Some of our laws just puzzle me. Well, let me rephrase this a little bit, it’s not so much the laws, but the way they are being enforced. Let me give you an example, we all agree, that alcohol and cigarettes should not be sold to people under age…under the age of 21 to be exact.
The law took place to prevent underage drinking and smoking and that’s a good thing, but I think that this law should be used with common sense. Meaning, when a sales clerk is in doubt about the age of the customer…go ahead, ask for the ID.
I have good days and with a little bit help of lipstick and maybe some tan, I might get away with my real age and someone with a kind heart might guess my age as end-40’s. But regardless of how charming one can be, there is just no bloody way I look younger than 45. My wrinkles are well deserved, I earned each one of them.
So, lets consider for a moment the kid behind the register is not able to guess my real age, due to lack of experience. “Hello” if I look older than your Mom, why do I have to wave my ID in your face, when I buy a bottle of wine? It is obvious that I am older than 21…I am twice that age to be exact.
It bugs the shit out of me and it makes me shake my head inside and the way it looks like, I am not the only one.
I stopped at Best Buy they other day to buy a surge protector and they had covers for tablets on sale. I got frustrated as always, this is one of the stores where they play ‘hide and seek’ with their customers. You enter a specific area and you can be sure, that all the sales clerks are hiding somewhere. There is never anybody to be found, who might be knowledgeable enough to answer questions. I grabbed something that looked close enough to what I had in mind, drove home and of course it didn’t fit. So back to the store I went and stood in line at the customer service desk. Not my favorite thing to do, so I did my heavy breathing exercise and my eye-rolling workout and waited patiently (what is hard for me).
There was an older Lady in front of my, I guessed her in her 70’s maybe older. She returned a DVD, that she had bought for her Grandson’s birthday. She wanted to return it, because he didn’t like the movie…she told me all about it when we waited. The DVD was still in the original package, she had the receipt in her hand and you might think it was an easy return.
The Lady had paid in cash when she purchased the DVD, she wanted the money back…and so it begun:
“May I see your ID please?”
“Why?…I paid cash”
“It’s store policy Mam”
“I paid in cash, you didn’t ask for my ID then”
“I have to ask for your ID Mam”
“Who says that?”
“It’s store policy Mam”
The next customer service guy was free and waved me to him and all of a sudden I decided I have all the time in the world.
This was going to be good…I could feel it, so I stayed in line behind that lady and listened to every word. Life gives me little presents now and then…and this conversation was one of them. I had a ball when it continued.
“Where is the sign with your store policy?”
“Mam, I need to see your ID, so I can give you the money back”
“I paid in cash, you didn’t want to see my ID then, so what’s the problem?”.
It went back and forth and I giggled inside. Then, without any warning she asked the question, that made me laugh out loud.
The old Lady said:
“Can you show me your ID please, so I know who wants to see mine?”
The young kid behind the counter just looked at her “I can’t show you my ID Mam..I work here”.
“I don’t show you my ID without knowing who asks”…oh it got better by the minute.
It went on for minutes -very much to my amusement- and then a manager came and he finally gave in and gave her the money back without checking her ID.
When she left she looked at me and said “I have nothing to hide, but I am tired of sharing everything with everybody”.
It made me think about it. I feel the same way, I am tired of sharing everything with everybody. Is there a new law that I have to show my ID to store clerks when I return an item? If so, I didn’t get that memo either. (There seems to be a long list of memo’s I didn’t get lately).
It goes further than that.
How often do I have to show my ID to a stranger? How often do I have to give out my phone number, just because I return a small box of nails? How many stores have my address, my email address and other informations about me, even though I am not a valued customer –meaning I don’t have one of their credit cards?
As I said at the beginning, I wish some things would be handled with common sense. Maybe its up to me to find the common sense and I need to stop giving out information, when I don’t want to. Maybe I should just say “I am tired of sharing” in the future if another store asks for my number and other information? Yes, I like that!
Privacy is a human right..but lately I feel more and more that I am losing my right. I need to fight for it, to get it back!