Most people submitting something to me for consideration as a column item know to include their phone number.
But sometimes readers forget or simply choose not to write it down. So I ask for it when I reply to their email. A vast majority of the time, they are happy to provide it and there's no problem.
Once in a while, though, someone sharing a phone number specifies that he or she does not want me to share it with anyone. I wouldn't, of course. But here's the thing.
What if, purely by coincidence, that person starts getting swamped with sales calls and other telemarketing? Does he or she suspect I sold the phone number (and other readers' numbers) to a marketing outfit?
I have never been accused of that. Still, I have no way of knowing if someone out there incorrectly considers me a suspect.
As a wise man once said, it ain't me, babe.