Old people and exact change

What is it with old people always having to pay with exact change when they buy things? It’s always OLD people and especially old women. Why do they do it?

I don’t see 25 year old dudes sitting there counting out pennies.

The other day I was at the pharmacist and this old woman in front of me was taking forever. A line was slowly building up behind her. I know she saw because she turned around and saw all of us. The cashier finished up her business, but the woman INSISTED on exact change, digging slowly through her purse and counting it change. The kicker? It was 97 cents in change. You’re kidding me! Just take the damn three cents. How fucking selfish.

It’s dreadfully rude.

I dunno, maybe a passive-aggressive response to being sneered at and made fun of for the simple reason of having lived too long and being in your way?

Yeah. Absolutely. That is the only reason to do it. :rolleyes:

I think it’s a remnant from before cash registers made change. Even with that crutch, I get some odd amounts of change back, like the 9 dime and 4 penny return I got once. I do the exact change thing, or at least to the point where I don’t get a bunch of pennies and nickles back. However, I’m really fast at it.

27 year old dude here, and I pay with exact change when I can. Too much change makes my wallet uncomfortable to sit on, so I try to keep from accumulating too much. But I don’t make people wait while I dig through my wallet. I have my change out and in my hand before my total is calculated, and I try to sort the pile into useful amounts so I don’t hold anyone up.

people like to get rid of change. you don’t risk getting short changed when you pay the exact amount.

elderly grew up when things cost pennies. to them it is a coin of value.

I hate pennies, so I always find a way to use them.

Those who are so upset by this are confusing two things:

  1. People who don’t like carrying large amounts of change, so they pay with exact change (or close to it) when possible.

  2. Rude people who (slowly) do the above when there’s a line behind them.

I have no problem with item #1. But item #2 is, of course, highly annoying. You may now substitute “writing checks” or “splitting a total between a gift card and a credit card” or whatever other behavior you wish for item #1.

It’s preferable to breaking bills.

If you never use exact change then the amount of coins you have approaches infinity. Why not use exact change if you have it? I have counted out 97 cents in exact change if I have a pile of coins. I’ve done it since I was 22. It’s not rude and it’s not selfish. It’s just paying the cashier.

By the way, the selfish ones are those who can’t bear to wait their turn and curse about people who are just trying to do their business. I have less patience for someone pushing a cart full of groceries into the express lane.

I rarely see old men counting out pennies, either.

Some women carry large purses that are suitable for hauling around a whole mess o’ change. I’m guessing that young women either (a) don’t like carrying large purses or (b) are in too much of a hurry to count out a bunch of worthless change.

So that leaves old women.

I understand what you guys are talking about, but I’m talking about old people who go out of their way QUESTING for exact change, digging high and low for it when the item could easily be purchased with a bill. For example, there were two old ladies in front of me today, and instead of just paying with a dollar or whatever, one old lady asked the other for a nickel and spent forever rummaging through her little change purse looking for pennies and change. I mean, come on, just pay with a dollar bill and be on your way, Mabel.

If you’re old enough to remember 50 years ago, you’re old enough to remember a time when things cost less than one seventh of what they do now. Small change was not small change at the time. Furthermore, you had to pay for nearly everything in cash. Credit cards were rarer and couldn’t be used for many sorts of small purchases. If you were lucky, a store might take a check, but often they didn’t. Because of all this, you expected to walk around with a pocketful of change and a relatively small (by today’s standards) amount of paper money in your wallet. If you didn’t want to be one of those people who dumped their change into a drawer at the end of each day and then had to turn it in at a bank every few months, you kept your change with you at all times and always made sure that you paid in exact change so that you got rid of as much of the change in your pocket as possible.

I do it because I wear jeans mostly and don’t like to have lots of coins in my pocket. I used to collect change in a jar at home, but then I just had to deal with it later.

If there is a long line of people behind me I won’t try to make exact changes since it takes time and is rude to everyone waiting there. Normally I pull the change out of my pocket before I reach the cashier so I know how much change I have in advance. I can usually determine within a second or two if my change is going to be helpful or not.

Far worse than this, in my opinion, are the women who wait for their groceries or whatever to get rung up, are given the total by the cashier, and then reach for their purse to pull out their checkbook and begin to write their check. Really? You had to wait to hear the total before you decided you were going to pay for it? That drives me crazy. I never pay by check, and rarely see other men pay by check. I either charge it if it’s more than $10 or pay with cash. I am very cognizant of wasting other people’s time.

This is exactly what I was talking about a few posts ago. The problem isn’t that those women are writing checks. The problem is that they’re rude.

I don’t use checks much, but when I do, I have the check written out and signed before the cashier is done ringing up my stuff. I fill in the total while my stuff is being bagged. The check is done and ready when she sticks her hand out for it. Since there’s no change involved, it’s faster than cash.

Could it be that being old, they have very little money and every penny counts? When Im husband was ill, and we had only my income from social security, I counted out change because it was all I had.

If you want her out of your way, pay the $0.97 for her. Remember, “Pay it forward?”

I can understand the holdover for older people who were around before credit cards and such, but with modern technology, this problem is almost wholely avoidable. I pay with plastic whenever I can, not just because it completely avoids this problem, but it’s almost always faster as well and provides me with how I spent my money at the end of the month. If I do have to pay with cash, I pocket the change. My bank provides free change for cash service to anyone, not just customers (though I imagine they harass non-customers to open an account). So I can just take a bucket of change in every so often when I have other business at the bank.

That said, if paying with cash, I don’t mind exact or near exact change if it’s quick, but I really can’t imagine carrying around enough change to actualy make that reasonably possible. I don’t have a change pocket on my wallet because I hate carrying extra stuff in there, especially since change can weigh it down quite a bit. Any change I get just goes in my pocket. I might make exact or near exact change if I’m at a place that tends to require cash (like an amusement park, fair, or the like). Otherwise, I only pay with cash every so often, and when I do, it’s usually at a restaurant where I can just roll the $.47 I’d get in change into the tip.

Moving to IMHO from GQ.

General Questions Moderator

You’re obviously not a cashier. I am, and see this behavior over all ages.