Swag Bucks

Friday, July 20, 2012

I am still a math teacher.

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?