Thursday, August 23, 2012
My job is fairly simple. Or, maybe I should say one of my jobs, since the whole is a bunch of smaller pieces. Fractions is what we called them when I was but a child in school. I also learned to add, subtract, multiply and divide. All without the assistance of a calculator. I find that I put this knowledge to use daily. In almost everything I do. Cooking, gardening, sewing, and, of course, settling manners of money.
I am astonished regularly by those who have not a clue about basic math skills. How do they survive? Even the use of a calculator calls for a minimal knowledge.
One of my jobs is to check the e-mail daily for reservations. There is a reservation format in place on our website. Easy to use. I always respond to those and verify the reservation (unless the Internet powers conspire to thwart my efforts). Some users of the Internet prefer to e-mail a request to make a reservation. I am responsible for those, too. I respond with specific information, based on the information they provide. I tend to give lots of options in anticipation of questions. I always offer the phone number, too. You know, in case they might want to talk to a live person and have all their questions answered at once. Simplifies things.
I have been back and forth with a particular request all week. The latest question has me baffled. Okay, maybe a little annoyed, since the answer was right in front of them. The question was about reserving a tent site (or sites) for 11 people. Four children and seven adults. They wanted to know if I had sites available. I replied that I did. I went on to provide the rates (also on the web site they visited). Two sites at a base price of $20 per night per site for primitive camping and $22 per night with electricity. Each base price covers two adults and up to two children. Extra persons are $2 per person per night.
They replied with "How much will that be?"
I wanted to copy and paste my previous answer. I didn't. Carefully wording my response in the simplest terms, I tallied it up for them. I have a feeling I could have just done the math and given them an amount and they would have paid it, no questions asked. All they wanted was a total amount. I could have very well ripped them off. Instead I explained how I came up with the amount. I did two amounts. One with electric and one without ........ always anticipating the next question.
I did not add the tax to the total and I have a feeling they will show up with the exact amount in small denominations and then argue about the tax ......... After all, that will involve advanced math, being percentages and all that.