After visiting a friend in the hospital, I recently decided to stop by a fast-food drive-through for lunch. I 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?" I thought, "for a $4.29 meal? That's 54 cents tax! That can't be right."

My mind quickly began to calculate... tax is 8 cents on the dollar in my city, and with $4.29 that would be 35 cents max. I have heard about workers overcharging drive through customers and skimming the money for themselves, so I was beginning to get suspicious.

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

The clerk didn't know. I 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 me my change and called the manager.

When the manager came over, I asked what the sales tax is in our city, and the manager said it was 8 percent. "I just just paid $4.83 for a $4.29 meal--that's over 12 percent sales tax" I said. The manager got a funny look on her face and said that maybe the computer had rung it up wrong or had charged me 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 myself, she opened the drawer and gave me my extra change.

"Good job!" I thought to myself. "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."

I took the twenty cents the manager handed me and, proud of my staggering genius, smugly drove off... without my food.

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.

He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he. -Proverbs 16:18

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