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Bowie sang about it. Barack wants us to believe in it. But seems like some people are taking change for granted these days. Perhaps not so much in the let's turn off the lights when we leave the room or let's not let North Korea build any more nukes kind of change, but rather the change we find in our pockets, couch cushions and jar of your sig-other saving up for a guitar.

Take that new Taco Bell commercial. Scenario: Guy walks up to a coffee kiosk in a mall, barista gives him his change, guy goes to put it in the tip jar and guy behind him in line tells him to save that change because he can go to Taco Bell and buy a burrito with it. That's right, Taco Bell guy totally c*ck blocks barista guy's tip. Did TB guy ever think that maybe barista guy was going to take that tip change and buy his own TB burrito?

Now I admit, if there are quarters involved in my change, I pocket them because I still don't own a washer and dryer, and if there are no quarters involved, then, well, it just seems cheap to toss in lesser coins. But, if I frequent a place regularly, I'll toss in a buck once a week. Bottom line, this commercial makes me angry. Taco Bell guy makes me angry and thus Taco Bell makes me angry. Shame on them for taking money out of someone who makes minimum wage's pocket - especially when it was being given willingly. So yeah, tip your barista next time and go to Ver Daddy's instead.

On to my next example. My beaux and his friend Glenn like to have man dates regularly, and one of their "spots" is Pasha's. On their most recent visit, the change was something like 31 cents. Cashier dude hands over a quarter and then goes about his business. No, "sorry, we ran out of nickels" or "hey, you really want that penny?" My beaux was in such disbelief of the guy's nonchalant, take-what-you-can-get-and-be-happy-with-it attitude (though this was on South Beach, land of horrible customer service) that he didn't call the cashier out. Though, if it happens again, I've requested that he does, if only to have a "Part Deux" to this blog entry.

And just to prove it's not a South Beach and/or Pasha's thing (I actually like their Pides), the same exact thing happened a few days later in Aventura Mall at a gelato/cupcake café by the movie theater. As if charging $5 for a kid's size ice cream wasn't obnoxious enough. Insult to price gauging injury I tell you. And as much as I'd like to believe it's just bad math skills - which would definitely be a perfectly legitimate excuse had I been helming the register and why my stint as a Publix cashier in high school was very short lived - I seriously doubt it. It's not like he did the old throw-in-a-penny-so-I-don't-get-a-penny-back "trick." Nor do I think the cashier did it hoping his customer a) wouldn't notice or b) wouldn't care thus adding the profit to his tip jar, anticipating we wouldn't give him one. Maybe if he hadn't denied us that extra change we would have.

But probably not -- $5 is a heck of a lot for ice cream.

-- miaeditor