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Pet Peeve #11:
Coins do not go on top of bills

Filed under: Pet Peeves

Although I haven’t actually calculated it, I’d guess about 50% of the time when I receive change from a cashier they hand me the bills then attempt to place any coins carefully on top of the bills. Excuse me, but what’s wrong with these people?

You would think that as they watched some of the coins slip off and fall to the floor they just might realize it would be so much easier to put the coins in my hand first, and then the bills. You would think this is something they would eventually learn. Sadly, I don’t think they ever will.

In addition, placing the coins on top of the bills virtually guarantees that I’ll need two hands to put away my change. If I’m holding bills in one hand and balancing coins on top of them, how am I supposed to put them away like that? Especially if I’ve got a hot cup of coffee in the other hand?

It’s simple: when giving change you should ALWAYS give the coins first, then the bills.

July 17, 2009 | Posted by Ian | Permalink | 7 Comments
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  • July 17, 2009 at 12:16 pm
    Ian says:

    I know we said the order of the pet peeves is not significant, but I have to admit, this one is quite close to the top for me.

  • July 20, 2009 at 5:41 am
    Patricia says:

    I know! I am finding lots of sites talking about this. It has driven me crazy forEVER! You would think it would happen to them, so they would learn not to do it, but maybe cashiers can’t afford to buy things.
    There is an explanation for why it’s happening, though. It’s because they don’t count out change anymore. The computer tells them the amount to give back.
    But can’t they see their customers struggling??? I just don’t get it. =)

  • February 8, 2010 at 2:49 am
    Bass says:

    On a recent holiday in Orlando I was struck by the fact that every sine casier stacked the coins on the bills an handed them to me . Ok let’s look at the mechanics of this. so my wallet is in my left hand and I now have a stack of bills under the change. the change goes in my pocket and the bills in my wallet. Now I have to set my wallet down on the counter dump the change Into my left hand and put it in my left pocket then pick up the wallet and put away the bills! Unless I want a pocket mess with a twisted tangle of bills and change not to mention a sometimes massive receipt!!!!

    The till tells the clerk the full amount of the change so they “count out” the big bills then the smaller ones then the coins, if you “count back” change the coins naturally come first.

  • September 15, 2011 at 5:56 pm
    Erik says:

    I am completely on board with this…it drives me nuts. I used to run a small store and I taught all the cashiers the right way, and they admitted that it was completely obvious once it was explained to them. There really is no excuse for doing it the wrong way.

  • August 27, 2013 at 11:00 am
    Emily says:

    I did this when I first started as a cashier. I had a customer correct me with the right way to hand customers their change. People you need to say something to the cashier and educate. Although this new generation is a bit of a heartless crowd!

  • February 23, 2014 at 8:58 pm
    Angela says:

    The reason it’s happening is because of computers. Cashiers used to have to count change back to you. Say your bill was $6.65, and you handed them $10. They would put the change (35 cents) in your hand and say “there’s 7”, then count the bills back “8, 9 and 10”. Now, with computers, the amount to give back is on the screen. It’s 3 dollars and 35 cents, so they say here is your 3 dollars, placing that in your hand, and 35 cents (on top). So stupid, I know.

  • July 19, 2014 at 11:51 pm
    Christine says:

    Totally with you, my friend. #coinsFIRST !

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