#250: 100 Pennies

[F.U.C.K. is an e-zine that I started on January 24, 1993 and ended on January 24, 2000. One concept is that articles should be timeless if possible, so they were not released with dates. As such, the date on this blog is not exact but I will try to use a date as close as possible.]

Every day when I come home I throw all my change into a large jar for a later day. After a few weeks pass, I break out the old rollers and count out the change. Usually about twenty bucks or so, mostly pennies. The last time I did this was a long time ago in a state far away from here. Times have certainly changed. (no pun intended)

I went to the grocery store near my place with a couple rolls of pennies. There is an ‘express’ bank in the store to deal with withdrawals, deposits and other minor banking functions. When I went to the counter I threw down four rolls of pennies. Two whole dollars. The lady behind the counter looked at me with a puzzled look on her face. I told her I wanted to exchange this for a couple dollars. She then told me “We don’t have anything to count that with”.

I explained that it was simply two hundred pennies, and I just wanted a couple dollar bills. She tried to explain to me that they had somehow been ripped off before in trades like this. I begged her to break open the rolls and count the change to make sure she was satisfied. Rather than do that she hinted that I might be ripping them off, then proceeded to give me two crisp dollar bills. What a fucking hassle.

A few months back I was at McDonalds. The nearest ATM I could draw money from without a penalty was a ways off, and I only had a few rolls of pennies and a few dollars. I stopped in and asked for a sausage biscuit, diet coke, whatever. I threw down two dollars and three rolls of pennies. Had the dumb bitch hit me, I would not have been more surprised. She almost yelled at me about them not being able to take the coins that people had ripped them off before.

Excuse me? I told her to open the rolls and count the pennies if it was that much of a problem and that it was legal United States Tender I was paying with. Rather than counting them, she got a manager who tried to feed me the same shit. I asked her what part of “dumb bitch” did she not understand, and went through the whole charade of counting the coins to verify the funds.

Two days ago I was at my bank. The same bank I keep all my money at, have a credit card through, and do 100% of my banking. I went in with a bag full of rolled change. Four rolls of nickels, sixteen rolls of pennies. I put them on the counter and asked for paper in exchange. She asked me to break open every roll and throw the coins into a box she provided. I started to wonder what the point of rolling was.

After a few minutes I dumped every last roll into the box and watched her disappear into a back room. Minutes later she came back out and handed over 15.49 in cash and change. I sighed as she explained one roll was short. I told her it was probably lost in the rolls and that I had missed it while boxing the coins. She apologized and called for the next person in line.

Don’t save your change. Spend it all whenever you can. Don’t roll it by any means.. you just have to break them right back open. In general, don’t have more than 100 pennies at any given time, they end up being more hassle than they are worth. I think I will start dropping pennies all over time and make lots of people happy for a second or two.

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