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Makes Cents to Me

For as long as I can remember, I have carried some type of coin purse along with my wallet and handbag. The first official coin purse was something I made at a summer day camp craft day.

It was one of those little leather half-moon shaped coin purses that you put together with a length of leather string that resembled a shoelace. It snapped closed and probably had room for about 50 cents in coinage. But I was proud of my creation and carried it for quite some time.

As the years passed I acquired numerous coin purses of various materials. I have found some of my favorite ones at church rummage sales. Some have been larger than that first one I made in my youth. I learned the hard way that I should not go too large with the coin purses or my handbag or pockets would be sagging with the heavy contents.

Recently it came to my attention that in today’s world of debit and credit cards, many clerks of all ages do not like making change when you pay with cash. And I appear to be making it worse by always giving the clerk coins along with my dollars.

For instance, if I buy something for $11.60 and I give the clerk a $20 bill and 60 cents, they look at the money in their hands like it was foreign currency.

I found that it confuses some clerks who can only make change if the cash register gives them the amount due. I usually help them out by telling them what change they should give back to me. I even had one young lady insist that she couldn’t accept any coins because it was too confusing.

Apparently women are the ones who most often dig deep in their purses to provide the exact change on purchases. I know because I see it more often than not. In fact, I asked a male grocery store clerk which of the sexes most often provides the change on purchases. Without hesitation, he said women do that the most. He added that women “want those dollars back” without coins. That’s funny when you think about it, because how do we accumulate our coins anyway?

More and more businesses, especially in the hospitality industry, are going cashless. Only credit or debit cards can be used at various entities. I don’t look forward to a totally cashless society. What will become of all those pennies in the couch cushions or the quarters everyone keeps in their vehicle consoles?

Is loose change headed down the same path of demise as penny candy? I envision a huge graveyard of parking meters made obsolete when we no longer can feed them with nickels, dimes and quarters.

I realize “change” can be good, but please don’t take mine away.

Heather Ziegler can be reached via email at hziegler@theintelligencer.net.

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