It's not just the illiteracy, it's the innumeracy!

Ez2cDave

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Our so-called "schools" are the culprit, ever since they decided to start teaching "values", instead of "knowledge" and "dumbing down" subject material to try to "cover up" the decline . . . I bet a chart of the curriculum being taught would closely parallel the losses in academic performance, over the decades.

Dave F.
 

dr wogz

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apparently overheard at a McDon's:

"Hi, I'd like a half dozen McNuggets please.."
"Uhm.. we don't sell a half dozen. you can have 6, 10 or 12.."


Apparently a large whopper was toted as a 1/3lb of meat. But people bought the 1/4 pounder, as they 'think' 1/4 is bigger than 1/3.. 4 is larger than 3, but only when it's on top..
 

Sandy H.

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apparently overheard at a McDon's:

"Hi, I'd like a half dozen McNuggets please.."
"Uhm.. we don't sell a half dozen. you can have 6, 10 or 12.."


Apparently a large whopper was toted as a 1/3lb of meat. But people bought the 1/4 pounder, as they 'think' 1/4 is bigger than 1/3.. 4 is larger than 3, but only when it's on top..

Easy mistake for a person not from the US to make. Over here, we try to eat healthy, so when choosing to go for McD's Quarter Pounder vs. the Burger King Whopper, that's what we choose. I have no idea why Burger King is struggling, but McD's has chosen to add the Double Quarter Pounder with bacon, but it might be to give foreign visitors options that they would prefer vs. our conservative dietary habits. Just a guess. :)

Sandy.
 

fyrwrxz

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Yesterday I drove thru Jack's with a simple order. Total of $3.61. Tendered a $5 bill and a penny. You could see the stick shredding spokes at light speed. She hands me back $1.03. WTF? Let's try this again. "What's 60 from a hundred"? "Ohh". I get back $2.40. I could have quit then, but now we have a relationship. Before I had to meet her parents, I just gently said "This is yours, and this is mine" and handed back the extra dollar. We are doomed. Support every damn teacher you can. This is why they are warping out of the system as fast as possible. Where were her parents when she was a child and maybe, had an allowance? How can you possibly function in a transactional society? Funny how when I was a kid, I never got shortchanged. Even the triceratops could count.
 

dhbarr

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Yesterday I drove thru Jack's with a simple order. Total of $3.61. Tendered a $5 bill and a penny. You could see the stick shredding spokes at light speed. She hands me back $1.03. WTF? Let's try this again. "What's 60 from a hundred"? "Ohh". I get back $2.40. I could have quit then, but now we have a relationship. Before I had to meet her parents, I just gently said "This is yours, and this is mine" and handed back the extra dollar. We are doomed. Support every damn teacher you can. This is why they are warping out of the system as fast as possible. Where were her parents when she was a child and maybe, had an allowance? How can you possibly function in a transactional society? Funny how when I was a kid, I never got shortchanged. Even the triceratops could count.
The problem here is the OTJ training assumes everyone grew up hauling around pictures of dead presidents and chunks of metal.

Yes, I'm teaching my kids to count back change and face their bills and write in cursive. No, I don't think these will be life skills by the time I have grandkids.
 

Rob Campbell

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A few years ago, I was in an on-line "discussion" with a flat Earther. He said water can't stick to a spinning ball. I then stepped through the math proving, at the equator, the force of gravity is about 290 times the centrifugal force. He replied, "...that's just mathemagics..." and then went into a tirade that gravity is a lie and I was a satan worshiping Freemason and government disinformation agent.

Meanwhile, China is producing several time more STEM college grads than we are. We're doomed.
 

n3tjm

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One time a high school kid tried to pull one over on me during a fund raiser. Mr Gardei, do you want to buy what we are selling to support our class? How much? $3 each or 3 for $10. You're trying to gyp me a dollar. Kid looks at me in shock like he is trying to figure out how I figured it out so quickly. I said 3 times 3 is 9. I can still do basic math in my head kid.


Another story, back when I was a lot younger, fresh out of college where I Aced most of my math classes and the one I got a B+ in I was the highest grade in the class of 2003. I was working my shift at Target and another employee came up to me and asked how much money he needs to pull from the ATM to buy a $150 vacuum. I immediately responded $140. He wanted to know how I came up with the answer so quickly. I said our employee discount is 10% which makes it easy because all you do is move the decimal over one place. So 10% off $150 is $15. $150-$15 is $135. There is no sales tax so we don't need to worry about that. ATM only spits out units of $20, so the smallest amount you can take out to cover the $135 is $140. Literally later in the day a customer came up to me and said she enjoyed my math lesson today. And I said thanks.
 

cerving

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Yesterday I drove thru Jack's with a simple order. Total of $3.61. Tendered a $5 bill and a penny. You could see the stick shredding spokes at light speed. She hands me back $1.03. WTF? Let's try this again. "What's 60 from a hundred"? "Ohh". I get back $2.40. I could have quit then, but now we have a relationship. Before I had to meet her parents, I just gently said "This is yours, and this is mine" and handed back the extra dollar. We are doomed. Support every damn teacher you can. This is why they are warping out of the system as fast as possible. Where were her parents when she was a child and maybe, had an allowance? How can you possibly function in a transactional society? Funny how when I was a kid, I never got shortchanged. Even the triceratops could count.
What amazes me is that all they have to do is to plug what you gave them into the cash register and it will return the change... and they won't do it. The employees are programmed to enter dollars only. Since about 90% of all purchases are done with cards now, making change is becoming a lost art... even when the machine tells you how much to give back.
 

Kelly

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What amazes me is that all they have to do is to plug what you gave them into the cash register and it will return the change... and they won't do it.
I've seen two types... Type 1 will take your money with a quizzical look, type it into the machine, and then be awed at the round number that results, as if you just pulled some sort of magic trick. The hand over the change carefully, wary of anyone who can do Jedi Mind Tricks on cash registers. Type 2, as you say, will just stare at you like "what the heck am I supposed to do with this?"
 

Sandy H.

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This is actually kind-of on topic, but regretfully its going to be waaay too long of a post, most likely. I'll try to keep it short, but will likely fail. Thankfully, everything is all generally in fun, not 'why the world sucks'. . .

Part 1: The background.

At a company I worked for, the engineering group played jokes on each other all the time. Nothing like hazing new guys or fraternity junk, but stuff like hiding tortillas in the car of the guy who drove to lunch that day. The story of the orange and Lasic surgery are for a different time and place. We all got along and joked around when it made sense.

Part 2: The store.

I ran the engineering store. Poptarts, crackers, soft drinks, ice cream bars etc. I'd buy whatever I thought people wanted when it was on sale, marked it up a bit and whenever someone wanted something, they'd get it and drop the requisite change into a jar. At the end of the year, the profit was used to buy the front office staff Christmas gifts - zero for me or anyone else, just taking the money and passing it along.

Part 3: The pools.

I also ran the office pools. At this point, you might be saying 'Did you ever do work?' and while a valid question on the surface, everything was done off clock for not just me, but everybody. When it came to pools, somebody would mention a pool (NASCAR, PGA, Hurricane, etc.) and I'd figure out the rules, making them as obtuse as possible, every time I could. Most often, if you got Tiger Woods (back in the day) in the PGA pool and he won, you didn't, as there would be rules about inverting the top 5, who got into the clubhouse first, etc. People would put in $0.25-$1 for a one time pool and up to $20 for a long-term pool. At times, we'd agree to change the rules mid-stream on the long-term pools, just for fun.

Part 4: Lunch.

Most of the time, we went to lunch offsite, but from time to time, we'd buy a few pizzas, wings, tacos or whatever and someone would go pick them up. Obviously, if one person picked them up, they needed reimbursement from everyone. As I was both the store manager and the pool manager, when someone had $20 and only owed $4.50 (ohhh, the good old days when you could eat for $4.50. . . ) I got involved. Obviously, usually more than one person had a $20 and from time to time, a person would borrow $5 from someone a day or two before, as they didn't have cash etc. This is where I shined.

While using no real skills other that math and misdirection, I'd manage to get everyone handing bills back and fourth, with me as the intermediary, switching this and that around and by the time everything was all done and over with, some guy that handed me a $20 has $2 in his hand, while another one who handed me a $20 had $26. Every now and then, the 'fouled' person would ask for a reset and I'd re-run the 'this and that' and it would end up the same way, with everybody agreeing each transaction made sense at the time. Didn't always work that way, but it did every now and then.

While I really enjoy slight of hand types of magic, I can't do it very well at all. Add in speed with moving bills around between a group of 4 or 5 people, saying one thing, while doing another was something I did pretty well. After it was all over, we'd square up correctly, but I had a good time facilitating that particular transaction among friends.

I miss the days of the office working that way. Most have retired, some moved on by choice and few are left. The last guy from back in the day that was left would borrow or loan $20 at any point, but he always did the math carefully when we square up, as I still tried to throw him for a loop every now and then. Good memories.

Sandy.
 

Grog6

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Back when I was still doing R&D, we had a succession of interns come thru, and it amazed me the lack of expertise in Senior level students we occasionally ran into. Some were really good but the others are more memorable, lol. I really expect someone to be truthful when I ask important questions, like "Have you ever worked with high voltage?" and listening when I say "don't touch that."
I had to stop the indian guy from tasting the thallium oxide in the dangerous stuff cabinet.
One guy took data on noise for a week, thinking he was measuring a 200mVPMT signal
I had to dissuade a colleague from ordering methyl mercury for an experiment. He did order a gallon of the solvent used for dissolving Teflon, so he could cast a reflector.
I doubt any of those guys could run a cash register. I ran an electronics repair shop for 7 years, running the drawer was the first thing I learned. :)
 

bmonagle

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I spent a a good part of my career supervising a group of designers and doing QC reviews of their work. One fellow is a particularly poor speller and consistently spelled the word CEILING as CIELING. After a few years of correcting him he finally caught on and did it right, Then I couldn't resist and told him that the correct spelling was wrong. Mind blown! I think he went home that night babbling. I caught him off guard with that one several more times over the years.
 

Donnager

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We interviewed for an engineering position, and one of the cantidates mother came to the interview, and wanted to answer for him.We laughed them out of the building.
In construction, you would be amazed at the number of wives that come in to fill out their husbands' applications, when we have a large outage. Half the time, these guys sit in a truck outside while this occurs.

We'll then see her leave, and tell the husband--you need to go in there for a drug test. Most of the time they pass, but sometimes, they don't. I would hate to be one of those guys that failed a drug test after the wife filled out a 7 page application to make some money on a 1 month job.
 

prfesser

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We interviewed for an engineering position, and one of the cantidates mother came to the interview, and wanted to answer for him.We laughed them out of the building.
Used to get students whose mothers would come with them to discuss their (D or F) grades. Thank the FSM for privacy laws. "I'm sorry ma'am, I can't discuss your son's grades with you without his written permission." The students who would submit written permission usually regretted it, as Mom got to hear how the kid's uncle/aunt/grandparent/niece/nephew died, causing two missed exams out of four. Once Mom stood up and told her son "Let's go. NOW." I can only assume that her father and sister were both still alive. 🤣
 

Rob Campbell

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Used to get students whose mothers would come with them to discuss their (D or F) grades. Thank the FSM for privacy laws. "I'm sorry ma'am, I can't discuss your son's grades with you without his written permission." The students who would submit written permission usually regretted it, as Mom got to hear how the kid's uncle/aunt/grandparent/niece/nephew died, causing two missed exams out of four. Once Mom stood up and told her son "Let's go. NOW." I can only assume that her father and sister were both still alive. 🤣
"...signed Epstein's Mother's Doctor..."
 
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