I’VE BEEN SPENDING a lot of time with my credit card company lately. Nice people work there, of course, and I try to make every phone call a time of conviviality and respect. It’s what good people do.
Credit card guy: Sir, my name is Brian, and ...
Me: No, it’s not.
“Brian”: I beg your pardon?
Me: Be honest. They give you anglicized names to sound more American, right? So when did you get that name?
“Brian”: When I was born. It’s also my father’s name.
Me: And, you’re calling from, like, Mumbai or ...
Me: [awkward moment of silent self-loathing, mercifully cut short by seeing a butterfly. Pretty.]
But you readers understand my point. American jobs should be for Americans. Honest, God-fearing Americans who embody the spirit of freedom and entrepreneurship. Like the guy in Kansas who, according to Brian, had just purchased an iPad with my credit card number. Brian was calling from Texas to make sure this was okay with me, which it wasn’t.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for buying an iPad or any of the high-tech gadgets that I’ve had my eye on. And I totally get that the guy in Kansas feels the same way. In fact, I was cool with him right up to the point where he decided to keep it for himself.
Fortunately, I wasn’t charged. (Note to guy in Kansas: Next time buy two, and call me.) As a result, Brian sent me a Visa card with a different number.
It felt like a new beginning for me, a fresh start in a life that has few do-overs. It was a moment for celebration so, giddy with excitement, I took my new card and bought something from Target.