And now, I have one more really stupid and antiquated retail ritual that should be summarily banned... writing checks at retail outlets. I realized this yesterday while waiting to check out at a crafts store. The offending shopper had two items that could not have totaled 15 dollars, and she proceeded to write a check. This required:
- Digging through her purse to find her checkbook and a pen.
- Filling out the check - date, name of store, total purchase price and signature.
- Handing the check to the clerk, who then asked for the customer's driver's license.
- Said customer digging through purse again to find said license.
- Clerk writing the customer's driver's license number on said check.
- Clerk entering several numbers from said check into the cash register.
- Clerk running the check through some check-accepting doohickey machine thingy.
- Clerk printing a receipt and handing it to said customer.
Total transaction time: something like four hours.
After that purchase was completed, the cashier scanned my 18 dollar item, and I gave her a 20 dollar bill. She handed me back two dollars and a receipt, and I was out the door before the check writing lady, who was still putting her checkbook and license away!
My God, people! Have you ever heard of debit cards? They provide the same service as checks, cost nothing and take up much less time!
I am generally not a sexist type of guy, but this check-writing mess really is kind of a chick thing... primarily, I think, for two reasons. First - because women carry purses, and therefore have a place to carry a checkbook... and secondly, because they picked up the practice from their stay-at-home mothers, whose only convenient access to money in the days before ATMs was by writing a check at the grocery store, and padding it to get some extra cash back.
Well ladies, welcome to the 21st Century! Your moms burned their bras... How about doing us all a favor and try burning your checkbooks? I thank you!