowledged. That way it can't be claimed I was given a larger denomination when I was actually given a smaller one.
posted by peagood at 6:30 AM on June 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


A couple of further notes and then I'm done.

For those pointing out that it takes longer for you to put the money away, you might very well be right. It's probably still not longer than it takes me to bag up your purchases (assuming you want a bag) and say the ritual "have a good _____" or if it is, you're probably doing it off to the side enough that I can start ringing up the next customer if there's a line. Our front counter's huge and the purchases tend to be small. In a different set up, the thinking might be different. But, next time you're at a grocery store or something like that, look at the set up. It's actually pretty clever the way they force you to move out of the next customer's way to do the slow stuff like putting money away and grabbing bags and stuff.

Also, you might drop the change, and with a different counter set up, that might make a difference as well. But honestly, I ring up 60-100+ people a shift, of those 2/3rds are probably cash and of those probably 3/4s take change, so that's something like 40 people a shift get change. I have people drop the coins probably once every couple shifts. So that's something around 1-2%. It's less than the number of times a day I have to explain that the entrance to the bar next door is one door to the right. On the other hand, if you drop your change once while running errands, that's what 1 out of 5 places, so 20%. So, yeah to you, you might drop change a lot, but from my point of view, it's basically a non-issue.

I don't claim to speak for all cashiers working at every place. At the same time everybody who says "the proper way to do it is: X" and especially who implies that if I don't do it that way, I'm stupid, thoughtless, rude, etc. probably should consider that the proper way changes from situation to situation, and person to person, and in the end the only person's "proper way" that really matters is the one who employees me. I know that seems harsh and pretty lacking in empathy, but is it really all that worse than insulting someone with zero power over most aspects of their job because they can't cater to (or even really know, not everybody wants coins on the bottom) the very specific way you want the interaction to go?
posted by Gygesringtone at 7:25 AM on June 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


So I worked in a particular retail store for 17 years. And even after having worked my way up to the IT guy I would still run a register (the registers were terminals so I would be working from one register and then hop over to another to ring people up. Sigh). I would always put the change in first and then pause, letting the customer reshape their hand, and then give them the bills.

Most cashiers at most places don't do it like this. It was so annoying to me to have cashiers put the change on top of the bills that I made sure I didn't do it to other people.

Also, I never counted out the money (nor did I train others to do so) unless the customer paid with a very large bill and was getting a lot of change back in which case it wasn't so much counting out as emphasizing that they paid with a $100 and I'm giving them back $99.37 in change.
posted by bfootdav at 11:43 AM on June 4, 2016


To be clear, I don't think any cashier is dumb or rude for doing it the wrong way(tm), I think it's a management and/or training problem. This has been a peeve of mine for years now, and I've actually thought of writing a sourced article or making a little youtube documentary on the change [sic] of practices.
posted by rhizome at 11:44 AM on June 4, 2016


As a consumer, change goes on top of bills so I can quickly put the change in my off hand and dispose of it - pocket, charity tray, etc. Or I can dump it directly from the bills to a receptacle. Then the longer process of putting bills away neatly can begin. It would be inconvenient to me to get come on bottom - the coins would be trapped and I'd have to fumble with the bills while clutching the coins. In fact, I'm perplexed by the responses in favor of bills on top, so I'm glad that coins on top seems to be more common.

I do have to wonder if my coins-on-top preference AND their bills-on-top preference are just examples of "this is the way I'm used to it, so it must be better." But that requires more introspection than AskMe is meant for.
posted by Tehhund at 2:36 PM on June 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


1. What are the rationales and counter-arguments for the bills-topped-with-change approach?

That's a really stupid way to do it. As you said in your post, the other hand is holding packages and stuff and isn't of any help receiving the money.

The rationale is that the cashier is brain-dead and not paying attention to the obvious problem it causes the customer.

2. What other techniques are out there?

Coins first, then bills. The coins stay in the palm of the hand without any problem while you receive the bills with the fingers.
posted by JimN2TAW at 2:41 PM on June 4, 2016


These days I use cash a lot less often than I used to, but when I do I always have an awkward moment when I'm handed bills, because I start to put them away right as the cashier is about to dump change on top, and then I get sort of confused and end up sticking my other hand out for that, and it's all terribly weird and vaguely embarrassing so I end up using a credit card next time.
posted by Pryde at 8:48 PM on June 4, 2016


The movie Paper Moon demonstrates a scam where a guy buys something, pays with a $20 and leaves. The next customer, a kid, buys something small, pays with a $10, receives change, and then cries bloody murder, claiming she'd presented a $20 inscribed "Happy Birthday with love from Aunt May." The cashier checks the drawer, finds the $20 with said inscription and hands over another $10 with an apology.

And that's why, in my cashier days, we were taught to lay the customer's bills on the little shelf above the drawer and to only put them in the register after s/he had accepted the change and receipt and completed the transaction. It solved problems posed by both the occasional scam artist and the (much more frequent) errors committed by either the customer or the clerk. I don't know why this isn't standard practice.
posted by carmicha at 9:21 AM on June 6, 2016


I don't know why this isn't standard practice.

Undoubtedly depends on the store but the places I cashiered at, a customer claiming to have received the wrong change would have required calling over a manager to count out the drawer.
posted by jamaro at 3:36 PM on June 6, 2016


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