This seems to happen every time I buy something in a department store with my credit card.

Here's what happens: I buy something, hand the clerk my card. He or she looks at it, flips it over and says, "This card isn't signed, I need to see your ID."

I then open my wallet and show my driver's license. The clerk sees my license matches my card and proceeds to make the transaction.

It's at this point that my smart-ass-ness kicks in.

"Excuse me", I say. "If the back of my card was signed, would you have asked for my ID?"


"So", I say, with the speech of a prosecutor breaking a case wide open in a courtroom. "I can steal a card, and as long as there is someone's signature on the back of it when I hand it to you, I don't need to show ID? And, if my card were signed, by me, and someone stole it from me, you'd let them use it, even though you'd have no idea if my signature was their signature, because in that case, you wouldn't ask for ID?"

It's at this moment that my beautiful wife usually says, "Joe! Why do you have to give her a hard time. She's just doing her job."

I don't really pay attention, though, because I feel like I just won the case! I proved my point! I'm a winner!

This policy of checking my ID if the card I hand over isn't signed it POINTLESS! Are department store clerks doubling as credit card fraud investigators? Are they responsible for hunting down stolen cards? Can they arrest me?

The funny thing about this practice is that it doesn't happen anywhere else, but a department store! Not in bars, not in restaurants, not at the car repair place down the street!

There. I feel much better