Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sales Joke of the Day (January 19) The Drive Thru.

After visiting a friend in the hospital, the salesman decided to stop by a fast-food drive-through for lunch.  He ordered the #1 combo (hamburger, fries, and a coke) for $4.29... no biggie size.

When confirming my order, the clerk said, "Your total is $4.83, please drive forward."

"$4.83?" the salesman thought, "for a $4.29 meal? That's 54 cents tax! That can't be right."

The salesman's mind quickly began to calculate... tax is 8 cents on the dollar, and with $4.29 that would be 35 cents max.  The salesman had heard about workers overcharging drive through customers and skimming the money for themselves, so he was beginning to get suspicious.

The salesman then got a pen and paper and did the long division (since there were 2 cars ahead of him). 483 divided by 429... He had been charged over 12 percent tax!   When he got to the window he handed the clerk a 5 and asked, "Do you know what the sales tax is here?"

The clerk didn't know.  The salesman said, "$4.83 for a $4.29 meal is 12 percent tax. That can't be right--can I talk to the manager?" The clerk gave the salesman his change and called the manager.

When the manager came over, the salesman asked,  "What is the sales tax?"

The manager replied,  "It was 8 percent." 

"I just paid $4.83 for a $4.29 meal--that's over 12 percent sales tax" the salesman exclaimed.

The manager got a funny look on her face and said that maybe the computer had rung it up wrong or had charged the salesman for the biggie size (even though the biggie upgrade was 35 cents--which would put the total over $5).

The manager quickly checked the figures, and when coming to the same conclusion as the salesman, she opened the drawer and gave him his additional change.

"Good job!" the salesman thought to himself.   "All my wonderful education has heightened my mental mathematical adeptness so that I can do percentages in my head, and my superior intellect has foiled a feeble attempt by a drive-through worker to overcharge me."

The salesman took the twenty cents the manager handed him and, proud of his staggering genius, smugly drove off... without his food.

Moral of the story.  True sales professionals know that in order to be successful at sales they need to be exacting at mathematics, but to be successful at any single transaction you must never let an obsession with numbers cloud your judgment or diminish your ability to execute.

"Obvious is the most dangerous word in mathematics."     -  E.T. Bell