An Entry, an Experiment and a Find All for a Penny

So, how is everyone doing out there in L.A.S.  I’m basically fed up with it and will be doing my part come election day to make sure those responsible hear me loud and clear.  Today’s post is actually the result of a single penny.  No, I am not talking about the NOPE initiative.  I actually got a lot of mileage out of this penny as I was able to a) get a blog entry, b) experiment with our new Nikon Macro glass and c) discovered something I did not know before preparing for this post.  Not a bad price if you ask me.

I’ll start with the heart of the blog post, that being the event that started it all.  Last Monday I was coming back from my required Prohibited Harassment training (before you jump to conclusions, it is a required course for all employees whose company gets government contracts).  This is one of those courses where it is best to simply attend and learn while keeping your mouth shut until the event is over.  Why people try to argue this stuff is beyond me, but I’ll spare you that annoying detail.  After keeping my mouth closed that long, I decided to head over to Burger King and catch a bite to eat with some coworkers.  As a general quest I try to keep my lunch  meals around 3 dollars because that is about what it would cost if I bothered to actually bring a lunch.  The success of this personal quest varies significantly from establishment to establishment, but the advent of Value Menus has made this a little easier.  This was the case on Monday, where I ordered a Whopper Jr., 4 chicken nuggets and a drink for a dollar each.  With our crappy fast food tax, that came out to $3.24.  This is a good time to point out something about Arby’s value meal menu.  I snapped a picture for a future post, but in bold letters they have $1 Menu and then about 6 food/drink items under it.  Not thinking I ordered three of those items on a previous visit.  The cashier then proceeds to say the cost which was over the expected $3.24.  Caught off guard, my eyes moved back up to the value meal sign to see what the catch was.  Sure enough, there was little “starting at” lettering before the bold $1 Menu sign.  With both Congress and Arby’s screwing me these days I won’t be able to sit for the next month.  Sorry for digressing, but that peeved me for the rest of the day and figured it would be worth taking the time to warn others.    Back to Burger King.  As the cashier was about to take my $5 bill I remembered I had a quarter in my pocket and decided to fish it out.  Another peeve of mine is change.  Unlike my brother’s friend (who has now passed away) who believed that forcing yourself to break bills will  save money, I try to use up change every chance I get in order to save bills … and keep my pants from rattling all day.  The cashier (who was actually the on duty manager) reaches in the cashier, pulls out $2 and hands me the bills and closes his drawer.  I thought to myself that something was amiss, but the class had left me a little numb.  After a few seconds the mind fogged over the fact that change had been provided causing a false realization that the clerk had given me back too much money and should have only received a dollar and some change.  Trying to be kind and remembering my days when I cashiered at Jewel and having to worry about the till balance I informed the manager that he did not give me the right change back and reached out with the two bills.  The assumption was he would take one of the bills, and replace it with 76 cents.  However, his response was “No I gave you the right change back”.  Like a window defroster, the fog cleared and the memory of digging in my pocket came through.  While waiting for the food, I went to fill my drink with a nagging feeling that something was not right about the change.  Good thing the class was not before a work budget deliverable or there would be some triple checking that day.  I figured out the nagging issue was centered around my missing penny.  Clearly a penny is of little concern to me (the value meal is just a personal quest and not a financial issue) and having cleared up the internal dilemma turned back to the counter to wait for my order.   In mid turn, the manager reaches into his drawer, takes out a penny, shows it to me and proceeds to say “You were right, I didn’t give you the correct change” and places it on my receipt.  Out of curiosity, how would this make you feel?  It felt cheap as hell and somewhat demeaning from my perspective.  Again, the only intent of mentioning it was that I thought he gave me TOO MUCH money back and wanted to pay my fair share.  The trigger for all this was not getting the penny back because that would have immediately told me a quarter was involved.  The food arrived and he called out my name to pick it up while placing the receipt and penny on my tray.  I informed him that it was not about the penny, and that I had forgotten about the extra quarter while putting the penny back on the counter (skipping the step of holding it up for everyone in the restaurant to see) and walked away.  Anybody have any comments on this?  I just hate leaving a place feeling little when the intent was to help someone – not to mention the fact that I was correct in the assessment the change was wrong.

Hit the jump to see the other benefits from the penny incident:

Adhering to the graphic goals of this website, I needed to create a relevant graphic.  As mentioned before, this is the part that causes the most delays in my posts.  If there isn’t a graphic laying around that can be augmented in some clever manner, the ol’ tripod and digital camera have to come out.  That was the case in this post.  Earlier this year we purchased a new 105mm 2.8 Nikon Macro lens.  Linda likes to make her own cards (not sure if anyone has even noticed, but she has been making most of our birthday and holiday cards for awhile now 8^).  A common graphic for these are close up flower or scenery shots she takes while out on our photo shoots.  Up to this point she has been using the zoom lens to capture those, but it is really better suited for a macro lens.  I also wanted it to take bug pictures… blog foreshadowing.  This seemed like a great time to experiment with some close up shots of a penny.  The graphic at the top is highly reduced and does not show the amazing detail of the new lens.  I was literally stunned with how well those turned out.  Every little feature and scratch was visible and crisp in the 12M RAW image.

In fact, the image was so detailed, I found something I had never ever seen before or actually had any idea was there.  While perusing the various features up close, I came across the following in the shoulder part of Abe.

The penny was a 2007 D addition (as you can see from the first picture and you can just barely make out some indention if you look close) if that makes a difference or not.  I h0nestly can not see it when just looking at that particular penny in my hand or any of the other ones I gathered as as shot subjects.  But, you can clearly see in the image that there are some letters stamped in there – guessing at this point it is a Y (or V) O and B (or 8).  I thought it was pretty cool especially since it was a total surprise.  This, of course, has resulted in great anticipation of bug season.  I’ll probably start with the 10,000 Asian beetles that are now amassing to attack the perimeter of my house.

Anyway, probably the most use of a penny to date… but I still can’t stand them in my pocket.

4 thoughts on “An Entry, an Experiment and a Find All for a Penny”

  1. Incredible resolution on that macro lens!! I expect to see a photograph of the spider on the one dollar bill next.

    VDB = Victor David Brenner, the designer of the penny. This is ever-so-rarely the answer in a crossword puzzle I have worked. See for background.

    I would have proudly said “Thank you” and pocketed the penny without a second thought, actually. I like the penny and oppose attempts to stop making it. And I also support Pluto’s planetary status, too, so don’t ask.

    I thought of you the other day at Wendy’s where they had a sign saying that the Florida weather limited the availability and quality of tomatoes, so you had to ask for a slice if you wanted one on your hamburger. I very, very nearly told them that there were perfectly fine tomatoes available at the grocery store right behind them if they wanted to walk over and buy them. They just didn’t want to pay for the tomatoes, but they didn’t want to say it on the sign. I did ask for the tomato, of course. Reminds me of being in a Marriott years ago with a sign in the lobby that said “Our policy does not allow us to accept checks.” Oh, well, in that case…

    You know, if I didn’t have your blog to vent on, I’d have nowhere to complain.



    1. So someone else knows about the little spider on the dollar. If I find some time I’ll go ahead and snap a macro shot of it in case others are not aware. So, when writing this blog entry I thought to myself “You know, you could quickly bring up Google and verify the letters and get some history behind it to educate my readers” Then I remembered there were avid crossworders (hehehe sounds like cross dressers) that probably have this knowledge buried deep in the gray matter just in case it should come up on some clever vertical squares … and sure enough, my brother comes through for us (and for the record, he is NOT a cross-dresser which for the education of others became a protected class in 2008 – thanks to my harassment training I now have that bit of gray matter totally wasted). So it is VDB and apparently it caused some controversy when it was put on there (although now a little less prominent). Big thanks for tracking that down for us. I see we differ on the fate of the penny. I actually have a huge penny collection actually sorted in coin rolls by year. I stopped this when I got out of college, but it takes a difficult deadlift to move the crate they are stored in – this has been pointed out to me on every move I’ve made since leaving college. I’m just tired of marketing playing the psych game of cents to fool people into thinking they are getting a deal – buy now for 19.99 .. or the dumb*ss $5.01 combo meals at Arby’s… and don’t get me started on how gas is priced in a non-monetary unit. (note, I actually saw a penny cup on the Arby’s counter with a formal sign on it prompting customers to take a penny and get a tasty combo. First off I don’t need to upscale my food if I can’t afford a penny and secondly it isn’t preventing bill breaking because of the tax). So I have given up and want it removed – as long as all penny needing purchases are rounded down! oh, and Pluto IS A PLANET and the Brontosaurus was real – I feel like my entire grade school education is being attacked – next they’ll try and tell me Democrats care about America.

      If I saw that sign in Wendy’s I would order a tomato just to spite them since I hate tomatoes. I have always felt ripped off when I order my burgers with just ketchup when we all know good and well that it is priced for full garnishments/condiments. On the signage front, the best one I ever saw was in Ho Chunk (casino, not obese prostitutes) in Baraboo Wisconsin. As you walk in, there was a sign stating that thanks to unemployment being so low, don’t blame them for poor service. By my calculations, they should be giving 5-star service – when is the next election? not soon enough, that’s for sure.

      as for venting, is there any other reason to actually have a Blog 8^)

      … a very informative comments – thanks a bunch!


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