Travis Air Force Base   Right Corner Banner
Join the Air Force

News > Commentary - The Check is in the Mail
The Check is in the Mail

Posted 6/11/2010   Updated 6/11/2010 Email story   Print story


Commentary by Lt. Col. Christopher Abate
60th Comptroller Squadron

6/11/2010 - TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE,Calif. -- Not too long ago the phrase "the check is in the mail" literally meant money was being sent to you through the post office; however, the advent of electronic funds transfer and e-banking have all but rendered this payment mechanism obsolete. Today this phrase is playfully used as sarcasm for owing something to someone with no intention of ever actually closing the deal, but is there a hidden message we could all learn from this antiquated practice?

In simple terms, "the check is in the mail" originally indicated that you worked hard in your job and your paycheck was eventually delivered as your reward. Today's payroll process is basically the same, except it is much faster, less labor intensive and doesn't require postage. In either case, you still get paid on the first and 15th of each month for the work you perform on the days in between. Your cumulative efforts result in a personal benefit, albeit, not immediately. The golden nugget you can take away from this article is sustained effort eventually reaps reward. While this sounds simple, it is easy to lose focus and fall off course. For those who persevere, success is sweet.

Take, for example, my beloved Boston Red Sox who, in 2004, were down three games to none against the rivaled New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series. Boston battled for a week but couldn't gain a single victory before facing elimination in Game 4. Then it happened. With a resiliency rarely seen in professional sports and a "Cowboy Up" mantra, the Red Sox shocked the Yankees by winning Game 4 and then shocked the world by winning eight straight games to become the World Series champions. After getting down three games to the Yankees, few expected what would happen next, but for the persevering Red Sox, their "check was in the mail."

Sports often imitate life and this is no exception. Whether you're an Airman on the flightline, a civilian behind a desk, or a deployed member's spouse managing the home, effort and perseverance are keys to success. Of course, you first need to identify what success means to you, otherwise, you may find that all of your efforts were focused in the wrong direction. In a military context, consider the value of precisely grouping numerous rounds of ammunition on a target only to find out it was the wrong one. Did your efforts result in the desired benefit? Would it have been beneficial to know the right target before shooting? I think we can all agree that it is easier to get where you're going when the path is clearly identified.

So identify what success means to you, strive relentlessly to achieve your goals, and with any luck at all "your check is in the mail."

No comments yet.  
Add a comment

 Inside Travis AFB

ima cornerSearch

Site Map      Contact Us     Questions     Security and Privacy notice     E-publishing  
Suicide Prevention    SAPR   IG   EEO   Accessibility/Section 508   No FEAR Act