The story begins at a sandwich shop. I go in, order a turkey on wheat, lettuce, tomato, pickle, oregano and a shot of spicy mustard. The employee — I guess the manager — is frustrated. He’s making a sandwich while talking on his Bluetooth phone, trying to get one of his employees to come in because his 11 a.m. guy didn’t.
I’m second in line behind a woman who’s facing away from me as she stands at the checkout line. The manager is running behind as a result of his noon employee being late. He’s making sandwiches and handling the cash register, too.
As we stand in line, he is ignoring the cash register, focusing instead on constructing the woman’s sandwich. She looks of normal height and weight, has long hair and wearing a sport jacket, jeans and a pair of boots. She looks maybe 30 to 40 years old from the back but I can’t see her face so I really don’t know.
(In this situation, men tend to fill in the blanks so I asked my imagination to paint a mental image of her face for me. In this kind of scenario, the male libido often looks up to the brain and chips in on how the image should look so by the time my brain e-mailed the image to me, she was a very pretty woman indeed. More on this in a moment.)
The sandwich manager is struggling to fill the order. While she waits, the woman decides to fill her drink at the fountain, which is located around the corner from the cash register. As she walks around the counter, she leaves her wallet lying open on the counter. Her debit card is on top of the wallet in plain view and I could clearly see all of the numbers.
All it takes is a few seconds
Fortunately, I’m out of practice on my memorization skills so I decided to see if I could photograph the information. I pulled out my phone, looked around, then shot a photo to see if the numbers would show in the picture. As a bonus, her driver’s license, next to the debit card, was visible.
I got it all and no one saw me.
In an instant, I had her address, debit card number and date of birth. That’s all one needs to do really bad things to your credit.
(I deleted the file later that night after I bought a Lear Jet.)
Most of us know leaving things like debit cards out for all the world to see isn’t a smart move but sometimes we get really lazy — even for just a moment. She had no idea I was even behind her and never turned around to look. The manager, who was absorbed in building the sandwich, never looked up.
Finally, she did turn around and looked me straight in the eye — which leads me to the second point: Too much of a good thing is not good at all. Mother Nature only allows for so much plastic surgery before you start to look clownish. When your lips start just below your earlobes, it’s time to stop.
The real point to this is don’t let your guard down. Standing in a checkout line is time to make sure no one has a sight-line on the debit-card swipe thing when you punch in those numbers. You can easily shift over to the left, blocking the view of everyone. Or do like I do and pull out the Glock and fire a warning shot. Either way, remember that even really sneaky people need a little bit of opportunity. Don’t let them have it.