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Two Funnies

October 20, 2015

Funny thing number one:

Recall, a couple of days ago, I received an email from Subway (the national sandwich chain) confirming my order of four sandwiches (turkey & cheese, Philly cheese steak, rotisserie chicken, and sweet onion chicken teriyaki, if you must know).

Trouble was, I didn’t order any sandwiches. Though, the email was definitely addressed to me and sent to my gmail address (kariannpeterson at gmail dot com). The other more troubling trouble was, the Subway was in Benson, Minnesota, and the sandwiches were charged against a credit card that I did not recognize. This just wasn’t adding up.

Recall as well, the email receipt came on the heals of a couple of other suspicious credit card events occurring over the past couple days (the taxi cab driver who used an old fashioned credit card press to take an impression of my card, and a couple of instances where two of my cards were declined).

The fishiness was mounting.

Finally, recall that when I went to look for my wallet to see if any of my credit card numbers matched the one on the Subway receipt, I discovered my wallet was missing.

Okay, so, all that is old news, covered in yesterday’s blog.

So tonight, I got to wondering…. is there actually a real Subway in Benson, MN, or was this some kind of phishing expedition? And, if it was a real place and a legitimate transaction, how do these online orders work, and how was I involved? I found the Subway shop in Benson immediately, called them right up, and ended up having a lovely conversation with Karen the manager, who is a lifetime resident of Benson (population 3500) and knows everybody. She said the town has lots of Petersons, and she knows a few Karis. She said it was more than plausible a Kari Peterson had patronized her shop two nights ago. She grabbed her local phone book, but couldn’t, actually, find a Kari Peterson. This stumped her.

While I was talking to her, I decided to look again at Subway’s email to me, and when I did, I noticed the receipt included the phone number for the supposed Kari Peterson who’d placed the online order. Karen the manager said it was a number from the town of Marshall, just south of Benson (population 13,100).  She thought it totally reasonable that a person from Marshall was buying sandwiches while passing through Benson.

This was turning into a very good conversation. Plus, her Minnesotan accent was thick and earnest. Things were definitely looking up.

I decided I’d call Kari Peterson of Marshall, MN.

It sounded like I may have woken her up, but she was very nice about it and listened to my story. She also had a thick and earnest accent, which made me feel all homey, like I was talking to an old friend (not to mention we were both Kari Ann Petersons of scandinavian descent). She confirmed that, in fact, she was in Benson on Sunday night and had gone to Subway to pick up four sandwiches that she’d advanced-ordered online. When I told her about receiving the email, she hypothesized that she’d probably mis-entered her email address. As it turns out, her name is Kariann N. Peterson, and her gmail address is exactly the same as mine, but with an extra “N” in the middle; she’d just forgotten the “N,” so the email came to me.

Which…. solves that mystery. It’s not a case of identity theft as a couple of credit card agents had suggested to me, after all. YAY!

So… Yes, my wallet was just lost or stolen. Yes, I’d just mysteriously had not one, but two cards declined at not one, but two different establishments. Yes, I’d just handed over my primary credit card to a taxi driver who took a physical impression of it (!) in these paranoia-fueled days of technologically sophisticated, hyper-secure, fraud-avoiding, bullet-proof procedures for ensuring safe credit card transactions.

But this goofy credit card snafu was entirely unrelated. A truly benign stand-alone credit card incident, in a sea of seriously suspicious credit card incidents. I still have a wallet to find and a whole bunch of cards to cancel and replace, and I’m still feeling all uneasy, exposed and vulnerable. But this case of potential identity theft is closed.

Huh.

After our phone conversation, other-Kari and I exchanged a couple of follow up emails. I must say, the people of Minnesota are super down to earth and very nice.

Funny thing number two:

I started a job today. A paying job with scheduled hours, tax forms, an employee handbook, a break room, co-workers… the whole enchilada.

We shall see just how good an idea this is after ten years of unstructured, unencumbered time.

Stay tuned.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

So…. a photo..

I do not have a pic from today of the newest member of the Davis work force (!), but how about a photo from yesterday as we drove home from the airport? We were driving along F Street through some pretty, colorful trees in seasonal transition (seemed like fall happened in the four days while I was away!) , and I was fumbling to get my camera out. I missed the best part of the display, so I switched perspectives and tried to capture it behind me. A pretty good idea, but the view was too limited (will you look at all those bumper stickers!) and the implementation was terrible–as I furiously click click clicked (maybe I look more challenged than furious here…), I ended up with more awkward selfies than gorgeous fall-ish streetscapes.

IMG_0171

2 Responses to “Two Funnies”

  1. Michael Ann Says:

    I find that story fascinating! How one little typo led to that whole thing… wow. SO freaking cool! I’m glad it was all a happy mistake. Love the photo and congrats on the new job!!!


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