Pay Checks and Pay Packets

During the switchover period from one job to the next, my direct deposit for my salary is not yet set up, so I’m in the weird (for me) position of getting a physical pay check every fortnight. Since moving to the US, my banking has involved going to the bank a lot more, because checks are still commonly used. Not for groceries, thank goodness, and not for most bills, but I feel like I’ve written and cashed more checks in the last couple of years than I have in the previous decade.

Luckily the fascinating modern world we live in provides me with the ability to take a photo of check, and deposit it immediately via smartphone. My pay check, however, is over the limit on the amount I can pay in that way, which is nice of course, but also a colossal PITA. I have to go to an ATM and pay it in physically. Funny how technological advances make me think that going to an ATM is a hassle. Imagine if I had to go and queue in a bank! It reminds me of friends who used to complain that their parents made them load the dishwasher. My parents didn’t get a dishwasher until I had left home, which says something, I think.

I mentioned the pay check thing to a colleague (also a Brit) and we reminisced about getting paid in cash. My first job (Superdrug, Harpur Centre, Bedford, 1988) was paid in cash – I’d get a little brown envelope, with payslip and the notes and change I had earned. I’d go straight to the Post Office to put some in savings, and then to Andy’s Records. The records made up for spending part of my day actually standing in a bin, stamping down the cardboard.

One record-buying trip I picked up Tom Tom Club’s second album, Fear of Music by Talking Heads, and Armed Forces by Elvis Costello and the Attractions. Point? None I can think of. Gettin’ paid.