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day permlink Friday, 9 August 2002

permlink privacy preservation

Here's a handy phrase to pull out when asked for some extra bit of information by a vendor (say, The Container Store wants to put your phone number in their system). I don't recall where I first heard it, but I pass it on:
"We don't give that out."
...with an optional 'Sorry' before or after, depending on how polite you're feeling.

You don't have to come up with an explanation that way, and even if you're single, "we" makes it sound more like a set policy (that you might get in trouble for breaking!). If they ask "why?" like Bartleby you can just say "We prefer not to." It's worked for me with no fuss so far.

What works for you? permlink     6 comment(s)  
When asked for a phone number by Radio Shack or their ilk, I happily comply. Of course, I make no effort to make the phone number that I give them actually be one that gets to me. Or the address, for that matter.
      ...posted by Mike Gunderloy on August 9, 2002 7:11 PM
Yeah, I've done that before... outright lied about my phone number. Then there's the time I gave a completely fake name to a real estate agent (in person!) That was pretty funny, actually.
      ...posted by Mrs. NowThis (aka Medley) on August 9, 2002 8:17 PM
When asked if I will give my phone number I just say no. It hasn't seemed to be a problem yet.
      ...posted by Joni on August 9, 2002 8:20 PM
I've had stores respond to a simple 'no' by trying again a couple of times (or by explaining why, assuming I'll then understand and comply), which means I need to say 'no' again (or a different way) and it rapidly ramps up the hassle of it all. This is harder for a typical salescitizen to immediately come up with a counter-attack for, or at least it's worked that way for me.

I haven't yet tried out my most confrontational gambit: "I have money; you have an item with a price. May I pay the marked price and leave?"
      ...posted by Steve on August 10, 2002 12:06 AM
I almost always say that it is unlisted. Although a lie, it's short, sweet and has never resulted in further inquiry. I've never had a clerk yet say "oh, come on, give it to us anyway."
      ...posted by Katxena on August 10, 2002 11:02 AM
When asked this question with a weak close - 'Can I have your phone number?' A simple 'nope' always works. I've yet to try out the numerous responses I've thought up and have ready to go if I'm pushed. I'm starting to refuse to give my zip code out now, just for fun.
      ...posted by Paul on August 31, 2002 12:48 AM
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permlink west nile in DC

Bad, but not to panic over: First Case Of W. Nile Diagnosed [in DC] in 2002 [Washington Post]
West Nile virus can cause flulike symptoms -- high fever and headaches -- and a red rash on the torso. Even in areas where the virus is present, however, fewer than 1 percent of mosquitoes carry it, and fewer than 1 percent of people bitten by an infected mosquito become seriously ill, health officials say. Most vulnerable are the elderly and others with weak immune systems.

District health officials said they will accelerate a program to kill mosquito eggs with larvacide tablets. ... They encourage residents to buy the tablets, which are available at hardware stores, and put them in mosquito breeding areas such as garden ponds and birdbaths. "It is harmless to fish and wildlife ... but it is very effective in killing the larvae of mosquitoes," Gordon said.

He and other officials also urged residents get rid of standing water, use insect repellent with a DEET base -- except on children younger than 2 -- and wear long-sleeve shirts and pants at dawn or dusk, when the insects feed.

District officials said yesterday that they are phasing out the collection and testing of dead birds for the virus. Such testing is now pointless because the mosquito test results show that the disease is endemic to the area, they said.

permlink AB to be interviewed on Slashdot

Via Mike G. comes the news (embedded in an unrelated post) that next week Slashdot will interview Alton Brown. Coool. permlink  

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