Friday, March 13, 2009

Life in the failed lane

I hit the DQ a few days ago on my way home from taking my exam. I hadn't eaten dinner yet, I knew there was no food in the house and I just wanted something quick. My burger came to $3.92. Anytime between 3:30 in the afternoon until close, the entire staff consists of teenagers. Knowing this, I decide to be nice and dig out exact change. I'm able to get the .92, but I only have two one dollar bills and a ten. So when it's my turn at the window, I hand the young man $10.92. For a bill of $3.92. Pretty easy right? Evidently not. This particular DQ doesn't have an automatically closing drive thru window. I really wish it did. Because then I could tell myself that the two teenage males were arguing about who won which game as opposed to what I got to hear.

1st Teen: What's $10.92 minus $3.92?
2nd Teen: $7.
1st: No, that can't be right.
2nd: It's $7.
1st: No, I said $10.92 minus $3.92.
2nd: Yeah. It's $7.
1st: I don't think so.
2nd: Well, what does the register say?
1st: It says $7.
2nd: Right.
1st: But that can't be right.
2nd: Why not?
1st: Because it was $3.92 and she gave me $10.92.
2nd: Uh-huh.
1st: So it should be like $6 and change. Right?
2nd: No. It's $7.
1st: Are you sure?
2nd: Dude, just give her $7 and forget about figuring it out.

It's bad enough that they had to have any discussion about this at all. What makes it worse to me is that the kid was using a cash register that automatically calculated it for him and he still couldn't figure it out. At first, I thought it was pretty funny. But the more I thought about it, it just made me sad. Here's a kid, who did not look "challenged" in any way, that has made it all the way to at least 16 years old and he can't do simple math. This is something he should have learned in second grade. I only know that because it's pretty much what my son is working on currently in second grade. Where does this kid go from here? Unless he has some athletic ability, his opportunities in life aren't looking that great. I think we failed another one.