As an IT technician in retail, point of sale (POS) equipment is an important part of my daily routine – making certain cash drawers open (kick) and receipt printers print. Not a difficult task as it sounds – if a drawer ain’t kicking or a printer ain’t printering, I’ll hear about it the minute I step through the doors.
Likewise is ensuring the device used to take credit cards for payment behaves. This device goes by several names, but refer to those similar to the one pictured above – sigcap, pin-pad, credit reader, piece of ****, useless f***, etc. Sitting on the counter, looking nothing more than a flat cat waiting to be stroked – or inserted or swiped – they seem passive and gentle. Anyone who owns a cat knows better.
But that’s not the topic for this ramble.
Although the need for signing one’s John Hancock to a credit purchase has waned, some must still sign for a purchase, dependent on card provider, card type, retailer, the amount of purchase, weather conditions, or whims of the gods. Often, I will hear Associates’ comments on the attention customers give (or don’t give) to signing for their purchases.
There are customers who will lean to the sigcap, attentively, signing their name with a wonderful, artistic flourish that makes it a shame to see it blink away with the key stroke of the cashier. There are customers whose signatures resemble the output of an EKG of a dead person, then those who sign as if sketching a ride on Coney Island rather than a coherent string of legible letters.
Anyhow . . .
My observation of customers signing has led me to a conclusion – not one-hundred percent accurate, but close, me thinks. Most who diligently sign are around my age (old). Signing as if they spent a good portion of Elementary-School years learning proper cursive, practicing on three-lined sheets before moving to ruled sheets. Persons whose work was presented to teachers who then examined each loop, whirl and line with the attention an engineer gives to the design of a fusion reactor. Writing a signature in proper cursive was an art, the necessary tool for presenting your name to The World!
The rest are younger, signing their name away uncaring – never having known the toil mentioned above. These are people who consider the required signature as opportunity – like being in a freshly painted bathroom stall with a brand-new Sharpie. “Here I sit, brokenhearted, came to . . . ”
Now, please don’t construe I am suggesting cursive needs to return to the classroom. That’s another blog, and this is just an observation.