Okay, here’s how it used to work. The cashier rang up your purchases, then hit “total”. The register spit out a receipt, which was put in the bag with your purchases. Which is where it belongs! You paid, and got you change.
But then someone came up with a new development in cash registers. Now, when you pay, the cashier enters the amount you gave him/her, and the register shows what the change should be, then the recipt pops out and is, invarably, handed to you along with your change.
It seems to me that the handing-the-customer-the-receipt thing started happening because with the tell-the-cashier-what-change-to-give registers, the receipt pops out too late in the transaction, after the bag is already filled and handed to the customer.
I don’t like this. I want the cashier to put the receipt in the bag where it belongs, and not bother me with it.
And when it comes to purchases which are not being put in bags, such as buying one candy bar, one ice cream bar, one newspaper, one magazine, or the like – I don’t want to be given a receipt at all. It used to be standard practice not to issue receipts for purchases like this, but lately, if I buy a magazine or candy bar at a newstand, I’m handed a receipt. What am I supposed to do with it, Mr. or Ms. Cashier? Huh? When the single item I’ve purchased is not going into a bag? Actually, I realize that the cashiers are just following policies set by someone higher up; I wish the policy setters would re-think this. Who would want a receipt for the purchase of one ice cream sandwich, or one newspaper? Or even an ice cream sandwich, a newspaper, and a magazine?
I think that these registers that tell cashiers how much change to dispense were a really bad idea. They’re a classic example of “fixing” a problem that didn’t exist. What cashier needs to be told what change to dispense? Making change is extreamly easy. It does not involve “doing arithmetic in your head” – all you need is to know how to do is count. Just count. All the cashier has to do to make change is count from the amount of the sale to the amount of the bill tendered. Anyone can do this; anyone can learn it in minutes.