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3 Bumps

How far does the expectation of privacy go?

Privacy means a lot to us. I am curious to know what your expectations are.

An example to ponder..
A lady came into my dry cleaners and wanted us to let her know if there was lipstick/makeup stains on her husband's shirts and if they smelled of perfume. Her dh is a regular customer, we pick up and deliver to his office every week. She thinks he is having an affair and basically wants us to SPY on him! I was shocked! She got mad when I told her that wasn't a service we could provide.

It just makes me wonder though, what little expectations of privacy do we have in our everyday lives?

Please feel free to comment on the incident if you wish.


Asked by yourspecialkid at 12:09 PM on Aug. 28, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

Level 35 (74,634 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (14)
  • We ran into this in medicine too, asking if husbands had been treated for STD"s and RX's for viagra. It was neverending. We simply told whoever was asking, -We cannot divulge any information, please ask this person directly.
    Wow, I bet you never saw any of this kinda crap coming in a drycleaners.

    Answer by jewjewbee at 12:15 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

  • Evidently it doesn't go as far as our own driveway.

    Answer by lovinangels at 12:21 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

  • LOL, special, you are a business woman. I am sure you can figure out how to conduct private investigations. Just run an office out of one of your businesses. I suppose it all depends on how much money you make off of the cleaning for the guy.

    Okay, all kidding aside, I wouldn't get involved.  If she suspect her DH of having an affair she either needs to follow him herself to get her evidence, or hire a PI to do it for her.  I don't know that I expect privacy for my clothing once I drop them with the cleaners.  If it were someone checking out my clothes I might feel the professional relationship was violated and I would probably look for another cleaner.  But that's just me. 


    Answer by QuinnMae at 12:44 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

  • While I would not expect a dry cleaner to spy on my husband, I would also not expect a dry cleaner to keep my clothes on lockdown where they couldn't be seen by anyone waiting around for them to be picked up. In other words - I would not have any real "expectation of privacy" dealing with any business aside from a doctor, lawyer or clergy who have a legally defined one.

    She could have just as easily planned ahead, showed up at the shop on pick up day and told you there was a mistake, that the wrong shirts were sent, and dropped off different ones, taking back his. The shop was no longer "responsible" but he's be just as caught (or vindicated).

    Answer by NotPanicking at 12:34 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

  • LOL, lovin. I almost said that same thing.

    Answer by QuinnMae at 12:45 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

  • I would have told her the same thing. You are payed to clean cloths not spy in DH/SO for their spouses. I work in a Hotel, and we are not alowed to tell anyone about the guest that are staying at our Hotel.

    Answer by louise2 at 12:15 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

  • It never ceases to amaze me what information people think they're entitled to. Several years ago, I worked for a bank. We'd get several calls per week from people saying "Hey, JimBob wrote me a check, and I was wondering how much he has in his account, so I know whether or not he's good for it." Phrased almost exactly like that.

    Granted, we COULD answer another bank if they called and said "Hey, JimBob wrote a check for $340.00, is it good?" We could say a simple "yes" or "no".

    Answer by DusterMommy at 12:25 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

  • I think I would have said that we don’t pay attention to those details, they are laundered and that’s it.

    Answer by musicmom08 at 12:32 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

  • As a point of professionalism you have a duty to protect his privacy even if it just while cleaning his clothes. In this situation I would tell the woman that I had to respect my customers privacy and could not discuss the condition of the clothing brought to the store it could cause you to lose business and damage your dry cleaners reputation in the community if you do tell her any information about what kind of stains are found and people have sued people for a lot less than disclosing what has been found on a dry cleaned item so respecting his privacy is a key thing if you do not want to get sued.

    Answer by madwoman41731 at 3:11 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

  • You know, just when you think you it couldn't get crazier....someone surprises you! I was so surprised! I wonder though about the unscrupulous people that would have said yes..and maybe even pocketed a little cash... It is creepy!

    Me saying no was the HONORable thing to do..right?? ;)

    Comment by yourspecialkid (original poster) at 12:25 PM on Aug. 28, 2010