Sorry, that#8217;s me slowing down the process

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 9, 2007

In a world dominated by electronic gadgetry, the customer is fast becoming number two.

When I first ventured into a career where one has to deal with the public, I was taught that the customer is always treated like a king (or a queen). After all, it’s the customer who has chosen your place of business to spend his or her hard-earned cash.

Nowadays, places of business, in order to feed that beast known as a paperless society, prefer their customers use some sort of plastic, whether it’s a credit or debit card. Cash and/or personal checks are becoming obsolete.

The bad thing about that aforementioned fact is that I prefer to use cash or personal check. I’m finding more and more places of business that have posted policies about accepting the latter.

Give ‘em some time and the same will be said about cash.

This year alone, two restaurants here in Ahoskie that I frequent on occasion have both implemented “No Checks Accepted” policies. I understand that there are some individuals, fully aware of their checking status at the bank, who still choose to write a bad check. Fortunately, I’m not among that group. That’s not to say I’m rich enough not to worry about my checking account, but rather that I’m aware of what I have in the bank.

However, by not taking my check, it’s like these businesses are grouping me with the bunch who write bad checks. That upsets me.

I guess it has all boiled down to simple convenience. Business owners don’t have to tie-up their time in an attempt to get their money from a bad check transaction. But why penalize me for the financial troubles of someone else? After all, I am a customer. They should welcome my business, not turn me away because I choose to pen a personal check.

There’s another business here in town that will not accept my personal check for a contracted monthly service. I can write a check and mail the payment to their corporate office, but they have a policy about accepting personal checks at their local office. I’m still trying to figure that one out.

I know we’ve all seen the commercials on TV where customers at a deli move easily through the line by paying for their food with a debit or credit card. Then we see people running into each other and trays of food crashing to the floor because a customer “slows” the process by paying with cash. There’s another one showing the same scenario, only this time the customer is writing a check.

My reaction to the producers of those lame commercials is please, don’t insult my intelligence. It’s not a perfect world out there where every little thing, each and every day flows smoothly. Thank goodness the “TV businesses” in those commercials still had the good sense to treat all their customers the same by accepting personal checks or cash as a method of payment.

I pay for goods, services and food with cash or check simply because I choose to use those two forms of payment. That again begs to ask the question why I should be penalized for the way I choose to transact business? My hard-earned salary is just as good as those who choose to pay for goods, food and services via an electronic means.

If you do choose to transact business electronically, don’t you still have to come home at night, cut on your computer, visit your bank’s website, log-in your private access number and view your financial transactions of the day? If so, don’t you still have to record that information in order to accurately determine your checking account balance?

I’m not knocking those who use credit/debt cards. They choose to do so because they feel it’s convenient for their lifestyle. I choose not to, but yet my “old-fashioned” method of payment is frowned upon because it’s not easy and convenient for the place of business.

I apologize for slowing down the world’s economy. I’ll just take my business to a place that still regards customers as number one.