Advice for Checkwriters in line at the store (a topic that always needs rehashing)

This post is intended for the family and friends of people who still write checks for their purchases at the grocery store. I assume that anyone who is still writing checks at a store also have not heard of the internet. So, pass this on. Print it out, and put it up on the fridge of the checkwriting fools.

I like George Bush, but if he took forever to write a check I would give him the evil eye. Although that would never happen because Barbara does all the shopping.

There is no law prohibiting a customer in line at a store from filling out their check payment slip with as much possible information readily available to them. You know – the DATE and the name of the STORE.

The other day I was in line at a grocery store and in front of me was an OLD lady. That’s right – ‘OLD lady.’ I said it.  They exist and I don’t mind mentioning that someone is OLD, and that BEING OLD is partly responsible for POOR CHECK WRITING MANNERS.  How many young people do you see hold their checkbook throughout their entire wait in line, only to begin filling out the check once everything is rung up and the total is provided.

The OLD lady at the store, the one in front of me, seemed nice enough. It was a Saturday. As we all know, people over 90 are quite busy during the week – Saturday is their time to catch up on shit they didn’t get done, I guess. I’m in line, waiting for the clerk to process the coupons for the OLD lady, and answer her questions about God knows what. Only when the total is given did the OLD lady set her check book down and begin writing.  Maybe she needed the little narrow table to write out the bank I.O.U. I don’t know. But I do know this: OLD ladies purposely take FOREVER to fill out a check while in public. These are the same jokers who can play along with Wheel of Fortune and who can whip up dinners for 12 in no time flat. They know what they’re doing. Whatever happens at age 80, some sort of perverse thrill is had by OLD people in taking their sweet time completing certain tasks. Driving among them.  Writing a check at a pace slower than a snail is one of those small pleasures for them.  They love it. As an OLD, they know their time is limited and that everyone else is in a hurry. Damn them, they say, I’ll take control of this show and slow IT ALL DOWN!!  And they do. Like when your anti-virus software turns on to UPDATE and your computer slows to a crawl.

The OLD lady completed her check in just under 3 minutes.  There are only 4 lines on a check (Date, Payee, Amount, Signature; five if you count the Memo field, which perhaps is the problem. At least she had a ballpoint pen and not a pen and ink jar circa 1779. When she asked the clerk what the date was for that day, I rolled my eyes a million times, hoping the security cameras would catch my impatience and call a CODE RED, all cashiers to the front ALARM. They did not.  OLD lady, I thought, you could have filled in the DATE this morning. You left the house with a mission: get your hair done and go to the store. The date was probably on your countertop in BIG LETTERS!  You probably read the DATE on the newspaper masthead at 5:30 am in the morning. You get up SUPER EARLY so you should know the DATE since you’ve been up longer than any of us!!

Finally, the OLD lady finished her check and left – I wished everyone around me a Happy Birthday because I was sure that while in line someone had turned a new age.  I suspect that by the time I arrived home ten minutes, she was just pulling out of the store’s parking lot.

OLD and YOUNG People LISTEN: you have every right to write a check for your purchase. But please, please, please – while standing in line, feel free to fill out the DATE, STORE, SIGNATURE – do it for no other reason than that it is in the Patriot Act.

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