Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sonic Taught Me How to Do Math

Photo Credit
When I was in elementary school, math was my strongest subject. I won many of the "around the world" challenges (remember those?) and I could breeze through a multiplication table, no problem. Once I hit algebra in sixth grade, however, my happy days with math were over. It never came easily to me ever again.

My strengths in English and writing ultimately contributed to my chosen major, public relations. My degree only required six hours of math, so I was done after freshman year. Unfortunately for me, real life requires a lot more math than you think. I became so rusty at using math I could barely calculate the tip to leave at a restaurant. I often had to use my phone calculator, which was pretty embarrassing.

All of this changed one summer when I worked for Sonic Drive-In as a carhop. You wouldn't think being a carhop required much math, but it was my responsibility to give correct change to customers. At first, I was terrified. I couldn't calculate tips in low-pressure situations, much less high-pressure situations when the customer was trying to leave as soon as possible!!! Fortunately, Sonic helps its carhops by putting the amount to the nearest dollar on the receipt. That way, the amount of change you give the customer (the hardest part to calculate) is already done for you. Once I started using math every day with this handy trick, it became much easier to do math in other situations. I no longer had to use my phone calculator in a restaurant!

Math is still not my strongest subject, but working with Sonic gave me the self-confidence to at least try. Thank you, Sonic!