When I first started working, back during the American Revolution, my employer presented me with a check on a weekly basis. I always looked forward to those days. I know it’s a foreign concept today but I was actually handed a paycheck which I brought to the bank, deposited a certain amount and took the rest in cash. There was a sense of accomplishment or pride when I received that check and having cash in my pocket was always a pretty cool thing.
Some time after that, direct deposit came along and I have to say I resisted for a period of time. It’s not that I didn’t think it was good idea, it’s just that I didn’t want to give up the control or ritual of receiving a check and doing my weekly thing at the bank. I probably relented some time before direct deposit became mandatory for all employees, but not too much before. Receiving a pay stub listing all your deductions is just not the same as holding an actual check, but things change. I get it.
Recently, the town where I do some substitute teaching has taken it a step further, as I’m sure other companies have. My check will continue to be deposited directly into my account but I’ll no longer be receiving a pay stub. Instead, I’ll have to go to an online site and look up that information to see if I was paid correctly.
Again, I understand the evolution; it saves trees and postage, it saves time and hours and it’s more efficient. But understanding doesn’t mean I automatically break into my happy dance.
About a year ago, I was speaking to someone my age who was staring at his pay stub and shaking his head. Like me, he wasn’t happy about not receiving a check. He said it almost felt like he was working for nothing and if they ever eliminated the stubs he would end up retiring.
My guess is his retirement papers have already been submitted.