When I think of my actions today, all I can lament is, despicable me.

=Despicablly Brad=

Math has never been my strong suit. I can remember history, state facts, memorize trivia and watch 15 seconds of a movie and tell you what it is if I have seen it before. But numbers confound me. I can’t get them to stick in my head.

Boxing Day I was at work and a call came into the office from a local corner store telling me the movie I had reserved was in. I asked what the movie was and who reserved it. The lady on the phone told me it was “Despicable Me” and Jennifer had reserved it. Then she asked who I was. “This is Brad”, I answered then I then broke the bad news to the woman calling and said, “I am sorry but Jennifer gave you the wrong number.” The lady on the phone for some reason or another didn’t seem to believe me and asked if this number was ####?

Now I have been working here for eight years and after all that time I could not tell you what the number is for this office. I sat back in the chair and looked at the phone on the desk to see if a number was engraved on it anywhere. There wasn’t. I hesitated for a moment and said to the woman, “It’s possible, I really wouldn’t be able to tell you.” 

She seemed to grow impatient, thinking that I was wasting her time, but she had forgotten that she was the one who called me. I was nine hours into a twelve hour shift and just happy to have someone to talk to. “Who is this?” she demanded!

“I’m still Brad,” I answered.


I was certainly not going to tell an irate lady who I was, now that she was shouting at me. I wonder if Jennifer ever got to watch her movie? So my lack of skill in the number remembering field sometimes cause me trouble.

And so does my lack of skill in the number subtraction department. Lunch time I was passing through the drive-thru at McDonald’s and the guy in the car ahead of me was giving a very detailed order on how his McChickens were to be decorated with no lettuce or tomato on one, no lettuce on the other, extra sauce on both and three packs of sweet and sour sauce to go with his large fries. (It’s funny how I can remember what he order while I was in the car behind with my heater on blast and CBC news on the radio, yet, I can’t remember a simple 4 digit number.) When I got to the first window, the staff inside was new, I hadn’t seen her in the drive-thru before. The previous order must of had her frazzled, because when I pulled up to the window she was spinning around, trying to fix her head phones with the crumpled up receipt for the special order McChickens in her hands, while the debit machine keypad dangled from the cord, swaying in the wind, outside the shut drive-thru window.

I figured I would make things easy on her and instead of using my bank card I pulled a toonie out of my pocket. A toonie is a $2.00 coin in Canada.

My order was $1.54 so I handed her the large silver and gold coin. She handed me back my change which was a penny, 2 dimes and a quarter.  I looked at my hand and realized she had given me back  my toonie as well. That’s not right I thought, the poor girl has given me back too much change. I tapped on the glass and passed her the $2.00 coin back. “You gave me the wrong coin back,” I explained, somewhat proud of myself for my good deed.

“What should I have given you?” she asked.

“A loonie.” I said without thinking. (That’s a $1.00 coin in Canada.) She reached into her cash box and plopped a large shiny coin in my palm that was still holding the 46 cents of change she had given me earlier. I drove away from her window with a smile, but, at the same time thinking, they really need to have people who are much better at math in the drive-thru. I would never make that mistake.

Now this is how I determine who among my readers are the math whizzes and who are not.

Please fill out the short survey and submit it.

Apparently I am no mathematician. Nor do I have any right to make fun at anyone who is a non-mathematician.

If you voted that you are disgusted with my actions then you are definitely a mathematician, because mathematically what I had done was rip off the poor girl 50% less then I originally could have. How in the world did I think I was supposed to get $1.46 back from a $1.54 purchase?

By the time I had reached the pick-up window I realize my error. I told the girl there that the young lady at the other window had given me back too much change. I turned in my ill-gotten loonie and asked her to pass it on. She gave me a smile, she would then, slipped it in her pocket and shut the window.

It’s probably a good thing I don’t work in the drive-thru at Mcdonald’s and work, instead, in a place where for I haven’t needed to known the office number for eight years.

It’s soon going to be tax time again. I do them myself, so I’ll probably end up very rich this new year or indicted on charges of tax fraud. Oh despicable me.

One thought on “Thought 162: Despicable Me

  1. Excellent article!
    The most frazzled I’ve ever seen someone at McD’s is when a relative of yours kept screaming he wanted a large “bog water” at the drive through. Bog water is a mixture of all the soft drinks.
    He refused to move his vehicle until he received bog water. He got the bog water. In fact, he was served bog water many times after that.
    Odd that bog water never made it to the menu.

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