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Sikh-ing To Help

, , , , , | Right | September 19, 2021

A customer calls in with an address in an area with a strong Indian community. His name is Punjabi, as are most Sikhs’ names.

Me: “Thank you for calling. Can I have your name, please?”

Caller: “[First Name] Singh. I need [describes problem].”

That is his real surname, which is pertinent to the story.

Me: “I can help with that. Your security question is, ‘What is your mother’s maiden name?’.”

Caller: “Kaur.”

This is also relevant. I handle his query… and then I go off-script.

Me: “Mr. Singh, may I ask a personal question?”

Caller: “Yes?”

Me: “Are you a Sikh?”

Caller: “Yes… is this relevant?”

Me: “Well, I’m slightly concerned about the security on your account. Sikhism requires its believers to take a certain surname. Singh for men and Kaur for women?”

Caller: “Yes…?”

Me: “Well, if I wanted to hack into your account, guessing your mother’s maiden name would be very easy. If you are Mr. Singh or you wear a turban, your mother is like Mrs. Kaur. Your first name is also Punjabi.”

Caller: “Oh… oh! Can I change that?”

Me: “Yes, sir. You can change it to anything you like. For example, your first school or just a made-up password.”

He changes his password to something else.

Caller: “Out of interest, is that in your training?”

Me: “No, I’ve just had a few Sikh friends. I used to be able to name the 5 Ks.”  

Caller: “Kesh, kara, kanga, kaccha, and kirpan!”

Me: “Yes, the five things you must keep on you at all times. I’m glad to have been able to help you today, Mr. Singh!”