The Penny Tray Project


Theme from the Creature Shock videogame

"What the heck is this?" I hear you ask. Then again, it could just be the voices in my head. Heh heh. Seriously, though—I've been working in convenience stores for several years now, and I've seen so much change dumped into the evil plastic tray on the counter. I see it as a sign of our human weakness towards spending. Most average humans who live from paycheck to paycheck do so for a reason—we spend within our means. If we get a big promotion/raise in our work, we just spend more. With a mindset geared towards spending and not saving, it's no wonder people ignore the lowly penny and throw it away.

There's a nice saying that still applies today: "A penny saved is a penny earned." I'm here to prove that. I applaud all of you who pocket your pennies—you're smarter for doing it. The only exceptions are the people who show up when I'm trying to work with a jar full of small change. Maybe I'll create a convenience store rant page in the future, but please—use your change as you get it! If you can't, at least roll it up before you come to me in the middle of nicotine withdrawal.

The whole idea of this webpage is to show how much money people are throwing away at my store over the course of a year. This project started on a Friday night: 8/25/2000. My store is small, and on the quiet side of my town. This is not an "Interstate Store," truck stop, or anything. It's just a dinky little place. I don't suppose you might be a clerk in a more populated area? Perhaps you could try this too. Heh heh.

There are rules—because that tray is there and I don't want to completely obstruct its functionality. Besides, this is an experiment.

  1. Anything over 4˘ appearing in the tray is removed, saved, and recorded here.
  2. If someone tosses a coin larger than a penny, it is converted to pennies if needed.
  3. If a purchase takes 1 or 2˘ to round up to the next nickle, I'll use it from the tray if it's there.
  4. If a purchase takes 1-4˘ to round up to the next dollar, ditto.
  5. Change under the counter, on the floor, or in the parking lot does not count! Anything found goes either in my pocket or the cash register, depending on where it was.
DayDateAmountRunning
total
Comments
Fri8/2557˘57˘Would have been 92˘, but stoner kids got to it first.
Sat8/2672˘$1.29First dollar—I'm on my way to being a millionaire!
Sun8/2739˘$1.68 
Mon8/2840˘$2.08Two bucks in four days. Maybe it's a North Dakota thing?
Thu8/30$1.02$3.10 
Fri9/1$2.50$5.60A nice round number and a couple of generous customers!
Sat9/2$5.67Pretty slow for a Saturday night.
Sun9/3$5.67Hmm. I thought Labor Day weekend would be busier.
Mon9/443˘$6.10 
Thu9/745˘$6.55 
Fri9/8$1.57$8.12Very busy night.
Sat9/926˘$8.38 
Sun9/10$8.45 
Mon9/11$3.00$11.45All but 7˘ came from one person—I kid you not!
Thu9/1413˘$11.58Would have been 14˘, but there was a 1940-D Penny. ;-)
Fri9/1534˘$11.92 
Sat9/1627˘$12.19 
Sun9/17$12.23 
Mon9/18$12.23 
Thu9/2152˘$12.75 
Fri9/2235˘$13.10 
Sat9/23$1.15$14.25 
Sun9/24$1.24$15.49 
Mon9/2546˘$15.95Wow. $15.95 in one month, much more than I expected!
Thu9/2813˘$16.08 
Fri9/2912˘$16.20 
Sat9/3038˘$16.58 
Sun10/114˘$16.72 
Mon10/2$16.80 
Thu10/514˘$16.94 
Fri10/6$17.02 
Sat10/784˘$17.86 
Sun10/8$17.87I found more in the parking lot than in the tray. Heh heh.
Mon10/912˘$17.99 
Thu10/1212˘$18.11 
Fri10/1316˘$18.27 
Sat10/1426˘$18.53 
Sun10/15$18.61 
Mon10/16$18.65 
Thu10/1937˘$19.02 
Fri10/2038˘$19.40 
Sat10/21$1.63$21.03Drunk people in a hurry—gotta love 'em!
Sun10/22$1.16$22.19 
Mon10/2393˘$23.12 
Wed10/25$1.15$24.27Called in to work. D`oh!
Thu10/2612˘$24.39 
Fri10/2728˘$24.67 
Sat10/2821˘$24.88 
Sun10/29$24.92 
Mon10/3013˘$25.05 
Thu11/217˘$25.22 
Fri11/360˘$25.82 
Sat11/418˘$26.00 
Sun11/5$26.00 
Mon11/6$26.08 
Tue11/7$26.08Big snowstorm, called in, no change to be found.
Thu11/932˘$26.40 
Fri11/1043˘$26.83 
Sat11/11$1.25$28.08 
Sun11/1229˘$28.37 
Wed11/15$1.35$29.72 
Thu11/1615˘$29.87 
Fri11/1746˘$30.33 
Sat11/1811˘$30.44Winter is official—the frozen wind from hell has started!
Sun11/19$30.52 
Tue11/21$30.52 
Thu11/2319˘$30.71 
Fri11/2467˘$31.38 
Mon11/27$31.44 
Tue11/28$31.44 
Wed11/2932˘$31.76 
Thu11/30$1.85$33.61 
Fri12/145˘$34.06 
Sat12/224˘$34.30 
Sun12/3$2.02$36.32 
Mon12/412˘$36.44 
Thu12/7$1.02$37.46 
Fri12/8$37.51 
Sat12/9$37.53 
Sun12/10$37.57 
Mon12/11$37.62Very slow lately—it was -16°F this night!
Thu12/1437˘$37.99 
Fri12/15$38.04 
Sat12/1659˘$38.63 
Sun12/17$38.71 
Mon12/1812˘$38.83 
Thu12/2135˘$39.18 
Fri12/2290˘$40.08 
Sat12/2337˘$40.45 
Sun12/24$40.46Big crowd, one penny. We were the only place open!
Mon12/25$40.47Another day, another penny.
Thu12/2830˘$40.77 
Fri12/29$40.81 
Sun12/31$2.11$42.92Happy new year, century, and millennium!
Mon1/1$42.99 
Tue1/2$43.05 
Thu1/490˘$43.95 
Fri1/512˘$44.07 
Sat1/649˘$44.56 
Sun1/7$44.56 
Mon1/821˘$44.77 
Thu1/1122˘$44.99 
Fri1/1287˘$45.86 
Sat1/13$1.37$47.23 
Sun1/1436˘$47.59 
Mon1/1524˘$47.83 
Thu1/1811˘$47.94 
Fri1/1965˘$48.59 
Sat1/2015˘$48.74 
Sun1/2125˘$48.99 
Mon1/2227˘$49.26 
Wed1/2459˘$49.85 
Fri1/2623˘$50.08Oooooh... perfect day to break the fifty mark! $50 in 5 months.
Sat1/2734˘$50.42 
Sun1/2818˘$50.60 
Mon1/2919˘$50.79 
Thu2/159˘$51.78 
Fri2/2$51.79 
Sat2/318˘$51.97 
Sun2/4$52.00 
Thu2/855˘$52.55 
Fri2/928˘$52.83 
Sat2/1021˘$53.04 
Sun2/1120˘$53.24 
Mon2/1252˘$53.76 
Thu2/1547˘$54.23 
Fri2/16$54.23 
Sat2/1733˘$54.56 
Sun2/18$54.65 
Mon2/1918˘$54.83 
Thu2/2229˘$55.12 
Fri2/2323˘$55.35 
Sat2/2413˘$55.48 
Sun2/2524˘$55.72 
Mon2/2665˘$56.37 
Thu3/140˘$56.77 
Fri3/223˘$57.00 
Sat3/339˘$57.39 
Sun3/410˘$57.49 
Mon3/527˘$57.76 
Thu3/846˘$58.22 
Fri3/918˘$58.40 
Sat3/1035˘$58.75 
Sun3/1135˘$59.10 
Mon3/1215˘$59.25 
Thu3/15$59.32Tons of customers, but so few pennies…
Fri3/1617˘$59.49 
Sat3/1719˘$59.68 
Sun3/18$59.68 
Mon3/1920˘$59.88 
Wed3/2137˘$60.25 
Fri3/2312˘$60.37 
Mon3/2638˘$60.75 
Tue3/2717˘$60.92 
Wed3/2831˘$61.23 
Thu3/2911˘$61.34 
Fri3/3033˘$61.67 
Sat3/3112˘$61.79 
Sun4/115˘$61.94 
Wed4/417˘$62.11 
Thu4/5$62.19 
Fri4/638˘$62.57 
Sat4/720˘$62.77 
Sun4/853˘$63.30 
Mon4/954˘$63.84 
Thu4/12$5.11$68.95$5.00 of that was a tip!
Fri4/1321˘$69.16 
Sat4/1436˘$69.52 
Sun4/1511˘$69.63 
Mon4/16$69.71 
Thu4/1965˘$70.36 
Fri4/20$2.51$72.87Yay! More tips!
Sat4/21$2.07$74.94Playing heavy metal behind the counter pays. Heh heh.
Sun4/2237˘$75.31 
Mon4/2335˘$75.66 
Thu4/26$1.19$76.85 
Fri4/2776˘$77.61 
Sat4/2846˘$77.61 
Sun4/2923˘$77.84 
Mon4/3019˘$78.03 
Thu5/322˘$78.25 
Fri5/464˘$78.89 
Sat5/5$78.89 
Sun5/615˘$79.04 
Mon5/781˘$79.85 
Thu5/1065˘$80.50 
Fri5/11$1.71$82.21 
Sat5/12$82.26 
Sun5/13$82.34 
Mon5/1496˘$83.30 
Thu5/1732˘$83.62 
Fri5/18$1.29$84.91 
Sat5/1942˘$85.33 
Sun5/2047˘$85.80 
Mon5/2119˘$85.99 
Thu5/2434˘$86.33 
I've been promoted to assistant manager and work on the day/swing shift—whoopy!
Sat5/2640˘$86.73So far, so good.
Sun5/27$86.80 
Mon5/28$86.80 
Tue5/29$86.85 
Mon6/4$86.88 
Tue6/525˘$87.13 
Wed6/636˘$87.49 
Thu6/7$1.10$88.59 
Sat6/9$88.68 
Sun6/1063˘$89.31 
Tue6/1274˘$90.05 
Wed6/1361˘$90.66 
Mon6/1850˘$91.16 
Tue6/19$91.23 
Wed6/2033˘$91.56 
Thu6/2164˘$92.20 
Sat6/2310˘$92.30 
Sun6/2465˘$92.95 
Mon6/2555˘$93.50 
Tue6/2654˘$94.04 
Mon7/2$94.04 
Tue7/3$1.14$95.18 
Wed7/439˘$95.57 
Thu7/5$2.61$95.57Bartenders are some of the coolest customers. ~~>;-}
Sat7/7$95.57 
Sun7/8$95.61 
Mon7/981˘$96.42 
Tue7/1053˘$96.95 
Mon7/1625˘$97.20 
Tue7/1719˘$97.39 
Wed7/1826˘$97.65 
Thu7/1956˘$98.21 
I had a vacation, and now I'm split between day and graveyard shift—
it shouldn't make too much of a difference.
Sun7/2952˘$98.73 
Mon7/3036˘$99.09 
Tue7/3110˘$99.19 
Wed8/110˘$99.29 
Thu8/251˘$99.80 
Fri8/327˘$100.07Broke $100whooooo!
Sat8/4$100.16 
Mon8/619˘$100.35 
Tue8/754˘$100.89 
Sat8/11$100.93 
Sun8/1238˘$101.31 
Mon8/13$101.40 
Tue8/1432˘$101.72 
Thu8/1653˘$102.25 
Sat8/1829˘$102.54 
Sun8/19$102.54 
Mon8/2054˘$103.08 
Tue8/2168˘$103.76 

"Oh, and what will you do with all this money?" I hear some of you cry. Well, it was an employee bonus—I treated everyone to two Papa Murphy's pizzas, two from Pizza Hut, and mineral sodas all around. Later, the "Slush Fund" financed a birthday party for the other assistant manager in the store!

I think it was a few pennies well-spent.


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