June 1, 2008

It's None of Your Damn Business

What is this crapola about stores requiring a telephone number on checks? I've run into this at Wal-Mart, and each time I tell the cashier, "My number is unlisted and I don't give it out." (Actually it isn't--my initials and number are in the phone book--but you know what? I don't think it's any of their beeswax.)

Today I went to Albertson's to pick up a few items, and lo and behold, I ran into the Phone Number Privacy Invasion yet again. True, it's been a long time since I bought anything there (they're usually too pricey) so my checking account and driver's license undoubtedly weren't on file. So I went through my usual spiel.

"My phone number is unlisted; I don't give it out."

Lather, Rinse, Repeat for cashiers who apparently can't comprehend.

This time the supervisor was called over (or at least I assume she was the supervisor; she didn't look old enough to be a senior in high school) and I repeated myself, adding, "My phone number is none of your business."

To which she rattled off some nonsense about the check cashing company needing it. "No one will ever use it; we'll just punch it into the computer, or you can do it yourself"--indicating the little keypad where you swipe a debit card.

"Fine," I said, "I'll make one up then."

Which is what I did. The number I punched in bears no resemblance to my actual phone number. The only reason I can think of for any company wanting my phone number is if the check bounces, they'll want to get in touch with me--but hey, my bank can do that, thank you.

Nevertheless, my position remains the same. Maybe it's due to my working in a medical field and having to adhere to HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), but I always figure no store needs to know this information, and they won't if I have anything to say about it.

There's precious little privacy in today's society, and I think it behooves each of us to guard what we have left.

(I also think this marks my Officially Becoming a Curmudgeon. Oh. My. God.)

1 comment:

Ladybug said...

HATE HATE HATE the phone number question.

When I say, "My number is unlisted and I'd rather not give it out", I get the look that says "This does not compute".

And with checks, usually it's because the check cashing company will not pursue worthless checks unless there is an attempt to get a phone number or license number.

Screw 'em.

Don't give it out.

Keep up the fight!