business news in context, analysis with attitude

We had a story yesterday about how credit card purchases no longer are going to require customer signatures, which prompted MNB reader Alan Finta to write:

In regards to the need for signatures going away, you noted, “… many young people don’t learn how to write in cursive, so they have no idea how to sign their names.”  I agree with you, it is a shame.  I have two high schoolers…my daughter’s signature is beautiful, but she’s the “artistic type.”  My son’s signature is forever stuck at the 7th grade level.  Both of them have to take a little extra time to read grandma’s birthday card notes…kind of like they’re working through some new Spanish homework.  LOL

I was behind a woman at the grocery store the other day and had to wait for her to fill out a check.  I couldn’t remember the last time that happened.  It’s literally been years.  I’ve also noticed my own signature is getting worse as I get older.  “Use it or lose it” seems to apply here.  I’m guessing you could mark an “X” on the electronic signature pads at retail and it would go through…

Michael Sansolo and I will both say that one of the reasons we have relatively legible signatures is that we’ve signed so many books over the years … it has been one of the great pleasures of writing the books, and it has that side benefit.

From another reader:

I noticed that the end of your commentary on signatures being eliminated may affect server tips. “It’s a shame.”

Actually, a number of restaurants in the NW are switching over to tip included, so ‘no sig required’ won’t affect tipping at all…not sure if that movement is spreading cross-country or not…just a thought.

Regarding the idea that OFC is Seattle may shorten its name to just “Q,” since that’s what many people call it anyway, one MNB reader wrote:

I have lived in the Seattle area all 50+ years of my life.  I have worked in the food distribution / retail grocery industry for close to 30 years.  I have been in QFC's corporate office on many occasions.  I have been in the back end receiving area of QFC stores more times than I can count.  The prior president of QFC lived next door to a good friend of mine.  I have never once heard anyone call QFC the Q.

On another subject, from MNB reader Jeff Folloder:

With so many companies in the throes of bankruptcy, and so many of them being repeat offenders, I cannot help but recall Jeff Goldblum's memorable quip as Dr. Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park … that they were “so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should."  There are so many companies out there that have clearly demonstrated that they are simply not viable in terms of the evolution of commerce.  Our legal system should not be required to continually jump start economic models that should be labeled with “DNR".
KC's View: