Friday, January 14, 2005

No Dollars, No Cents

No one uses dollar bills anymore and change is rarer.

I got to thinking about this oddness when I came in to work today. I have a special card that I use for the company cafeteria. You put money into a machine and it recharges the card. The card has a little chip on it that the registers read and subtract your purchases from the balance. These registers will not accept cash of any kind, not even coins. Uncle Sam's money is not viable. It's no good. So you have to recharge the cards at little machines on the ground floor before going in to the eating place.

Now in order to recharge your card you need the correct currency. That's right, not just any currency will do, only specific currency. Of course, the machines accept twenties and tens and even fives, but not ones. It used to be that if I ran out of cash, I could find a dollar somewhere or scrounge around my desk drawer where I could usually find some coins for breakfast. Ah, that is, for buying breakfast. Anyway, the recharging machines will not accept dollar bills and will not accept coins, and as I think I mentioned, the folks at the registers won't accept ANY cash.

If you are out of cash to recharge the card (or I should say out of the acceptable denomination to recharge the card), you must go to one of the company's ATM machines. While the ATMs are convenient, they charge you a dollar and fifty cents when they give you your cash, which is discharged from it's slot in twenties.

So, I can't use cash at the registers, and I can't use low denominations or coins to recharge the cards. And this is just my dilemma at work, don't get me started on the car wash where only quarters are acceptable.

I think I'll go mad.

Help stamp out and eradicate superfluous redundancy.