Monday, August 17, 2009

I have lost the ability to count.

When did this happen? I'm sure it's something I've been doing from a very early age, and probably doing it on a daily basis since then, yes, then, back in the Stone Age. Once, in July of 1975, I was even told that I was pretty darn good at this counting gig, and was terribly proud (as were my accountant parents).

This new job (which I mocked as being not terribly intellectually challenging, oh how I shall eat those words) involves A. Lot. Of. Counting. Like, lots, like oodles and oodles of cold hard cash. And divvying it up, and writing about it in little boxes and sweating profusely when the little boxes disagree with each other. And let me tell you, these are some fucking disagreeable little boxes we're talking about. If you don't put stuff in it ju-u-u-u-st right, it changes colour on you. And bells start clanging and people with guns... ok, possible exaggeration there.

So, I'm learning about how all these little boxes have to get along and agree with each other, and I do appreciate that all bean counters have their own system of boxes and agreements and so forth, and I admit that it's early days for me to feel superconfident blah, blah, blah. Having said that, I have always prized myself on being a quick learner, and it's a bit of an ego-shatterer to find out that, where anything accounts-related is involved, this is not actually the case!

Anyway, my failure to learn a new accounts system is a topic for another day, and one on which I have consumed several large wines. Today's topic involves the simple act of counting and adding. Not difficult, really. I even have a handy-dandy machine that counts it for me! Seriously! You lob in buckets of coins, then stack up sticky, gooey notes and it weighs them, adds them and all that jazz. It's terribly cool!

There are, however, also rolls and rolls and rolls of coins, bundles of packaged and wrapped notes and soforth, which have to be actually counted. The coins are neatly stacked in rows, with the value of each roll considerately stamped on each one (apart from the 50c coins, for some mysterious reason, which one has to remember come in lots of $10). It's quite simple, really.

Here's an example. $2 coins in $50 rolls, stacked 4 across. Come on, even I can do this one! You've got $200 in each row, dontcha? So why do I have to actually get my calculator out to work this out? I sit and stare blankly at the fucking obvious, and totally fail to grasp it without the help of technology.

I struggled today mentally calculating the worth of an envelope containing $65 in notes and $2.45 in coins. STRUGGLED!

So, does this mean I am too dependent on technology, lost more braincells in pregnancy and motherhood than the average person, was actually not terribly bright to start with, or *shudder* are the threatened aftereffects of a misspent youth finally coming back to haunt me?

Maybe (this is my one shining ray of hope) it's a bit of a lost talent, mental arithmetic, and maybe it just gets rusty from lack of use. Perhaps 3 weeks from now I shall be a mental arithmetic genius, who will cast one lazy eye over the entire shelf and immediately realise that it contains $2764.50.

Or not. Today I counted one bunch of cash 4 times and got 4 different results. I think I need to face it. I'm doomed.



Lorna Lilo said...

Life is too short to count things. Outsource this and go shopping immediately.

Sparkly Tiara said...

Now that's sound advice if I've ever heard it!!

S3XinthePantry said...

I think the fact that it is money does make it harder for some reason!

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