12 September 2011

My Fake Name Commits Credit Card Fraud

I've made it known before that my name is, well, different.  It's not that it's a particularly difficult name, it's just that it's incredibly uncommon in this country.  Naturally, because Americans are averse to anything remotely different, this causes people to freak the eff out when I introduce myself or they need to write it down or something.  It's almost as if when hearing a name that isn't Sarah or Amanda or Jennifer people suddenly forget how letters work.  Sound it out, bitches, you'll do fine.

Apology accepted, slore!
Because of the difficulties with my name, I sometimes use a fake one in certain situations.  Mostly these situations involve ordering sandwiches or excessive amounts of caffeine from people in green aprons.  It's just way easier to give the dude behind the counter something I don't have to spell out while he stares at me like my head just opened up and showed him the true meaning of life or the real contents of Lindsay Lohan's vagina.  Unless I'm feeling like an evil bitch.  Then I just give them my real name and take pleasure as I watch them squirm as they attempt to type into their computer.

Anyhooters Anyway, the other day I was ordering some very exciting plain chicken (another fiasco entirely) at a local stir-fry joint and was of course asked for a name.  Feeling particularly nice that day, I left my fake name - Cara.  Cara was my neighbor growing up.  She was Jewish and that meant I always got a Hanukah gift; seven-year-old Sauce loved that she got double holidays in December.  So I gave the name Cara and handed over my credit card to pay.  I was so ready for yet another meal of freaking chicken.

Suddenly the world stops turning and I realize something that for some reason hadn't crossed my mind before, while I often use the name Cara, not once has anyone questioned why the name on my card says something else entirely.  Not one time.  Now I realize I was spending less than ten dollars, but that's not the point.  The point is that credit card fraud is easy as shit because people are inattentive or - more probably - don't give a damn.  My fake name is entirely offended.

In my experience at the "Restaurant Which Shall Not Be Named,"  I ALWAYS ask for ID with a card.  I don't care if you spend two bucks or two-hundred, it's still illegal if you're using a card that doesn't belong to you.  It's part of my job to check these things.  Yes, it's a pain in the ass sometimes, but you'd be surprised how many people appreciate that bit of extra thought.  It makes you look like a good server to ask simple questions like that, people.  Hell, it makes you look like a good person.  And good people get tipped more.  Hopefully.

So next time you run into a Cara, ask for some ID because she could actually be some crazy, bloggin, Dutch chick out to catch you sucking at life.  You've been warned.

Sauce has a new, improved and 100% awesome fan page on Facebook!  I'm hoping this time around we'll not only have super cool pepper racing (see photo at left), but lots of involvement, contests and miscellaneous good times.

You are cordially invited to help me regrow my presence on Facebook.  I apologize in advance for the lack of cake.  Check it out, tell your firends and of course LIKE "According to Sauce."


  1. Heh. I used to have a roommate named Cara. We were good friends, too--until we moved in together. Now she hates me. I haven't lived in that apartment in years and I still get mail addressed to her at my current address. Anyways, I just thought it was funny, that you'd chose that name to give people.

  2. I wonder if the opposition you see to your name is based on your geographical location -- perhaps the midwest/west sees less diversity? I recall you mentioning before the difficulties of your name, and then when I found out what it was (I think when voting for you in the Restaurant-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named Halloween contest), I was surprised with how normal it seemed (there were two girls in my sorority with your name and I went to elementary school with another). Here on the east coast (D.C. specifically), your name would certainly fall into the less ethnic, more normal category -- in fact, I haven't met a Sarah, Amanda, or Jennifer in years! :)

  3. A great point, Julie! Perhaps this has something to do with it. I have met one other where I currently live, but she is the only one I have encountered in Montana. Of course in the Netherlands it's quite a different story - though the name is seemingly falling out of style with the younger generations.

  4. As a former restaurant owner, it's my understanding that according to the terms of the merchant agreement with the CC company you are not allowed to ask for ID when presented with a CC. The CC companies provide the consumer with protection if the card is lost or stolen and want to make is as easy as possible for the consumer to use it.

    Do you ever have anyone refuse to show an ID? You can't refuse to take the CC if they don't.

  5. Interesting, south. I have never heard this, but definitely see the logic. I for one have never had anyone refuse and in fact have a lot of people thank me for checking. However if someone did refuse me on the grounds you specified I wouldn't refuse to take the payment.

    If they simply refused and didn't give good reason I'd probably refuse just because they were acting suspicious as shit.

  6. I know how it feels to have a unique name. But does yours sound like any names people would know? Mine does, so people often believe what they think they hear is my name. I've never considered using a fake, it's a great idea. No more hassle. Unless I'm paying by credit card...

  7. I have a sort of the other side of the mirror version of this problem. I'm in the process of getting a legal name change for my first name. For over a year I've used my new name socially and I tend to use it when ordering coffee based beverages and whatnot. But it isn't the name on my credit card or my ID because I can't get that changed until I can get the name change. I'm always worried that someone will call out the difference and there will be a scene as I have to explain that I'm a transgender person. (Using the name I grew up with isn't an option as having to explain why a dude has such a hyperfeminine name is almost as bad.)

  8. Anton, thanks for making think of the situation totally differently! I'll take enlightenment over accounting homework any day! I feel bad for probably sounding really petty now.

  9. I assume it's a Dutch name you have? I'm from Belgium myself and find it hilarious the way English people pronounce some of our typical names. I have a very un Dutchy name though, so I know how you feel. You can just see the questions marks over people's heads. I can't count all the times people have asked me why my parents named me that, where does the name come from or try to enlighten me on where my name comes from. Very annoying sometimes alright.

  10. Why do people need to ask your name when you order stuff? Unless I'm doing it over the phone with the intent of picking it up later I don't see the point. You're there in person they should know what you ordered!

    Anyway, we don't have that problem in the UK cos we use chip and pin now. No one signs for anything anymore. Sooo much easier!

    PS loving the new blog, btw. i'm happy you've decided to keep going!

  11. I know at my store I'm supposed to check all ID's (as well as check for forged bills, shoplifting, people trying to quietly bag in unattended lanes... ffs, I should be getting LP wages!). I usually don't for less than $30 or so though. Not worth the hassle. Besides, clever CC thieves will use the self check, which doesn't require you to check ID. Scary, aint it?

  12. My name is unusual as well. I even googled/Facebook searched my name and only came across 5 or so others with the same name as me. And just like you do, I give a fake name when ordering coffee or something like that. Though instead of using a completely different name, Ijust use a chopped up version of mine that sounds simmilar to my name and is rather bulletproof in the "WTF is your name again?" category...thoug I've STILL had people give me moronic looks for the name I tell them.



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