I went to Kohl's recently with a 30% off coupon. Anyone who knows me well knows that this is THE ultimate piece of mail for me. I get that Kohl's envelope and see the 15/20/30 peel-off sticker and hold my breath ... will it be a 30 this time?? YES! I got a 30. So, off I went, prepared to stock up on Maxwell essentials.
The girl ringing up my purchases was college age, maybe high school. She accidentally hit the 25% button. "Oops! I'll just take off another 5%," she said, and hit the 5% button. I couldn't believe it. "Um .. I'm pretty sure that won't give me the same discount as a straight 30% ..." She looked at me like I had three heads. "Really? Why not? 25 and 5 make 30." Oh dear me ...
I tried to politely explain that percentages don't ADD together, they multiply .. and that I would end up with a smaller discount overall, etc, etc .. until she started to look confused and flustered. So instead I politely asked if we could start over and just see what happens. She graciously voided my order and started from scratch. I apologized in advance for causing her the extra work if it turned out the same after all (knowing all along that it wouldn't).
Sure enough, being a pain-in-the-butt saved me almost $2 more than if I had kept my mouth shut. The cashier was clearly surprised. "I'm so sorry, Ma'am, I've never been very good at math!" I told her it was okay, and to try to remember for future customers.
Just because I'm a stay-at-home-mom doesn't mean I can't spread a little math here and there.
For bonus points, dear readers: Assuming that correcting the poor cashier saved me exactly $2 extra, what was the price of my purchase before any discounts were applied?