The Post Office and identity security

I mailed off my first CD demo reels today. Only a small batch from those who said they were interested. Mostly video production houses.

So I waited in line at the post office. The day before taxes are due and they have one teller. Not fun. Some older woman in front of me was complaing that she hadn’t gotten any mail in 3 days and she was sure someone was stealing her mail. The carrier for her neighborhood kindly came out and said that no one was stealing her mail because she wasn’t getting any mail. There was no problem, she just hadn’t been sent any in the past 3 days.

OK, that really has nothing to do with my story, just shows you what fun it is to wait in line at the post office.

Once I get to the teller, she weighs my packages and rings me up. I noticed the Visa logo on the door so I knew they would accept my credit card. I don’t carry cash because I have no way of tracking it. Plus I’ll just end up spending it on a vending machine or something stupid.

She’s done ringing me up and I give her my credit card. She looks on the back and says she can’t accept it because it isn’t signed. Instead it says “See Picture ID”, like a lot of people do. After all, it’s harder to forge my driver’s license than it is my signature, right? I mention this to her and like every other government employee (oh excuse me, the Post office is independent of the government. Sure. My bad.) she doesn’t give damn.

Seriously, does that make any sense at all? Suddenly if I have my signature on the card, the handwriting experts at the post office will surely be able to tell if it is forged, right? But apparently, connecting a live face to the one pictured on the driver’s license is too much of a challenge?

In the end, I just used my debit card and all she asked for was my “PIN number”. And that’s a whole OTHER idiocy. It isn’t called a “PIN Number” because that would stand for “Personal Identification Number Number”.

But that’s another annoyance for another time.

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About Jeffrey Kafer

I am a Seattle-based voice over artist specializing in audiobooks, but also working in corporate narration and commercials. You can find me at http://audiobook-voice-over.com View all posts by Jeffrey Kafer

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