A Penny’s Worth

My two cents

Things that make me go hmmm?

bracelet

While strolling the Miracle Mile Mall underneath the hotel I stayed at in Las Vegas, Planet Hollywood, I passed a little kiosk which sold little charms and baubles. My eye caught a silver bracelet, which had engraved in it, Live Laugh Love. Being that the saying is part of my mantra and website header, I had to have it.

When I went to pay the petite blond woman, with the thick Slavic accent, she quoted me the price. The dollar value was irrelevant, but the cents came to sixty-two.

I scrambled in my wallet for the two pennies, and found one. I asked her if that was good enough and she sternly said, “No, it’s two cents.” I chuckled at her and asked her if she was serious.

I also wondered if she was going to let go of a nice sale for a lousy penny. And then I said to her, “In my country, Canada, we don’t even use pennies anymore; we round off to the nearest nickel.”

The woman replied, “Well, this is America. Our pennies are still worth money.” I found her tone and lecture to be quite aggressive and unfriendly. If I didn’t love everything that bracelet signified to me, I’d have left it there.

Now, I know things aren’t as cheap in the States as they once were. And I know you can’t really buy anything for a dollar there either; just as in Canada. So I found her defense for her ‘not natural born American attitude’ a bit over the top.

Still, I suppose she had the right to state her opinion about a country that gave her citizenship. But in this day and age to make a big deal over a penny seems so insignificant.

I found another penny at the bottom of my purse. She got her two cents from me.

DGKaye  ©July 2015

29 thoughts on “A Penny’s Worth

  1. How odd; so many retailers, restaurants, etc. have little cups/trays with pennies that customers leave rather than clutter up their purse or pocket and that are used to make up the odd pennie(s) needed to complete a transaction that this kind of response is most surprising.

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  2. I always figure a woman like this is having a hard day or a hard life. i like the contrast between what the bracelet says and the experience of buying it. Just reminds us to take ourselves and our two cents lightly.

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    1. Exactly Elaine. I do believe her and I were both on different pages. I was trying to make light of the situation, and she seemed defensive of her country in the process. Oh well, now I have a bracelet with added memories, lol. 🙂

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  3. We don’t have 1 cent or two cent coins anymore but it doesn’t stop retailers from pricing things like $1.23 or $1.26 … Drives me bonkers! Why not just round up or down?! lol! Nice bracelet though 🙂

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    1. Lol thanks Bee! Yes, we still have prices come out with those odd cents, but they’ve been rounded off almost two years ago. When I joke to the cashiers about those pennies, I’ve often been told that the computerized systems on the cash registers have yet to be updated to take off those cents. Even with the price tags rounded off, when we put our hefty odd numbered taxes on them (here 13%) the price will never come out exactly to the nickel. 🙂

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      1. See ….. why not just price everything as the price it is going to be at the register. Tax and all. Its bonkers Deb! 🙂 lol!

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    1. Exactly true. Hence I tried to tie that in with the woman’s attitude about the worth of the penny, possibly because of her own native background. 🙂

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  4. Nice bracelet. And yes, she was having a bad day, most probably. I’ve always found it confusing, the tax thing. I’m not from the US and here in the UK you just get the price you have to pay. It’s not as if you could choose not to pay the tax, and assuming somebody from outside would know… I’m with you on that.

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  5. Ouch! I wonder what she would have said had she not had the correct change to give you?

    Many years ago, here in the UK, we had half pennies. Of course everything was rounded up when they no longer became legal. At least here when you see a price you know that Value Added Tax is included. However, what does confuse me is why VAT is added to some items and not to others. For example, VAT is added to biscuits, but it does not apply to cake. I wonder why?

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    1. Thanks for visiting Hugh. Yes, I know about your VAT well, as I’ve been to England quite a few times. I think your VAT is equally high to our Canadian, or should I say, provincial tax. We also have certain items taxed differently to others. I don’t think the governments want us to figure these things out. It’s a tax conspiracy, lol. 🙂

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  6. Must be the Las Vegas vibe, because I sure have never experienced anything like that in America (and I’ve lived here all my life!). I usually ask if the merchant has a “penny pot” (they often do) and I put spare change in it so that customers like you don’t have so rummage around in your wallet/purse for the few cents you need to complete your purchase. I’ve been known to take from the “penny pot,” too.

    I’ve also had merchants “forgive” they couple of cents I owe them if I’m having trouble finding the exact change. Then again, I will often tell them to “keep the change” if it’s a paltry amount.

    Maybe this woman had a bad day or a run of bad luck with some other customers. Or maybe she was just a cranky person. Who knows? I’m glad you got your bracelet and have a story to tell along with it! 🙂

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    1. Thanks for sharing your ‘two cents’ here Lorna, lol. I agree with you. Many stores here have a penny pot at cash, if you need one take one, and leave one behind protocol. And many stores that we may frequent and pay with cash will usually oblige if you don’t have all the correct change. I suppose that is why I found this woman’s lecture so surprising. 🙂

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  7. That’s a funny story, D.G., and I think, like you, a bit constricting. Usually Kiosks (though perhaps I haven’t frequented enough to make this statement) will not hesitate to bargain with the customer. And some places will let the penny go. Maybe her boss is very strict with his employees and she has to have the correct amount down to the penny…who knows.

    I will say, though, that now, I never underestimate the value of a penny. One day, I saw one on the ground, and decided not to bother with it…after all it was only a penny, right? Well, that afternoon, I needed an extra penny, and didn’t have it. I immediately thought of that provided for penny, the one I thought wasn’t important enough to give a home to in my purse. And I understood, that no matter how small or insignificant something may seem, it still has worth, and I should appreciate that. And you just reminded me of another penny story, that I think I will post about.

    Though, on the surface of things, the woman should have let the penny issue go, there may be an underlying message here…that living, laughing, and loving have great worth, and we should never accept less than that.

    Sending you wishes for a delightful day,

    Marianne

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    1. Hi Marianne! Thanks for sharing you analogy here. And wasn’t that Murphy’s law that you saw a penny, left it, then needed it? Lol. I always pick up a coin when I see one; no matter what the value because I believe they are hello’s sent from heaven. That’s the spiritual side of me. Other than that, we shouldn’t shun money, but on the other hand, one penny isn’t going to make or break anyone. 🙂

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  8. Amazing!.. I very often say if I buy anything here in the UK for example £1-99p if I give them £2 to pay for it.. I say keep the change.. Yes pennies make Pounds.. but giving a penny away or 1 cent is not going to break the bank.. Often the shop keepers put it in their charity tins..

    Love the saying, and great you found it on a bracelet 🙂

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    1. Thanks Sue. It seems by most of the responses here, nobody seems to have a big problem with a penny. It almost seems so trivial, that’s why I had to write about it, lol. xo 🙂

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