The Long Legend of Arithmetic09:33 PM Friday February 19, 2021 |

Last December 18, 2020, one of our cashiers issued an official receipt to a female customer without counting the cash correctly. She already handed over the OR to the client before the two cashiers realized kulang pala yung bayad. When they informed the customer, the customer insisted that she paid the correct amount.
This was the fault of the two cashiers and they would be asked to pay for the shortage. This rule applies to any establishment, even in restaurants, groceries, department stores, and banks. Anywhere you work, that’s the rule. Kung short ka, ikaw ang magbabayad.

Dec 18 was our wedding anniversary and over dinner we had difficulty shaking off the thought that we lost money in that transaction. Lugi pa kami ng malaki. But my husband said, babalik din yung perang nawala. Yes it’s true. money that was lost comes back in many forms. Basta malakas pa tayo, kayod na lang ulit.

Luckily after a week, the client came back and paid for the difference. Her reason being, that it was the fault of the bank teller. We were happy that this was settled. We didn’t want to lose money, and we certainly didn’t want any of our employees to lose money too, be it P1,000, P2,000, P5,000, or P50,000. Any amount lost is nakakahinayang.

Because of that incident, I thought of training the two cashiers on how to count money. It’s more of sanayin silang magbilang ng pera, like bank tellers. It’s seldom naman that people pay in cash, usually, only for smaller amounts, they charge it to their credit cards, and for vehicle sales, personal checks or cashier’s check is issued.

It would just be a simple practice of counting bills, say ten thousand or twenty thousand.
I’ve been observing tellers how they count and it’s something to learn from. They must’ve been trained before they were allowed to sit in those cubicles.

We’re not like shopping malls or groceries that get a lot of cash. No, we rarely collect in cash. People pay in checks, manager’s checks, and credit cards for repairs. But even if we only collect 3,000 or 5,000 in cash, the cashiers must know how to count them accurately.

Even in banks now, magwi-withdraw lang ng five thousand pesos, tatlo o apat na beses na bibilangin, and twice thru the money counter and twice manually. Kasi kung magkulang, yung bank teller ang mag-aabono kaya dapat eksakto talaga ang bilang.
Feb 19, 2021

Today, the finance dept. prepared 50,000 cash in different denominations. My plan was to ask the cashiers to count the money in front of me. I prepared one question and two instructions:
1. How much is the total?
2. Separate them into 4 equal amounts and place each on the table. P______________ each.
3. Shuffle and split into 2 equal amounts.

I called Cashier #1 to my room and gave her a sheet of bond paper and a pencil and the plastic envelope containing the P50,000 cash in different denominations.
I asked her to count it and give me the total.
It was 11:45 am when she started. Aware of the time, I expected we would be done by 12 noon.

Huge mistake, huge.

counting cash

At 12:10 pm she was still counting the bills.
ACTY—– So magkano total ng pera na nasa ‘yo?
Cashier —- P23,000

I repeated my question. Magkano?
She changed her answer to P21,000.

Her answer made me think, “oh boy, this is not good”.

Me—–“Magkano total ng P1,000 bills?”
Cashier—– “Twenty three thousand”
Me—– “Oh paanong P21,000 lang yung total eh meron ka pang P500 bills, P100 bills, P50 bills, P20 bills, hindi kasama?”

12:20 pm she was still busy counting. She stood up and spread the cash on my round table measuring 36″ in diameter.
Me—–“Naiintindihan mo ba question ko? Basahin mo uli.”

She read it aloud. And started counting the bills again.

Cashier—– “Sandali lang mam.”
Me———- “Sige”

I gave her a few minutes more while observing how she was counting the bills. I could tell she was having difficulty because why on earth would it take her more than half an hour to count P50,000? I was trying to keep my calm while keeping my faith that she would be able to do this very simple task.
12:30 pm
Me——“So magkano?”
Cashier—–“One million one hundred thirty thousand pesos”

I couldn’t believe what I have just heard. Again, calm Annie calm. Para akong pusa gustong maihi.

Me—–“Paano sya naging 1,130,000?”
Cashier——“In-add ko mam denomination”

Me—–“Saan ka nag-graduate ng college?”
Cashier——“Sa UE”
Me—–“University of the East? Ano’ng course mo?”

(UE? Eh di ba magaling ang UE sa business, accounting, management? UE is a rated school. What the heck happened here?)
(Sobrang buntunghininga ko. I was very calm but I really couldn’t believe that this was happening).

Moving forward…

Me—–“Ilan ang P500 bills?
Cashier—–“40 pieces”
Me—–“Ilan ang P100 bills”
Cashier—–“Thirty pieces po”
Me—–“30 pieces?”
Me—–“So magkano ang 30 pieces na P100?”
Cashier—– “Three hundred thousand”

(CORRECT ANSWER: 30 X P100 = Three Thousand Pesos only. At this point, my stomach started acting up, parang gusto kong tumakbo sa toilet.)

Me—–“Sa fifty pesos naman. Ilan?”
Cashier—– “60 pieces”

Me——“so magkano ang 60 pieces na singkwenta pesos?”
Cashier —– “30,000 po”

(CORRECT ANSWER: 60 X P50 = Three Thousand Pesos only)

Me—–“Yung beinte pesos?”
Cashier—– “50 pieces po”

Me—–“So magkano ang total nun”

Cashier —– “Eleven million three hundred thousand”

MY GOD! What did she say? ELEVEN MILLION THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND. OH MY GOD, that won’t fit on my table.
DYOS KO ‘DAY! WE’RE ONLY COUNTING 50,000 PESOS, nanay ko po, how did it become 11.3M? Grabe, nanganak ng nanganak. At this point hindi ko malaman kung matatai ako o maiihi sa kunsumi. Hindi ko na alam kung nasaan ako. Am I watching a game show on tv Battle of the Brains?. I need a drum of concentrated anti-aging cream. I am aging fast watching her count.

My only purpose in doing this exercise was to practice her counting a little bit of cash. Not in my wildest dream, this would happen.

I was in total disbelief that basic arithmetic for a college graduate from a good and reputable school at that could be so daunting.

Me——–“Ilang piraso yung beinte pesos?”
Cashier—–“Fifty pieces”
Me——“Sabi mo 11,300,000”
Me——-“Yung P20 times 50 yun ba ang total?”

(She looks bewildered. FINAL ANSWER? CALL A FRIEND?”

(Part 2 coming)


  1. Oops, that’s really a revelation.
    Good thing you find it out now, that’s basic arithmetic.

    She can’t be that pagong for every transaction. Paano na kung combine pa with checking if the bills are counterfeit and customers are in a rush, siguradong ma so-short sha nyan. She’s not qualified to be a cashier.

  2. Hi Ms Annie. Nakakahawa po yung pagka malilituhin nya. I got confused na rin 🙂
    Di ko alam kung maaawa ako , matatawa or maiinis.

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