Not to be rude, but...

I am becoming convinced that SoCal teenagers are stupid. There are, unfortunately, many manifestations that give rise to this opinion, with which I will not bore you (shocker!), but here's an example that just boggles my mind: the giving of change.

First, a preface: when I was in high school, lo these many many many years ago, I worked at Circle Cinema in Cleveland Circle. Thanks to Showcase Cinemas' rigorous "personality" testing (really an i.q. test, as near as we could figure), I was a candy girl (as was Brad -- hahahaha!) and a cashier. Now, I admit that everything was priced in .25 increments (so, for instance, tickets were $3.50, and popcorn was $1.75, $3.00, and $4.50, I think), but we didn't have cash registers. We had cash drawers, quaint little wooden boxes that slid out from under the counters at about ankle level, but all the figuring was done in our fluffy little heads. Kids today (!) would be baffled by this, if any of the youngsters who've waited on me lately are any indication.

Now to our main event: Say your tab at Kinko's/Fed Ex is (as mine was today) $4.30. I was looking for statehood quarters I don't have, since I am a nerd of the first water, so I gave the boy $10.05. He literally stood there, staring at the screen that told him he owed me $5.70, for a solid minute, trying to figure out what to do. I asked, "Is there a problem?" and he turned his blank gaze on me and said, "Well, I'm trying to figure out the change you get back now...." Somewhat stupefied myself, I said slowly, "Five. . . seventy-five? for the quarters? 'Cause I gave you a nickel?" Looking disbelieving, he nevertheless counted out the quarters (all old ones, so my plan was foiled, but I'll pass them along at the movies in about 1/2 hour), leaving me wondering what the hell the kids are learning in school in Orange County these days, apart from, you know, all about the dangers of global warming being a big hoax and about how Jesus is everyone's Savior. Oh, and how to care for the Escalade you'll get for your 16th birthday. I mean, how to speak Spanish to talk to your mechanic.

Yeah, as usual, this has turned into a screed about how much I hate OC. Sorry. Off to see the Jane Austen Bookclub with Francesca. Ci vediamo, amici!


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