A few minutes before 9 am, the phone I rang. I was in the bathroom, but worried that it was someone calling to cancel the appointments I have today, so I ran out. When I looked at the caller ID, though, I did not recognize the number. Still, I picked it up. "Hello?" I inquired.

"Good morning, I'm calling for Husband," a woman replied.

I rolled my eyes. I should have known it would be a telemarketer and finished brushing my teeth.

"He's not here right now," I said. Really. It's almost 9 am. Don't you think he's at work? "May I take a message?" I like asking that last part because usually the telemarketers get flustered and stammer and tell me they will try back later, to which I think to myself that if they do, I will be smarter and not answer the phone. Then they will hang up on the answering machine (yes, we still use one, not voice mail) and I will get equally annoyed.

"OK, can you tell him his personal banker from Chase at 61st Street and Broadway called?" the woman said in a pleasant tone.

I almost started laughing. Personal banker? Right. These "personal bankers" have called from that branch a few times, and whenever I give Husband the message, he reminds me that we don't have a "personal banker" and they just want to sell us a financial product that is a rip-off. "Sure," I said and murmured "uh huh" as she recited her name and number.

"Thanks, Suzanne," she said. "You have a nice day now and keep warm."

I wished her the same. As I hung up, I thought about how interesting it was that she assumed I was the person listed on the account as Husband's wife when I never identified myself. For all she knew, I could have been guest who was answering the phone while my friend Suzanne was in the bathroom brushing her teeth. I also found it amusing that she was just Husband's "personal banker," as if I have nothing to do with our finances. (Actually, that would be true, so she was two for two on her assumptions, but still.) Overall, an unsatisfactory interaction, but good fodder for reflection.

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