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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Drugstore Clerk Innumeracy

After Valentine's Day, I went to the drugstore to buy discounted candy.

The candy was marked "50% off". However, the base price was not listed.

I asked a store clerk "What's the price of this candy?" She said "50% off!" I said "50% off what?" She said "50% off!" I said that I needed to know the regular price in order to calculate the "50% off" price. I couldn't make her understand. She kept saying "50% off!", when I asked about the price.

The "candy heart boxes" are a bad deal, even for "50% off". It's cheaper to buy a regular box. I did buy some bags of Hershey's miniatures.

The woman at the cash register had to calculate "50% off" by hand. That was too hard for her. Even though I bought two copies of the same item, she did the "divide by 2" calculation twice.

If they really understood arithmetic, they'd have a better job than working at the drugstore. However, it is a bad sign, when people are that stupid.

Here's a good exercise. Whenever you go into a store or restaurant, ask yourself "Who's the most skilled employee?" I'm getting a lot better at noticing. If I start a business, even an on-the-books one, identifying skilled employees would be a huge advantage.

If I can avoid hiring psychopaths and parasites, that would be a huge advantage, even for an on-the-books business. It's particularly important to keep out psychopaths. One psychopath can really ruin a business and perform lots of negative work.

It was very embarrassing, that the people working in the drugstore didn't understand arithmetic.


Anonymous said...

Would it be the below?

Current Price = Old Price * 0.5


Old Price = Current Price / 0.5

Ronnie said...

They usually have to enter the item twice at 50% off for inventory purposes.

FSK said...

There was no price marked other than the "50% off sign".

DC said...

FSK a word of advice: stop eating candy if you can. It is an addiction that is worthwhile breaking.

More to the point of your article: I had a person working for me who was unaware that the US had nuclear weapons. He was very concerned that North Korea had developed nuclear weapons and that we did not have any nucular weapons to defend ourselves. This demonstrates how uninformed people are. The same person did not know who the combatants were in WW2. It is shocking that people have forgotten their own history and do not know who the combatants were in WW2.
It is not just that people can not add or subtract numbers. It is that the general population has no understanding of science at all.
That is unfourtuneate becase peole are very smart, but they are not being educated.

Scott said...

It's not just her, not being able to calculate 50% is the standard state of American high school *graduates*.

I get so pissed off when I hear that teachers should be paid more. These morons have 12-14 years with the kids and can't even manage to teach them to read or multiply in that time.

Instead of raising their salaries we should fire all teachers and start over.

Anonymous said...

DC, very much correct, sir!

Most "educated" people believed in the "Impact Driver" theory of 9\11, without as much as asking themselves why is it we have a piles of sh*t and not towers. Many educated people have no problem saying "nukelar". That's the result of the conspiracy between government, state schools, and mass media. Not only no one cared for an American child for real, but no one is even man enough to point it out.

I was driving and heard on the radio that the govt. of Japan had "injected" certain amount of yen into an economy. Really?

What are all these "brave Americans" that work at the station afraid? Why not report that the government of Japan "printed" so many trillions in response to the catastrophe, or even go further as you are a reporter and not just Joe Blow on the street, and research their total money supply and say that they govt. just "took possession" of, say 2% of people's wealth and redistributed it.

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