8 Things You Don’t Really Have to Do

Written by Tynan

We grow up being told what to do and what not to do and can,t wait until we’re adults and can do whatever we want. When we finally get there, there are new people like bosses, cool people on TV, and the government who try to tell us what to do again.

I don’t mind getting into a little trouble here and there, so I tend to push the envelope a bit. However, even if you want to stay on the right side of the law, here are a few things that you probably THINK you have to do, but don’t really.

  1. Write in tip amounts You can just put the total amount and completely ignore the top box. Do you really think they’re not going to figure out how much it is? If you have super messy writing you might want to write it in to make sure they understand the amount, but if you aren’t a 2nd grader, you’re probably fine.
  2. Stop at stop signs in parking lots These signs aren’t actually legal signs. Have you noticed how they’re often not the same size or material? That’s because they’re made by the property owners. They’re as legally valid as me putting a crosswalk in the middle of my living room. So if it’s late and no one else is in the parking lot, just drive past them. It’s exhilarating.
  3. Check out at hotels There’s no real benefit to checking out at hotels. You’ve paid for a night and they’re expecting that you’ll be gone by the time you said you’d be gone. Just leave.
  4. Letting stores check your receipts You know those stores like Best Buy or Fry’s who treat you like a potential shoplifter after you leave and want to verify your receipts at the door? They have no right to do it! The worst is when there’s a huge line and they expect you to wait there. Just walk past and say “no thanks” when they go to look at your receipt. They legally have to let you go. The one exception are “clubs” like Costco where you’ve agreed to allow this in your membership agreement.
  5. Signing credit card receipts with your real name You’re probably supposed to sign it, but do you really think you’re not going to get charged if you write something else? I once drew a mountain range, a lake, and an indian in a canoe that was being eaten by a huge shark. When the cashier insisted I sign my name I just wrote “artwork by Tynan” at the bottom. The charge went through.
  6. Give your phone numbers and address when buying things This is a pet peeve of mine. Stores (RADIOSHACK!) always ask for your info so that they can send you tons of junk. I just tell them that I don’t want to give it to them, and they never refuse to sell to me.
  7. Writing out the numbers on checks How annoying is it to write out “Four thousand three hundred fifty two dollars and XX/100?? I hate it. Instead just write “?????4352.00????”. The chances that someone is going to try to tamper with your check are basically nil. Especially if you’re writing a check to some company.
  8. Get oil changes every 3000 miles The ideal amount of time between changes is actually about 4000-5000 miles, but motor oil companies have pushed the 3000 mile thing to sell more oil.

Have any more to add? Put them in the comments and I’ll add good ones here!

27 thoughts on “8 Things You Don’t Really Have to Do

  1. Terry Smith


    2 – I was taught that the rules of the road apply to parking lots therefore the signs are legit.

    3 – If you don’t check out they MIGHT be able to ding you for more charges.

    8 – the proper way to take care of a NEW car is to understand that when it is totally new the moving parts haven’t mated yet so they make a lot of microscopic curlycue’s of steel as they operate. Change the oil at the end of the first WEEK then again a week later then a month later then every 3000 K or so. I had a car running fine at 400 thousand k no trouble with this.

  2. Jalaj

    ?artwork by Tynan? — That’s a thing that I would like to adopt (I hope you were not joking)

    “Give your phone numbers” – Yes they always want to (mis)use it.

    “Writing out the numbers on checks” – I don’t think Banks will accept them. If there is a mismatch the words are considered true.

  3. Lonegoddess

    The check thing will get you in trouble since banks consider the written number the legally binding part of the check. Many banks (if not all of them) will reject a check that doesn’t have a written amount.

    Why have we become so lazy as a society? Here’s the one thing you really don’t have to do: let someone else think for you.

  4. Sharkford

    8 things the other guys don’t have to do: (1) not make “mistakes” in their favor when processing incomplete credit slips (2) allow you access to their private property if you don’t follow their posted rules (3) quit charging your credit card for each day you don’t check out (4, 5, 6) sell you stuff you want (7) not press charges of fraud for presenting an invalid check (8) honor their warranty if you violate their terms.

    Seriously, is this what counts as civil disobedience today? This is how we Stick it To The Man…by mis-writing checks? Helping a restaurateur screw his wait staff out of tips? Ruining our own car engine? You mad at your parents, get a tattoo or something, don’t be ramming my car at a parking lot intersection.

  5. Adriel Gonzalez

    Actually, I work at a bank, and yes, the written amount is considered the legally binding portion of the check. However, with the extreme growth of most larger banks, and the subsequent hiring of unqualified tellers, you probably won’t get stopped when trying to negotiate a check that doesnt have the dollar amount written out.

    As far as the parking lot stop sign, those are for safety, like other stop signs. Cops are not usually around to stop you for coasting, but shoppers and drivers are around, so its hard to eat all the signs without getting into an accident. Plus, why would you be in a parking lot way after hours anyway.

    Besides, I went into a Jewel parking lot after hours once to work on my drifting with a manual transmission, and a cop eventually pulled me over and told me to cut it out lol.

  6. Agg09

    The credit card thing is true. I’ve used my mom’s card and signed my name (we have different last names) and even showed my ID and never been told I couldn’t use it. The most I’ve ever had to do is say, “Its my mom’s card.” They don’t blink an eye.

  7. ninja.s

    That’s great. I didn’t know about #2, or #3. Then again, I’m just weird enough to do those anyway. I do hate, however, writing both the numbers and the words on checks.

  8. Dana

    1. Please write in the tip amount. I’ve waited tables for years and it sucks to have to do all that math at the end of a long night.

    2. You’re right, stop signs in parking lots aren’t legally binding, but it would suck when another person thinks you are going to stop because of the sign and you don’t. I think that you would be at fault in that wreck.

    5. The charges will go through on your credit card, but your charges might get sent to a fraud division and your card could be subsequently canceled. This happened to me after I let my boyfriend sign for my bar tab after I left.

    This list is rather lame. These sound like things that lazy peons would do to make themselves feel more powerful. They make no political statement whatsoever.

    WRITING OUT NUMBERS ON CHECKS?!?… who the hell writes a check these days?

  9. Chris

    I’m not sure I agree with most of these but I understand where you’re coming from. One more that really “grinds my gears”: Did you know it’s against Credit Card Company policy for stores to require a minimum purchase amount for credit card purchases? So when you go into a store and see that handwritten sign on the register that says “Minimum $5 for Credit Card Purchases” you can call them out on it then buy your TicTacs for 50 cents. Of course their reply is “it costs us money to process your transaction so it’s not worth it for less than 5 dollars”. Tough cookies. If you don’t want to pay credit card fees then don’t accept credit cards.

  10. Leo

    I’m from Australia and so some rules are different.

    3) I’d make sure that I checked out so that there was a time listed for when I left. If the next occupant trashed the room (not likely, but possible) then there’s always the chance that I’d get charged for it.

    4) Not sure what the law is on that one in Aust. but there’s hardly ever a queue so we just walk past and the staff who take a quick glance and that’s it.

    5) I work in retail and I’ve forced customers to re-sign a slip when it didn’t match the signature on the card. When they complained, I told them that it was for their protection in case their card was stolen. On the other shoe, when we get couriers delivering stuff to us I put a smiley face and sign “D. Duck” – so far, only two have asked me to re-sign. 🙂

    6) I’d agree on not providing that information for buying things, but where I work we ask for it when people are returning things. When people say “why should I” I just tell them to fill in false information saying “We just have to have something there in handwriting that isn’t one of the staff’s.”

    7) Oh, how I hate checks. I understand companies using checks but what kind of weirdo pays for a $9.95 item with a check?? In Australia we need to get a whole bunch of details (usually from their drivers license) and write it on the back to say who handed the check in. Do they do that in the US as well? Just use a card, dangit!

    8) I’d agree with that one for an older car. A new one I’d look after like Terry said, but I just buy cheap bombs, drive them into the ground for a year and then get another one – no need to pay interest on loans, no need for servicing! Kinda hard to pick up in though…

    And Tynan did specifically say “So if it?s late and no one else is in the parking lot”….

  11. Pedro Gonzales

    Caution Alert Danger

    You’ll really get screwed if you disobey parking lot traffic signs. Unless you live in some hillbilly area, ALL parking lot sign infractions can be enforced the same as road sign infractions. The signs might look a little different than the ones on the road to the parking lot but that means nothing at all. A yellow triangle with the letters y i e l d on it can be enforced 24/7 even in parking lots that post closing times by any law enforcement that sees the crime. You don’t see me, so go ahead; blow the stop sign in the nearly vacant parking lot.
    Oh, and have you been drinking tonight?
    What is that burnt smell?

  12. Ollie

    Just on the Oil changes, I never heard of such short intervals, except maybe on a scooter? Cars are normally a minimum of 10k miles intervals, and intelligent servicing on quality makes like BMW or VW/Audi calculate service intervals even less frequently. But, this is in the UK and Europe – are Americans being ripped off that much? 10k miles or once year is ample for any modern engine, anyway.

  13. Geby

    I see a lot of answers here hat depend on local ordinances.

    Here, the police cannot go into private areas to enforce parking or other ordinances, and cannot investigate accidents in private parking lots.

    On the checks, I’ve had them go through when I mailed in a payment and forgot to sign. It came right back in my statement. In addition, I have had the number misinterpreted, and the check passed through for the incorrect amount, even though the words were clear. The bank claimed that there was nothing that they could/would do about it.

    Under Federal regulations, anyone wanting in federal issued information must state the reason (I think in writing) before they can legally ask for it. For all other information, (telephone, address, etc.) I generally ask why they want it. If I don’t h\think it is a good reason, I don’t furnish it,
    however, some places require proper identification for returns and/or

  14. Stephanie

    You have to write out the dollar amount on a check in words. That’s actually the part of the check that makes it legal. If you go to the bank and don’t have a written amount on your check they are going to turn you away. It’s not legally acceptable as a form of payment otherwise. I don’t know where you people are banking that would let things such as unsigned checks go through. That is illegal and you should not bank there if they are going to use bad practices such as that. (I should know, I’ve worked in the banking industry for 6 years.)

  15. Kate

    Hate to beat a dead horse, but here are a couple nuggets I’ve picked up working in retail:

    The real purpose for signature capture on credit card transactions is to verify identity by matching it to the back of the card. Obviously this action would be superfluous if you’ve already shown ID. However, if a sales rep asks for a signature just remember that these procedures are in place for buyer protection, and rolling your eyes and doodling a nice little picture just makes you look like an ignorant jerk. Unless you have already shown ID, of course 🙂

    Also, most stores ask for customer information for demographic purposes. Understanding the customer base helps retailers focus marketing schemes and determine potential product needs. Some retailers (especially in the resale sector) are required to record this information BY LAW in an effort to deter or determine instances of theft.

    Just remember folks, many of the seemingly annoying and bureaucratic actions you do each day are actually instated for your protection. Take a second to think about the consequences if such barriers were not in place. And on the same note–if everyone in the world hated these measures, then there must be a damn good reason so much money and time go into them.

  16. sharpie

    I work at radioshack, and honestly, if you give us the address and everything, all it does is put you in the system, so if you want to get a service plan at any point, or upgrade your phone, or anything where we would normally need to give an address and everything, you dont, it just makes things quicker.

    and honestly, we dont care whether you tell us or not, its just another frustration that we have to go through because the computer wont let us scan anything until we put a phone number in or hit clear

  17. reverendsteveii

    Point: Signature on credit cards is for verification, unless you show ID.
    Counter: Having carried a card where the signature line reads “See ID” for about 3 years, and having not once been asked for my ID, I have to argue that signature verification only works if the retailer bothers with it, and no retailer is going to risk losing a sale for no reason (from their perspective). Also, at the restaurant I work at, if you don’t sign your charge slip, the charge still goes through, but they can’t apply any tip you would try to give the server. Signing your slip as Optimus Prime works, as does drawing a little cartoon penis, but not signing simply stiffs your server, who will likely sign the slip on your behalf.

    Point: Stores need your demographic info/they need to check your bag and receipt on the way out.
    Counter: They only need my demographic info to market to me, and I don’t want to be marketed to. If they insist, I’ll either lie or leave. If it has to do with a service plan, I’ll be honest because there actually is something in it for me. The only legal requirements for that sort of information that I know of are for products containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, because they can be used to make methamphetamines. As far as checking bags and receipts: fuck you. I’m not a thief, and I don’t appreciate being treated like one. The only thing they can do is ban you from the premises and/or cancel any applicable memberships you have. If they try to stop you from leaving, file charges for assault and unlawful detention.

    Point: These things are in place for your protection.
    Counter: I am an adult. I decide the level of hassle I’m willing to go through for a given level of safety. You may choose not to do business with me, the free market is pretty like that, but you cannot and will not compel me to jump through your hoops “for my protection.”

  18. EZ Computers

    I agree with numbers 1,2,3,5,6 as those are all absolute rubbish (in fact I would like to extend number 2 to all non-main-road stop streets at the dead of night)

    As for the rest, here are my issues with them –
    3. If you don’t give them back the key card (which is done at check out), they will charge you for it, plus you may have paid a deposit which you are entitled to get back
    4. I agree with you in principle, however 9 times out of 10, a store would not honour a warraunty if your slip has not been signed by security
    7. I am not 100% sure if the banks would accept a check that has not been written to protocol…
    8. Im not clued up on the facts, so im not gonig to comment

  19. Tarakan

    “Signing credit card receipts with your real name You’re probably supposed to sign it, but do you really think you’re not going to get charged if you write something else? I once drew a mountain range, a lake, and an indian in a canoe that was being eaten by a huge shark. When the cashier insisted I sign my name I just wrote “artwork by Tynan” at the bottom. The charge went through.”

    About that, if you draw stuff on the receipt and they accept it, you can go to the bank, tell them your credit card was stolen and you need to cancel any last deals that were made with that card. Since it’s not your signature on the receipt, the store cannot prove that it was you using your credit card and you can, with some luck, have your money back.
    Credit card transactions that don’t have a signed receipt are not valid.
    Not as easy as it sounds, but after reading about it I bet anyone could do it.

    Could be a bit more complicated, since I haven’t had anything to do with customer service for half a year or so and don’t remember much details about credit card handling…

  20. Mel C

    I was more than a little P.O’d when huge retailer Target decided to stop looking at people’s credit cards to match signatures. WHY? 20 minutes after my whole wallet was stolen from my desk at work, a BIG BLACK MAN was making purchases at Target. If they had checked the credit cards the clerk would have been able to stop the sale (call Security or some such) because there is NO WAY in heaven that a big black man will have my name, a very girly name with a Spanish last name. So, yes, people. It IS for your protection. Some stores do still check signatures and I never have a problem giving the clerk my card to verify…

    AND, you shouldn’t pay with a credit card at a restaurant. Pay cash so you always know where your cards are. And tip your server generously! That’s just good karma.

  21. Xanadu

    I work at a hotel, and we don’t know when you left if you don’t check out at the front desk. If it is after check out time YOU will be charged for an extra day. You might be tired when you check in but the girls at the front desk ARE NOT to be abused by yelling at them. We like our jobs and what to make your stay enjoyable. We don’t enter the rooms and have no idea if the room is dirty. Housekeeping tells us the room is clean, you know what we take thier word for it, Thats the job to clean the room!
    Also if your reservation is for Wednesday and you show up on Tuesday( even if it’s after midnight) you will pay for Tuesday night! You are using the room you will pay for it. We don’t own the hotel and dont get paid extra for the amount if people in the hotel. A couple more things when the clerk tells you the lowest rate she has it is true, our boss DO tell us no lower than$$.$$ and we cant go lower.accept it that we do have a limit, telling us you stay in hotels all the time won’t change our price.
    At the hotel I work at we have a 24 hour cancel policy. That does mean24 hours. If we don’t tell you ask! If you make a reservation for Friday and you called on that day. You will be charged if you don’t show and if you tried to cancel. That room is held and can not be sold.

    The night auditor( clerk on the third shift is doing three jobs but does not get anymore money than the the person on the first shift. They audit the days work for the two shifts before her, fix all computer work and run the breakfast room, give her a break as the song goes she works hard for the money. The auditor is acting as the asst. manger but can only do so much.

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