Raging into the void

Change! No, it seems we can’t!

Posted on February 24, 2009 3 min read

Nothing is more likely to send someone into a rage as change. Not just any kind of change mind you. Some change is great, a change of bed sheets is ace, a change of salary, in the upward direction, is always welcome, a change in job can herald a wonderful change in life.

Yes, some change is good, but there is change that is unwelcome, or rather, the means of getting that change. The kind of change we are discussing here is the handfuls of shrapnel change that you have thrust into your outstretched hand by a bored, uncaring, retail till operatives.

You might wonder how I can get annoyed by getting change give back to me. You’re probably thinking that not getting the change that I am due would be more rage inducing and you’re probably right. It’s the manner in which they dispense this coiny goodness that infuriates me.

You pop into the local Happy Shopper to buy some Happy Shopper Value Arsenic to continue your campaign of terror against your arch enemies. The teller jabs their pudgy fingers at the till ringing up the 0.23p that it costs these days to do away with unsavory elements of life. You take a crisp clean ten pound note from your wallet and hand it over. Several minutes later once they have managed to obtained the correct change from the till you hold out your hand into which they thrust a receipt (that you clearly neither want nor need), a tatty torn five pound note, then finally they dump a handful of change on top of the paper portion.

You glare at them like they are the devil spawn then leave in disgust as they fail to fall prostrate to their knees and apologise for this outrage.

What outrage has occurred you might wonder? Well the problem here, people, is the order in which the change is returned. It’s an inherent truth that the coins go into the hand first, any right thinking person can see this makes more sense. If you put the coins on top it makes it impossible to pop the notes into your wallet without showering the shop floor with the coin element of your change. If you try to pop the coins into your pocket, you end up ramming the note element into pocket too and as it’s already on the brink of total destruction this last exertion renders it asunder into two worthless parts.

Sure, if I turned up with a huge sack of swag and just grabbed handfuls from it to pay for stuff, it would be OK to assume that I might just lob all the change back into the sack without separating it. However I clearly just withdrew that nice clean ten pound note from a thin, changeless wallet, meaning I will want to separate the two change elements to store them. Separation is only achieved properly if you can grip both elements of the change independently at the same time. This is only possible if the damn coins go first.

Sort it out retails, this has infuriated me for years.