Saturday, October 20, 2012

What are they teaching kids these days?

Mac and his buddy moved into their first apartment and they pay rent weekly. Today is the roommate's turn to pay. He called me mid day today to see if I would help him. He doesn't have a bank account so he can't write a check for his portion of the rent and needs to pay with a money order. But he didn't know how to get a money order or what to do with one- and he wanted me to help him.


I went to the apartment to pick him up. (By they way, I dropped off mac' clean laundry and helped unpack a few boxes while I was there. And the Roommate was AMAZED at how much space they had in the living room without boxes piled in the middle. Well, duh!)

We went to an ATM to get cash since money orders can't be purchased any other way. He couldn't get any cash; he said the balance said he had money but the ATM wouldn't give him cash. I suggested he call the number on the back of the card to see the problem. He tried and it said he had enough money. We went to a bank across the street, he went in and a few minutes later was back out. He couldn't get cash off his card inside either. I suggested he call back again and press "0" until he reached a person. He did and explained the situation. He was told he has a daily cash limit and the amount he wanted would push him over. He managed to take out just enough and put it with the cash he already had.

Okay- crisis averted.

We went to a gas station and I told him to just ask the cashier for a money order in $*** amount. He said okay and then waled away and then came back asking me, "aren't you going in with me?" Uh, sure.

Did I mention he's 19 years old and did a semester of college, works a full time job, and has at least a high school diploma?

Money order in hand, I launch into teacher mode and explain to him what to fill out. Where he had to write in the landlord's name, he asked me what it was. I couldn't remember and neither could he. I told him to call hi landlord and ask to whom he should make out the money order. He didn't have the number- I did and gave it to him. (He said he remembered I told him and Mac both to program the number into their mobiles but he forgot). He called and got the information and finished filling it out. He put it in the envelop I made him grab from the apartment.

I started driving to the drop off site and Roommate was freaking out because he couldn't remember where to deliver it. I told him the address and he was "ohhhhhhhh". Finally, we get there and I show him the box where to put the money and then I took him home.

I'm amazed at what he didn't know: how to fill out a simple money order, how to BUY a money order, or how to handle a bank mess up. I asked him what he would've done had I not been there and he said he would've just waited until tomorrow to try again. I reminded him he wouldn't been charged $25 per day late and then had to deal with the landlord...

He said from now on if he didn't know something, he was calling me since I know everything.

Why didn't he learn any of this stuff in a life skills class? Or from his parents?

Monday could be a deja vu for me when Mac has to pay his portion of the rent, and he and I will do this all over again... maybe. I can hope not. I hope he's a bit smarter. For some reason, I'm not confident.



Curley said...

I'm not so sure I would know how to fill out a money order either. I've never had to get one. And I didn't know you could only get one with cash. Always had checking or debit. But I sure as heck would remember the landlord's name and phone number, or would have had it written down. Good luck to all of you.

Bragger said...

I am constantly amazed at the things young people don't know. I sold some tickets to a guy in Atlanta a while back, and when his check came to me, the envelope was filled out BACKWARD. How do you not know where to put an address and the return address? And how did it get TO me? Sigh.