The Car Was an Early-Drop-Off but the Service Writer Cannot Read Cursive, So No Service Was Performed…

This is one of my get-up on my soapbox and scream issues and I would not bring it up here but it came up recently with my neighbor when he took his car in for service with an Early Bird Drop-Off.

First a bit of history… After I retired from the Air Force in 2000, the wife and I, both native New Yorkers (Up State…), went back home and we stayed with her brother and his wife, they were empty nesters except they were now raising an 8-year old granddaughter. I’m helping her with a school project and I write something in cursive and she tells me she has only been taught to print.

Now, I have some neat writing and I teach her to write in cursive… Fast forward, two years or so, She turns in an essay for some school competition, and her submission is refused by the administration because the judges, all adult, college educated, teachers, could not read cursive…

My BIL took it all the way to the school board to get the school to accept her submission. She did not win, but that was ridiculous… It’s bad enough that some teachers cannot spel (intended…) and some even use numbers in lieu letter, “U no lik b4 they envented kyebord shtcuts…”

Now, just recently my wife had an appointment with a medical specialist, she had to fill out their forms with past medical history and she wrote a lot in cursive. We went back to an exam room and while we waited for the doctor, a technician was filling in the information on a computer. The technician then abruptly left the room and did not quite close the door and stood outside the door until another technician came along, they spoke and the other technician came in and said this would finish the In-Take. I asked why and we were told that the previous technician could not read cursive… My Wife also has nice handwriting…

Now, what has brought this to a head and I am sharing this with you and it is car related…

My neighbor, a civilian for a Government Defense Contractor had to go out of town and he was flying. His company provides him a company cell phone, but since it is monitored, he also has a personal cell phone… He decides to send his car in for service while he is out of town and fills out the Early Bird Drop envelope and he and his wife drop the car off at the dealer and she takes him to the airport.

Since he is flying, he does not take his personal phone and leaves it home. The next day, his wife picks him up at the airport and they drive to the dealer to pick up his car…

Only, it is sitting out back and no work has been done on it… The service writer who brought in the car could not read cursive and was too embarrassed to tell anyone, so they just moved the car out back until they could call him. But they only had his cell phone number, not the company cell phone number and could not reach anyone… and they just forgot about his car…

Well, after he cooled off, he explained in excoriating detail exactly what was to be done to the car and had the service writer write it up themselves… He did not elevate this to the service manager or anyone else.

I told him he should, this might have happened previously and this service writer is not doing their job… If they cannot admit that they just could not read his writing, it would all have gotten done, but it they lied about this, what else are they doing or not doing?

I told my neighbor to go there, not just call them, and make a stink right on the general manager’s desk.

Remember, in the beginning, I warned you that I was up on my Soapbox…

What do you all think?

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Aska gen Z to tell time with an analog clock… they can’t.

A manual transmission is an anti theft device.


Funny topic, esp for aged boomer-geezer such as I. Being learned cursive in elementary school, I can read it, unless it is my own cursive, which is not readable, even by me … lol …

Many moons ago, in the era I used to drop cars off in the AM for later repair, I’d leave what I thought were helpful notes for the techs. To avoid the unreadable handwriting problem, I’d leave a typewritten sheet on the passenger seat, with most important stuff first. If they didn’t call within 24 hours, I’d phone them to check on the progress. My suggestion to your neighbor, don’t presume they are working on the car, phone them to make sure.


Ask them about a pay phone and they will say it is a prepaid cell phone.


That is the same way as I am also. :grinning: Also I don’ understand text speak. :upside_down_face:


The same thing could have happened if he printed the maintenance request on the night-drop envelope. Service writers need to contact the customer to confirm price approval with the customer. One service writer told me not to change the customer’s oil yet: “It was a night-drop and the customer needs to be informed of the recent price increase”.


Pffftttt, I have to Google some of y’alls smart people words to know what y’all are saying sometimes… :man_facepalming: :rofl: :crazy_face:

But yeah, text talk, I have to ask WTH are you talking about sometimes… Hell I can type out before a lot faster then try to think of a way to short cut it down to just b4…

My daughter, now 22, had to wright reports on her laptop and email them to the teachers in high school, this was before covid… Everything is done on computers now so no need for cursive anymore, it is a dying language now… unfortunately…


Heh heh. If I write a letter, I will print it because my cursive is hard for even me to read afterward. My son the doctor writes cursive but not much better than mine. I remember the cursive charts in second grade so we started early. I have handwriting like my mom though and my son like mine. I have real trouble reading original historical documents too though. So I guess I’m on the fence. I get rushed when I write cursive and printing makes me slow down.


It’s not taught in schools anymore. When my youngest was a senior in high-school, entering freshman weren’t taught recursive. And it’s really NOT NEEDED. Past middle school - most kids don’t even print anymore. It’s all on their pads or laptops, then print it out or check it in on-line. In college, there are very few exams given on paper anymore. Better have your laptpop with you when you enter the classroom.

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That is something I think about often why do kids need to go past the 6th grade where the learn the basics the three RRR’s they can find anything they need to know on line unless the are going to be a doctor or lawer or some other occupatoin that requires colledge or higher training? I learned more playing around on line than I ever did in school.

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I think the service writer should be fired as he is not competent to perform his job.


I’ve been reading the various replies and I find them interesting and informative and I thank everyone for taking the time to respond… I have to add a bit more to the story about my grandniece. She was taught some cursive back in 2001, but just to sign her name and that was all they practiced, was signing their name. Not like me back in the '50s with line after line of “aaaaaaaaaaa”, “bbbbbbbbbbb”, etc…

As a side point, signatures have traditionally been written in cursive, but they don’t legally have to be. You can have a more simply written signature or print your name in capital letters. Or you could use some combination, using capital letters for your initials and then cursive for your full last name.

Remember, you can legally sign your name with an “X,” but for the document to be legally binding, it needs to be co-signed by two witnesses, but the law does not say anything about the witnesses signing with an “X” too…

And if the operator tells them to deposit 85 Cents, they would have to ask how many coins is that. I was taught how to tell time at home, but I remember learning to tell time in school because the teacher brought out this large board with a clock face with Roman numerals on one side and Arabic numerals on the other and we had to know what a “quarter after” meant, or "half-past, or “twenty of”…

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I have what I think beautiful cursive writing, I put flares and big flamboyant capitol letters etc. I gave up and now print things not in cursive for the most part. As obsolete as a stick shift?

It was your neighbor that failed to leave contact information with the car dealer. What type of work was to be performed? Night drop envelopes often need repair work verification whether it is printed or written.

Agreed that the neighbor should have included his business phone, but he probably instinctively put in his cell phone number since he keeps the two phones separate… The maintenance was all some standard scheduled maintenance like oil change and tire rotation, no charge and he did not mention any other mechanical work that he had to pay for.

But, I feel the issues here is that the SW kept it on the “down-low” and never asked for help and then never followed up when he could not reach my neighbor.

I was taught young that if you do not know what you are doing, ask for help. The only dumb question is the one you never asked…

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I’m afraid all of us old farts are going to have to accept this as an inevitable change of times. Cursive is or will become a type of extinct writing. Our historical writings will probably need to be interpreted to be studied in schools.


Yes, and probably not a moment too soon.
One of my hobbies is collecting old picture postcards. The images are nice to look at, but the cursive handwriting on them (including the addresses) is almost always indecipherable. In the era long before zip codes, it’s amazing to me that some of these cards were actually delivered to the recipient. (Is the town “Trumansberg”, or “Frumansburg”, or Lomansville", or ??? Is the state NJ or NY? The florid and scrawly nature of the old cursive script is usually just a mess of chicken scratch)

And then, we have the frequent misspellings on these cards, from back in “The Good Old Days” when–supposedly–everyone was well-educated. Was the card from “Ant Anna” really sent by an ant, or was Aunt Anna unable to spell her relationship to the recipient properly? Was the recipient of another card really a “cusin” of “Pouline”? No, these folks were simply poorly-schooled.

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They teach cursive writing in our town’s elementary/middle school starting in 5th grade. There is not a huge emphasis on it but it is being taught. We taught our son to write cursive back around 3rd grade so he already knew how to do it. How do we expect our kids to sign their name on anything if they can’t write cursive? Even digital signatures are backed up by written ones…

My brain moves faster than my hands can keep up so even my printing is hard to decipher except by me. Someone once described my handwriting as “it looks like you duct taped a pen to chicken’s leg and held him by the neck…” bawk! :slight_smile:


I had–sort of–the exact opposite experience with one of my 12th grade counselees. This was in the days prior to online Admissions Applications, and I used to have my students bring their completed paper applications to me for review, prior to mailing.

The young lady in question had done a reasonably-good job on the form… until it came time to sign it. She had printed her name on the line for her signature, and I gave her a new, blank application and told her to re-do it, with a cursive script signature. She claimed that she had never been taught cursive script, even though she had been in our school system–where it was part of the curriculum–since Kindergarten. She swore that she didn’t know how to write in cursive script, so I phoned my contact at the college’s admissions office to ask whether a printed “signature” was okay.

I was told that a signature in cursive script was required, so I sent her home with a note for her parents, asking them to give her a quick lesson in how to sign her name. In a week or so, she returned with a properly-signed application. Not very legible, but… at least it was signed in the required cursive script.

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As I wrote earlier, a signature is not necessary a cursive signature…

The college may require a signature, but they cannot stand on some false legal requirement that a signature in not a signature if it is not in cursive…

Legally Binding Signature: Everything You Need to Know.