Saturday, December 09, 2006

Why the world needs better math teachers

This is a long video. But it is worth listening to the end. You just won't believe it until you hear it. Basically, this man is trying to explain to Verizon customer service representatives that he has been overcharged - because they quoted him a price of 0.002 CENTS per KB and then charged him 0.002 DOLLARS per KB. And evidently this is way too hard for any of the supervisors and managers to understand. :)


slowlane said...

My mom (a math teacher) had a similar conversation with a cashier about why 10 x 4.99 was NOT 49.99. The cashier actually handed the calculator to my mom so that she could do the calculation herself. I have never previously seen my mom use a calculator to multiply by 10, and even so, she had to point out each individual number to show that it wasn't 49.99.

And then the cashier had to do it again for herself to double check my mom.


Sarah said...

Nathan and I listened to the whole thing... and then listened to "highlights" again! We like the part where the girl says, "Obviously we have a difference of opinion," as if math is this vague values-based thing concerning which everyone can form their own subjective opinion. Hah!

Anytime I pay in cash and add a penny or a nickel to make my change work out more nicely, unless I'm at a place where the employees enter the amount I give them into the cash register, I am met with blank stares. "Wait, it's $13.26. You can just give me the 20; I don't need the penny." Riiight.

Libby said...

Wow. That's pretty amazing. I'm going to ask my 5th graders about that. They're not leaving my class without understanding place value!