Wednesday, January 4, 2012

It's none of your business

Have you ever thought of saying that?  Did you just think it or follow through?  It seems the phrase crosses my mind more often lately when dealing with business transactions.

I used to be very organized.  Having worked in the banking industry, for the post office, and other private organizations I know how to file, fax, document, fill out forms, staple, and all the little details of running a business.  Those things have been how I made my living and what I am good at.

A couple years ago I went through some major and minor life changes.  I moved, my name changed, and I was very sick for months.  Along with those changes I decided I wanted to return to a simpler way of living that most would consider beyond frugal and some would call extreme.

I don't have a car, instead I ride the bus.  Although I still have a driver's license when it expires I don't know if I will renew it.  I don't have a phone but have access to one if I need to get ahold of someone.  I pay for most things in cash but have a checking account but no debit card.  I don't want to have to write everything down.  I use facebook just so that friends all over the country can post a "hi" or "call me".  Other than that I just go through my routine and show up where I show up.

Life is simple.  Life is cool. 

But, the thing that really bugs me is that businesses keep asking all these questions.  What's your address? May I see your I.D.?  What is your phone number?  And, when I tell them I don't know they look at me like I'm crazy and will not proceed until I come up with one.  It is getting very annoying.  Especially having lived in small towns for 20 years.  Everyone knew me and recognized my name, voice, face, and car without me having to prove it every time I saw them.

Businesses ask for my phone number, mother's maiden name, or birthday.  The question that really raises my hackles is "what is your race?"

Really, I have no desire for a phone call so why would I want to give you my number?
My mom passed away 10 years ago.
Are you sending me a present for my birthday?
What difference does it make? or, Are you blind?

I no longer live my life as if it is a business.  I pay my bills and purchase my services but beyond that I don't really consider that I and the businesses I deal with have any personal relationship and therefore why would I want to give all my personal information?

Have you ever filled out an online form and left one of the "required" fields blank?  Most of the time I just eventually give up and quit.  And, passwords:  Minimum 8 characters, three alpha, 1 numeric, and a symbol. How am I supposed to remember that? And, why would I want to?

Recently, one of my co workers had to call a customer service phone number and press 1 for this, 3 for that and after 10 minutes of being rerouted he was literally yelling and cussing at the robot on the phone.  It was funny to all that were listening but I've been to that mentally exhausting maze of voice recognition software and could literally feel my blood pressure climbing before finally smashing down the phone.  And, when one of those machines has the nerve to call me it is not a pretty sight.

I haven't said it yet but I know it's coming soon...when someone asks "What is your phone number?" or "What is your birthday" I'll just respond "It's none of your business"  They will probably hang up on me but at least I will feel better for a moment.

Simplicity.  It seems like everytime I am close to acheiving it someone trys to grab my leg and pull me back in.


Practical Parsimony said...

That drives me nuts! I am paying in cash, so why do you need my phone number? I am going to do like I did in hs and college when a guy asked for my telephone number--rattle off the number for time and temperature. Maybe now, I will give him the number of something else. I will get creative. I could feel my blood pressure rising as I read this post.

For that automated man, I just keep saying "representative" because he recognizes that. Or, I just press "0" repeatedly. It works!

Carol Schultz said...

lol. Glad it's not only me who feels that way!