Friday, September 26, 2008

It's not easy spending green

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It’s not easy using $2 bills. I went to Panera today and ordered lunch. The total was a little over $10. I handed the cashier 6 bills, but she said that she was told not to take them. When I asked why, she said that the bank shredded them, referencing the markings. This bothers me for several reasons.

First, there aren’t many banks in the area and I know that the Wachovia nearby does, in fact, hold on to them. I’ve actually gotten some of my marked bills back from them. It’s possible that they recently switched to the Commerce Bank, but I doubt it.

I also doubt that they shred the bills. I’m thinking that her manager may have meant that the were sent back to the FRB to be shredded, but either way, why would Panera care? If they’re being credited with money, it shouldn’t matter. I guess that the manager (or whoever made the decision) knows that I don’t want them shredded. I guess it’s better to hold on to them and at least spend them somewhere that will hand them back out as change.

Most importantly, it means that they’re not getting them back into circulation. Instead, they’re depositing the bills. For this reason, it’s probably just as well that I not spend them there. If a store is actually refusing them for this reason, there’s very little chance that they’d ever change.

After Lunch, I went to Party City. I wanted to get some glow sticks, but didn’t want to pay $15-$20 in shipping. I was able to get an assortment for very little money and paid for it in… you guessed it… $2 bills. The cashier had to ask someone if it was ok to take them. I guess it was because she eventually took them. This is pretty common, but is still annoying.

I’ve also decided that it’s too much of a pain to spend cash in the Apple Store at the mall. They are able to go through the line and process credit and debit purchases right away, but you have to wait for cash. I was first in line and had to wait at least five minutes to be helped, despite the fact that several cashiers were just standing there. All I wanted was an iTunes card. I even had the money counted out. Could they suspend a transaction and help me? Obviously not. I’m thinking that I should get my iTunes cards elsewhere.

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