Plastic, not paper please

I'm sort of baffled by all of the women who apparently still think that purchasing things with checks is anything other than silly and archaic. Today, 3 separate women attempted to make purchases at Carrabbas' using checks.

WTF? They all seriously looked at me like I had lobsters crawling out of my ears when I told them, "Umm, actually, we don't take checks." Just looks of utter bewilderment. Where are these women shopping, that they can still write checks? Most businesses have signs somewhere visible near the register stating, "Checks no longer accepted."

There is nothing worse than going to the grocery store (which most, unfortunately, still accept checks) and getting stuck behind some old crone, or a middle aged woman with 6 kids and a dumptruck sized cart full of cheese hot dogs and mini pizzas, filling out a check, and balancing her checkbook. For goodness sakes, get with the times. Use a plastic card. Or cash, if you don't trust yourself with plastic.

I've heard people argue that it makes them nervous to let a waiter take their card away, for fear that they could write down the credit card number. This is somehow less scary than leaving a check with ALL YOUR INFORMATION at locations scattered about the planet. Think about it--your name, address, bank account number, and often times your phone number and drivers license, (since most places don't trust idiots to not bounce checks.) All you're really leaving out is your birth day, cup size, and social security number.

Why do women seem to be the ones still using checks? I have never seen a man use one, not for years (leaving out business checks.) Today, a woman came in to buy a huge vat of ice cream. She wanted to pay with a check. I informed her that we don't accept them. She looked at me like I was the largest asshole in the region, gave an exasperated sigh, a slight head shake, and stated that "I've always used them before."


Not on my watch.

So she then got out her phone, called who I assumed was her husband, and was apparently informed that she was allowed to use one of those weird plastic cards. I guess maybe her husband doesn't think she is a big enough girl to pay with something that takes mere moments to transact. She then told me, upon handing me the card, to "run it as credit." So I ran it like I run every other card, with no idea whether or not it was going to go through as a credit or debit transaction.


I understand people using checks to pay bills via snail mail. I even understand paying said bills, or maybe rent with a check, hoping that it won't go through or be cashed for a few days, because you are waiting for a paycheck to come through. Or something. But for heavens sakes, paying with a check, and upon failure, a credit card for a 25 gallon bucket of ice cream is everything that is wrong with this country. I'd hardly say that a vat of Blue Bell vanilla falls under the category of "essential," albeit damn delicious.

Stop using checks. It is an annoying, pointless practice. I have managed to get through about 4 years on fewer than 10 or so checks. And somehow, the world has not ended, I have not fallen into financial ruin, and no Nigerians have managed to steal my identity.

If there happens to be any good reason besides having a carbon copy record of everything you ever purchase for owning a checkbook, I'd sure like to know what it is. And just why it seems to be mainly women clinging to such an obnoxious financial relic.


Taren said...

It's about time somebody said it! ALWAYS a woman, and frankly - I'd like to know what planet they're living on. The debit vs. credit thing always gets me too -- they're DIFFERENT cards! Know which one you're using for goodness sake.

Sigh... people.

Taren said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lyns said...

Checks are so annoying. I HATE getting behind somebody in line that is using a check. Even more so, I hated being a cashier when a customer used a check. Misery. I have to say though, that I had PLENTY of old men using checks. Just sayin . . . . By the way, I can't wait until you're the one in line buying hot dogs and mini pizzas for your kids. It'll happen. By the way, I don't buy cheese hot dogs or mini pizzas. And I don't use checks. :)

Amy said...

Really? There is nothing worse than getting in line behind someone using a check? Give the old women a break! Someday you'll be trying to pay with a debit card and someone will be rolling their eyes at you.

manda said...

not that i am a proponent of checks, but i have a reason for the fact that it is mostly and mostly women who have to check with their husbands to do otherwise, and also it is mostly older women. so, up until about 10 years ago the common method of grocery payment, restaurant payment, etc was by check, and because men are inherently against running errands and going to the store, the wife, or women were most commonly the shoppers, while [don't hate me for misogynist thinking] the husbands or men were often the income of the household. so what i am saying is that many women have not changed to the trend of using plastic because of a habit of check writing. but i am not at all fond of it, and i see the ability to change in my mother, who is all about plastic and swipe swipe out of the store in ten seconds flat.

Kim . . . h2k family blog said...

I can't wait for the day i can walk into the clerks office and swipe my card for tithing and walk out . . . just wait I am sure it is coming.

Anonymous said...

@Taren, actually there is a difference in the way the cards are run. For instance if you don't want to put in your pin number, you can run your debit card as credit. Also @author: I believe the machine at your work runs the cards as credit (as I think do all machines which don't have an option). Also, who knows why that woman called her husband(?). Maybe they had agreed to only use that card in absolute emergencies (credit problems, perhaps?), in which case a call would certainly be expected. Anyway, I like your writing.

Dave said...

your checks dont have your cup size? weird.