Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke


Technoboredom: it’s a manifestation of technophobia for the stouter of heart. You know how to use all this stuff. You just don’t want to. Because it’s b-o-o-o-r-ing! Boring boring BORING.

Right now, 35 emails reside on the MacServer, none of them opened and none of them about to be opened soon. The new Mac OS exacerbates this issue: under the old operating system, you could view the name of the sender and at least part of the message without having to open the email. Now, to see what’s in it or to set a preference to direct some nuisance emailer to the trash, you HAVE to open it, and then, to move on, click again to close it. That’s four clicks (if you count a double-click as two) to view with what you should be able to see in one click. It doesn’t seem  like much…but it adds up. Multiply that times 35: to view today’s mail, I will have to point and goddamn click a hundred and forty times!

And that alone adds up to “NUISANCE.” B-o-o-o-r-ing Nuisance.

Yesterday I spent half the afternoon reconciling bank accounts online, entering data in Excel, electronically depositing checks, and storing the checks’ JPEGs to Dropbox — yet another task, that latter, made exponentially more difficult by OS 10.11.4.

Yes. For some reason, the new OS on the iMac, which I have to use to operate the scanner with relatively low hassle, will not play with DropBox. Instead of appearing in the Finder sidebar like another disk drive, it’s presented in an icon in the top menu bar. You can NOT save a scanned JPEG direct to Dropbox in this new, unclever iteration. You have to save it to the desktop, then right-click on it and click on the option “move to Dropbox.” THEN, goddamnit, you have to get into Dropbox, find the file, and move it to the folder where you want it.

This issue, I suspect, could be resolved with an inexpensive PC. That, very likely, will be the new computer purchase. Too bad. I like the Mac for a number of reasons. But Apple seems to be working hard to drive customers over to Microsoft.

With an ordinary pocket calculator, I could’ve reconciled my bank accounts in about 30 minutes. But of course the result would not have been enshrined on DropBox for posterity, for my accountant, and for the IRS.

Consider the sheer amount of time wasted with fiddling with the electronic crap. Yesterday I only had two checks to deposit. But sometimes there are five or six checks laying around, begging to go to the bank. With that much hassle factor involved, it might be faster to drive them to the credit union! And it would be only marginally more annoying. To say nothing of significantly less mind-numbing.

How many clicks would it take to deposit six checks? How many steps? Hmmm…

Step 1. Align check on grid to make it straight (credit union will bounce it if it’s not exactly straight); tape down.
Step 2. Place grid with check in scanner.
Click 1. Open scanner software.
Click 2. Click to scan image of front of check.
Click 3. Outline image to include check only.
Click 4. Crop image.
Click 5. Export to desktop under an intelligible filename.
Click 6. Click to scan image of back of check.
Click 7. Outline image to include check only.
Click 8. Crop image.
Click 9. Export to desktop under an intelligible filename.
Click 10. Get into Finder
Click 11. Right-click on image of check front.
Click 12. Select “Move to Dropbox.”
Click 13. Click on stupid icon in annoying menu at top of screen to open DropBox.
Step 4 or 5, God only knows. Search for JPEG of front of check.
Click 14. Grab file and drag to the directory (sorry, “Folder”) where it’s supposed to be stored.
Click 15. Repeat click 11 for back of check.
Click 16. Repeat click 12 for back of check.
Click 17. Repeat click 13 for back of check.
Step 6 or so. Repeat step 4 or 5, whatever it was, for back of check.
Click 18. Open FireFox
Click 19. Get into address line.
Step 7. Enter credit union’s URL.
Step 8. Sign in…
Click 20. Enter username.
Click 21. Enter password.
Click 22. Select “Online Deposit.”
Click 23. Select bank account into which to direct check.
Click 24. Enter the amount of the check.
Click 25. Select “Front.”
Click 26. Search for and click on JPEG of check front, which you cannot access on Dropbox now that you have wonderful OS 10.11.4 — you have to find the copy you put on the desktop.
Click 27. Tell the bank yes, yes, YES THIS IS THE IMAGE YOU WANT TO UPLOAD.
Click 28. Print resulting receipt.
Click 29.  Search for and click on JPEG of check back.
Click 30. Tell the bank yes, yes, YES THIS IS THE IMAGE YOU WANT TO UPLOAD.
Click 31. Print resulting receipt.
Click 32. Back out of “Online Deposit.”
Click 33. Log out of credit union account.
Step 9. Retrieve deposit receipts from printer; staple checks to their respective receipts and file in hard-copy folders in file drawer.

So we have 33 clicks and about 9 steps to deposit one check; for half a dozen checks, that would total 54 steps and 198 clicks and some endless amount time spent in this eye-glazing venture.

How, really, does this improve our lives? What could I have been doing instead?

Round-trip to the credit union takes about 40 minutes. However: a Home Depot, a Lowe’s, and a Fry’s Electronics are directly on the way to that credit union. A Costco that serves a more upscale crowd than mine (and so has a richer choice of merchandise) is only slightly out of the way. A Michael’s, a pet store, and an OfficeMax are directly on the way home. Consider the number of errands I could have run in a round trip that would’ve included the CU.

Those errands have to be run willy-nilly, whether the checks are deposited or not. How much more efficient would it be simply to include a side trip over to the credit union as part of a Great Loop to two or three of those other destinations? How much less efficient — and less brain-banging boring — would a book of paper spreadsheets be, by way of enshrining data for posterity?


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Author: funny

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  1. OMG, no! I would have def just driven to the CU and taken care of errands, too. Just reading those steps made my head hurt. Of course, my CU is about a 5 minute drive away, so that helps.

    • Chortle! I wish! They used to have a branch located just up the road — it would’ve been within walking distance if it were safe to walk along Gangbanger’s Blvd. It was in the same building where my son’s office is! But ooooh no: they had to shut it down. So now the closest branch is at GDU West, about 20 minutes away if you travel outside of rush hour.

  2. Not a “fan” of online banking ….ESPECIALLY when it comes to depositing checks. Like you suggested, I tend to combine trips…making the CU just one of the stops along the way. Every time I hear of another electronic “breach” in the media I feel I’ve made the right decision. As for Apple….IMHO they have lost their way….it seems they want to be a “phone manufacturer” more or less. But to me it seems they are putting all their eggs in one basket….Samsung seems to be “closing the gap” quickly both on performance and price. Let us not forget…not so long ago Blackberries were the rage….and now they’re “not so much”……

  3. All I can say about electronic check depositing, spreadsheets and Drop Box is “Good Grief!”

  4. What program are you using for email? Most email programs allow for a preview/reading pane to be added even if it is not selected in the default view. I also think the Dropbox is a configuration issue and not a change to Dropbox/OSX. My dropbox shows up as a folder just like iCloud and Google Drive.

    Your bank/credit union’s online deposit process seems needlessly complex. With Wells Fargo and Capital One, I’m able to snap a couple photos – they don’t even have to be very good photos – with their respective apps on my phone. The check gets deposited and I get emailed a deposit receipt.

    • Yeah, the photo idea sounds great…if you have a smartphone. I don’t. If you have a regular boring computer, you have to scan front and back — and get the scans right! — and then jump through hoops to upload them.

      In MacMail, you can choose to use “Classic Layout,” which at first glance resembles the view I used to be able to see. It would give you a preview if you clicked one to place your cursor on the message line; to actually open it you had to double click. How you can not see a preview that way: you HAVE to open it to see what the sencer is going on about. Alternatively, you can un-click “Classic Layout,” which gives you a MESS: A whole screenful of messages & previews in tiny, TINY, greyed-out(!!!) print. It’s very hard to read and very annoying. I tried it for awhile but just looking at it gave me a headache. Went back to the new “Classic,” which is no improvement — in fact, it’s a de-provement — on the original.

      • The newest version of Mac Mail places the preview pane on the right hand side of the window. If it is hidden you can click the line to the right of the message list. The cursor should change to look like a vertical line with a perpendicular arrow (roughly like this <-|). With that you can then drag to expose the preview pane.

        If you want the preview pane on the bottom of the screen like in prior versions of Mac Mail, in preferences select classic layout. (If you don't want the greyed out text in the message list, in preferences set List Preview to "None.") Once you're in classic layout, in the main window there should be a small grey dot below the message list. Click the dot and drag it up to reveal the preview pane.

        Hopefully that helps 🙂