Friday, June 09, 2006

Signature

Did you ever notice that when you pay for something with a credit card the electric signature pad and pen never really work? Besides the fact that most of the signature pads in major stores like Home Depot or Sears are always scratched up like someone was using a dull dry wall screw as a writing implement, but even brand new signature pad machines never can actually capture a true signature. I also hate the fact that the electric pens, if there is one attached, are designed for right-handed people. Being a Southpaw I am always trying to finagle a way to get enough slack on the cord just so the pen can reach the pad.

But no matter how hard I try to make it work my signature always ends up looking like my left hand had a spastic seizure at the exact time I attempted to sign. Usually my first name looks okay, but nine out of ten times my last name ends up like an ECG read out from Dick Cheney’s medical records.

Recently I started to play a game when I make purchases. I sign my first name to get a feel on how the machine is going to react. If it looks like it may be okay I finish with my last name. But if it reacts like most of these machines do, I now write something different for my last name to see how it appears on the receipt. At Lowes, the other night, I wrote William Nerd. At Sears, yesterday, the machine was really messed up, so I wrote Duke of Earl. I know it is a silly little game and I am sure there are federal regulations against it, but I play anyway.

Yesterday, at Toys R Us, I signed IMA DORK. When the girl at the register looked at the receipt with the electronic signature on it she thanked me, started handing me my receipt and did a double take and re-read the signature. She snickered. Of course it printed clear as day. I was slightly embarrassed.

34 comments:

teri said...

OMG William, you are the funniest!!! Ever!! I love your sense of humor.

I wonder if the credit card copies get those receipts? What do they do?

teri said...

I meant credit card companies. I can spell, really I can.

Chixulub said...

I play a similar game. Those loyalty cards? I fill them out with my right address, but phoney names. Richard Nixon for Price Chopper, J.D. Salinger for Borders, I think Elvis Presley for Dillon's.

Why?

First because I'm a smartass, but more compellingly because it tells me who they're whoring my info to. When I get junk mail for Elvis Presley at my address, I know how I got on the list for whatever junk mail I'm throwing out.

I don't know why I feel like that's useful information. Apparently Price Chopper doesn't do much with their list, because I hardly ever see anything for Tricky Dick that isn't an ad for Price Chopper itself.

Mainly, I feel like data mining hs so much value added, I should be compensated better than 30¢ off a carton of eggs.

Stephanie said...

You know what I have noticed- The signature pads for UPS and FedEx have the exact same problem. I've just started using my initials.

Sandy said...

I'm also a smartass from way back, but it NEVER occurred to me to play those kind of games....hmmmm, that gives me ideas..lol...

I'm also a lefty, and I end up twisting the cord all to hell and back just trying to sign the darn thing...then the people behind me get mad because they have to untangle it to use it...oh well..

It's okay, Sweetie said...

I never ever thought to do this. Shout out to Orlando!!!! I grew up in Florida! I found ya through someone's blogroll.

ieatcrayonz said...

You need a "laugh out loud at work" disclaimer on this post. Okay, the whole blog. Dammit.

Nice to meet you, Ima.

Odd Mix said...

L.M.A.O

I have GOT to try this game!!!!

Effie said...

isn't Ima a girls name? Hmmm?

barry said...

DHL signature pads are the worst, I'm convinced it can only record the vertical movement of the stylus. We got a package from UPS the other day and evidently the driver had just gotten a new pad...I pinched one off in my shorts because I could actually read what I wrote.

Great Post, Bill.

bbsgirl said...

LOl..I too hate those things and you are soooo right about the ones at Lowe's or Home Depot....they must use a screw to sign with...LOL

Sharkey said...

I bet the cashier was in agreement with your "name." Too funny!

It reminds me of a few years ago when my step-dad took my mom to the emergency room for something. She was in pain, but they couldn't find anything wrong with her and sent her home. The pain didn't go away, so they went back to the ER a second--and eventually a third--time that same day. Each time, they had to complete the full battery of paperwork. By the third time, my stepdad was fed up. Instead of signing his name, he wrote "F***k You."

Betti said...

"Usually my first name looks okay, but nine out of ten times my last name ends up like an ECG read out from Dick Cheney’s medical records."

That has got to be the funniest thing I've read all week! Thanks!

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

Those things just aren't made to work for leftys. Lefties? Where's Ned Flanders when you need him?

Ern said...

That's hysterical! I'm totally trying that next time.

It's sort of sad how lax everyone is about checking signatures and ID. After I got married, my bankcard was updated right away, but I didn't get a driver's license with a new name for months. Probably 100 times cashiers checked my ID against the card and no one ever said anything about the names not matching.

Circus Kelli said...

THAT is excellent. :)
Thanks for the laugh today, Mr. Dork!

kimmyk said...

I wonder if you can get in trouble for that? Like fraud or somethin?

Who cares..I'm gonna try it. Wonder if I'll get in trouble for signing the queen of england? we'll see...i'll get back to ya.

Andrea said...

OHHHH I hate those things. How would anyone know if someone was forging my signature? Heck, I could use my husband's credit card and forge HIS if I needed to (and he signs in Chinese, oh yes he does).

momo9 said...

You are so funny! Only you could write about signing your signature on an electronic credit card machine! Too funny! Just wait till the DHL guy and the UPS guy come into work on Tuesday! Can't wait! I'll sign "Zorro"! Think they'll notice? If it's a new guy, he'll say, spell the last name please! Even after I've written it legibly! This should be fun! Thanks for the ideas and the laughs. Today is the ninth! Tomorrow June goes into double digits. What will the big day be? Can't wait for that too.

The Kept Woman said...

My favorite is when a previous someone has used a real pen and you can read their signature clear as day, "Maria I Was Talking On My Cell Phone Smith"...

Mainline Mom said...

Hehe that is so great. You got CAUGHT at your own little game.

Aunt Jo said...

I bet everyone who reads this will HAVE to try it the next time they e-sign something......

Thanks for the laugh of the day!

MMC said...

Hilarious!

Brian said...

Hey W-

I forget how I found your blog, mabye through Amalah.com or dooce.com, but I just wanted to delurk and let you know I like your site. I've been reading through your archives all week.

I just read your entry from Monday, June 27, 2005, "The Night We Met." Brilliant story. Best thing I've read all week.

-W

LuckyCharm said...

Ivana Trythissometime and Ivy Gigglingthewholetime Juanna Comewatch and Seymore Goodtimes. Anita Goodlaugh

kalki said...

William Nerd, you will LOVE this:

http://www.zug.com/pranks/credit/

SoozieQ said...

Ok, I was just having this issue last night at the store. See the problem (heh, PROBLEM) is, I took the Hub's last name when we got married. The Hub's last name sort of rhymes with "Caca" and I *swear* every time I try to write our last name it somes out looking JUST LIKE the word "Caca".

On a totally unrelated (well sort of related side note): When the Hubs was still working his "real job" (before we started our own business), he was the Warehouse Operations Manager for a very, VERY large grocery chain. He managed anywhere from 200-300 union warehouse workers. Needless to say, when you're the boss of that many people, there are bound to be people that dislike you/question your authority, etc.

So every time the Hubs would hang a memo in the breakroom, people would cross out his last name and write "Caca" where his last name would be.

So I guess that's what it looks like *my* last name is now too! :-)

Stacie said...

I was thinking about doing that but I was afraid I would get in trouble with the FBI or something! You are my new hero!! Awesome! Stacie

Tammy said...

That's darn funny!

eclectic said...

Tsk, tsk... love, Ura Dork

TiffaneyC said...

That's the best game ever!!!

From this moment on I am known as Hooty McBoob!!

Raven Shields said...

That is too funny! LMAO and spewing water everywhere! I never thought of doing that. Why don't they give us one of those big ass crayons to sign like we use to have in kindergarten because that is what the signature looks like anyway?
Thank you for the laughs. :o)~

Pioneer Woman said...

Ohhhhhh, yes. I have a new pointless hobby. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Richard Cranium