I came home from work. The light on the answering machine was blinking.
A woman with a foreign accent mispronounced my name.
She told me to call the security department at a certain phone number.
There was suspicious activity on my debit card.
Alarm! Alarm! Who is this woman who can’t pronounce my name (Dennis gets it wrong too, after 25 years!)?
I call the number. I get security department Mary who proceeds to ask me questions:
Phone number, name…
I stop her at Dana. When she asks for my last name I ask her a question.
You are trying to confirm that I am who I say I am. How do I know you are who you say are?
No company identity given. Just Mary, and my bank account under question.
Mary knows how to answer this. I am clearly not the only suspicious person in the world.
Call this number (back of debit card), ask them to verify that we have flagged your account, they will transfer you back to us.
I call the number on the back of my card. Trishia answers (after a few minutes of press this for this and press this for that and press 0 for a real person, now referred to as “customer service representative.” Does any one remember when you just talked to a clerk? A teller? Now we all represent someone or something else. From now on you can refer to me as the coffee dispersal representative or the food prep and presentation representative.
Trishia asks me a bunch of questions. My name, my card number, my address, my telephone number…I start wondering why I should be giving her all this information…but she at least identified the bank name when she answered, so…suspicious mind!
Trishia listens to me explain about the phone message, talking to Mary, and being suspicious of all this cloak and confidential dancing around. About those transactions on my debit card that are suspicious?
Busted. It seems Abe Books transactions (I was buying poetry!) set off the suspicious transaction flags at the bank security and fraud department. I bought five books. Then I bought three more from Amazon. Then I went online and contributed to MPR. All in about fifteen minutes last night around ten. I was on a roll.
I explained to Trishia that I tend to buy books online, from Abe Books, from Amazon, and I really want to be a contributing member of MPR. She said she would note that on the security and fraud alert and lift the flag from my account.
I thanked her. I thanked her for being so conscientious about my account security. Then I told her I would probably be buying more books; it is what I do. She said she would note this on my account.
As I hung up, I remembered Mary saying the customer service representative would transfer me back to the security department. That hadn’t happened. Again I am suspicious. I gave that Trishia my social security number and all sorts of other information. Then I remembered Mary telling me suspicious people like me keep her and her coworkers employed. Now I don’t know what to think. Am I suspicious? Well, I’ll be watching my bank accounts, as I always do. And I probably will hold off buying any more books online, at least for a short time.
Under the mattress in a clean gym sock is sounding better and better every day. Or I could hollow out one of those books and stash the cash in there. One of those thin flat poetry books would probably hold my net worth without loosing a page.
It is all very suspicious.