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Day 160: Nobody cares about coins anymore

Science time!

So. I'm back again with another non-scientific theory! (If you missed it, my first one was the Theory of Relative Cuteness. I'll wait here while you go read that post.)

Welcome back! So, in my non-scientific opinion, I would like to hypothesize that old people like change a lot more than young people do. I call this: The Theory of Coin Importance.

At my job, people come up and pay for photocopies fairly regularly (it's $0.10 a page). So, if someone has $0.30 worth of photocopies, they tend to give me a quarter and a dime - 35 cents. Older people will stand there pleasantly while I ring this in, and then they will accept their nickel in change. Younger people will give me the $0.35 and then leave before I've even rung it in.

flickr.com/nimzilvio

This is because, I think, younger people (myself included) kind of don't care about coins. They are these kind of heavy, annoying things that make your wallet heavy. You never have the right amount of them when you need them.

Whereas old(er) people, less accustomed to using debit for everything, quite literally see the value of their money.

When I used to work at a grocery store (in the mid-1990s), I would think it was so funny at first when people used a credit card or debit to pay for like, $1 worth of stuff. Who was doing this? Younger people. And then, having seen how commonplace this was, I stopped feeling silly using debit myself for smaller amounts.

Swipe and pay! The future is now!
The only thing we need is to have debit cards implanted in our fingertips for ease of use

Is it that older people don't trust debit? Is it that they prefer cash? I just never carry cash around (yes, I know Gail Vaz-Oxlade says you're supposed to; I am just paranoid about being robbed. Don't judge.) and when I do find a $20 in my pocket, I'm like, "Yes! Free money!" and then I spend it.

So, I don't know. Maybe devaluing the physical currency is part of what's led people down the road to so much debt.

Another memory: when I was about 10 (the same time when I was blowing my lottery winnings on Archie comics and gum), I didn't have cash one day at the drugstore and so I was like, "Can I use my bank card?" and the clerk was like, "Child, please. Of course not. This is not the space age." And so I had to go across the street, withdraw money, and run back to buy my comics. Kids these days? Would not have had this problem. This is one of the many ways in which I was ahead of my time (the other ways: I was using the internet by 1990. I could HTML code by 1993. I kept wondering why more businesses didn't have websites by 1996. I bought leggings in 2001.)

That's right. I was using computers back when they took up ENTIRE ROOMS!

6 comments:

Niki said...

Older people probably like coins more because you could actually buy more than copies with them, when they were younger. Like bicycles and houses.

You were/are way ahead of your time. Leggings in 2001, you're a visionary.

~Carla~ said...

This is very true I think. I had the same mindset when I was younger. But (hopefully) as you get older you realize that those coins add up, and quickly sometimes!

I had the impression you were younger for some reason... You're still younger than me, so still "young" in my books! ;) lol!

Anonymous said...

As I was reading your comments about coin use, I was remembering the way people complained when the "loonie" (1987) and then the "toonie" (1996) were introduced into circulation (had to look up when that was)...and people still complain..but I don't mind them..pull them out of my change purse and then will find I will have $40.00...free money..pennies...though are annoying!!!

JEM

Annabelle said...

Ha, Carla, I'm just so young at heart I had you fooled!

Niki, good point. My mother remembers going to a movie for like twenty five cents or something crazy. And that included a snack!

JEM, I am always happily surprised to find a stash of loonies and toonies - those are the best kind of coins for sure.

mOOm said...

I also was using the Internet in 1990 (I saw people sending e-mails when I was an undergrad in 1985-88 but I didn't have access) but didn't get into the WWW until 1994 :) I think I wrote my own webpage in 1995. What really annoys me are these 50 cent pieces we have in Australia. They are huge. I really hate them. If I get one in change at a cafe I'm very likely to just stick it in the tip jar on the counter. I think in the UK they made them smaller now but here we stick with the original huge size from 40 years ago. I grew up in Britain and remember when the one pound coin was introduced (about 1982 or 83?). I went to the bank just to get some!

Annabelle said...

Thanks for the comment, mOOm! Canada used to have gigangic 50 cent pieces too, but it sounds like the Australian ones are way heaving and more inconvenient.

Especially with today's prices, a 50 cent piece just doesn't sound especially useful.

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