When I go out to eat I am imbued with a special power – restaurant food renders me as THE HUMAN CALCULATOR!
Okay, not really. It’s just that I do quick math in my head all of the time, and compared to the amortization schedules I’ve been juggling lately calculating tips is hardly a challenge.
Why do people need calculators to do this! Here’s an example, from a recent five-person lunch outing that was totally not unique in that I acted as the human calculator.
I know and you know I simply have to multiply the check amount by one plus whatever the tip amount is, but I am the sort of person who does math in chunks. Thus:
The bill was $123.
10% is $12.30, so…
20% is $24.60.
We didn’t want to tip 20%, just 18%…
So, subtract 10% ($1.23) twice from $24.60.
After rounding, the tip is $22, meaning…
the total bill is $145, and we would each pay…
I did that in my head once in about 17 seconds, and then mentally checked my math before people were done with the tip calculator programs on their cell phones. And then they didn’t trust me because I used 18% instead of 20% and rounded by .14 cents, so they calculated it AGAIN!
And then they were like, “Whoa, you totally did that in your head.”
Seriously? SERIOUSLY?! I’m all for computers and smart phones and iPads, but have we seriously become a nation that is so terrifyingly awful at math that we’re intimidated by leaving a tip?! Move the decimal over one place, double that (or, add half if the service was bad), and adjust if necessary. The end.
No wonder mortgage lenders expected me to roll over and play dead whenever they’d change their offer to something seemingly lower. Maybe mere mortals would be tricked, but not THE HUMAN CALCULATOR.