?`s and ANNEswers

Ten minutes to write. Less time to read.

Security Clearance

My husband often places orders for me when I’m busy. I pour over the offerings, show him what we need, and he takes it from there. This time he contacted the company in question by phone while I moved on to another project.

Mine also involved a telephone call, so the phone was up to my ear and the current conversation was my main focus when Earl – ignoring the phone and my conversation – said, “Here, you have to speak to the representative. He won’t let me purchase what you want without talking with you.”

Really? After all, this wasn’t a stock trade we were ordering. Nor was my husband trying to remove my name from the title on our home. Or cash in a life insurance policy. I was annoyed but paused my own conversation to take the phone and say, “Hello.”

“Hello,” said the voice on the other end. “Are you Anne Brandt?”


“Do you authorize Earl to place this order for you?” “Are you kidding?” I replied. “Of course I do. What’s the problem?”

“It’s your name on the account, so we wanted to make sure it was not a fraudulent use.”

“Please take the order,” I hissed. Then handed the phone back to Earl and resumed my own conversation in disbelief. Turns out the original offering  Earl was working from was sent to me: Anne Brandt. The thing is he was only ordering more jigsaw puzzles and not national security clearances.

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