Check Your Math When Accepting Substitutions

Brooke says she stopped Pizza Hut from short-changing her on soda on a late night pizza run. Her plight demonstrates that it’s handy to keep your algebra skills sharp.

She writes:

I went to pick up my pizza order from Pizza Hut. Aside from the fact that yes, we’re getting cheap pizza that most people despise, we had ordered online using an online deal for 2 pizzas, breadsticks, and a 2-Liter Pepsi. When I got there to pick it up, the employee, who was likely a high school student, said they were out of 2-Liters and instead offered three 20 OZ bottles as a replacement.

Thinking this may not be right, I checked the bottle to confirm that it was indeed 591ML per bottle, with three bottles obviously being less than 2000 ML (2L). I told her that I would need another bottle since I paid for a 2L and instead I got the baffling response “How do you know?!?” Unfortunately, I was reduced to pulling up the conversion on my cell phone and showing it to her before getting my extra bottle. Reluctantly, I received it.

Pretty funny (and sad).

Another example of Brooke’s astuteness is the way she picked up the pizza rather than having it delivered — cleverly avoiding the delivery fee and accompanying tip.

Have your math skills ever saved you from falling for a bad deal?


Edit Your Comment

  1. tmds3 says:

    Its funny that today someone cant tell you how much change you need without looking at the register first

    • Blueskylaw says:

      Thats sad but true. I have cashiers looking funny at me when I give them an odd amount of change for the amount owed. If I owe $15.29 and I give them $21.04 it’s because I want a $5 bill and three quarters back. They stare at it and stare at it and tell me you gave me a Dollar too much. >..

      I also won a $5 bet a few weeks ago at the grocery store from my friend. We were talking about peoples lack of historical knowledge of “recent” events. I asked a cashier, who looked away from her texting because she had no customers, if she knew what Tiananmen Square was and she just shrugged her shoulders and said no. I won the bet.
      Ahh, the life of easy money

      • katstermonster says:

        OH MY GOD she didn’t know what Tienanmen Square is/was? That’s pathetic and you can’t even blame it on TV, because The Simpsons has made references to it.

        • Blueskylaw says:

          It really is pathetic. I told my friend if she knows even the slightest bit about it, such as saying massacre or China or that tank dude, then he would win.

          Sadly, my friend never paid me.

          • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

            About all I would be able to say was “Revolt in china, with that tank dude.” I’m not all up on it, but I at least know what it is.

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        Do they tell you that you gave a dollar too much to get $5.75 back or do they tell you that you gave a dollar too much without you asking how you wanted your change?

        • Blueskylaw says:

          They didn’t know that I was trying to get a $5 bill back. All they know is that a $20 bill is more than what I owed so why was I giving them an extra Dollar, though they did seem to know why I gave them the 4 cents.
          I just kept silent hoping they wouldn’t waste too much time trying to figure it out and would just enter it in the system.

          By the way, that was a true example. Why would I waste my time coming up with an example when I have so many to pick from.

      • Magspie says:

        Maybe she knew and didn’t feel like talking to another annoying customer?

        • Lauchlin says:


        • lesbiansayswhat says:

          hahaha. I know when a customer is obviously trying to see if I’m someone they can make fun of because they’re bored buying their eggs and minimum wage earners are an easy target for their bullshit I’m definitely going to cooperate.

    • mmmsoap says:

      Well, yes and no. Since calculators are so ubiquitous, I (as a math teacher) don’t have much of a problem with people not being able to do arithmetic in their heads. I care more about overall numeracy–which is what the OP is referring to–than facility with arithmetic. I certainly find myself reaching for a pencil-and-paper to do out arithmetic that I used to easily do in my head, but I know what operations I want to do (and why).

      (Similarly, how many phone numbers of your friends and family do you have memorized? Ten years ago, you probably could dial just about all of them from memory. Nowadays, most people don’t remember any but their own, because they carry their contacts list in their cellphone.)

      I do care, however, if someone can’t figure out how to make that $12.36 in change without help. I heard once that some stores (McDonald’s?) had a display that lit up the coins you use to make change which is just wrong.

    • rudeandcrude says:

      As a former cashier, I can tell you that when you’re busy trying to move the line of customers as quickly as possible, you’re not paying attention to the type of bills people give. If I’m accepting a dollar amount, I wouldn’t even think of it as “this is a 20 dollar bill” but rather, “enter the number 20” because I was too busy remembering memorized PLU’s, preparing the next bag, making sure I have all the coupons, credit card slips, and bills correct so my till isn’t missing money, and worrying about the line getting longer. We’re more concerned with getting you out the door in a timely manner so that we can make both you and those in line behind you happier. It’s not that doing the math would be hard, but we’re trying to take care of many other things at once, and we don’t want to make a mistake with our till and be responsible for it. Of course, there are exceptions to this and plenty of cashiers aren’t so great with numbers.

    • gparlett says:

      All modern registers constantly update the amount that should be in the till. It doesn’t actually matter to the cashiers job that customer’s are charged the correct amount, only that the register has the amount that it thinks it should at the end of the day. When I worked at Taco Bell I would always calculate how much change the customer should get, then check against the register to see if the change was calculated correctly. You can bet that any discrepancies were figured in favor of the register, risking my job was simply not worth a 5 cent difference in a customer’s price. We would also occasionally have a customer come in when the registers were down and rag on my math skills because I couldn’t figure out how to work change without the register. Actually the math is the smallest part of it, the register has to account for the sale in our accounting system, in our inventory system, and yes in the register totals themselves. Again, it would have cost my job to do that math manually.

      • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

        Yes, indeed. As someone who works on data that is real-time updated, I would never again run a register without entering every transaction as it actually happened. I am capable of doing higher math; calculating change is no problem. But as the modern computerized register keeps an exact record of every transaction, it’s in everyone’s best interests that its log reflects reality. C-Y-A.

      • DangerMouth says:

        What? That makes no sense. How is the ‘computer’ going to know at the end of the day if there was a transaction that put in an extra $45 dollars and removed it immediately, as long as the correct amount is there at cashout? Or didn’t put it in and didn’t remove it?- which is actually correct procedure, as you don’t put the bill into the drawer until the change is given, preventing the cusomer from telling you that $10 they gave you was really a twenty.

    • Hil-fish says:

      I had a coworker who accidentally keyed in that the customer gave him $50 when she only gave him $5. The coworker wanted to cancel the transaction and rering it, because he couldn’t figure out how much change to give back. It was pretty sad.

    • Jfielder says:

      Did you read the article… They aren’t actually talking about change…

      • Blueskylaw says:

        Whether liters or Dollars, the gist of tmds3’s comment is that people can’t seem to be able to do simple math in their head.

    • Eels says:

      When I worked a cash register job, I basically tuned out everything I could. I can do math, but it’s much easier to type in a number and look at the screen. That way, I can think about something else. When you slip up and hit the wrong key, and there are six people in line staring at you, simple math is a little more difficult.

    • QuantumRiff says:

      I love getting a bill for $11, and handing them $21 (a twenty and a single).. More often than not nowadays, they will try to hand me back the 1, telling me its only 11. They can’t seem to grasp I want a $10 back, and not a five and bunch of ones.. and they get all confused on counting it out.. And I’m only 30.. Not some old guy screaming about kids on his lawn… (at least not quite yet)

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      when i got my first job [checkers hamburger drive through] i was hired on the spot and asked to return in a couple of hours to start work – because i already knew how to count change UP in my head. my new boss said he’d been trying to fill the position for weeks and couldn’t find anyone to do the basic math. but this was 1992. it’s just getting worse from here

  2. tbax929 says:

    My “money math” skills have kept me from many a bad deal. I’m good at “money math”. I’m terrible, though, at any other kind of math. Put an algebra question in front of me, and I’m reduced to tears. But I can effortlessly calculate a tip, the price per unit of something, and the change I should receive when paying with cash. I work in insurance, and I can also calculate the commission on a sale down to the last dollar.

    • korybing says:

      I envy your math skills. The only math I’m still able to do is multiplication and rudimentary geometry. And even then, my multiplication knowledge all comes from School House Rock. If you want someone to count by threes I’m your gal, but sadly the rest of my math knowledge has been replaced with VH1 factoids.

  3. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    I hate math, and I’m actually terrible at it, but I can calculate pretty quickly when I’m at the grocery store. At one of my local grocery stores, there are 3-lb. bags of onions next to 1-lb. bags of onions. Logically, the 3-lb. bag should be the $1.57 for the 1-lb. bag multiplied three times. But I did some quick math and it was actually a lot cheaper to buy three 1-lb. bags than the 3-lb. bag. This week, the 3-lb. bag was on sale, so I ended up with 3 lbs. of onions for the price of 2 lbs.

    • katstermonster says:

      Since I’m a poor grad student, I do this math all the time. It’s really stunning to find that a lot of the stuff is actually more expensive in bulk.

      For example, the unit price (per liter, I think) of the grocery store’s generic olive oil goes up by about 50 cents between the smallest bottle and the largest at Big Y (a New England chain). It was actually most cost effective for me to buy the biggest bottle of the name brand stuff. It’s worth it since I go through olive oil really fast.

    • korybing says:

      I do this at fast food restaurants. McDonald’s is the worst, having a 4-piece mcnugget deal for a dollar, while the 6-piece costs 3 dollars and some change. By that logic I could get 12 mcnuggets for the price of 6 mcnuggets. What?

  4. Fineous K. Douchenstein says:

    Just to mess with you:

    (-b +- Sqrt(b² – 4ac))/2a

    • katstermonster says:

      I see you that and raise you int(udv) = uv – int(vdu).

    • Blueskylaw says:

      Quadratic Formula?

    • cnc1019 says:

      sqrt(-1) heart math

    • Kuchen says:

      We used to sing that to the tune of our high school fight song.

      • kexline says:

        We used Frere Jacques. I still sing it to tiny babies, because (a) they don’t care as long as you’re paying attention to them, and (b) wouldn’t it be awesome if they got a weird twinge of deja vu thirteen years later in algebra class?

    • bjdhtgjvbhdgd says:

      Gamma (z) = int_0^infty t^{z-1} e^{-t} , dt

      I win.

      • deep.thought says:

        My favorite thing about the gamma function is its behavior at integral values! ;) Negative partial derivatives are pretty useful too. Of course, multivariable calculus is rather elementary compared to abstract algebra and functional analysis, but then oddly enough the notation is deceptively unimpressive, particularly in random online forums (even in LaTeX). So I’ll take your gamma function and raise you a reproducing kernel Hilbert space…

    • AnthonyC says:

      How about a limerick?

      The integral of t^2 dt,
      taken from 1 to the cubed root of 3,
      times the cosine
      of 3 pi/9,
      equals the ln of the cubed root of e.

      • Saites says:

        ((12 + 144 + 20 + 3sqrt(4)) / 7) + (5 * 11) = 9^2 + 0

        A dozen, a gross, and a score
        Plus three times the square root of four
        Divided by seven
        Plus five times eleven
        Is nine squared and not a bit more.

    • ahleeeshah says:

      I had to memorize that for a test in 8th grade. I can still recall it very easily. I know how to spell onomatopoeia by singing it to the tune of Old Mcdonald. We also had a test where we had to name 50 prepositions. My sister taught me to sing them in alphabetical order to the tune of “All Around the Mulberry Bush”.

  5. LoneHighlander says:

    I work behind the register of a local business for a busy festival two weekends a year. This thing that amazes me isn’t so much the customer’s inability to do money math (or any other kind of math), it’s the lack of caring how much change they are getting back. People don’t even look at their coins. Many hardly glance at the bills you hand them. Some just look for the biggest bill they’re expecting to see and don’t look any further. They’d never let you shortchange them product, but the change doesn’t seem to be as important somehow.

    • erratapage says:

      Maybe we’re all doing math in our heads. :)

    • Lauchlin says:

      I’m dirt poor right now, but I don’t bother to keep track of anything less than a dollar. I hate paying in cash because it converts my useful money into useless piles of change. If I’m forced to pay in cash somewhere and there’s a tip jar, I’ll leave all quarters and below there because it’s not worth my effort to take them home, save them for a year, and then roll them to make them useful again.

      • Garybaldy says:

        No Coinstars or some such in your local grocery stores.

        • Lauchlin says:

          I’ve never seen anything like that before, and none of the grocery stores in my neighborhood have them based on the search. Good idea, though.

          • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

            especially if you get it in the form of a gift certificate so there’s no ‘counting fee’
            i know, gift cards are evil. but the local grocery store has one of these machines and it offers your money back in a gift card for places i’d shop anyway, like CVS or amazon. it could be really useful to have a CVS card right now, flu season!

      • cash_da_pibble says:

        Dood, that makes GREAT christmas money!
        I roll coins every six months, and wind up with $70-120 each time.
        It actually winds up being a great way to save money.

    • Moosenogger says:

      Usually it’s true that guests (or customers) don’t pay too much attention to their change. However, I’ve had a few people who jumped on me when I miscounted their change back to them. (I’m supposed to count up from the total on the receipt. So if they owe $16 and gave me $20, I have to give them the change and count “$16, $17, $18, $19, $20.”) I can usually do this no problem, but if the guest gives me correct change it can mess me up sometimes.

      Yeah, miscounting by even a dollar will have these people saying, “WHOAH, wait a minute” and demanding I recount their change.

    • Difdi says:

      It could be that they just have good manners. In a lot of cultures, it’s almost indescribably rude to count the change you are given in front of the person who gave it. It’s tantamount to calling them a thief to their face. Back in the days when people fought duels over insults, counting change was more rude than things that could trigger a duel to the death (or simply a murder right there on the spot). Even today in those cultures, counting change can produce some very negative reactions.

  6. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    I bet later customers still got offered the 3 bottle “deal”.

  7. xnihilx says:

    I usually save on laundry detergent when the smaller bottles are on sale. In the end I basically get one more small bottle for the same price as the big super sized bottle. This ends up being about 20oz extra then paying the same price for less.

  8. pimpybra says:

    I NEVER get delivered pizza. Pick-up is the way to go if you’re saving money. Yes you have to get in the car and spend time/gas, but you’re not going that far.

    Plus, I HATE tipping, so I avoid situations that would require me to do so.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      We have a pizza place within walking distance, and it’s good! And it’s not a chain…I know, I’m a pizza snob. Then again, we’ve driven 30 minutes just for pizza before. Now I want pizza for lunch. Thanks.

    • OneTrickPony says:

      I’m on the fence about delivery/pickup. We live in dense residential suburbia, and it takes pretty much 20 minutes there-and-back (including waiting at the register) for carry-out, even if the place is a mile away. So spending an extra $4 on a delivery fee/tip is not a bad trade-off, IMHO. If I’d wanted to spend 20 minutes procuring dinner, I’d be cooking something in the first place, and not ordering pizza. I’d rather spend 20 minutes cooking than 20 minutes sitting at traffic lights during rush hour.

    • Lauchlin says:

      People who hate tipping confuse me.

      What you save in delivery costs, I make up for in not owning a car. Yesssss.

      • nofelix says:

        I pay for stuff… then politeness demands I pay again because a man brought it to me? Why is bringing pizza such a special job? Surely if I want to curry favour with any of the Dominos staff then it should be the guy who made the pizza?

        • Lauchlin says:

          The guy who made the pizza has no idea your pizza belongs to you. If you order pizza frequently, the delivery guys are going to get to know you, and if they like you, they’ll try to make sure you get your pizza when it’s still hot, even if they’re busy.

          I mean, if you’re really that against tipping, you don’t have to. It just confuses me that people complain about it so much. Tipping is a cost you’re aware of ahead of time for certain services. You should just factor it into the cost, and not feel like you’re getting ripped off when you fulfill your socially expected behavior.

        • XBL: Legend xKWx (Kyle) says:

          Probably because they actually pay for their own gas and what not, and delivering pizzas can take you in the not best parts of neighbor hoods, there are much safer jobs to be making minimum wage, hence people do it because of the tips. If you go to a restaurant don’t you tip a waiter? they bring food to you, however if you go to McDonald’s, how often do you tip? probably rarely.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      i never get delivered pizza anymore but that’s just because i bought a house in an apparent pizza free zone. even only being 4-5 miles away… they don’t deliver to my house.
      yet there’s a chinese place 10 miles away that’ll deliver for free with a $10 minimum order.

  9. dark_inchworm says:

    Wow, now I can sign in.

    Anyway – thanks for taking a swing at us delivery drivers ;) And I find it hard to believe they were out of 2-liter bottles. Our location is always stocked to the brim with them.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Honestly, I never get delivery because my favorite pizza place didn’t do delivery. So I got used to picking up my own pizza. After I moved, the pizza place I decided to patron (the other pizza place is still number 1 to me, but I can’t drive 30 minutes to get pizza everytime I want it) does deliver, but I live within walking distance, so again – why get delivery?

      But aside from that, I also hate getting pizza delivered because all the pizza places seem to enjoy tacking on a delivery charge.

    • dark_inchworm says:

      Hey, I completely understand you not wanting to pay that. It’s a bit silly that we charge an extra two dollars for delivery. But for the people out there willing to pay that, the corporation and I reap the benefits!

  10. treimel says:

    The funny thing is, I would gladly sacrifice 227 ml of soda in order to have it not go flat. 2 and 3 litre bottles are the work of the devil.

    • Murph1908 says:

      Wow, Debbie Downer is a great avatar for your post.

      Typically, if you are getting a 2-liter, you anticipate drinking it before it goes flat. I would imagine anyone ordering 2 pizzas will have enough people eating it to polish off the 2-liter during the meal. Or, be like me and a buddy who could finish the 2 ‘zas and the 2-liter between us.

      The wife and I open a 2-liter on weekend days, and will finish it that day 90+% of the time. We don’t open them during the week, since we won’t finish them.

      • treimel says:

        That’s the point of my post–I *don’t* anticipate frinking it before it goes flat–I want the multiple bottles. I like perfect fizz, so if that 2 litre isn’t done that day, it’s over. Moreover, the 2 litres don’t typically come cold, and owing to the greater volume per surface area, take longer to get cold. It’s satan’s work, I tells ya.
        Now, like you say, when it’s more than just me, and we’re going to finish it then and there, then , yeah, no problem.

        • Murph1908 says:

          Gotcha. I think your avatar influenced my reading of your post. =)

          Reading it again, I see I would do the same thing in certain situations. If I didn’t anticipate finishing it, I’d happily sacrifice the ml for 3 self-contained portions.

          /troll mode off

    • Fineous K. Douchenstein says:

      That fools’ball is da devil!

  11. MyTQuinn says:

    Pizza Hut pizza is cheap? Crappy, yes. But cheap? Having lived in NJ all my life, I’m amazed at what people around the country find appealing (or even acceptable) as far as pizza goes.

  12. pgh9fan says:

    She still got ripped off. I’d have made them give me FOUR 20-oz bottles. Two liters is, if I recall correctly, 67.6 ounces. She received 60 ounces.

    • Carlee says:

      I think she did ask for a 4th twenty oz bottle – the employee offered her 3, and she asked for a 4th one to make up the difference.

  13. LESSTHANKIND says:

    My supermarket sells portobello mushroom caps in packages of two and four (same size caps). The package of four is a dollar more expensive than two packages of two. But people still buy it. HA.

    • treimel says:

      Which makes perfect sense if you need, say, two, instead of four. If my local fast food place starts selling all second and subsequent value meals for, say, a quarter–am I foolish to not buy five for the extra $1.25? Of course not–I have no need for six happy meals. Same thing with the mushrooms–those two extra at 50 cents each are no bargain if you’re not going to eat them.

      • Shadowman615 says:

        I think you missed the point. Lessthankind was saying the 4-pack is for some reason more expensive than *2* 2-packs.

      • psm321 says:

        The post you’re replying to was pointing out a case of the larger package costing more per item

  14. UlimaLibizzle says:

    The worst cashier math I’ve ever experienced was at a JoAnn’s fabric store. I needed an odd-sized string of fabric (I think it was 18 inches), and the cutting person was having a hard time figuring it out. She was looking around the counter for something (presumably a conversion chart), and then finally she asked me “Do you know how many inches are in a foot?”.

    The worst thing is that when she asked me, she wasn’t embarrassed her lack of knowledge, but rather sounded as if she didn’t expect me to know the answer!

    • AllanG54 says:

      Well, you’re honest. You should have said 18 and see what her reply would have been.

    • Kuchen says:

      I wonder if she would have understood if you said you wanted half a yard. Or is that even more confusing?

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      As someone who worked in fabric stores while in college, I can tell you that if you had just asked the nitwit for “half a yard” (which is NOT an odd size), she wouldn’t have had a problem in the world. Not your fault the nitwit couldn’t remember how many inches were in half a yard.

    • Lauchlin says:

      Maybe she was Canadian.

      • Avrus says:

        Unlikely. In my experience most Canadians (myself included) can switch between Metric and Imperial on the fly.

        I cook in Imperial, and at the grocery stores meat pricing is advertised in $ / lb and charged in $ / kg.

        If someone asked me how much I weighed in kg, however, I wouldn’t have a clue. Nor would I know how many meters or cm tall I was.

        • Lauchlin says:

          I’m Canadian, too. I can switch back and forth with most units, but that’s just because my parents were too old to switch to metric, so I heard both metric and imperial units throughout my childhood. I know a lot of younger people who have no idea how big a mile is, let alone how to convert between different imperial units.

          Anyway, my comment was supposed to be a lame joke, Mr. Joke Ruiner. I doubt this cashier’s nationality is actually her excuse.

  15. Tim says:

    It sucks for Pizza Hut though, because the Pepsi bottler likely charges far more per mL for the smaller bottles than for the larger ones.

  16. burnedout says:

    And she got an extra 364ML out of the deal! The pennypinchers would be proud!

    BUT – the deal was for A 2L, not 2L. I know this is nitpicky, but if the retail value of a 2L is LESS than the 3 20oz, are they really required to match the volume or the $ value?

    Either way, go her for taking advantage of poorly educated teenagers working a crap job!

    • floraposte says:

      I’m not sure how this becomes taking advantage of the worker. Are they harmed in some mysterious way? Should the OP have been morally bound to receive less than they agreed to sell her?

      • treimel says:

        1) They had to give her *more* than 2 liters of Pepsi in order not to short her
        2) they had to give her more than two liters in four containers, the unit price of which is higher than the unit price in 2 liter bottles.
        How is it mysterious?

    • Rachacha says:

      I would say that the store is required to meet or exceed both parameters, volume and cost. In restaurants & convenient shops, a 2L bottle is often more cost effective than a 20oz bottle or 12oz can because you pay for the convenience and protability of the smaller container (you can grab it and drink it on the go, where as it is difficult to drink directly from a 2L bottle), so 3 20oz bottles may exceed the cost of a 2L bottle, but they were selling 2000mL of product, so they are obligated to provide at least that volume amount.

    • jano says:

      As a customer, I would expect to receive that amount. I don’t care what the retail price is – it’s up to the store to keep that in stock.

      Years ago I was at a Pizza Hut and they ran out of medium pizzas, so they substituted a large instead. That’s just good business (clearly, since I still remember it).

    • kjherron says:

      Technically, if the store can’t meet the terms of the deal (because they’re out of 2L bottles) then the store and the customer just need to work out an acceptable alternative. The store could have refused to give the customer more than 3 bottles, and the customer could have canceled the whole thing and gotten his money back (sticking them with the pizzas they’d already made).

    • Chuck Norris' wig says:

      And as I recall from my high school chemistry class, a milliliter is basically a drop.

  17. Razor512 says:

    basic math is always good

    for example I use it when buying fast food.

    take the grams of the food then divide it by the price for all of the fast food that you are willing to eat

    then choose the few that have the highest number. (you can even enter the results into excel and make it into a graph

    the higher the number the more value you get. (I do this for almost all food products and I never buy the items that go up in price as that just sends the company the message “thanks for ripping me off, please do it again”

  18. Japheaux says:

    Very cool. Maybe she can get a job in the government and assist the Feds a little bit.

  19. Guppy06 says:

    If you want to make the math easier, 1 US fl oz is approximately 30 mL. It’s the same approximation used on nutrition labels.

  20. meadandale says:

    So now you need algebra to do simple addition and subtraction?

    • Guppy06 says:

      X(20 oz bottle) = 2 L bottle
      Find X

      So… yeah, algebra.

      • treimel says:

        True, but misleading; I can make an algebraic equation for each of my nephew’s word-problems I helped with last night (and, in my head, I did)–is he therefore studying algebra in the third grade? No, not in any meaningful sense.

      • johnva says:

        lol. No algebra is necessary. It’s just simple division.

        • treimel says:

          Umm, you saw the algebra equation that is, you know, literally staring you in the face, right?

          • johnva says:

            Yeah, I saw it. The algebra there is not necessary in this situation, as it’s just simple division. You can write any problem like this as an algebraic equation, but it isn’t actually necessary to do so.

            (I hope that post was a joke).

  21. pot_roast says:

    “Another example of Brooke’s astuteness is the way she picked up the pizza rather than having it delivered — cleverly avoiding the delivery fee and accompanying tip.”

    Or the Pizza Hut just happened to be on the way home and she had their number available. This happens with us maybe two times a month. The wife & kid wants to have pizza & movie night. Before I leave work, I reserve a movie at Redbox and then order a pizza special from Pizza Hut. I pick up both of them on the way home. It’s being smart, not avoiding a fee & a tip. WTF.

  22. balilanai says:

    591 ml or 2 Liters
    Its still Poison
    Don’t ignore the ill effects of drinking soda
    Saving pennies on soda is useless if its going to harm your body.
    Look it up.

  23. jparadis9 says:

    Man these workers need to be a little smarter, I once asked for 4 quarters at a store and she didn’t even know what a quarter was. I had to point to it.

  24. dprboyne says:

    That reminds me of the Shel Silverstein poem “Smart.” A dad gives his son a dollar, who progressively trades it for higher quantities of lower-denomination currency (one dollar becomes two quarters, then three dimes, etc). So while he is receiving larger numbers, his VALUE is actually decreasing each time.

    It seems this worker at THE HUT is convinced that three (bottles is more than two (liters) and the amount of each unit doesn’t matter. Yes three is more than two, but containers may contain less unless she’s giving out three one-liter bottles. Maybe that’s why they’re working at a hut.

  25. Optimistic Prime says:

    I would’ve went about this in a much simpler way. 2L~.5gallons, or 64oz. 3×20=60, or less than 64.

  26. LogicalOne says:

    It’s a shame that the beverage industry didn’t go “all in” when it converted to the metric system. It’s a shame that some some container sizes are in the English system ( 8, 12, 20, 24 oz., 1 quart) and others are in metric (1 liter, 2 liter, 3 liter). Situations like this could be avoided if all the containers sold were in units of one system or the other.

    Magnum of Diet Coke, anyone?

    • oneandone says:

      Exactly my thought. All metric is the way to go. All out of 2L but plenty of 0.5L around? Easy math.

      After a lot of grocery shopping & cooking & baking from recipes this weekend, my anger at the non-metric system has been refreshed. Oz to lbs is very annoying. I know it’s not hard, but it’s so inelegant.

      • johnva says:

        Fortunately, beverages appear to be moving to more and more use of metric, very gradually.

        But I doubt we’ll ever get rid of gallons, quarts, and cups anytime soon.

  27. EdnaLegume says:

    oy. my mother works in a shoe store and on the application, you have to figure out three math problems without a calculator…. *sigh*… it’s sad. very sad. especially when a lot of the ones filling out the application are high school seniors.

    my mother always used to impress me (when I was much younger) with her mad math skills. I learned to love math thanks to her.

  28. Garbanzo says:

    When we bought carpet padding at Home Depot, it was advertised and measured out by the square foot, but the price in the register was per square yard. The cashier was numerate enough to recognize that something was Not Right when our carpet padding rang up around $500 but neither he nor his fellow cashier could figure out what to do about it. They didn’t believe/understand/trust me when I said, “A yard is three feet, so a square yard is nine square feet, so just divide by 9.” It took almost half an hour for them to find another employee they trusted enough to calculate the square yardage.

  29. akuma_619 says:

    Well she got more soda than she paid for. She paid for 2 liters or 2000mL. 591mL *4=2364mL. So she got 364mL more.

  30. akuma_619 says:

    Well she got more soda than she paid for. She paid for 2 liters or 2000mL. 591mL *4=2364mL. So she got 364mL more.

  31. soj4life says:

    or that the 2L is a little more than 64 oz. 3 x 20oz = 60 oz.

    those nutritional facts on the back are useful for something.