Ohio, Day 3 — When They Want Your Phone Number

I didn’t pack enough socks for the week’s trip. There were socks in the wash on the day we left, but they didn’t get into the suitcase.

Silas and Grandma and I went out to find a pack of socks. We ended up at Burlington Coat Factory. We got a pack of six pair of white socks. We also got a new backpack for Silas. We hadn’t planned on that, but when he saw it he fell in love. His old one had holes in the bottom of it. The new one is an Avengers backpack.

We got to the checkout with our two items. The kid at the cash register scanned them. Then he asked me for my phone number to complete the purchase.

“Why?” I asked.

“In case you have to return them,” I said.

“I’m not going to return them. I live in New York. I’m not going to be back.”

“I need a phone number,” he said.

I get that it’s not the kid’s fault. He’s required to get the phone number. He’s been told it’s in case a customer wants to return something. But it’s not. If I need to return it, I have a receipt as proof of sale. It’s so Burlington Coat Factory can call me with special offers.

We gave him Grandma’s phone number. Grandma and Grandpa only ever use their land line as a telemarketer waste-bin anyway.

But it got me thinking. This isn’t the first time a kid at a cash register has needed to collect a phone number in order to complete a sale.

From now on, I’m going to give them 867-5309.

The song was from before they were born, so they’re not going to know the difference.