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Jobseeker in Lafayette, California

17 months ago

puhleeeease tell me WHY stores require a person to have math skills, when (unlike the old days) the register does everything FOR you??

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Almost Suicidal in San Antonio, Texas

17 months ago

Don't know. If you don't have them, just say you do. I'm amazed when I quickly calculate my change in my head and then the person helping me has to look at the register three times to figure out how much they owe me.

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John in Catonsville, Maryland

17 months ago

I have seen registers (within the past few months) that not only tell the change, the display has a picture of the drawer and which slot to take the change from. Let's not forget having pictures of the item for sale (fast food joint)....

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John in Catonsville, Maryland

17 months ago

In the event of a power outage, stores can not do anything anyway since the registers don't work.

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Jobseeker in Lafayette, California

17 months ago

And yet, companies won't hire unless you DO have math skills. :-( I told one last Christmas season (figuring they'd find out eventually anyway), and 3 days later I got their "Sorry, but..." email. :-( This, after applying for a stock clerk position. :-( They wanted to cross-train me on registers. :-(

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Jobseeker84 in Atlanta, Georgia

17 months ago

Are you being facetious? Actually in the old days the register didn't do everything for you. You had to know basic math skills back then too. Probably moreso then, than now. Now that have registers that count the change back out for the cashier (what?! LoL). I never took a cashiering job because I know my counting change out would be be exponentially slower than a normal cashier's time. You would get your change back correctly, but it would take a min. I've always had problems with math and numbers. It's like I'm always flipping numbers around in my head (or missing a key step)... kind of like dyslexia, but with math. The only math I truly did well in was discreet math (matrices) and physical science formulas. My physical science teacher was confused when I told him that was I was horrible at math when I was good a completely the formulas he wrote on the board. He's like "That's math!"

Anyway, I think math is extremely important. I just never got the hang of it.

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Bluetea in Texas

17 months ago

Almost Suicidal in San Antonio, Texas said: Don't know. If you don't have them, just say you do. I'm amazed when I quickly calculate my change in my head and then the person helping me has to look at the register three times to figure out how much they owe me.

Dad? Is that you? LOL!

I can do it too but I can also operate a mimeograph machine.

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jobseeker in Bethesda, Maryland

17 months ago

It is reasonable to expect you be good in elementary math if you want to work at the register. What if power is out/register broken in midst of transaction and you have to to do the counting without the machine?

I would even say it is reasonable to require that you be outgoing, "people's person", who is good at greeting, starting very brief conversations with clients (especially if it's a local store with repeat customers, saying "Hey, Joe, good to see you! Did you find that XYZ product on our shelf, is everything alright?" is priceless).

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Jobseeker in Concord, California

17 months ago

jobseeker in Bethesda, Maryland said: It is reasonable to expect you be good in elementary math if you want to work at the register. What if power is out/register broken in midst of transaction and you have to to do the counting without the machine?

I would even say it is reasonable to require that you be outgoing, "people's person", who is good at greeting, starting very brief conversations with clients (especially if it's a local store with repeat customers, saying "Hey, Joe, good to see you! Did you find that XYZ product on our shelf, is everything alright?" is priceless).

My problem is percentage math. I have no clue how to even START solving those math problems. As to being a "people person", that's who and what I am anyway. :-D

As to the "broken register" possibility, that's a lame excuse. If it breaks, they'll just put an "out of service" sign on it, then put you on a different register. If there's a power outage, how can they open ANY register? They're all electronic. You wouldn't be able to get the customer's change out.

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John in Catonsville, Maryland

17 months ago

These days, all the registers I see are electronic.... simply won't open nor calculate the tax without power. There is not making a sale without power.

Basic math skills would come in handy to be able to visually check the amount of change though.

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Jobseeker84 in Atlanta, Georgia

17 months ago

Just keep a solar powered calculator nearby lol.

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jobseeker in Bethesda, Maryland

17 months ago

John in Catonsville, Maryland said: These days, all the registers I see are electronic.... simply won't open nor calculate the tax without power. There is not making a sale without power.

Basic math skills would come in handy to be able to visually check the amount of change though.

Of course, also valid point. In any event elementary math is directly related to the job of cash registrar (even if he/she has a machine to do it for him/her).

If you hire a bob-Cat operator who will be digging shallow holes on construction site using that machine, there is nothing wrong with making sure he knows how to pick up a shovel and do it by himself. You just have to know and understand your trade and as long as what is required is in direct relation to what is performed then I see nothing odd about the job requirement.

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Bluetea in Texas

17 months ago

jobseeker in Bethesda, Maryland said: Of course, also valid point. In any event elementary math is directly related to the job of cash registrar (even if he/she has a machine to do it for him/her).

If you hire a bob-Cat operator who will be digging shallow holes on construction site using that machine, there is nothing wrong with making sure he knows how to pick up a shovel and do it by himself. You just have to know and understand your trade and as long as what is required is in direct relation to what is performed then I see nothing odd about the job requirement.

I keep an abacus handy in case I work at night.

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NOYB in Saint Louis, Missouri

17 months ago

Jobseeker in Lafayette, California said: And yet, companies won't hire unless you DO have math skills. :-( I told one last Christmas season (figuring they'd find out eventually anyway), and 3 days later I got their "Sorry, but..." email. :-( This, after applying for a stock clerk position. :-( They wanted to cross-train me on registers. :-(

This is what bugs me and the employed population doesn't get: You can no longer just apply for a specific position with retailers anymore-they want/require you to be cross-trained in multiple departments-and that's if you pass the stupid UNICRU personality/fit test.

So based on the above and from what was said in another forum about being overquailifed due to having a degree above a high school education I don't qualify/will not apply for retail positions because:

A.I am not good at math-especially when you have to do it quickly
B.I am not a people person/am not extroverted/not good at small
talk
C:I have a Bachelor's degree which makes me overqualified
D:I am looking for work with a regular/predictable schedule,
especially now that I no longer have a car
E:I am loooking for a workplace that pays a living wage and
has employees that have or are capable of attaining a level of
education higher than a GED. I belive point C qualifies me for
that

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joobseeker in Bethesda, Maryland

17 months ago

NOYB in Saint Louis, Missouri said: This is what bugs me....

Generally, I have "I Troll and Rub My Hands in a Glee" theory , as far as all those algorithm based "personality" and other "advanced" softwares utilized in hiring are concerned.
Either someone made a big fortune selling it to idiot HR's OR comanies, knowing that it is just another way to Troll job applicants, willfully ordered and bought them.
I am not so silly as to believe that those programs really serve the openly stated purpose.

"Let's take a pool of 100 current successful employees and ask them 100 questions, let's find a common pattern in their answers and let's judge any potential employee and his/her expected future behavior based on how they match up against our sam0le pool while taking the personality test" - this is how they present it to the gullible.

In reality it is just another way to Troll chipmunks out of the job applicants.

You don't want to apply for those jobs anyway. At $7.50/hr-$8.50/hr it is not worth to voluntarily submit to unprecedented humiliation scheme called "personality test screen".

But as far as question raised by OP is concerned ( "WHY stores require a person to have math skills" ) I see it very reasonable if the basic math skills are indeed required to apply for a cashier job. It has direct relation to what the position requires, so you better know how to count change.

I would also find it reasonable if they searched for outgoing personalities who are at ease working with general public *which their charade 'personality test', I assure you, doesn't really measure).

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Calfornian in Hayward, California

17 months ago

Register goes out. The tax rate is 8.75%. You better at least know how to do it on a calculator.

It's not like they're asking you to do differential equations.

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John in Catonsville, Maryland

17 months ago

In the past few years, when I have been in stores when the power goes out, that's it. Does not matter if you can figure anything out on the calculator if you can't get the money out of a closed locked drawer to make change. Can't accept credit cards either, and who carries a couple hundred $$ in their pocket, who carries exact change? How do you make up a receipt (I haven't seen any paper receipts at major retailers for some years now)?

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joobseeker in Bethesda, Maryland

17 months ago

Californian, the poster above is correct when they say you have to also pass some joke-made personality screen test to apply for as trivial job as cashier.
They probably do give you some paper or computer based basic math test, but that's not what you have to pass to get a $7.50/hr for ringing that cashier machine. Not anylonger.

What they will need you to do is answer some questionnaire consisting of 100 multiple choice questions (Ex. "What would you do to prevent theft from register? A. Have stronger enforcement/more cameras, B. Rely on higher morals of staff, C. Open a register and share money with co-workers, D. Not trust employees with registers").

If you pass it they will send you to may be 3 to 5 interviews. The only thing they will not do is put a microscope and look where sun never shines.

then they will probably send you an email that you didn't qualify (may be even after the final interview) because there were still a two dozen candidates who were better than you. The whole process starts with 400 applicants per $7.50/hr cashier spot.

That's how it works now.

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Almost Suicidal in Cypress, Texas

17 months ago

John in Catonsville, Maryland said: In the past few years, when I have been in stores when the power goes out, that's it. Does not matter if you can figure anything out on the calculator if you can't get the money out of a closed locked drawer to make change. Can't accept credit cards either, and who carries a couple hundred $$ in their pocket, who carries exact change? How do you make up a receipt (I haven't seen any paper receipts at major retailers for some years now)?

Exactly. Also the alarm and lights go out. Everyone out, we are closed.

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Riot in Massachusetts

17 months ago

I'm sure this isn't the main reason why stores require math skills, but they do come in useful if a customer is dumb or trying to scam you.

Customer: "You didn't give me back enough change. You're obviously a high school dropout because you work in retail! I want my money!"
You: "Well, I see that you paid with a $20, because A) I can remember 5 seconds in the past and B) I left it on top of the drawer because this isn't my first day as a cashier. I also remember that your total came to $6.32 for reason A above, but we can check your receipt if you'd like. This means that you should have received $13.68 in change, because I have basic math skills. Could I have back the change I handed you?
**Verify change given was $13.68.**
**Count it back up to the total of $20.**
**Pacify customer and save the store money, as you would probably just hand the customer what they asked for if you couldn't do the math.**

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Riot in Massachusetts

17 months ago

I had people try to scam me twice when I worked at Subway. They start throwing money down on the counter and ask you to make change while you're counting out the money you give back to them from their purchase, trying to get you confused enough that you give them whatever they tell you is the right amount. I can do basic math in my head, so this was never a problem for me. Hell, I'm not even Blue's age and I can count back change and do percentages on the fly! These skills definitely aren't easy for some people, but you really do need them to be a functioning member of society, IMO.

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Calfornian in Hayward, California

17 months ago

John in Catonsville, Maryland said: In the past few years, when I have been in stores when the power goes out, that's it. Does not matter if you can figure anything out on the calculator if you can't get the money out of a closed locked drawer to make change. Can't accept credit cards either, and who carries a couple hundred $$ in their pocket, who carries exact change? How do you make up a receipt (I haven't seen any paper receipts at major retailers for some years now)?

My old employer did this pretty regularly. We weren't $10 transactions, and we could wait to charge the card, but we absolutely hand wrote tickets. It wasn't necessarily when the power went out, rather, it was when the ERP went out. Specifically, one of our locations would drop the connection when it rained. So, out came the pencil and paper.

Sure, it's probably not like that at Walgreens, but it is at smaller places.

Also, what happens if you have to do a price adjustment? Or, if a customer challenges the price on your tag? I eat a lot of Subway, and they have a ton of promotions and the way their system works, from what I can tell, is that they have to subtract the promotion from the original price. I get prices all over the map and pretty regularly have to correct them on prices. Far, far too often I get a blank look when I do that.

It's not asking too much for someone to be able to do basic math even for an $8.00/hr job.

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Jobseeker84 in Atlanta, Georgia

17 months ago

I never could get the hang of counting change back up to the total. I remember at some point in school we were learning that, but I couldn't grasp hold of something so simple.

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jobseeker in Bethesda, Maryland

17 months ago

Riot in Massachusetts said: ... These skills definitely aren't easy for some people, but you really do need them to be a functioning member of society, IMO.

Lord-Almighty Job-giver didn't give you a job at Subway for nothing, Riot.
"Blessed are those who can count to ten!" says Almighty Job-giver.
But he also sees things you don't. Surely you were rewarded because of overwhelming gullibility of your heart that must have been revealed to all-seeing Mr Job-giver when you took and passed His personality test.
I am sure you wouldn't have half the chance to land a job at Subway if Devil (aka Skepticism and Critical Thinking) took refuge in your Heart and Mind.

Praise be to Lord-Almighty Job-giver! Praise be to gullible who can count to ten!

Amen!

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John in Catonsville, Maryland

17 months ago

Yes, basic math skills are quite important and some people do try to scam. Basic math skills are important in other professions as well. Hmmm... that answer doesn't look right, lets run that again type thing.

But, in this day and age, unless the store is a truly old style mom and pop, when the power goes out, the store closes. Also, in major retailers, how many items actually have the price marked on them? Yes, the price is on the shelf, but at the checkout, everything is done with a scanner. When something isn't in the system, off for a price check.

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Riot in Massachusetts

17 months ago

jobseeker in Bethesda, Maryland said: Lord-Almighty Job-giver didn't give you a job at Subway for nothing, Riot.
"Blessed are those who can count to ten!" says Almighty Job-giver.
But he also sees things you don't. Surely you were rewarded because of overwhelming gullibility of your heart that must have been revealed to all-seeing Mr Job-giver when you took and passed His personality test.
I am sure you wouldn't have half the chance to land a job at Subway if Devil (aka Skepticism and Critical Thinking) took refuge in your Heart and Mind.

Praise be to Lord-Almighty Job-giver! Praise be to gullible who can count to ten!

Amen!

I don't know if you're calling me an idiot, making fun of me for having worked at Subway, or just being upset over the current state of hiring. Subway is the type of job that requires basic math skills, as fits the original post "WHY stores require a person to have math skills."

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jobseeker in Bethesda, Maryland

17 months ago

Riot in Massachusetts said: I don't know if you're calling me an idiot, making fun of me for having worked at Subway, or just being upset over the current state of hiring. Subway is the type of job that requires basic math skills, as fits the original post "WHY stores require a person to have math skills."

I do not think that you are an idiot. Why would you assume such a thought? I actually approve of your skills and think you should consider yourself blessed.

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Riot in Massachusetts

17 months ago

jobseeker in Bethesda, Maryland said: I do not think that you are an idiot. Why would you assume such a thought? I actually approve of your skills and think you should consider yourself blessed.

I'm sorry. When you do "Almighty!!!!" posts, they are sometimes hard to decipher.

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Jobseeker84 in Atlanta, Georgia

17 months ago

Yea, that wasn't a weird conversation at all.

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