Finding balance in a chaotic world

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February 2018
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Just Sign Here

Recently at work I became a check signer. Basically that means when we print checks, I’m one of the people authorized to sign the checks. Woo hoo. I became a signer by virtue of being at the office early in the morning when the checks are printed and being super-reliable so there is no real honor or pay raise for my additional responsibility. Instead it means that three times a week I get a stack of paper dumped on my desk and I get to sign each page. It’s like closing on your mortgage three times a week.


So I’m handed a sheet of paper to sign that will become my signature specimen. In theory the bank could compare the specimen to the actual signature on the check for verification. I’m sure that is tested less often than the store clerk compares the back of my credit card and the slip I just signed. It is a good thing it isn’t checked because the deeper into the stack I go, the less like my signature the blue squiggle I’m writing looks. By the time I’m done, I don’t even remember what my signature normally looks like, kind of like saying a word over and over until it loses all meaning.


Your signature is actually a fairly important thing, since you are saying “this is me” in a flurry of loops and swirls. I remember when I started signing for things as a teenager. I felt there was no way the UPS guy would accept my signature, it looks nothing like any adult’s signature. Of course the UPS guy didn’t care; he just wanted someone to sign his clipboard. I never really came up with an “official” signature that looked fancy. My regular signature is a simple cursive writing version of my name, all letters visible and accounted for. I do benefit slightly from terrible penmanship so it does add a little flare. Oddly enough, when I’m signing a personal letter or card, I do have a special flourish signature that I use.


Ultimately, a signature is a minor thing in the grand scheme of things. Still, it is something that is uniquely you, like a fingerprint. I don’t think practicing your signature will make you better balanced, but a good signature can give you a nice sense of accomplishment. So experiment with your signature. Write your name in different ways and see what looks most impressive. It is a bit of frivolity in an otherwise serious life.