How to deal with large and small numbers

Big numbers can be intimidating. Some people are more comfortable talking, instead, about small numbers. Here’s an example.

In this video, called “Commission Meeting Million Dollar error Sept-23-2009“, a woman identified as Mrs. Carter asks two questions. Here’s a partial transcript:

MRS. CARTER: “There were two things that were brought up at the budget committee meeting, that you did not bring up tonight. About the one million dollars that was missing.”

UNIDENTIFIED VOICE: “What was that?”

MRS. CARTER: “The one million dollars.”

OTHER UNIDENTIFIED VOICE: “… one million dollars…”

MRS. CARTER: “And then the other thing is about the four hundred fifty dollars that the county needs to pay me.”

The committee immediately launches into a detailed discussion about the bureaucratic steps that will have to be taken before the county can verify that it owes four hundred and fifty dollars. That discussion last five (5) minutes. Mrs. Carter interrupts it (around the 5:40 mark in this video) by saying:

MRS. CARTER: “Wait a minute. Wait, they didn’t answer my question about the million dollars.

This is from Benton County, Tennessee.

BONUS: In the video, Mrs. Carter also tells the committee [around the 4:50 mark in this video]:

MRS. CARTER: “It’s okay if you don’t pay it. It’s okay. I just want it to be understood that I’m not trying to get something from the county that was not authorized.”