Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Well, I’ll Take 8…Just in Case

With only 3 days (really 2.5) left in the school year, my grade level team is having a field day on Thursday.  The kids will move through various games set up by the teachers.  After the games, we will surprise them with a popsicle.  I’m in charge of getting the popsicles. 
big stickBeing a little worried about finding over 90 popsicles at any one store I decided to call the bulk store down the street from school to see if I could arrange for a hold on them to pick up tomorrow afternoon.  After being placed on hold a few times, I was finally connected to Chris, who worked in the back.  I told him I needed about 90 but of course, depending on how many were in a package, I’d take more than 90 if needed.  He was very helpful, asking me questions to clarify what I wanted and also finding out how many were in the packages.  Here was our conversation from that point…
Chris – There are 12 in a package.
Me – Ummmm…(dividing 90 by 12 in my head) 
Chris – That’s 7, you need 7 packages.
Me -  Oh, uhhh, it’s actually 8 I think.  That would give 96.
Chris – No, it’s 7.  That’ll be 94. 
Me – Hmmmm, I think it’s 8.
Chris - (Sound of pencil scribbling) It’s 7, 7 x 12 is 94. 
At first I started to second guess myself – after all my students only learn multiplication facts to 10.  Maybe I was rusty,  To not argue with him I asked him if he would check to see if they had enough.  While I was on hold, I checked my math once again.  Nope, not rusty.  While I waited for Chris’s return I had an internal debate with myself.  I needed 8 bags, but didn’t want to embarrass him (and didn’t want to pick up 90 licked popsicles, thank you very much).  But I still needed what I needed.

When he got back on the phone, he told me that they had enough.  “Ya know,” I said, “I think just in case I’ll want 8 bags instead of 7.  Are there enough for me to take 8?”  He said there were and that he’d hold them for me, seemingly none the wiser that I was questioning his math.  I’ll know for sure when I go pick them up this afternoon.  Fingers crossed there are enough, saliva free popsicles. 


  1. I have a running total going in my head when I go shopping. In general I'm ishy about correct. Certainly within 80c. Since I got the smartphone, shopping takes about half an hour longer as I'm tapping into my list and comparing it to last week. I keep getting dirty looks from the staff. But my adding is down the tubes.
    You know there are people out there that can do 137x567 and get the correct answer in their heads. But why would you want to keep a Texan out of a job making instruments. :-D taa-dum

    1. :) Good one...
      Believe me, I'm no math genius, but even so I did find it a bit funny that he was so adamant about it. Because of that I was so worried about offending him. Luckily though all 8 bags were picked up this afternoon and set to go for the tomorrow's festivities.
      I would have thought the smart phone would make things quicker, not take more time. I guess more options and things to play with, huh?

    2. Oh I've cut my bill by 20% by keeping a very tight eye on things by using the phone. I don't tend to go outside the list. And if I do I think of it differently. But quicker, no.
      I do get how he could be so certain. All I know is up to 72 I know for certain and from 120 to 144. After that I really have to use fingers.

    3. 20%? That's probably worth the extra time then.

  2. They're still in school? I would die. But now I'm craving popsicles....

    The art job fell through until the fall. She couldn't pay me.

    1. Still in school for 0.5 more days. I'm out the door by 12:20 tomorrow OUT THE DOOR!
      So sorry to hear that. Welcome to public education, sadly.