Can I See Your ID To See Your ID?

, , , | Working | May 1, 2019

(In Belgium, you can send a letter by certified post, meaning you need an ID to show when you want to receive this letter. These letters, more often than not, are bad news – a letter from a collection agency or a letter from work saying you’re fired, for example. When this letter arrives, I am not home, so the postman leaves a slip so I can pick it up the next day. As it is a Friday afternoon, this means I’ll have to wait until Monday to pick it up. I’m slightly worried, for I am a non-working student with — as far as I know — no outstanding debts anywhere. Finally, Monday arrives and I go to the post office, where the following exchange happens.)

Me: “Hello, I’m here to pick up my certified letter. Here is the slip I got on Friday.”

PO Worker: “Okay, no problem. May I just see your ID, please?”

(It is at this point I realize that I don’t have my ID. It’s usually always in my wallet. I excuse myself to the worker and go back home to look for my ID. I realize that the last time I used it, I was working a student job in the Netherlands two weeks before. Possibly I left it there. I call the company:)

Me: “Hello, this is [My Name]. I’m just calling to see if by any chance I left my ID in your office two weeks ago. I no longer seem to have it.”

PO Worker: “Oh, yes! We did find your ID and we sent it to you by certified mail. Did you not yet receive it?”

Me: “…”

(Technically, I was supposed to go to the police to report my missing ID, get a temporary paper as a replacement while replacing it, and use the paper to get the letter with my ID. The post office worker who I explained this to was, luckily, very understanding. She made an exception to take my driver’s license as proof, and made me open the letter then and there to check if it indeed had my ID.)

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