Monday, September 14, 2009

Bill paying before the computer age

I told myself that whenever I can't think of what to write, I'll write about the past. Perhaps someone in the future will find this so amusing, because it will be like looking at old photographs. So quaint, one might say.

When I started my working life after graduation in 1982 the service industry was run on pen and paper. In fact the personal computer was only in its infancy with the Apple IIe only starting to make its mark. In those days (in Malaysia) most people had only three household utility bills: water, electricity, and telephone. Nowadays in Malaysia many people subscribe to pay TV and broadband, in addition to the other three utilities.

At that time, each utility bill could only be paid at the utility company's outlet. We had to wait in a long queue to pay each bill before running off to the next place. It was a blessing that traffic and parking were not such a colossal problem as it is in Malaysia today. Nowadays people can choose to pay all their bills through the internet, or to pay different bills at just one location. It is funny isn't it, that even as computerization has made life easier and supposedly freed up time, we all still live terribly busy lives, don't we?

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