I haven’t done much driving in the past two years. Since I had my heart surgery, I have not wanted to drive.

I have done it, briefly as needed, but I don’t like it. Despite that, I need to drive sometimes and today was a good choice. Nice day, not a busy time. It turns out, I remember how to drive, but have forgotten how to get anywhere. I’ve always had a terrible sense of direction but two years of letting Garry drive has made it much worse.

Nonetheless. I found the post office, with help from Garry. I couldn’t remember which road went where (really, THAT bad) and then the doctor. Garry drove home. But my day was not over.

I had to go to the bank.

I cannot remember the last time I was inside a brick-and-mortar bank. Normally, I do everything online. Money comes in as direct deposits and I pay my bills on the computer. Today, though, I have a piece of paper. Which won’t become money unless (gasp), I deposit it. Eventually, I find myself in the bank with the check in hand. Trying to deposit it. Apparently no one uses deposit slips anymore. You hand them the check, slide your bank card through this month’s newest machine, tell them where you want it to go … and sign. Voila. Done.

I couldn’t remember anything. The machines are new, the slider is on the opposite side. I couldn’t find the pen. It was humiliating.

I’m sure the next time I go to a bank, it will be new all over again. Online, it’s all direct deposit. I can move money around, pay bills, calculate how much money is available for whatever. And I’m great with software, but as a live human, I’m hopeless.

Pathetic, I know. But who knows when or if I’ll ever have another check? Seriously. Who gets paper checks anymore?

58 thoughts on “ROAD AND BANK

  1. The British Asian Blog April 12, 2017 / 5:19 am

    Banks go through formation all the time. They make annual profits at a record level, they streamline their business processes which results in efficient ways ‘of doing things’ like closing local bank branches and moving their operations to online. By doing this the bank make more annual record profits and reduce the reason why people want to walk into a bank physically. The jobs they cut and the amount of money they save is tremendous. But local economy and jobs are being hit, hard. The banks still make money.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong April 12, 2017 / 1:00 pm

      We are fortunate that our bank is still open. A lot of banks no longer have real branches. Banks never really lose money. I know it says they lose money on reports, but really, they never lose anything.


  2. Taswegian1957 April 12, 2017 / 5:50 am

    Cheques are so twentieth century. Last year I was sent one as a refund for some defective product. I had to deposit it in my account via the post office. As I also do all my banking online I have never bothered to change from my old bank which does not have physical branches in Tasmania. The other thing I wonder is why, in this day of instant everything a cheque still takes several days to clear?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong April 12, 2017 / 12:58 pm

      I think banks do what they do because they can. I’m sure they know if the check is good or not pretty much instantly. Our bank lets you use them the following morning, which is pretty good. Banks are not exactly worried about how WE feel about things!


      • Taswegian1957 April 12, 2017 / 5:56 pm

        How true! My “bank” is actually a credit union which is a tad better but still tardy about cheques.


        • Marilyn Armstrong April 12, 2017 / 6:08 pm

          Until almost all our credit unions went bust for bad mortgages, they had a much higher level of trust. Now, I think we all know: all of them are bad. Some are just worse than others.


          • Taswegian1957 April 13, 2017 / 6:27 am

            Credit unions here do have a higher level of trust I think. I certainly still prefer them to the “Big 4” major banks. I’m grateful that we did not suffer the way the USA did with so many people losing their homes.


    • Garry Armstrong April 12, 2017 / 1:07 pm

      Tas, I love your opening line — “Cheques are so twentieth century”. It has a Dorothy Parker sting as delivered maybe by John Gielgud.
      Marilyn — you did well on your first day “back in the saddle”. The route to Douglas has some nasty twists and turns.
      As for the bank. I dread ATMs. So, I use the Bank proper. It’s very easy now. You just go to the teller with check and bank card and they do everything. They are even very pleasant and conversational.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Taswegian1957 April 12, 2017 / 5:58 pm

        ATM’s have never worried me but I remember my mum and my parents in law didn’t like using them and preferred to go into the bank.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Marilyn Armstrong April 12, 2017 / 6:07 pm

          I was okay with them, but I don’t like using them for anything more than taking money out. I like giving them the check and getting a receipt. Weird since I do everything else online.


          • Taswegian1957 April 13, 2017 / 6:25 am

            A lot of ours don’t take deposits, they used to when we first had them but later ones are just cash machines.


        • Garry Armstrong April 13, 2017 / 11:41 am

          ATM’s today are like game shows. One mistake and you lose everything.


          • Taswegian1957 April 14, 2017 / 12:15 am

            The worst that happened to me was when one ate my card after hours but a phone call brought a helpful man out to get it back for me within an hour or two. Mind you that was in the 80s.


  3. draliman April 12, 2017 / 8:22 am

    I get maybe one cheque a year. By the time the next one comes around I’ve forgotten how to use the machines again.

    Liked by 1 person

      • draliman April 13, 2017 / 11:32 am

        I usually just wander into the bank and look lost and someone rushes over to do it for me 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Garry Armstrong April 12, 2017 / 1:11 pm

      A good quote is worth repeating. “Cheques are so 20th century”.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. loisajay April 12, 2017 / 9:03 am

    My husband received a check in the mail yesterday and asked me to deposit it. What? Go inside the bank? Who does that anymore? I am like you–everything online. I like it that way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong April 12, 2017 / 12:56 pm

      I felt like such an idiot. I really was lost. It was embarrassing. But sometimes, we get these pieces of paper and there’s nothing else to do but deposit them. I can theoretically use your smartphone, but I’m not quite ready for that. Yet.


    • Garry Armstrong April 12, 2017 / 1:14 pm

      Lois, I go into the bank now and then to deposit checks because I’m afraid of ATMs. Usually, you have some friendly chit chat with other customers and bank staff. Something to do.

      Liked by 1 person

      • loisajay April 12, 2017 / 7:59 pm

        No, no. No ATMs for me! Debit card and online. Truly, I never have any cash on me!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Marilyn Armstrong April 12, 2017 / 8:34 pm

          The last time I took out cash when I went to that ONE nursery that won’t take plastic. I don’t even know if they are still open. Sometimes, you can old-fashioned yourself right out-of-business.

          Garry keeps a little bit of cash because he buys newspapers and it’s easy to just grab the paper, leave the money, and go. But then again, not so many people buy newspapers, do they.

          Liked by 2 people

  5. lwbut April 12, 2017 / 9:59 am

    I actually still have a chequebook attached to my on-line account! i haven’t used it in over 5 years but i could if i wanted to! 🙂 I still need to go into an actual branch once a month or so and will do until they figure out a way how to put cash into my account through my computer 😉 ( or they eliminate cash all together which could happen sooner than we might expect).



    • Marilyn Armstrong April 12, 2017 / 1:07 pm

      I have a check book — rarely used, but I have it — and sometimes, I even really use it. But when I write a check, I don’t have to go to the bank. That is someone else’s problem.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. swo8 April 12, 2017 / 12:24 pm

    I’ll have one “cash cow” please.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Garry Armstrong April 13, 2017 / 11:44 am

        Blatantly racist!!


    • Garry Armstrong April 12, 2017 / 1:16 pm

      Leslie, sometimes I go into the bank to deposit Marilyn’s royalty checks. I announce LOUDLY for everyone to hear, “I am depositing my Wife’s book royalty checks”. Everyone is very impressed.

      Liked by 1 person

      • swo8 April 12, 2017 / 1:32 pm

        I would be proud too. She’s a great writer.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Garry Armstrong April 13, 2017 / 11:25 am

          Leslie, Marilyn is a wonderful writer. Both of us really LOVE words. It’s one of the threads of our 50 year old relationship.

          Liked by 1 person

          • swo8 April 13, 2017 / 11:32 am

            That’s a long time, Garry – definitely something there.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Marilyn Armstrong April 13, 2017 / 11:35 am

              My last royalty check was a big one: $2.75! Yeah! I earned $14.41 last year, but this year, I’ve earned almost $5.00 already and there are nine months to go! I might hit the magic $25 yet!

              Liked by 2 people

              • swo8 April 13, 2017 / 11:41 am

                Sounds like my royalties for the streaming of music. In fact that is a lot of streaming if you realize one only gets $.00023743 or less a stream.

                Liked by 1 person

  7. Emilio Pasquale April 12, 2017 / 2:05 pm

    Lynn has a terrible sense of direction. If she’s leading me somewhere and tells me to turn right, I will most likely turn in the opposite direction, she is that bad. As for checks? What about paying for something with them? When I first got my latest bank account about 5 or 6 years ago, I received 200 complimentary checks. Haven’t used them up yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong April 12, 2017 / 4:50 pm

      Yes, I got a free checkbook when I opened the account. I’m not halfway through it yet. There are still a few local places that don’t take plastic, but that’s changing. Eventually, everyone gives in because no one carries cash, OR checks.

      And as for lost, I remember with husband 1 driving back from Cape Cod on the way to NY, about 250 miles south. We wound up in Salisbury, NH, about 200 miles west. It was a very LONG trip home.


      • Emilio Pasquale April 13, 2017 / 4:32 pm

        In our car, after getting lost like that, it would be a very LONG and SILENT trip home!


        • Marilyn Armstrong April 13, 2017 / 4:39 pm

          We were with a couple of friends. They didn’t stop laughing for a week.

          We were lost so often, it was just business as usual.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Garry Armstrong April 13, 2017 / 11:29 am

      Emilio, I no longer have a good sense of direction. I’m okay with local driving. But, beyond our Valley, I’m on shaky ground. I’m also a lousy map reader. During my working days, I used to drive my crews nuts when they asked me to read a map as we chased stories.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Garry Armstrong April 14, 2017 / 12:08 pm

      Check’s in the mail, trust me.


  8. omniclassic April 12, 2017 / 4:25 pm


    You have my sympathies as I understand completely what you are going through. One of my friends is going through a similar thing, except she was the Queen of Directions and so this is very upsetting to her. Take a couple of “no purpose” drives just to jog your memory and I’m sure much of it will come back

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong April 12, 2017 / 4:50 pm

      I kind of know where everything is, but I’ve forgotten which roads GO there. I will have to actually drive more often. Oh sigh 😀


      • omniclassic April 12, 2017 / 11:55 pm

        Doesn’t matter much in the long run as you need both factors for success in getting there… 🙂


        • Marilyn Armstrong April 13, 2017 / 1:21 am

          It’s good there aren’t a lot of roads around here. You can only get a little lost before you wind up back where you started!


    • Garry Armstrong April 13, 2017 / 11:34 am

      Ben, remember Long Island? When I visit Billy and we drive around, he is amazed I don’t remember all the short cuts to places we visited.
      He doesn’t understand I have lived in New England since 1970. I almost feel like I need a green card or passport when I return to New York. I NEVER wear any Boston sports gear during those Long Island visits. I may be old but I ain’t crazy.


      • omniclassic April 13, 2017 / 4:29 pm

        And just the opposite happened to me a short time after I moved to AZ. A friend of mine who demanded I get in touch with her each time I came home, just assumed I’d forgotten how to get around Long Island and would start giving me directions. I had to remind her that I had lived there for 38 years, and only been away for a year or two.., with frequent visits to boot.

        I still have a picture of LI in my mind, not to mention Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens and, of course, Manhattan. Comes from playing gigs all over the city and day jobs in same. My brother was a cop and knew all the shortcuts through the city which came in handy when I needed to duck rush hour traffic. I really miss it sometimes.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Marilyn Armstrong April 13, 2017 / 4:40 pm

          You have a sense of direction. Owen is like that, too. Garry and I are NOT. Garry’s a little better than me, but only a little. Jeffrey was worse, if that’s possible.

          Liked by 1 person

  9. evilsquirrel13 April 13, 2017 / 1:26 am

    I still write checks for most of my bills, and I know from work that the money order business is still booming. I’ve always got paper currency…. I’d feel naked and broke without it. The truly cashless society that the “experts” have long predicted is a lot father (further?) off than the flying car is….

    Liked by 1 person

    • evilsquirrel13 April 13, 2017 / 1:28 am

      I was so worried about whether it was supposed to be farther or further that i didn’t even notice I typoed farther. A typo free society will never happen in a thousand generations….

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marilyn Armstrong April 13, 2017 / 1:54 am

        Sometimes, I write a 9 word sentence containing 12 typos. Outstanding! The best thing is not only do I make an insane number of typos, but I don’t see them when other people type them. I read right through them. Unless it’s “loose” instead of “lose.” Or “less” instead of “fewer.” I have issues with those 😀


      • Garry Armstrong April 14, 2017 / 12:02 pm

        Another great line — “A typo free society will never happen in a thousand generations”.”
        **evilsquirrel, April 2017**

        You could look it up!


    • Garry Armstrong April 13, 2017 / 11:37 am

      Squirrel, I still like the feeling of walking around with currency. So, I get a 5 or a 10 broken down into singles so I can feel like a “Big” man.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Rick April 13, 2017 / 9:56 am

    I still use deposit slips and write real checks. I don’t use a drive-thru, either. I want to look the teller in the eye and have them give me a piece of paper.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong April 13, 2017 / 11:25 am

      WHEN I actually have a paper check, I always go into the bank, or usually — I have Garry do it. He says all he does is just hand the check and his card to the lady and she does everything. They make ME punch in numbers and slide things, but they know him and realize he’s one of Those People.

      Both of us want the little piece of paper that says “Got your check!”

      I only get checks from friends who with whom I’m swapping parts of the camera. He wants that lens, I want that OTHER lens. If we can’t work out a 1-on-1 swap, we hand each other pieces of paper. Then someone has to go to the bank.

      Oh, and for reasons I don’t get, refunds from many companies (electric, the mortgage bank, etc.) ALWAYS send a paper check, even if it is for less than a dollar.


    • Garry Armstrong April 13, 2017 / 11:40 am

      Rick, I also avoid the bank drive ins for the same reasons. I DO use the Mickey Dee drive thru. It’s faster!!


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