Standing up for myself

I have so had it with people who demand private information before performing a service for me.

Take this afternoon, for example.

I went into one of our department stores — well, okay, I wasn’t going to say which store (to protect the “innocent”), but why not? It was JCPenney.

Anyway, I went in simply to pay my bill, 26 dollars and some cents (I know, last of the big spenders!). The catalog station was busy, so I found a customer service booth in the ladies section and proceeded to hand the cashier my payment stub and check.

As she was putting my check into the machine, she turned to me and asked, “Does your check have your driver’s license number on it?”

I replied, “Of course not!”

She said she’d need to see my driver’s license then.

I asked, “What for?”

She startled a bit before mumbling that it was “corporate policy.”

Now I fought this same beast a couple of years ago (same store, by the way) when a male cashier wanted my driver’s license. I obliged then but, arriving home in a hot tizzy, I called the corporate office and learned it was NOT their policy to do that.

Yes, if a person is making a purchase with a check, the clerks ask for a driver’s license for identification purposes, but not if someone is just paying a bill.

I explained all this to the girl and, seeing I wasn’t about to give in, she backed off.

Good thing. I was this close to yanking my card from my wallet, telling her to cut it up, and promising her I’d never darken their doors again!

At home, I called corporate in another fury, and they assured me I was within my rights. They also suggested I call the store manager, which I did, and she said she’d see that all the clerks are clear on their policies.

One can’t be too careful nowadays. Sensitive personal information — social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, birth date, height, weight, you name it — is too often used for identification and just as often, mis-used when it falls into the wrong hands.

And as I told that girl, “corporate” already has that information on file; they got it when they approved my application for a charge card years ago. She surely didn’t need it to process my payment.

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11 thoughts on “Standing up for myself

  1. We’re completely unprotected, Debbie. Our DOB, SS#, driver license numbers, etc., are all over everywhere. (A couple of my naive friends, new to Facebook, posted their complete DOB online until I told them to delete at least the year of birth.) Even if we haven’t given the numbers out, they’re not secure – don’t you hear about a “laptop with sensitive information on it” being stolen from some big company just about every week? My only hope is that the crooks are so awash in a sea of information that the chances they’ll actually steal MINE is minimal. And I wish that for you too, my friend.

    • I know, Lynne. Still, I think we have to do whatever it takes to put a stop to all this madness so we can protect ourselves. After all, Social Security cards were never intended for ID purposes!

  2. I do agree but it did occur to me last week when someone was ranting about Facebook and names and phones numbers which the user not Facebook had made available by not checking her settings that not very long ago there was a phone book and in that phone book were all our names, phone numbers and addresses or you could call 411 for that information. If you did not want this information given out you PAID a fee to be non-published.
    I give as little information as I can and I complain loudly when stepped on but overall I feel pretty safe. I’m not naive but most of the things I worry about never happen–then again maybe that proves worrying works. )
    You go girl!

    • If worrying worked, I’d be right up there with you, Katybeth! I’ve Googled myself and found lots of “me” everywhere — only thing is, they’re not all ME! You think your name is individualized, but it’s really common — unless, of course, you come from a family that sincerely tries to find unique names for each child. I guess we all just need to be vigilant and self-protective because the great “out there” isn’t going to be that for us!

  3. You can’t be too careful. Years ago, our drivers license numbers were our social security numbers. Now that was brilliant, right? Too bad there’s really no such thing as privacy these days :)

    On the rare occasions that we go eat at a restaurant, I always make sure I have cash. Especially if it’s a restaurant where the server is the cashier and the credit/debit card leaves my sight.

    • Absolutely wise procedure, Janna — never let that card out of your sight! We’ve all heard horror stories about that kind of thing. Thanks for stopping by to comment!

  4. You can’t be too careful. My niece had her identity stolen within minutes of a clerk transaction at walmart…clerk carried her card away from the register and before my niece had left the store the account had been accessed.

    • Yikes, that’s exactly what I mean! They tell you not to carry cash and risk getting mugged, but who wants their identity stolen? Thanks for visiting, Suzicate!

  5. You go, girl! Fight the good fight – love that! Hey, will be in Oxford, Miss for wedding in June – didn’t you go there or am I insane? If not insane – tell me what I must not miss around town. :) iz

    • A June wedding in Oxford, huh? Wow, wish I’d been invited, too! Yep, that’s my alma mater. Things have really changed since my college days, mostly for the better. Oxford is knows for its lawyers, writers, and gorgeous women (not necessarily in that order!). Be sure to walk the square and step in to some of the local shops and eat at some of the restaurants (something for every budget!). There are golf clubs, plenty of parks and lakes, and of course, William Faulkner’s home. As small towns go (about 20,000 pop.), it’s relatively safe, even to walk the streets at night; but the bars close early. And keep your liquor in a cup, not a container, if you want to sip as you walk! Have fun!

      • You are the best! The reception is at the Lyric? I’ll have Thursday & Friday to wander. Just read your “About” – it’s great; we have some things in common, besides the obvious :) I just have one question, which we can have email convo about if so – did you know any of the Self’s when you were in school? I’m thinking we may have a six degrees of separation situation!

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