Manners Matter

Dear Mary Pat,


It seems that the value of a penny just isn’t what it used to be – it doesn’t get you much in life these days. However, I have a concern. As a cashier, more and more people have expectations that I’ll “find” the penny to create even change for their bill. Since when is it my responsibility to pick up the extra portion of their lunch?


Dollars and Cents

Valmy, WI




Dear Dollars and Cents,


I’m sure your issue comes from the abundance of penny jars at multiple cash registers throughout the country. In fact, you may be one of the only places that doesn’t have a penny jar. Pennies are annoying, and there has even been talk about getting rid of them. Most people would prefer to have a nickel in their pants pocket or purse rather than five pennies. I think of my own purse which can sometimes weigh about 20 pounds depending on what I am carrying. Anything I can do to lighten my burden is advised…I would start with removing all pennies.

You do make a point though. Pennies do have a value. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of them grouped together to prove it. I suppose if you were kicking in a penny here and a penny there, it could add up. My advice is to put a penny jar out. That way, you are not having to put your own money in if you don’t want to. I can assure you, the pennies will appear as long as people are annoyed by them. You will find three or four pennies being thrown in at a time. I have even heard of people throwing pennies away, so your penny jar will seem like a better resting place for them.

A word of advice for everyone though would be to start saving your pennies. Be one of those people who saves spare change in an old water jug for their whole life and manages to buy an island. Maybe an island is an exaggeration, but you know what I mean.


Good luck,

Mary Pat