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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Paper Trail

Today on my favorite radio show - Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me - they had a bit about how a woman's purse has more germs than a toilet. Disgusted, I, of course, immediately had to clean my purse! Now, this is something I generally do a couple times a month, but that cleaning usually consists of taking everything out of the bag, sorting it, throwing out/filing items I don't need in there, & putting everything else back in neatly. Today, I did that, but also sprayed the bag & all the individual contents (while removed) with Lysol. Then I left the items on the table to dry before replacing them in my purse.

Like most women, I have "regular purse stuff" - like lip gloss, aspirin, & business cards - in my bag. All that routine stuff goes back in after a cleaning. What comes out is paper, mostly receipts & a few shopping lists. I am always amazed at how many receipts I find stuffed in the various pockets of my purse! But I really shouldn't be.

Anywhere you purchase something, you're bound to end up with at least one receipt. At a restaurant, for example, they'll bring you one receipt to review before submitting payment, & then return with two additional receipts (if you pay by credit card, which most of us do) so you can sign one for them & then keep the original & the duplicate "for your records."  In our household, "for your records" means Bruce hands the receipts to me, I stuff them in my purse, & a week or so later, pull them out & stick them on top of the filing cabinet until I shred them.

Why do we need all those receipts? Why do we use up all that paper? I know a lot of folks with small mom-&-pop businesses who ring up purchases by swiping the buyer's credit card through an attachment to their smart phone. The app they use offers the option of emailing or texting the receipt to the buyer.

Isn't that brilliant? Why can't everybody do something like that? Restaurants could bring a tablet out to your table, you could review the bill, they could run your card, & you could complete the transaction on the tablet, sending yourself an e-receipt. It saves paper & trees, makes filing your receipts easier which in turn would make filing taxes easier (wouldn't it?), & means less stuff (although not necessarily fewer germs) for me to stuff in my purse.

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