Sunday, October 28, 2012

Coins on top or bottom?

What's wrong with this picture?  Isn't it obvious?  The cashier has given you back your change with the coins on top method.  Now the coins are going to slide all over the place, maybe even land on the floor.  And, if  you're lucky, same cashier will top this whole debacle off with the receipt, which you'll stash in your mouth for safekeeping while you deal with the rolling coins and eventually get a chance to tuck the all-important bills into your wallet.  Grrrrrrr.

 Now, take a look at this picture.  Doesn't your blood pressure go down?  How calming and reasonable to have the cashier give you back your change with the coins on bottom method.  You slip the bills into your wallet, put the coins in your pocket or change purse, and all is well.  Perhaps, the cashier has even nicely counted your change back to you -- coins first -- and you are certain you've gotten back the correct amount.  Maybe you even feel so good about this transaction that you take your handful of coins and deposit them in the cashier's tip jar!
It's obvious which method I prefer.  Lately, the coins-on-top thing has become a pet peeve of mine.  But, I've heard various defenses for the coins on top method -- mainly, that the cash register shows the change as dollars first, coins second, and so cashiers grab the change that is shown and put it into your hand . . . also as it is shown, with coins on top.  They don't count back to you because they don't know how or were trained not to.  I've also heard that cashiers use the coins on top method because they don't want to touch germy hands and so put the bills (sanitary as they are) into your hand first, then drop the coins on top to avoid actual skin-to-skin contact. 
We won't even begin to talk about putting the receipt on top of everything because this issue is complicated enough.  But, please do tell which you prefer.  Are you a coins on top or a coins on bottom kind of customer?  And, if you're a cashier, what is your method of change delivery?


  1. LOL--in the old days, I preferred coins first, then bills. But as I pay for virtually everything with my debit card, there's no issue!

    1. Problem solved! :) Why didn't I think of that?