Yesterday, a student from Africa came in and made an appointment with me. He had a round face and soft eyes. He spoke in a quiet voice when I called him over to my desk.
"I need to work on my signature," he said.
Apparently, he had taken the name "The Writing Center" seriously and thought we were there to help with handwriting. If we were there to help with handwriting, I'm the worst person ever to work with. I'm left handed and according to my handwriting, I should have been a doctor.
Helping people with their signatures is not really on my list of specialties, but I didn't want to turn him away. I could tell the guy was kind of shy and a little intimidated. After all, he was attending college and negotiating the world of America with English as his second language.
|Here's a photo I took on campus this morning.|
"It looks fine," I told him, "but you need to include your last name too."
I showed him my signature, which is very messy.
He looked ashamed for a minute then admitted that at the bank when he went to cash a check, they made him give a thumbprint. He was humiliated and thought his signature must not be good enough.
Oooh. That made me feel so sad.
I spent some time with him talking about using his home bank to cash a check and maybe even using an ATM rather than going into the bank. He pulled out two credit cards, one for his bank ATM and the other a credit card. Neither of them were signed and both still had the sticker on the front that says to call to activate.
I asked him whether he had activated the cards and he said he has. I told him he needed to sign the back of the cards and remove the sticker.
He practiced his signature a few more times before signing the back of his credit cards.
He was an unusual appointment for me at the Writing Center, but I probably did more good for him than I do for most students who make appointments with me.