Author Topic: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt  (Read 1043093 times)

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Diane AKA Traska

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5895 on: November 29, 2012, 08:50:53 AM »
Re: Tax not included in price.

The way sales tax is figured in the US isn't per item, it's per full order (on everything taxable, of course, some things are exempt.)  So including tax in the price isn't possible because sales tax doesn't work that way.
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FlyingBaconMouse

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5896 on: November 29, 2012, 08:53:46 AM »
I would probably interrupt the salesperson and say "No, it's $15. I know you're trying to make me think it's fourteen, but it's not. Are you going to let me talk to my partner, or shall I make this purchase somewhere else?"

Those "xx.99" prices are specifically meant to make you underestimate what you're spending, and if I'm making decisions, I want to make them with good information. That's aside from the politeness issue of interrupting my conversation with my companion. This isn't "excuse me, but that model doesn't come in green" after I say I want a green widget--that's actual information that I might find useful.

I've lived in the US all my life, but after just two months in England for a college program, I completely forgot about additional sales tax! Fortunately, my first time out shopping at home again was with my dad, so I could borrow the extra 50 cents I hadn't accounted for...  :-[

I also round up to the nearest $5 to include for taxes to make sure I have enough money before I check out.

The fact that taxes aren't included in prices in the US made my head hurt when I visited NYC. I'd have figured out the price, and counted out the coins in order not to have to mess around with it at the register, and then be completely flummoxed when the price ended up being higher, and typically ending up breaking a note after all.

I've lived in the US all my life, but after just two months in England for a college program, I completely forgot about additional sales tax! Fortunately, my first time out shopping at home again was with my dad, so I could borrow the extra 50 cents I hadn't accounted for...  :-[
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Dindrane

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5897 on: November 29, 2012, 09:18:50 AM »
The thing that I find a little brain-hurty about prescriptions and doctor's visits is when insurance comes into play. I take a daily prescription medication, which requires an annual visit to my doctor to get a new prescription. So presumably, someone decided that the prescription would be good for exactly one year, but that would be no problem because I would also see my doctor once each year.

In reality, my doctor's office is really busy, and there are a limited number of times it is convenient for me to schedule an appointment. In addition, because of insurance rules, I must wait 365 days to see the doctor if I want it to be covered. If I schedule an appointment after 364 days, I'm out of luck. So that means that I really end up seeing my doctor 2 or 3 weeks later each time I schedule an appointment. I started out going to her in early February, and I'm now scheduling my appointments in March.

Fortunately, because the first doctor who prescribed me this medication gave me a few months of free samples, I've always had a bit extra in my supply. And my current doctor's office is willing to call in refills if need be, and doesn't seem to have any specific rules about how often they will do it (particularly if I actually have an appointment scheduled). And the pharmacy hasn't given me any grief so far about filling the last bit of my prescription a month or two after the expiration date.

But it still puzzles me that this whole system is set up so that the only way I could truly have an unbroken supply, have my appointments covered by insurance, and follow the official "X refills until" date is to see my doctor precisely once every 365 days. Even without scheduling issues, some of those days are weekends!


lowspark

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5898 on: November 29, 2012, 09:34:07 AM »
Re: Tax not included in price.

The way sales tax is figured in the US isn't per item, it's per full order (on everything taxable, of course, some things are exempt.)  So including tax in the price isn't possible because sales tax doesn't work that way.

The way it works here (Houston) is that if an item is taxable, it's taxed. If not then it isn't. For example, here in Texas, groceries aren't taxed, but shampoo is. So if you go to the grocery store and pick up a bunch of grapes and a bottle of shampoo, the whole order doesn't get taxed, only the shampoo does.

So yeah, if they wanted to, they could just mark the price of the shampoo as $1.08 instead of marking it $1.00 and then adding .08 tax. They don't do it that way, I'm guessing, because they never have. I would prefer it if they would just tell you the total amount owed from the get go instead of me having to add in the additional 8.25% we have here. (6.25% to the state of Texas, 1% to the City of Houston, 1% to the Metro mass transportation system).

However, once a year in August, shortly before school starts, they have a Tax Free Weekend where stores do not charge tax on clothing under $100 (per item) and certain school supplies such as back packs. So if the items were marked with the whole price including tax, I'm not sure how they'd be able to do this.

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5899 on: November 29, 2012, 09:51:44 AM »
Re: Tax not included in price.

The way sales tax is figured in the US isn't per item, it's per full order (on everything taxable, of course, some things are exempt.)  So including tax in the price isn't possible because sales tax doesn't work that way.

The way it works here (Houston) is that if an item is taxable, it's taxed. If not then it isn't. For example, here in Texas, groceries aren't taxed, but shampoo is. So if you go to the grocery store and pick up a bunch of grapes and a bottle of shampoo, the whole order doesn't get taxed, only the shampoo does.

So yeah, if they wanted to, they could just mark the price of the shampoo as $1.08 instead of marking it $1.00 and then adding .08 tax. They don't do it that way, I'm guessing, because they never have. I would prefer it if they would just tell you the total amount owed from the get go instead of me having to add in the additional 8.25% we have here. (6.25% to the state of Texas, 1% to the City of Houston, 1% to the Metro mass transportation system).

However, once a year in August, shortly before school starts, they have a Tax Free Weekend where stores do not charge tax on clothing under $100 (per item) and certain school supplies such as back packs. So if the items were marked with the whole price including tax, I'm not sure how they'd be able to do this.

But how does it work if you buy the grapes, the shampoo, some light bulbs, and a can opener?  The way it's worked in every state I've ever been in is that everything is totaled except the exempt stuff (the grapes), and that balance is taxed.  As for how they can do it, the cash registers are programmed in advance with what is exempt, and it simply computes [A-B]xC, where A is the total, B is the exempt, and C is the tax (7% would be 1.07, for example).  Even doing it by hand, it wouldn't be difficult to keep two running totals until the end, then apply the tax to one total, and add the other.
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RingTailedLemur

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5900 on: November 29, 2012, 10:04:32 AM »
I can't see how adding tax at the end makes anything any easier, it seems simpler to me to have the price you see be the price you pay.  If its based on percentages, it makes no difference to the total.

otterwoman

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5901 on: November 29, 2012, 10:11:45 AM »
Sometimes with the tax added on, the final total is not a round, to the penny, number. Then the computer will round off the total. If each item is rounded off individually, then the total of everything added together might be off by a bit much, either low or high. If you figure out the tax at the end, then there is only one number being rounded off.

Another reason, Native Americans are tax exempt. It's easier to tax exempt an entire order in one line rather than go through an entire order and tax exempt each line item.

Why, yes, I worked retail for many, many years...

Edited to change wording a tinsy bit.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2012, 10:34:18 AM by otterwoman »

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5902 on: November 29, 2012, 10:20:33 AM »
Sometimes with the tax added on, the final total is not a round, to the penny, number. Then the computer will round off the total. If each item is rounded off individually, then the total of everything added together might be off by a bit much, either low or high. If you figure out the tax at the end, then there is only one number being rounded off.

This, right here.  Tenths of a penny.
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Yarnspinner

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5903 on: November 29, 2012, 10:41:05 AM »
This just happened.  My immediate supervisor said "Just let it goooooo...."  and I am trying....but I figured I would share it here first.

My supervisor was actually the person who initiated the reference interview.  The patron wanted to read "professional journals."

Professional journals on what?

Professional journals.

What was it the patron wanted to learn about?

I just want to read professional journals so I can learn stuff.

About?

Just give me a list of your professional journals.

At that point, supervisor  had to take a phone call, leaving unmedicated me with the patron who insisted he wanted a list of all the professional journals available so he could read them all.

I explained about our electronic resources and showed him the list of 16000 journals available to him, but I also explained that he couldn't just click on a title and start reading, that he had to have a subject of interest.

I just want to start reading.

At this point, unmedicated me (yes, I left the house in a rush and forgot to take that which makes me less irritable...we call them my "Keep Patrons Alive Drugs")  says "Sir, you can read on any topic you want at any time.  But you can't just go to the first journal and start reading."

"Well I want to know everything."

My supervisor got back into the mix and told him that if what he is after (and it was) is to just start reading professional journals a - z, then we don't have what he is looking for as we are a public library and not a college library.  We offered him what we do have (JAMA, professional journals for librarians, and so forth....nope, he didn't want to read on a topic, he wanted everything. 

And walked away.

Now, here's the thing that's bothering me....I still don't know what it was he wanted to accomplish.  I asked him if he was looking to learn more about a specific profession, because I could get him information about differernt professions with books we had.  Nope.  Was there a topic relating to a specific profession? No.  What did he want to learn about?  Everything. 

Well, I wanted to point out to him that if he wanted to learn "everything" that he should just go to 001 on the bookshelf and start reading and keep going until he hits 999.999.  But apparently that wasn't as good a plan.

And now that I have told my story, I am going to assume the lotus position, do some "ohms" and see if I can let it go.....

lowspark

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5904 on: November 29, 2012, 10:49:56 AM »
Re: Tax not included in price.

The way sales tax is figured in the US isn't per item, it's per full order (on everything taxable, of course, some things are exempt.)  So including tax in the price isn't possible because sales tax doesn't work that way.

The way it works here (Houston) is that if an item is taxable, it's taxed. If not then it isn't. For example, here in Texas, groceries aren't taxed, but shampoo is. So if you go to the grocery store and pick up a bunch of grapes and a bottle of shampoo, the whole order doesn't get taxed, only the shampoo does.

So yeah, if they wanted to, they could just mark the price of the shampoo as $1.08 instead of marking it $1.00 and then adding .08 tax. They don't do it that way, I'm guessing, because they never have. I would prefer it if they would just tell you the total amount owed from the get go instead of me having to add in the additional 8.25% we have here. (6.25% to the state of Texas, 1% to the City of Houston, 1% to the Metro mass transportation system).

However, once a year in August, shortly before school starts, they have a Tax Free Weekend where stores do not charge tax on clothing under $100 (per item) and certain school supplies such as back packs. So if the items were marked with the whole price including tax, I'm not sure how they'd be able to do this.

But how does it work if you buy the grapes, the shampoo, some light bulbs, and a can opener?  The way it's worked in every state I've ever been in is that everything is totaled except the exempt stuff (the grapes), and that balance is taxed.  As for how they can do it, the cash registers are programmed in advance with what is exempt, and it simply computes [A-B]xC, where A is the total, B is the exempt, and C is the tax (7% would be 1.07, for example).  Even doing it by hand, it wouldn't be difficult to keep two running totals until the end, then apply the tax to one total, and add the other.

Each item that is taxable, the shampoo, light bulbs, and can opener, get a "TX" or some such notation next to them on the receipt so you can tell which items have been taxed. Then you get a total of all items before tax, then a total of the amount of tax you are being charged, then a total owed. I'm assuming that the tax on taxable items is figured on each item and summed, or that the taxable items are summed and the tax figured at the end. I don't know which of those ways the machines are programmed but I don't get separate totals of taxables & nontaxables itemized on my receipt.

Thipu1

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5905 on: November 29, 2012, 11:00:46 AM »
We had a reader like that who drove us nuts for years.

He wanted to read 'all the sacred texts in the world' and, made a promise that, if necessary, he would read every book in our library because we were 'hiding things' from him. 

At first, the uber-boss wanted us to indulge him.  Then, she saw him in action.

He brought in huge lists of several hundred titles.   The lists were illegible, scrawled over pages of text torn from books he had at home and almost completely random.  He assured us that there would be no problem because he could speed-read. However, he refused to use our on-line catalogue to find material that actually help him. 

After the third fully-loaded book truck came out of the stacks in two hours,  the uber-boss
started to notice the chaos.  Usually very indulgent, she had no choice but to shut him down. 

All the library staff breathed a sigh of relief at that. 

Lorelei_Evil

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5906 on: November 29, 2012, 11:09:53 AM »
So apparently he's a know it all and wants to prove it?

I can understand why those pills are quite useful.


CakeBeret

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5907 on: November 29, 2012, 11:11:50 AM »
Re: Tax not included in price.

The way sales tax is figured in the US isn't per item, it's per full order (on everything taxable, of course, some things are exempt.)  So including tax in the price isn't possible because sales tax doesn't work that way.

The way it works here (Houston) is that if an item is taxable, it's taxed. If not then it isn't. For example, here in Texas, groceries aren't taxed, but shampoo is. So if you go to the grocery store and pick up a bunch of grapes and a bottle of shampoo, the whole order doesn't get taxed, only the shampoo does.

So yeah, if they wanted to, they could just mark the price of the shampoo as $1.08 instead of marking it $1.00 and then adding .08 tax. They don't do it that way, I'm guessing, because they never have. I would prefer it if they would just tell you the total amount owed from the get go instead of me having to add in the additional 8.25% we have here. (6.25% to the state of Texas, 1% to the City of Houston, 1% to the Metro mass transportation system).

However, once a year in August, shortly before school starts, they have a Tax Free Weekend where stores do not charge tax on clothing under $100 (per item) and certain school supplies such as back packs. So if the items were marked with the whole price including tax, I'm not sure how they'd be able to do this.

But how does it work if you buy the grapes, the shampoo, some light bulbs, and a can opener?  The way it's worked in every state I've ever been in is that everything is totaled except the exempt stuff (the grapes), and that balance is taxed.  As for how they can do it, the cash registers are programmed in advance with what is exempt, and it simply computes [A-B]xC, where A is the total, B is the exempt, and C is the tax (7% would be 1.07, for example).  Even doing it by hand, it wouldn't be difficult to keep two running totals until the end, then apply the tax to one total, and add the other.

Here, they separate the items into categories, and tax each category.

Groceries subtotal $36.02 taxed at 5%
Alcohol subtotal $9.59 taxed at 10%
Consumer goods subtotal $12.91 are taxed at 7%

We don't have any tax exempt items, though.
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Shalamar

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5908 on: November 29, 2012, 11:30:24 AM »
I remember having a brain-hurting series of conversations when I was on maternity leave with my first daughter.  The way our unemployment insurance used to work (in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) was that there was no distinction made between "I'm claiming UI because I lost my job" and "I'm claiming UI because I'm on maternity leave."   So, I had to re-apply every two weeks, which was highly annoying.  Even more annoying was the fact that I had to go through this every time:

Government Employee:  Are you currently seeking employment?
Me*gesturing towards newborn baby*  Nope.
Government Employee:   Oh.  Right.

*two weeks later*

Government Employee:  Are you currently seeking employment?

Argh. 

Spring Water on Sundays

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5909 on: November 29, 2012, 11:35:13 AM »
What did he want to learn about?  Everything. 


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