April 14, 2008
After thirty-one years of getting paper paychecks or pay stubs, tomorrow will mark the first occasion of my receiving an electronic pay statement. My employer, in an effort to avoid paying the increased mass mailing postage rate, has decided to stop mailing associates, who use direct deposit, pay stubs. Over the course of a year they estimate this will save the company in the neighborhood of $80,000.
The online site, provided by ADP, allows me to view and or print my pay checks, and shows a handy list of this year’s activity by default. My employer has been generous in providing ample information about the switch, given us all a full month (two pay cycles) to get used to the idea. However, I still find the idea of not having an official, printed pay stub unnerving. Somewhere in a box I have years and years worth of old pay stubs, carefully clipped together by year. Yes, they are gathering dust, and yes, I probably won’t ever need to look at them again, but I have them. I can touch them. With the switch to electronic pay statements I lose the physicalness of my pay.
Now my pay is truly just a stream of digits electronically transmitted between my employer’s bank and my credit union. My purchases are increasingly all electronic as well, I can go weeks without any cash in my pockets, so I suppose it is fitting that the income is paperless now, too.
Still, I think we’ll be printing off the electronic statements and saving the paper copy in a drawer or a box for a while. Old dogs can (and do) learn new tricks, but just the ones they like.