Feeling Old

Dec 22 2011 Published by under [Etc], Uncategorized

We finally got the hot water working a few weeks back, but the plumber noted that a filter in the back was clogged and sucking air. To fix this, the tank would be drained, the back accessed, and the filter cleaned or replaced, a process that will require 2 hours or a bit more. They asked me to call when that block of time would be convenient.

Today is that day. We had the first day's appointment set up so I could make it in for my afternoon clinic. Of course, someone had a major sewer drain emergency, and the plumber did not get to my place until 11. No problem, my son is home from college; he will be there to fill out the check.

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The check...There's the rub.

I filled out the date, plumbing service name, and signature. I left the checkbook where the sprog could easily remember it, and told him that all he had to do was fill in the amount.

Wait, Mom. To fill in the amount, I put the numbers one place and write it out on another line, right?

Yup, he has never written a check. Everything has been paid with debit or credit cards. He has a checkbook; they give you one with every checking account. He has just never used it.

I remember having check-writing units in elementary school. Usually the "bank" existed for 1-2 weeks, and fourth or fifth graders earned points for homework or behavioral goals. They might have to pay fines for bad behavior, as well; great multitasking by those teachers! During the unit we had checks for the fake bank that we could fill out to get prizes like really cheap candy. Some kids cashed out on a regular basis, while others saved up until the end of the unit.

Check writing was considered an essential skill for everyone in the US. And now it is not.

These times, they are a-changin'...Always and forever.

3 responses so far

  • Jim Thomerson says:

    I learned about check writing and bank accounts in the fourth grade (1944). At that time almost all transactions of any size were done by check. Now I am irritated if a person ahead of me in line pays with a check. And many restaurants won't accept a check.

  • Cathy says:

    We had this same realization with our 18 year old daughter earlier this year during a discussion about paying college tuition that's due while she's away at school. DH suggested we would put money in her account at the local branch of our bank and she would then write a check and take it to the finance office (which is what we did many years ago). It turns out she doesn't even have checks for her checking account, much less know how to write one -- but all is o.k. because she has a debit card and everyone takes those. I can't wait until she wants to live in an apartment instead of a dorm and tries to pay rent with a debit card.

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