Things I Ain’t Got Time For: Loose Change

If you’re standing by a cash register purchasing a train pass, a flat white or lottery ticket and have your coins out, calculated and ready to be handed over seamlessly, blessings be unto you my friend. But if the phrase “I think I may have 45 cents in here somewhere” frequently finds its way into your daily repertoire, and is proceeded by you foraging through your bag like a possum digging through mounds of junk… I ain’t got time for you.

Working in retail, I understand how helpful exact change can be. Calculating takings becomes a smidgen easier and saves a bit of time at the end of the day. It also eliminates the mad run back to the stockroom to fetch more coins, because every other customer uses a $50 to pay for a comb valued at $1.50. Digging into the cavities of your purse on a quiet afternoon in an empty store is most certainly acceptable in this instance.

But feel this pain: the clock strikes 12 in Sydney City. It’s lunch hour, and there is an army of corporate’s lining up behind one single, humble cash register that you are operating. You have memorised every product code to ensure greater efficiency and you are folding, packaging and bagging like a pro. You’ve gotten into a rhythm and traffic is moving. When all of a sudden you approach an unexpected red light. Traffic halts and congestion begins when a customer spends an extreme amount of time searching for coins, only to discover that they have no change on them at all. You think to yourself ‘I ain’t got time for this’ as you begrudgingly glance at the array of people that follow. It’s times like these you wish you could evaporate. And let us not overlook that one person that hands you two full bags of coins and says, ‘that should cover it, do you mind recounting it for me?’.

Now maybe you’re just trying to be practical with your money. Perhaps you’re trying to help me out by restocking my register. But can I remind you of the aggravated lineup of people sneering at you behind your back? And whilst YOU may never see them again, guess who has to manage their temperament when they approach the register?

So you think you have a chance finding 75 cents in a bag like this?

You see, I’ve witnessed numerous ‘loose change’ scenarios from a range of different standpoints. I have been behind the register waiting for people to sort through what appears to be Hermione’s never-ending expandable handbag. On the flip-side of the coin, I’ve witnessed my bus drive past me whilst waiting for an unorganised soul to sort through their coins. And you know what? I ain’t got time to deal with this.

Save your shrapnel and drag your heavy wallet to your local McDonalds where loose change is welcomed an appreciated. Keep them quarters away from me. I ain’t got time for ’em.

The people who have time for loose change

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