DEAR ABBY: What's up with penmanship these days? A few years ago, my mother gave me some old letters written by my grandfather to my grandmother. Some of them are treasures because the written words are not only loving and endearing, but the penmanship is beautiful. The script writings are actually examples of "art" in this modern age.
I work at a bank, Abby, and many of the signatures I see every day are illegible. Is written communication becoming obsolete? With the electronic age and schools going paperless, will penmanship become unnecessary?
- Mary in Huntsville, Ala.
DEAR MARY: Years ago, penmanship was routinely taught in the public schools, and students spent nearly an hour a day practicing how to write legibly. Today, I am told that 10 minutes is devoted to teaching students to print. If the emails I receive are any indication, capitalization and punctuation are also being jettisoned. And if the electric grid ever goes down and battery power runs out, we'll have to start over with stone tablets and chisels.
DEAR ABBY: I have worked in a pharmacy for 30 years, and every summer it's the same story. People forget their medication and leave it at home.
Why do people not realize that their meds should be one of the first things they pack? Yes, we can call their pharmacist back home to get a transfer, but if the prescription was just filled, their insurance will not go through, or they'll have to wait while we call for a vacation override.
Please, people - remember your medications, and if you don't plan on spending a while sitting around our pharmacy waiting for us to call your hometown pharmacy, and possibly your insurance company, then don't get angry at us when it takes longer than the 15 minutes you expected.
I love my job. But I'm beginning to dread irresponsible, crabby tourists who know they need their blood pressure meds every day and expect us to drop whatever we're doing to take care of them.
- Phrustrated Pharmacist
DEAR PHARMACIST: I sympathize with your "phrustration," so I'm printing your heartfelt letter, hoping it will help you to lower your blood pressure. I don't think the people you describe are irresponsible as much as they may be disorganized.
The way I have solved this problem is to keep multiple copies of a printed list of items I must have when I travel. As I pack, I check them off my list - and before I close my travel bag, I double-check to make sure nothing has been forgotten. Perhaps others will find this helpful.