I don't get out much. It's mostly by choice because it means having to associate with YOU. No, not you, YOU. My wife actually likes it that way because when I do go out, there's usually a scene involved.
Me: "Would you like me to go with you?"
She: Like you to go? NO!!!
And since I don't go out to stores and stuff much, I may be naive…
But I'm still right. You'll see…
So I went out today….
I planned to go to Home Depot, but as is almost always the case, trouble immediately ensued. It was in the form of a dead battery. Luckily, my wife had an O'Reilly ad and one item of interest was a sale on batteries.
My luck wasn't holding… because it's almost always bad.
I tried to find an 800 number I could call to find out what time they opened, and my luck immediately returned to normal – The print was so small that I needed a magnifying glass for my magnifying glass… strike one!
But I located the number – 1-888-OREILLY – not 1-888-673-4559 – strike two.
Thus I was already irritated but that all changed when, at 2 minutes past 8am, I learned my neighborhood store was already open. GREAT! My day would be minimally disrupted, and the ad said batteries were on sale "starting at" fifty bucks, about what they were when I bought the one that was now dead.
I threw the battery in my wife's car and motored over… where I learned that my battery would cost a HUNDRED bucks!
It was MARINE batteries that were on sale – and I wasn't in any branch of the armed services. STRIKE THREE!
Except I needed a battery pronto, so I decided to buy it. I told the nice guy who was waiting on me that I drove the truck so rarely that I hated to pay that much for a battery. He courteously suggested one of lesser quality – three years free replacement instead of four – for ten dollars less. Not worth it, I figured, even if my truck is thirty years old.
He also suggested a "battery tender." Huh? He explained that it was a charger with a sensor and if the battery dropped below a certain amperage, it would charge it up, so even if I never drove the truck, I wouldn't have to worry about a dead battery.
I asked for more clarification… "Did you say this battery had four years free replacement? Yes. "Fine, then I'll be interested in the battery tender in about three years, eleven months, and twenty-nine days… Oh wait, this is May… make that three years, eleven months, and thirty days!" We headed to the checkout, I swiped my card, and the lovely gentleman did the transaction.
And then it happened…
The pleasant fellow behind the counter said matter-of-factly, "I'll need to see your card and a photo ID."
Me: What? (STRIKE FOUR!)
He: I'll just need to see…
Me: Oh I heard what you said, I just don't need to provide it. Visa doesn't require I show ID.
He: My company does.
Me: I don't care. I went through this with Walmart years ago, and I don't have to provide you with another ID… and you're under contract to VIsa NOT to require it.
He: I have to see it or I can't complete the transaction.
And I needed the battery or my day was over at 8:25am. I handed him my card and driver's license, but he wasn't done…
He: Why would you NOT want to show an ID? It's to prevent fraud.
STRIKE 5 – THOUSAND!
No wonder we are where we are today… if this was indicative of the average person's mindset, we're so screwed. I told the fellow that I don't willingly provide my identification to anyone, much less someone behind the counter at O'Reilly Auto Parts. He accepted that, but I could see the word that formed in his brain – it began with "A," ended with "E," there was an "o" in the middle, no "I" or "U," and he clearly never asks "Y!"
I wrapped up the purchase, and I even apologized to the guy because after all, he had to do what he had to do… but so do I… and part of that involves going to Auto Zone the next time I need something in the automotive genre. Auto Zone is a hundred yards farther, but it's a whole different world to me. I think. I mean I won't know until I buy something, will I?
And the O'Reilly clerk said one last thing that made me wonder just how out of touch I am…
He: All the cards are going to be requiring ID soon.
I couldn't argue… I'm sure it will be a World Government requirement
When I got back, I related the story to my wife. She looked relieved – because the original plan involved her going with me.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go call Visa…
UPDATE: Apparently it's no longer part of Visa's contract that businesses not ask for IDs. I say "apparently" because the person I talked to was young and didn't know that it ever was, and I simply couldn't be bothered going up the ladder since it doesn't matter to me – I won't be patronizing companies that require ID if I have a choice. Of greater interest to me was the experience I had when I tried to call O'Reilly. You cannot talk to an actual person when you call the 800 number in their ad. you can only locate a store or hear about employment opportunities, and you have to press 1 to "continue in English," which I did. Later I wondered what language I'd have continued in if I didn't press 1, but by then I lacked the motivation to call back. Which is another of my many limitations, so God knows what keeps me doing this!