On Friday night I went into Myer in the city to look at clothes. I found a shirt I liked and went to the counter to buy it. It was priced at $79.95 and was on a rack marked 25% off. To me that makes $59.95. The 20something man who served me folded the shirt and put it through the machine then announced that the price was $69.95. I replied that 25% off $79.95 was not $69.95. I could tell already that this was becoming another retail nightmare. Why do I find myself surrounded by subhuman morons so often?
I made no attempt to provide him with the correct price. He looked very confused, went to check the rack and came back. He then put it through the machine again and announced that the price was $52.45. I gave him the money, took the bag with the shirt in it and walked out with a smirk on my face. He had given me 25% off the amount of $69.95, thus giving me $7.50 of Myer’s money. Thanks loser!
The depressing side to this story is that so few people under 30 seem to be able to read, write or calculate by themselves: they need a machine to do it for them but they also don’t know how to master the machine in order to use it correctly. I’m totally in favour of a back to basic literacy and numeracy form of education. Outcomes based curricula are an insult to the learning needs of young people. If you can’t immediately understand that three quarters of 80 is 60 then you have a real problem: you are lacking the functional numeracy you need to do your job.