## July 22nd, 2006

### Innumeracy

We went up to Loveland this afternoon to visit Greg's friends Chris & Todd, and had a fine time. We went grabbed lunch/dinner at Red Robin, and we should have realized there would be trouble when our waiter couldn't count to five and thought there were only four of us.

Anyway, we had our dinner. The check comes, and we realize that everyone's order cost basically the same, so it's easy to split and we throw two credit cards at it.

Waiter comes back, sees the two cards. "So, you want to split this fifty-fifty?"

"Sixty-forty," I reply, "sixty on the gray card, forty on the purple one."

The waiter leaves. "He's not going to get it right," says Greg.

Sure enough, back he comes a few minutes later. "Did you mean sixty dollars on one and forty dollars on the other?" This is on a tab of 57 dollars.

So we explain that, no, we did not plan to leave a forty-three-dollar tip, but wanted 60 percent on one card and the rest on the other.

Now, I can see how my phrasing might confuse, and I would normally have said "36 dollars on one and 24 on the other", but he said "split it 50/50?", and I responded "split it 60/40". Is that so hard to follow?

Better yet: on the way home, we stopped at an Arby's to grab some drinks: small shake, small soda, large soda, small order of potato bites.

At the drive-through window, the guy hands us our drinks (after getting one of them wrong) and says "that'll be \$19.21".

Um. Nineteen dollars? For three drinks and a small potato bite?

Eventually he gets it figured out -- they accidentally keyed it in with the previous order. It's nine dollars. Um, no, we say, that's still wrong. Oh, wait, it's seven dollars. Oh, and yes, here's the potato bites.

I don't fault order-taking-guy for hitting the wrong buttons, it happens, but it's kind of distressing that window-manning-guy seemed to have no sense whatsoever of roughly how much three drinks should cost...