Dragging feet in digital age

March 25, 2010

Dinosaur. One of the secondary definitions in my Random House Dictionary of the English language reads as follows: “Something unwieldy, in size, anachronistically outmoded, or unable to adapt to change.”

I’m not oversized but I am resistant to change.

I hadn’t actually thought of myself as a dinosaur until recently — although I did give up my typewriter for a computer with great reluctance.

I drag my feet when a new gadget comes on the market and my friends ask me why I don’t have one. I end my e-mails with: Not sent from my iPhone or Blackberry.

A receptionist at a financial institution got me to thinking. It began with, what was for me, a routine deposit into a savings account. Usually I mail it or, if I’m in the area, I drop it off.

“What is this?” the young woman asked, fingering the deposit slip.

“A deposit slip,” I answered. To which she responded, “I’ve never seen one.”

Then she looked at the envelope in which the deposit slip and contents had been placed. “What is this?” she turned it over in her hand.

“It’s a sleeve that contains the deposit and deposit slip.” I answered. We looked at each other. “Well?” I asked. “Are you going to take the deposit or not?”

She left her desk and went to a counter for a long time. She came back. “This paper says savings,” she pointed to the top of the deposit slip. “You don’t have a savings account,” she answered with measured calmness.

“Oh, yes I do.” I stood my ground.

“Well, you don’t.” She stood her ground.

“Then what do I have?” I was trying not to chew my bottom lip.

“You have a checking account,” she waved the paper ever so slightly.

“Never used it,” I did chew my lip this time.

“But you could,” she said, “limited to three checks a month; that makes it a checking account.” By now we had drawn the interest of a by-stander, about my age.

“Well?” I asked, “whatever it is, do you want it or not?” She went away to complete the transaction. “And I want a receipt and my sleeve back with some deposit slips.”

She handed me a receipt and an extra envelope. “We don’t have deposit slips. I haven’t seen one in the two years I’ve been here. We just swipe cards.”

To which I responded that I did not have a card; if I did, I didn’t know where it was. The bystander sighed.

She and I both know that it is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to change. What lies under the surface is “unwieldy in size;” a presence, however, with which we must come to terms.

“A step with which I must o’er leap or else fall down, for in my way it lies.” Now I’m off to find my card.

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