The 21st is currently in a day and age were technology runs a rampant part of our lives; we use it to communicate what we want, check the weather, play games, catch Pokemon, get food, and even run away from reality. Almost every place in the United States (and world) has adapted to these new modern ways. The younger "gens", like Generation Z and some Generation Y , see it as a part of our future and current habits that will forever be in a major aspect of our lives, but more older and experienced generations like the Baby Boomers and Generation X still don't like to see the use of this new way.
Of course these complaints don't come in the way you would really expect. I mean, who would complain when technology has created a faster and better way of living, no one can really deny that. What I am talking about here is the discrimination of young workers in any field where money is now handled with technology.
Don't think any of this ties together yet? Well, let me explain.
A couple days ago I was working at a fast food restaurant taking customers orders when my co-worker beside me had an older customer playfully comment on how he bet she wouldn't have been able to give him the correct change if it weren't for the computerized ordering machine. Embarrassed at herself, she laughed nervously and agreed with him. The said customer then walked away and laughed at his "joke" and returned with other waiting customers to tell them about the cashier girl who "wouldn't have been able to give the correct amount of change if it weren't for the computer telling her what to give."
I felt bad for the girl. I've been in that situation a couple of times, one of them with a woman who I knew, and made me feel like a fool; but incredibly frustrated at the same time.
In my experience, the woman who was a friend of mine, gave me a twenty, which more than covered her bill, and then as soon as I punched the money into the computer, gave me change. I told her that I had already deposited her money, so I didn't need her change. She grew upset because she wanted cash back in all dollars, which I can understand, but let my mistake slide. When I saw her later again, she talked with me about how I should have been able to just do the math in my head and give her correct change. I, never being great with math, told her just that. That's were she told be how I should be able to do that, I mean I went to school and all right? After that, I began trying to calculate the bills and transactions in my head, which I think have gradually improved over time.
This is the discrimination I am talking about; were older generations place blame of not understanding simple elementary math and other mundane schooling on the replacement of technology.
This is incredibly frustrating to me but let me set one thing straight. We, the young cashiers and workers, are not dumb. We know how to do simple math. Would you like to know why we can't give you the correct amount of change at the top of our heads? It's because of the current expectations of customer satisfaction where speed, quality, and service of a place or restaurant is dependent on a young employee and made a priority, leaving certain sacrifices to be made.
One of these sacrifices means that cashiers no longer have the time to do the math in our head (unless they are incredibly smart and have a complete grasp of the concept, which many people don't). Customers do not want to have to wait two minutes for change they can receive in less than ten seconds. And when speed is an issue and cashiers no longer do the actual transaction, then the practice of math is dropped.
One of the main ideals of math is practice. If a struggling student in a Calculus class wanted good grades, the one thing they do is practice with problems from their book. They don't just read it over and call it a day. It can take days or even weeks to get a better grip on math and certain problems.
A place where this practice in the work place cannot be generally applied to is anyone who works in a fast food drive-thru. This person has to multi-task taking orders, receiving money, punching the correct amount of money in, giving the correct amount of money away, talking to people through a headset, etc. The job is stressful in itself, there is hardly anytime to worry about calculations in your mind.
But this is simple math, you say, kids these days should be able to understand simple addition and subtraction. Well, this is were technology does play a factor. Calculators are now a part of school curriculum and whether or not an assignment allows the use of one, anyone can still find one in nearly every home and every room at school. Students are beginning to drop the practice of doing math in their heads. Of course, students may be just cheating with calculators to finish their math proportions so they may finish all their homework at a reasonable time in the night, but that is a different story.
Overall, the 21st Century Cashier is not given enough credit where credit should lay. We are just doing our jobs in a quick and timely manner so as not to upset the customers. If customers are so worried about the employee's ability to do math, then make a suggestion or complaint to the head quarters of whichever company you are currently buying merchandise at. Or, if you are feeling the patient type and their is no one waiting in line behind you, request that you would like for the cashier to do the math in their head. Help them out, be nice, maybe even give them a sheet of paper to do the calculations on (there usually is no paper and pencils near to do such things).
All you have to do is understand that with the rise of all things technology, there just won't be certain things that will never be the same. Quick service and the ability to do math in our heads may just be one of them.