Woman says young Chipotle worker didn’t know how to take payment in cash

@anztolk/TikTok Electric Egg Ltd./Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘Do you want the pennies back?’: Woman says young Chipotle worker didn’t know how to take payment in cash

'No one knows how to deal with cash anymore.'


Sarah Conklin


Posted on Mar 21, 2024   Updated on Mar 21, 2024, 3:07 pm CDT

Is cash a thing of the past?

One customer’s recent experience at Chipotle has her thinking so.

TikToker @anztolk opened her video by talking directly to the camera as she’s seated in a car.

The TikToker recounted, “So I just went to Chipotle, and I paid in cash. And when the cashier was handing me back my change, she goes, ‘Do you want the pennies back?’” 

The creator assumed the change was literal pennies. “I thought like my change was 3 cents,” she said in her video, which was viewed over 30,000 times.

But when @anztolk looked at the screen on the register, she saw that her change was $7.77. The cashier handed her only $7 back, leading @anztolk to believe the worker was referring to the 77 cents as “pennies.” 

The customer said her confusion was apparent on her face, and she said the cashier repeated: “’Do you want the pennies back, or no?'”

She said she was so confused that she left Chipotle without her change. 

“I just don’t understand why no one knows how to deal with cash anymore. So odd to me,” she said to viewers. 

Her caption added: “Literally every time I try to pay [with] cash [somewhere] and the employee is younger than me they can’t figure it out.”

@anztolk Literally every time i try to pay wirh cash somewher and the employee is younger than me they can’t figure it out 😅 #pennypinching ♬ original sound – Anztolk

Viewers related to her experience. TikToker @strangedaze27 said that a teenage worker once asked them how much a dime was worth. Another commenter, @nellbells420, said they paid their $67 tab with $100, and a worker handed them back $20—which is $13 short.

“Omg! I bought a balloon at Disneyland that was $20, handed the guy a $50 bill and he immediately turned to his partner and said he was bad at math and didn’t know how much to give me back!” A third viewer shared. 

“How do these people get hired,” the creator replied.

One reason for the confusion might be the decline in cash payments post pandemic. A New York Times article from 2022 projected cash might soon be obsolete. “Digital payments, made with the swipe of a card or a few taps on a cellphone, are fast becoming the norm,” the article claimed.

Commenters also remarked on the cashless trend. “That’s be cause no pays in cash. I work retail and my of my transactions are cards or cash apps,” @nacir914 wrote.

Others speculated that the worker wanted to keep the change for the store’s tip jar. “Honestly I’m sure they don’t get paid much so she can have it but it was just handled in such an odd way,” the creator said in response to the speculation.

In response to concerns that the school system is failing young people, one commenter assured viewers that dealing with money is still in the curriculum in their child’s school.

“I didn’t understand either- my 1st grader has been learning this stuff for like 6 months- he’s got it, but they are still teaching it- so, no excuses” they wrote. 

The Daily Dot reached out to Chipotle via email and to @Anztolk via TikTok message.

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*First Published: Mar 21, 2024, 8:00 pm CDT