Keeping Good Records

Nathan was ordering something on Amazon not long ago and, in order to receive free shipping, he had the “opportunity” to sign up for a membership.  I don’t remember what the membership was for but it, too, was free…for a month. 

He asked me if he could sign up for it because he wanted to save on shipping.  Sure, I told him.  But it would be his responsibility to make sure that he canceled the membership before the month was up.

Now Nathan is a teenager and, by default, cannot be expected to remember to do these sorts of things.  Part of me is kidding, but the other part is serious.  I attended a meeting about the teenage brain where the presenter talked about how disorganized the teen brain at this age could be.  Did I come home and share this information with my two teens.  Are you kidding me?  They would abuse that bit of info well into their early twenties!

But the reason I bring up the teenage brain is because, as organized as Nathan is (I’ve seen his written lists of things to do), he had not had experience dealing with canceling memberships in order to avoid fees and this may be a bit much to expect of him.  Me?  I do this sort of thing a lot and, as Nathan’s guide, it was up to me to teach him how I do it.

“Grab the calendar,”  I told him.  We have a family calendar and nobody takes their first breath in the morning until we’ve all taken a look at how the day is going to play out.  We have a lot going on.

“Okay.  Now what?”  he asked.

“This is how you guarantee that you won’t be paying the membership fee.”  I had him write down on the calendar when the membership expired and the details that went with it.  He ended up writing it on the three days before it expired because, and I made this part very clear, he was responsible for paying the fee if he forgot.

Last Friday was the first of the three days he had written on the calendar.  Friday evening I asked him about it.  “Already done,” was his answer.

Teach Nathan how to cancel memberships.  Check.


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