The value of a penny
By: Tim Calcara
OK, I’m going to sound really old when I share this but I went to the store the other day to pick up a few things. I gave the cashier a twenty to pay. My change was supposed to be $7.06 but it was how my change was offered that got my attention.
The cashier, with a deliberate manner demonstrating professional courtesy, counted out to me seven crisp, one dollar bills, a nickel but no penny.
Then he said to me, “Do you want the penny or just the nickel?”
I didn’t understand the question and I’m pretty sure that I still don’t understand. I think he was offering me the convenience of not having to carry an extra coin around that was hardly worth the hassle.
It really caused me to pause to think about the transaction at a deeper level. Mostly because this is the second time a cashier making change has asked me if I wanted to bother with our smallest incremental piece of American currency.
I’ve thought about this a lot. Not that a penny is worth that much, but it is worth something, is it not? Mostly though, it seemed unprofessional to me that a question like that would even be asked. And the fact that it has happened twice from a “millenial aged” person, makes me wonder if this gesture is more about a change of perception of the value of money most common to the younger generation.
Have you had such an experience? I’d love to hear your story.
Something to think about.