Today I was out running errands and the oddest thing happened. The bank teller actually said my name when he had finished my transaction, as in “Ok Nandango, is there anything else I can do for you today?” Maybe you live in a nice, quaint town where people use names regularly or people are just nicer where you live but I never hear someone use my name. It caught me off guard and for the briefest, fleeting moment I wasn’t sure if he was still talking to me or had one of those mini android phones in his ear.
As I walked out I thought about why this had been so strange to me and discovered that I use numbers in place of my name all the time. After saying hello at the bank the first thing I do is begin rattling off my account number. And depending on what it is I need to take care of I could be using upwards to 4 different accounts. Today was no different.
Then I went over to the doctor’s office to pay a bill. They wanted to verify my phone number, address, date of birth, social security number, double check the the check number & amount, and the invoice number. And I’m pretty sure that when I had the appointment and handed over my insurance card it was the number they were looking for. After the doctor I went over to an employee store where I’m known only by my employee number rather than name. And to consolidate my student loans required the same info plus the loan numbers and driver’s license number. I even find that when I’m doing some tasks at church it’s more valuable to produce my church membership record number rather than my name.
Need help in a busy place (like the DMV)? Guess what – take a number. Need to pay for purchases in a store? Swipe your card because they’re really interested in your credit card number and expiration. Going on a trip? Well, at the airport you’re known as the passenger in 16 C.
So indeed it was a bit of a surprise to hear my name but you know what? I kind of liked it.