May I See Your ID?

My former roommate(a world traveler) told me that Americans are the only people who smile for their ID photos–passports, driver’s licenses, etc. When you think about it, when are we most likely crabby? While traveling of course or when asked to show a driver’s license to the cordial yet unsympathetic police officer who felt it necessary to pull over a woman in an SUV with 2 small children who obviously needed to be somewhere. Oh. Sorry.

Well, I had it happen again. I had to ask for an ID the other day (I work part-time as a drive up bank teller) for someone whose name sounded familiar but I couldn’t quite place the face. She was sitting about two lanes away and in the evening, the shadows hid part of her face. And, her transaction required me to ask for ID. Then I saw it. The look. The eye roll connected to the head shake. The irritation. The utter disdain towards me and my nerve. Without a word, she threw her ID into the canister and dropped it in the tube. Are you getting this? She was p.o.’d.

And you know what? I finally recognized her. Not by the face she came in with, but by  the insulted, irritated, crabby face she turned into. “How sad,” I thought. Her most recognizable quality was her disgust.

After completing the transaction, I thanked her for sending the ID and explained that I hadn’t been able to see her clearly at first, thus the request. No response. Didn’t look at me. Didn’t say anything. Just took her envelope, threw it on the passenger seat and drove off.

I got to wondering how others best recognize me?  It made me paranoid. I think I’ll go practice smiling in the mirror. And if I show up at your bank, feel free to card me. My license picture is one of my better ones.


6 responses to this post.

  1. Great reflection on this!! You are so very right! And there’s nothing like “getting caught” being miserable by someone you know…yup, it happened and I’ll never forget it…


  2. What an interesting thought. I totally smiled in my picture. But why?? After sitting at the DMV for 2 hours in a line what the heck was I happy about??

    Its like a picture is meant to display this happy, everything is fine in our lives side of us that may not be so true.

    I think I might just start bringing an 8×10 of myself everywhere I go and holding it in front of my face so that people can capture the “good” side of me even in my frusterating moments!!


    I hope you are doing ok….my prayers are still going up for you!!


  3. She probably didn’t respond to you because she felt silly after throwing a mini-fit only to have you respond so graciously.

    I LOVE smiling at people! Sometimes it’s actually not received well. But most of the time…people respond with a smile. You never know who really needs it…


  4. Posted by Dan on February 11, 2008 at 7:24 am

    You feel the same way I did when I had to ask someone for an ID when I waited tables and people ordered drinks. I couldn’t believe the way people reacted when I asked to see an ID: disgust, anger, telling me how ridiculuous I was etc.

    Although – now that I think about it – it did make me feel better after I spat in their drink. (JK)


  5. Spat in their drink………

    I’ve known you for 23 years and have never heard you use “spat”.


  6. I didn’t think “spitted” was a real word.


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