So, I’m a smart girl. Despite my career choice, I am a huge nerd – straight A’s, AP classes, went to summer school to get required courses out of the way so I could take more AP classes during the school year, got a ridiculous high score on my LSATs. (why did someone not seriously discuss that I would have a way cuter wardrobe a lot more money and way less “what am I doing with my life” confusion if I had just gone to law school instead of deciding to live out a childhood dream?) Don’t get me wrong; I LOVE what I do, or probably more appropriately what I am TRYING to do, and I know many are envious of my courage to “follow my dream” and “pursue a career that I love” instead of rotting slowly in a cubicle…but for real, there are definitely days when I don’t want to put on spandex and try to kick my leg to my face in a room full of 100 sweaty girls all desperate to book a job dancing in a Sesame Street costume. But I digress…back to the point, I am or was a very smart girl. However, I have always had a slight achilles heel in the intellect department – math. I have never been any good at math. When I took my AP Calculus exam my senior year I passed solely because I wrote down every equation I could remember and solved for all of them so that if one happened to be right I would get partial credit – it worked. Until I got to college and had to take advanced level Statistics because I tested out of the intro classes…and then spent all 3 years (I graduated early) trying to pass that same Statistics class. NO bueno. And to think I actually had a work-study position tutoring 2nd graders in English and Math. In my old age I have come to terms with my blemished intelligence. I proudly and slowly add single digit numbers on my fingers, use my tip calculator religiously, and stare blankly when people talk about numbers, percentages or anything math related. *This information will be useful later.
I recently booked my first role in a Musical Theatre production. It’s a pretty well known community theatre in Jersey, but the director is a hugely known and respected casting director out of NYC, so even though it’s an unpaid production, I’m really excited to get a chance to work with him and be able to put a solid musical theatre credit on my resume. We had our first rehearsal on Sunday, and since it is a community theatre with a low budget, before the rehearsal we were sent the script and sheet music to print out ourselves. Since we don’t have a printer in the house, and I was in the city on Saturday for an audition anyways, I popped into good old FedEx to print it out. I printed the script no problem, then when I went to print out the sheet music it stopped halfway through. I was tired and cranky, and walked up to the front counter to get some help. The girl came to the printer, put in more paper, and it still wouldn’t print. So we went back to the front where she pulled up my charges, credited me for the unprinted pages and gave me five minutes of free time to hop back on the computer to print the music again. I was on my way back to the computer when I looked at my receipt and realized I had been charged for single sided pages but had printed double sided. So I marched back to the counter and asked if she could also credit me the overcharge. She then responded that there is no discount for the double sided. To which I responded, well on the computer it says that it is one price for single sided and another for double, so I specifically printed double sided so that it would be cheaper. She told me that as far as she knew there was no discount and if I wanted to get a refund I would have to come back on Monday to speak with a manager. I was getting annoyed and said if it is the same price it shouldn’t be listed as cheaper for double sided on the computer. I also told her that I didn’t believe that there was no shit supervisor or on duty manager. She admitted that there was a shift supervisor but that he wouldn’t do anything either…I told her I wanted to speak with him anyways. So she goes over and explains the situation, then he comes over and says I don’t understand. So yet again, I explain, even admitting that I realize it’s only a couple of cents per page, but when you are printing 170 pages it adds up. And I repeated yet again what I had been saying all along…on the computer it specifically says that it is 49 cents for single sided but only 98 cents for double sided. He stared at me blankly. I said well…and he said you do realize there is no discount. Again I repeated, well then why does it say double sided is only 98 cents right on the computer. Again,blank stare, silence, then he said, 49 cents times 2 IS 98 cents. It is the same price. I said oh. And marched back to the computer to finish printing my sheet music, vowing to never complain about being overcharged again – unless I first verify with a calculator.
I really hope our children are magically good at math, because I surely will be of no help to them. Or maybe I will be able to learn a little something the second time around as I struggle through their homework with them. I hear there have been a lot of studies on how traditional teaching methods in math don’t adequately cater to the learning style of female students. Maybe that is why I have such lacking skills. Perhaps by the time my kids are learning, they will have found better ways and I could learn a thing or two…or everything.