I traveled a lot in my previous career. Most of it was for business reasons. Because I was Dad for 4 daughters I didn’t get to run off with the boys more than a few times a year. However I have a very tolerant wife who let me play when I asked.
A friend of mine knows people who used to own a place in Edwards Colorado outside of Vail. Back in the early 2000’s there was an open invitation to use this place whenever he wanted. This story happened during one of our boys trips to Vail
We went to Colorado for 4 reasons:
- Skiing. Regardless of the fact that I did not ski – I tried on each trip to Vail
- Snowmobiling @ 13,000 ft. We love to snowmobile, fast!
- Denver Broncos football games. We loved to go to games at Mile High Stadium.
- To enjoy all that Colorado had to offer.
Technology caught up with me on my first boys weekend out trip to Colorado.
On this trip I decided to use my American Express Card for personal use. Normally I only used this card for business use.
I used the card at all of the typical places. Ski School, Mile High Stadium, a few restaurants and gift shops. I used it to pay for the snowmobile adventure and even for beers at a few Bar & Grills.
However, it was not until one morning after a long hard night of fun & games that I realized the power of this thing that we referred to as the Internet.
I called my wife early that morning to say hello and ask how she and the kids were doing. Everyone was fine.
The next question from her hit me like a ton of bricks, “What is The George?”
“Why?” I asked her, not really sure what she was asking, or how I should respond.
“You were there last night at 4AM and I’m just wondering where you were at such an early hour,” she said.
How in the world did that happen? In less than 4 hours she had figured out where I had been.
“How did you know I was at The George last night?” I asked
“It’s on the American Express transactions online,” she said, “I use Internet Explorer to view the American Express bill now.”
Online Transaction list! – I quickly developed a serious disdain, if not hatred for that phrase. I did not need an Online Transaction list telling my wife what I was doing.
This Internet thing had disclosed my activities to my wife, hours after I done it.
Now, for those of you who think I have anything to hide, NOPE!
The George is by far the best Bar in Vail Village. We went there for dinner and ended up staying there all night long. My two buddies, who by the way were single at the time, had a great time. I played the Matriarch and chaperone, really I did. This was also the night that I learned a very important skill. Beer/Water/Beer & a little coffee. I sat in the most comfortable leather chair I have ever sat in (at a bar) and I watched these two play their singles game all night long.
And, again for those who do not know me – I told my wife this and her reply was simple, “Oh, OK.”
However, I still had a problem. Even though I had nothing to hide, I did not want her to know what I was doing, or where I was moments after I did it. Who knows what she might learn.
So this was the end of me using my American Express card for personal use. The internet forced me to change my purchasing habits immediately.
If online transactions were going to disclose my activity, I needed to make sure that I was the only one getting this info.
As soon as I got home I setup a bank account with a local credit union and from that day forward I have used what I now call my “Freedom Card” for all confidential, private, no one needs to know transactions.
Little did I know then that my wife would find other ways of keeping track of me. However, it was not going to be with the help of American Express.