Coins First


I’m so sick and tired of people who hand me my change with the bills on the bottom and the coins on top. As soon as they plop coins on top of bills in my outstretched hand, the effort to get my money back into my pockets becomes a balancing game, where one possible outcome is that my money will go flying everywhere. This problem is only augmented at drivethrus, where I’ve got a window through which to navigate my elbow, and getting out of my car to pick up my dropped cash could be really difficult.

If you are ever in a position to give someone change from a financial transaction, be it goods or services, please give them the coins first.


4 thoughts on “Coins First

  1. I wholeheartedly agree. I was recently at a gas station which had one of those little chutes that the coins slide down and land in a little cup at the bottom. I usually don’t like those because it means that the person working is not even expected to be able to count change. However, it dawned on me as I put my coins away that the check-out lady was still counting out my bills and I had plenty of time to put everything away without holding up the line. So, those little coin chutes have risen to “Acceptable” on my list.

  2. I think it may come from people not trusting the cashier to count it properly, but not being able to count it quickly themselves, so wanting it visible. If more places went back to counting it back rather than just handing it over, it may help solve it. That said, while it used to bug me, it seems rare to see someone use cash around here anymore, so it’s been a long time since I’ve even thought of it.

  3. I agree Josh – coin first, then bills. The way God intended it. However, it seems that I conduct so few cash transactions these days that I don’t get annoyed like I used to. But, your rant reminded me of something…

    In Germany, and lots of places in Europe, they are almost completely cash-based for day to day transactions. The only place I recall being able to use a charge card was at a department store. All the other stores, as a standard feature, have what appears to be a sort of ashtray on the counter in front of the cashier. It has smooth edges, and a shallow depression. Customers count change into the dish, and the cashier takes it out – easily – because it’s not flat on the counter. Change is counted back into the dish, and customers take the change back with them to leave. This seperates out the bills and the change, and also avoids having to touch the other person’s hand.

    America could learn a thing or two from Europe!


  4. 1. Hold out both hands…one for cash and the other for change.

    2. This will prove difficult at the drive thru so pull your hand back quikly after cash is given back and take it with your other hand before reaching back for the change.

    3. Bring a sack with you and hold that out for your change. This may be misconstrued, but it is effective. You may end up with a little more than you were entitled to, but that’s ok.

    4. Say, “Keep the change.”


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