Leisure time is a good thing. Who could disagree?
Leisure time should be at the beach, Bushnell Park, Fenway Park, on your couch — not in the line at the store.
I always get behind the person who has to fish through his or her belongings to find the elusive CVS card, and then pays by check. This person first searches for a pen, sometimes two — because the first is dead, then logs the purchase in his or her checkbook register, recalculates the balance, then writes out the check. The cashier then asks for a license, and in some cases pages a manager to come approve the transaction. Those behind this person in line juggle their sundries and groceries and are undoubtedly thinking the same thing: “Am I in a time warp?”
When I find myself in this situation, I think to myself: This is 2007. We have satellite radio, 500 channels on TV and cameras on cell phones. Does this antiquated shopper also use a rotary phone at home? Does this dinosaur still watch a black-and-white television? Does this relic of the past still think Joe Namath will lead the New York Jets to another Super Bowl and can’t wait to vote for George McGovern in the next election?
I remember in the 70s — long before ATMs — my mother would have to rush to the bank on Friday nights to get cash for the weekend. I vividly remember her writing checks at stores. That’s the way it was done then. Now, like the vast majority of people, my 60-something mom uses a debit card and goes to the ATM. A transaction that used to take 5 minutes, often takes less than 1 minute. Anyone with a checking account can get a check card. The scanner at the register approves the sale in seconds and instantly adjusts your checking account balance. It is so easy and very considerate to your fellow shoppers.
To be fair, maybe there should be special checkout lines for those who want to pay by check. There could be a dark-paneled waiting room with television sets airing re-runs of “Laverne and Shirley” and the Watergate hearings. The restroom would have an avocado green toilet and sink. This waiting room would be a total throwback to the things we are glad to see gone: Smoking would be allowed.
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