I know I am probably expecting too much from the computer generation and I know there are myriad technological things they can do that I can't. But why do they seem to have gone straight to interacting with MySQL databases (impressed, huh? No, I haven't a clue what it means) and the like without learning any of the basics?
I have been thinking about this after once again being served in a local shop by a spotty oik who doesn't know how to give change. My bill came to £5.20. I didn't have a £5 note so I gave him a £10 note and a 20p coin so he could give me £5 in change.
There followed this conversation:
SO (Spotty Oik): You've given me too much.
Me: Yes, that's so you can give me a £5 note in change.
SO: That's not right.
Me: Yes it is.
SO (looking puzzled): It can't be. (He proceeded to hand me £4.80, which is the amount that had popped up in his till window, in seven coins.)
Me: I need my 20p back as well.
Me: I gave you £10.20 and you've only given me change for £10.
SO: No, it says £4.80. (He nods towards the till window.)
Me: Yes, that's because you rang up £10 but I gave you £10.20.
SO: I'll have to get the manager.
By now there is a queue forming behind me.
Me: Look, you keep it and when at the end of the day your till is 20p over, put it in a charity box.
SO: (Triumphantly) I knew I was right!
I sighed and as I walked out a woman in the queue whispered: "You can't teach a chimp to do calculus." I smiled but didn't admit you probably couldn't teach me to do calculus either.
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