Some Assembly Required

My bank insisted the other day that I get new checks. They had changed their routing numbers in 1997 or so and really wanted me to spend my money with something that didn’t screw up their machinery.

They also wanted me to pay for the new checks but I declined. After all, I didn’t change the routing numbers.

They paid for the checks which arrived from Deluxe today.

I do most of my banking online so I write very few checks any more. Not only that, since all the banks were forced to accept colorful (and inexpensive) checks from sources like Checks-R-Us-In-The-Mail, I haven’t bought anything from Deluxe since about 1978. Taken together, I’m thinking the near-captive check printing operations like Deluxe are the buggy whip manufacturers of the 21st Century and that the days of even independents like Checks-R-Us are numbered. Imagine a wry grin at that. Our writer friend Alma in Washington state would thwap me.

Someone at Deluxe got the bright idea that they would save money by shipping the checks with a flattened box.

“Let the customer assemble the box and we’ll save money,” that Deluxe genius thought.

And it was so.

Understand that the cardboard pre-box had been printed, cut, folded, glued, and taped together by machines at the factory. Then the (flattened) pre-box and the little stacks of bound checks were bundled loosely into an envelope to be mailed.

I don’t see the savings.

After all, the cardboard pre-box could have been printed, cut, folded, glued, and taped together as a box shape by machines at the factory and the little stacks of bound checks could have been put inside the box!

I’m a mechanical engineer with an actual diploma and everything. I have built a boat from scratch and gotten it out of the barn. It even floats. I can put the top up on one of Carroll Shelby’s original Cobras. I can even program my VCR. I just spent half an hour folding and gluing and taping this darned box together.

Bean counters. Bah.

At least the couple of hundred checks they sent will likely last my lifetime. Or until the next routing number change.