It was very busy on Friday, as banks usually are. Towards the end of the day a woman came in who was … let’s say wild-eyed. She came up to my desk and explained that she had just been through the drive-thru and the teller hadn’t given her back her ID card. (There was a brief period when [ghostbank] issued ID cards, but this was phased out when we started putting photos on debit and credit cards.) I crossed over to the teller side and asked the girls if they had any IDs. Nope, none back there. I went back to the woman and told her that we didn’t have it. She swore that the teller had kept it, that there wasn’t any way she could have misplaced it in her car. And then she asked an odd question.

“Could the teller pull up my information with that card?”

Well, yes. That’s what it’s for.

“Then I want to put a stop on that card. I don’t want them having access to my accounts.”

We can’t put a stop-payment on an ID card – it can’t be used to negotiate purchases so there’s no reason to ever do so.

“But I want to!”

The long and short of it is that she was accusing our tellers of stealing her ID, even though there’s nothing on the card that the teller wouldn’t already be able to access. Even if the tell did have it, what would they have done with it? The only place they can be used are our branches and the only thing they do is make it easier to access the person’s account. The cards don’t actually do transactions themselves.

I don’t think she understood that they already had access to her accounts – it’s kind of their job to do so. Eventually my supervisor had to explain things to her, but it took a good fifteen minutes to calm her down. I don’t know if it played a part in her mental distress, but both of the tellers working the drive-thru have a decidedly darker skin tone than the woman who complained. I hope it didn’t, but it might have.

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