He pecks through his change, ordering each coin by size. He has a few more pennies left than expected, so orders a sticky danish pastry to go with the two coffees. He’ll treat his wife this week, not because he wants to, but because he knows it is the right thing to do.
It’s unusual to have any change left over after the weekly shop. Clearly the price of one of their essentials has been reduced recently. He seriously consider re-pocketing the spare money and saving it for when the prices inevitably go up again, but then passes it to the cashier to pay.
This definitely isn’t how he had imagined retirement, counting pennies to pay for the weekly shop and a trip to the supermarket café. Sure it is a pleasant enough day out, and they manage fairly well on their pensions, but it’s all so mundane. As a younger man he’d been sold the dream of annual cruises, sports cars and a second home in Spain. Instead he and his wife live modestly in the same two bedroom house they’ve occupied for the last thirty years. The sports car is an ever-so-sensible compact, and the second house is an annual week away in Eastbourne.
But then, if you can’t afford those things when you are working, what chance do you have once you retire? Perhaps his twilight years will be a penance for his own lack of ambition as a young man. What if he had worked a little harder, secured that promotion in 1985? Or taken that other job in 1987? So much for loyalty to the company — he finally understood why kids kept chopping and changing in their careers.
Perhaps he’ll never get over letting his wife down, for condemning their final years to an endless conveyor belt of mediocrity. Or maybe he was just a sucker for the lies of advertisers, and this is just the ignominious end to which he was always destined.
He sighs, thanks the cashier, and picks up his tray. As he weaves between the tables he catches his wife’s eye. He summons his biggest, brightest smile, and once more resumes the charade of the satisfied pensioner.
Ipswich, Suffolk — 17th March 2014
Keep up with the City Sketches collection on Medium: http://bit.ly/1EEO8ob
I really enjoyed following his experiment and look forward to seeing what he comes up with in the coming weeks, months and years.
I'm still not sure exactly what the future holds but here are some thoughts on what the #write365 project taught me.
Like you say though, posts quickly get lost in the social stream. I've noticed here on Google+ that old posts "disappear" after a while; there is only one #myignorantcolleague post left for instance.
Rumors suggest that Google is working on a new service, codename Pony Express, to make it easier for users to receive and pay for their bills directly from inside Gmail.
The advantage here is that, instead of registering to pay your bills electronically through dozens of separate services, it may be possible to pay them all from the convenience of your email Inbox, perhaps even automating the process to some degree.
For Google, this could mean more access to a user's financial information (for data gathering and perhaps ad targeting purposes), both the bills the pay and the payment methods they use (the latter could benefit Google Wallet and all connected services like the Play Store, Play Books, Play Mobies, etc...).
Would you sign-up for such a service?
#Payments #Gmail #PonyExpress
The upshot? A large fine and a promise (which was delivered upon) to assist users with installing alternative browsers. Other than that, nothing really changed. Expect to see more of the same at Google after the case has dragged through the courts - a process that will take years.
See more Now cards from 30+ of your favorite apps → http://goo.gl/nqpj2p
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