The Inconvenience of Convenience
It’s Kinda Funny Part 2
And when a company implements a new program “for your convenience,” you can bet it’s going to be inconvenient. For a brief period, my former bank had a deal where I could avoid a service fee if I had direct deposit (I can’t because I’m self-employed) or if I only used the ATM machine. . . in other words, it cost me money to talk to the teller. I’m not sure what it cost to just smile or wave at her, but I guess the bank reasoned that if fewer people went to the teller, then it would be more convenient for customers because it would cut down on long lines. And it did cut down the long lines. . . because people like me stopped banking there. Wow, things have changed. Five years ago I could get a $300,000 mortgage loan by flashing my library card, now it’s two bucks to chat. That same bank also had a convenient savings plan called “Keep the Change” in which they’d round up your purchases to the nearest dollar, and put that money into your savings account. Cool. By the end of the year, I had saved up enough money to talk to the teller TWICE.
And sometimes we have convenient signs telling us things that, well, go without saying. I saw one at the airport kindly explaining that “All animals must be kept in carriers except service animals.” All I can think of is the poor seeing-eye dog trying desperately to do his job from a crate! Forget the dog, how about someone telling the guy who brought his pet snake to the DMV that he’s not allowed to do that. I know about the snake because I was sitting next to him last week. If the snake had been a dog, the guy would’ve been tossed out. A friend suggested that maybe it’s a seeing-eye snake, which would explain why it wasn’t in a crate.
We baby boomers actually invented some very convenient things—like identity theft! Remember back in the day when we used our Social Security numbers as our ID numbers? How convenient was that for criminals! We’d put it right there on our checks next to our address and vacation dates. The only way we could’ve made it more convenient was if we drew a map to where we hid the house key. And in college we wrote our SS# on everything: checks, applications, tests. . . there are janitors still living off the numbers they harvested from the trash after exam week.
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