• 72°

Flat check policy, Dec. 21, 2005

My wife doesn’t let me carry a checkbook, or have a debit card, this despite the fact that I do most of the grocery shopping for our family (while she stays home and cuts the grass, fixes the plumbing, etc. We are progressive thinkers).

And it’s not entirely because I’m too irresponsible to be trusted with them, but that it confuses her when she’s trying to balance the checkbook if I’m taking money out or using checks and not reporting it to her in a timely manner, if at all.

So when I go grocery shopping, she detaches a check for me and puts it in my wallet. The system has worked reasonably well for us until Sunday morning. I went to Food Lion to pick up a few things. They totaled up the purchase and I whipped out my check and wrote it. There was a problem, however. The check would not go through the little scanner, apparently because of the fold in it from being in my wallet. This has happened before and the clerk has always just manually keyed in whatever numbers needed to be keyed.

They weren’t going to do that this time, though. The young clerk called for some help and a young man came to assist. After three or four tries he said, &uot;I’m sorry but it’s not going to work. Do you have some other way you can pay?&uot;

I was a little dumbstruck. &uot;Can’t you just key in the numbers?&uot;

He said they (the Man, I assume) wouldn’t let them do that anymore. I just happened to have enough cash to pay for the purchase but was reluctant to part with it because I have no way of accessing more without going to my wife and she always gives me the third degree.

I was tempted to just walk away but ended up paying for it with my hard-to-come-by cash.

I thought this ridiculous and I hope the Food Lion folks reexamine this policy. A new Farm Fresh will be opening just down the street soon and I could just as easily go there. I believe they accept folded checks.

Anyway, just a word of warning for anyone in the same boat as me (Men who are at the mercy of their wives for everything), try to keep your checks flat.