Writing Checks in a Debit Card World Means You’re in My Way.

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Checks are Cool.  20 years ago.Some of my blogs are educationally oriented. Some are simply idiotic theories that pass through my mind. Some are rants that allow me to release my anger before I do something foolish.

This one’s a rant.

Today I spent 7 hours at a store waiting in line to pay for liquid soap and paper towels.

Actually I am being dramatic; it wasn’t 7 hours, more like 6 hours and 57 minutes and 14 seconds.

The reason for my lengthy wait for cleaning/drying products?

The lady (and I use that term loosely) in the front of the line had to write 3 checks. I am not sure why she traveled forward in time to bother me on this particular morning, but she did.

She came straight from 1974 to jump right in front of me. “Her Slowness” decided to split her purchases into; business products, personal products for her, and personal products for her equally as slow sidekick (husband).

These two were obviously going out of their way to bring the progress of the checkout line to a complete halt. And I must admit they were quite successful.

“Her Slowness” accomplished this by taking her sweet time in writing 3 checks. I guess she didn’t notice me staring at her, or my new 14 friends (nothing brings people together like a common enemy) in line behind us doing the same.

As I stood in line, annoyed, I realized three things:

1.) This couple must be unbelievably organized to separate their purchases into 3 groups.
2.) Her penmanship must be extraordinary because of the time she puts into every letter.
3.) My attention span/patience is getting shorter by the day.

On my way home, I thought maybe I could turn a bad situation into something positive.

So, I have decided to share my first financial tip of the New Year; it is 2008 people, lose the checkbook and get a debit card.

Times are changing, so get on board or move out of the way. Especially if you are in line in front of me.

I think the world is at a place in time where tough decisions have to be made.

The question we must face; will we embrace advances in technology, or are we going to hang back with the past and get left behind?

It is a question as old as time: arrows vs. bullets, horses vs. cars, old people vs. Elvis, communism vs. democracy, typewriters vs. computers, and now checks vs. debit cards.

Checks are going to be hard to find in ten years, so join me in using those debit cards. Mainly because I don’t like to wait in line behind you (you know who you are).

They say the older you get the harder it becomes to embrace change.

I think this is true and it seems to happen all too often in education.

Just last week, I had a teacher (not one of mine) tell me that she was too old to change and learn about technology. Besides she would be retiring in only 9 short years.

I wonder if a student came to her class and said, “I am too old to learn subtraction. I am 7 years old and will be retiring in 58 years. Why should I go to the trouble of learning something new?”

Why don’t people like new things? Invariably, technology makes our lives easier and as we gain perspective and look back on the old ways; who wants to use arrows, drive a horse, listen to big band music, live in a communistic country, use that white corrective tape when you make a mistake using a typewriter, and most importantly waste my time writing checks.

So for the good of society and my mental health (and maybe your safety), get a debit card.

People have to realize that you can’t get stuck in the past. Life moves too fast.

I think I will go watch the Andy Griffith marathon. Barney always cheers me up.

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6 Responses to “Writing Checks in a Debit Card World Means You’re in My Way.”

  1. Cathy Nelson
    on Jan 20th, 2008
    @ 7:07 pm

    I feel your pain. Just like the grocery stores have created express lines and self-check-out lines, they should also create a line for written checks ONLY. Made me laugh! :)

  2. stark
    on Jan 21st, 2008
    @ 3:18 pm

    I can only pray that I will sometime soon end up in the line in front of you so I can whip out my checkbook! God forbid, if my mother, who is 83 comes with me since she too uses checks. She is slower than a snail at writing. You would probably have a coronary waiting on her. Maybe you just need to take a chill pill and learn to relax and be patient!!! Pretty funny reading. Where do you come up with these?

  3. kara harding
    on Jun 19th, 2008
    @ 6:20 am

    hi i need info on debit cards for school work.
    the info i need is why are they usefull and why are they not always good.

    please write back asap

  4. Safer Career Choice: School Administrator or Blogger? | PrincipalsPage The Blog
    on Mar 27th, 2009
    @ 7:17 pm

    [...] I guess I may be taking my life into my own hands by writing this. If this blog unexpectedly trails off at some point, I didn’t [...]

  5. shocked & awed
    on Jan 19th, 2010
    @ 8:25 am

    Really Mr. Smith? This is what troubles you? Individuals that are trying to be financially responsible and organized? Do you really think that you are so important that others should have to get out of your way? WOW!
    It would have helped had the check writers thought ahead and PRE filled the check to the retailer…sure it would. But they probably didn’t know how important you THINK you are.

    There are many reasons that checks remain a valuable form of payment. Try using your debit card to buy girl scout cookies from Susie down the street. Or is she too slow too? What about your donation to your church? Do you even go to church, or synogogue? People who write checks have higher account balances. Did you know that?

    I guess the time it takes you in line to find your debit card, wait for the cashier to push whatever buttons are need to accept your payment, you signing your slip, putting away your card in the right spot in your wallet organizer, and stuffing it back in pocket takes SO much less time. Hopefully your 15 seconds is well spent.

  6. Paul
    on Sep 15th, 2015
    @ 8:17 am

    I still use my checkbook at times, especially when I feel I’ve been a little too profligate with the debit card. I enjoy the act of writing the check. It really doesn’t take longer than using the debit card if you fill everything but the amount while waiting in line. However, some stores now make you jump through all sorts of I.d. hoops as if fraud were the only reason to write a check at the store in 2015. That is what really annoys me. I’m also really annoyed when they scan my check and hand it back to me. I don’t know why I’m annoyed, but I am.

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