Well, I know I am asking for it with this post but here goes....
I have to disagree with you guys on this one. I agree with the point that it is annoying when young adults (?) don't know how to give change back and if that is part of your job you should know it hands down...However, as a certified teacher I do not think that they should be drilling it in school like we did. The fact is that by the time these kids are in the work force, they are gonna be using touchscreens and have a personal robot to give the change back. It is not a valuable use of our time to teach these basic skills anymore, there just isn't enough time in school to accomplish that and teach using computers/technology and higher level skills. If we want to compete in the world market this has to be the model for schools.
I don't think it requires much drilling or much time. I taught the kid in my original post how to count change in just a few short minutes.
My other concern about not teaching the basics is that who is going to engineer the robots and touch screens if nobody knows the basics. Sure they can arrive at the standard answers using lesser machines to build more complex machines, but those "aha! moments" and happy mistakes that have traditionally fuelled the creative process tend to happen in the shower or while half asleep etc., when the technology isn't at hand. A lot of the creative process tends to be related to knowing the subject matter intuitively.
Perhaps we need more class time, at least for older kids, since there is more subject matter now. Perhaps we need to evaluate things differently and give more credit for self-learning, freeing up valuable class time.