Wednesday 15 August 2012


I don’t know why, but when I sat down I decided that I should write about Trust. I have always loved a sign that I first saw in a garage that was at the end of our street when I was growing up. It said “In God we trust. Everyone else pays cash!” the idea that everyone paid cash gives you an idea about how long ago that was.

It is funny how much trust we have now. We trust that the stores won’t lose our financial information or abuse our financial information. We trust that our employers will deposit our pay checks in our bank account on time. Since I have retired, I don’t even get a pay stub of any kind. The theory is that since the pay never varies, I don’t need to get that extra bit of paper unless of course there is a change. Supposedly I will get a new stub if my pay goes up for some reason. Hahahahahaha

I can remember the first pay check that I got. I was working for the summer at a place called Premium Forest Products. My mom got me the job, but I still love her in spite of that. I don’t know why it was called Premium Forest Products, all they made was doors but I suppose to say Premium Forest Product would sound stupid. There was one old guy there that demanded to be paid in cash because he didn’t trust banks. Funny, it took the rest of the world forty years to see that he was right, but now a company wouldn’t know what to do if they had to make up pay envelopes.

I always loved getting my pay check handed to me. I felt that every other Thursday, the employer would come around and acknowledge the contribution you made to the company in a very real, tangible way. You would then have to take the check to the bank at the end of the day and stand in line with all of the other people that were paid. When you got to the teller who you knew by name, you would have a nice chat, pay bills, and keep out enough money to carry you until the next pay day. It was a very real affirmation of job well done. Well, it was to me anyways.

I fought getting automatic deposit for as long as I could. It got to the point where I was told that I needed to give payroll my banking information. I was sort of worried that the Post Office would screw up my pay if I didn’t actually get a check, but the reality was that I just didn’t like the idea of automatic banking. I still don’t. When I go in the bank now I don’t recognize anyone and it seems that they are just there to facilitate my e-banking experience. There are fewer tellers every year and more bank machines which will rarely chat with you and the only name they seem to have is Auto.

When I buy things now, I use debit cards, credit cards, gift cards, pay pal, pay pass and the other day I got a card in the mail that is a debit card specifically for use on the internet. I still like to have cash, but it is becoming more and more passé. There is a move towards using our smart phones to pay for everything. I guess it is progress and whether I like it or not this is the way of the world now. You know they tell you that paying for things this way is far more convenient and much safer. What they don’t mention is that it is also much more profitable for the banks.

I wonder if we could go back to using cash. I’m not sure if I would want to, but when I do have cash in my pocket, I walk with a spring in my step and something of a confident swagger. Well, until I realize that some thug might look upon me as a walking, swaggering ATM machine. I guess it boils down to the fact that I just don’t trust people.

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