Using Protection

I went shopping with a friend for a couple hours last night, and as we waited in line at one store, we heard the saleswoman ask the shopper in front of us for a whole slew of personal information. Name. Zip. Phone. Etc. It’s been abundantly clear since stores started collecting personal information that it all goes towards marketing so I always decline.

When we got up to pay, the woman started to go through the routine with me. I explained I didn’t want to give any personal information and then turned to my friend and commented that I get too much excess email as is. The saleswoman turned back from where she was folding my shirt and remarked, “It’s not for that. It’s for your protection.”

I looked at her. I looked at my friend. We shrugged, and then I replied, “Um. How…exactly?”

The saleswoman then launched into some corporate template talking point about how their system protects me if I use my credit card because they can pull my information up by my name and my phone number. I must have looked completely baffled because she then added this doozy:

“Like, for example, if you forget your credit card, we can call you and you can get it back.”

The saleswoman looked totally content with herself as if she had just delivered the definitive answer.

I, of course, couldn’t let it lie.

“Couldn’t you just call my credit card company, and they would let me know?”

The saleswoman looked like she wanted to stab me with the plastic security pin.

“Yes. But our system is faster.”

Congratulations. You win the award for most creative yet nonsensical excuse for trying to collect and sell my personal data. I really just wanted to buy a shirt and move along.

Anyway, since I was clearly preoccupied with less-than-pressing issues last night, I forgot to post the poem of the week which has been updated and reflects our current adoration of all things Spain.

John’s column will be up Sunday morning here and takes a slightly different form than columns past. Let’s just say he got clever with a certain impeached Illinois governor and a certain poet quoted by said governor.

Have an excellent weekend.

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