Can I have your zipcode?

Kuro5hin user Lord13 has a wonderful post about the zipcode snarfing policies at retail stores these days. Just this past weekend I had this happen as usual at Radio Shack and Googled for any sites about this trend. What follows is a humourus look at one person's attitude about zipcode grabbing policies -- one that I share. I picked up some new kakis and shirts for work and my girlfriend got a bedspread. After a warm greeting the cashier asks "Can I have your zip code?" "Sure" I reply, "12345". I'm rewarded with a annoyed look and, after a couple seconds hesitation, she punches a key that bypasses the prompt for a zip code. My girlfriend simply shakes her head and the cashier rings up the items without further incident. ... I've shopped at Radio Shack plenty of times before and I know they ask for your phone number and address. After being bugged all day, I decided to have a little fun. After finding the cable we walk up to the cashier. After a plensant greeting the cashier asks "Ok, can I have your phone number?". "Sure it's <insert made up phone number that sounds reasonable>" The cashier watches his terminal while it searches for my phone number. Since I made it up, it brings up nothing. "Ok, can I have your address?" he asks. "What do you need that for?" "We'll send you a flyer in the mail" "Gee that'll be great. It's one-four-seven-two Main Street. Apartment number one-eight-one-six..." I waited until he finished entering that much before continuing "...Privacyville, MI 12345" "Is there a problem?" I inquire. "If you didn't want to give me your address, why didn't you just say so?" he spits. "I was annoyed that you asked, I just thought I would share." After getting the priceless `your-a-real-jackass' look for a couple seconds the cashier rung up my RCA cable post-haste. It was almost like he wanted me gone and out of the store as soon as possible. My girlfriend started laughing as soon as we got out the door. "Do you always have to be such a jackass?" ... At some point it seems to have become a commonplace question as more stores recognize the value of tracking where their customers are coming from. It's not exactly a huge amount of information to be giving away but it this little question has already evolved into a sales pitch for MSN at Best Buy. To beg the question: What will it evolve to in the future? It's a subtle cultural shift and an annoying one at that. Why do I have create a moment of unpleasantness in a transaction for chocolate?