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It’s Only 3 Damn Cents

March 14, 2010
by

So here’s a receipt for a quick dinner at the second restaurant run by the Pam Real Thai people in Hell’s Kitchen. Anything jump out at you?

About half of the bill is for beer, and in my view, the glass noodle soup is a bargain at $3.75, but neither of those is what I’m here to discuss. What I and my companions (who included my anonymous cohort here at The Half Empty Glass) found kind of stunning was that there is a line item called Rounding on which the restaurant decided to add 3 cents to our bill to bring the price to an even nickel.  Now pennies are a pain in the ass, and in this day and age in New York City it’s hard to see what real purpose they serve.  I guess you can take them to some boardwalk somewhere and stretch them into a great souvenir.

In any event, the restaurant doesn’t want to deal with pennies, I get it.  But there are two things that make this incredibly frustrating, angering, and just plain bad business.  First, there is no need for “rounding” if you’re paying by credit card.  It makes no difference to anyone if charges are in round numbers, so there could only be any justification at all for this in a cash transaction.   Of course, this is a cash only restaurant, so I can’t blame them for that particular stupidity.  But second, and more importantly, if the restaurant doesn’t want to deal with pennies then I don’t give a damn so long as they round down and in my favor.  But for them to just decide that it’s easier for them to forgo pennies for their own convenience (despite the fact that they are legal tender for all debts, public and private) and charge me for the privilege, well, that’s going too far.

So what did we do?  We took the 3 cents out of the tip and grumbled all the way home.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 14, 2010 3:07 pm

    Next time throw the pennies at the manager. Wait, next time, take Joba Chamberlain to dinner with you and have him throw the three pennies at the manager. But maybe don’t let him drink during dinner.

    • Fat Al permalink*
      March 14, 2010 3:27 pm

      Joba’s not a bad idea, but I was thinking more along the lines of David Wells and his butter knife.

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