Dear Mr. or Mrs. Old Person in front of me in line at Walmart:
You’re going to pay by check. I know it just by looking at you. We both know that you don’t trust these newfangled electronic credit cards and ATM cards that every bank issues with every checking account. Too easy for someone to steal your identity, you think. You prefer to pay by a good old-fashioned paper check. Okay, I get it. Pay by check if you like.
But if you know you’re going to pay by check, and presumably you do, then why in God’s name do you wait until the last item has been scanned and the cashier has given you the total before you even pull out said checkbook? Is it too much to ask that instead of standing around oblivious to the world that you get your fucking checkbook out ahead of time and start filling in some information…like the date and putting “Walmart” in the payee line? And could you maybe sign it? Am I out of line for suggesting these little time saving techniques that will help speed of the line of losers impatiently waiting behind you? Walmart even gives you a little platform right there (next to the credit card scanner) for such a purpose!
See, that way all you need to do is put the total amount down and then hand the check to the cashier. And you’d be gone…out of my life! Instead, you scrutinize the total, making sure no mistakes were made, and only THEN do you pull out the checkbook and start writing. It’s as if actually paying for the crap comes as a total surprise to you. Thanks a fucking bunch, gramps.
Alternatively, if an old person does use plastic to pay at Walmart, when the prompt comes for their signature they write as slowly and carefully as if they’re in a penmanship competition. Hey people, here’s a clue: WALMART DOESN’T CARE WHAT YOU WRITE. Your bank doesn’t care what you write! Nobody at Walmart headquarters monitors each of the millions of purchases made on those things every day, making sure your signature with that little stylus pen matches the one your bank has on file for your account. Nobody cares. Really. Walmart only makes you sign so that if there ever is a dispute about somebody using your card after the fact you can look at the chicken-scratch and go, “Yep, I signed it!” or, “Nope, wasn’t me!” You could put a big “X” there. I just put a big “B” and leave it at that.
One story that made the rounds on the internet was about a guy who, over the course of six months, whenever he’d use his credit card he’d put various things that were not his name (most of them were profane) in the box. It backfired on him one day when he drew a picture of a penis. End result? Everyone had a laugh, then they voided it and made him sign again. No big deal. They didn't even check his ID! They just made sure the signature on the card reader was similar to the one on the card.
Moral of the story? Your signature on the machine doesn’t need to match anything. Just scribble something recognizable on there (just don't draw a penis) and get the hell moving before I follow you out into the parking lot and bash your headlights with my shopping cart.
Here’s what I do - really: As the Walmart cashier starts scanning my stuff, I swipe my card. I hit “Debit” and then enter my PIN. I hit “No” on the cashback option and then I wait. As the bags fill up I stick them in my cart. As soon as the cashier hits the "Total" key the screen flashes "Approved!" She tears the receipt off the machine, hands it to me and I’m outta there. See? So easy even an oldster can do it!