RECORD STORE TALES Part 254: You Don’t Need To See My Identification
In Ontario, to sell any used goods to a pawn shop or used CD store like ours, you had to present valid, government issued photo ID. That was the law, even though many of my customers thought I made that up just to be a prick. No; that was indeed the law. I couldn’t buy a used stick of gum from you without a driver’s license, passport, or other form of official photo ID.
One day, I was buying some discs from a man, and we just needed his ID to finalize the deal. Upon asking to see it, this exchange occurred:
Me: I just need a piece of photo ID from you.
Him: I have a membership.
Me: …I’m sorry?
Him: I have a membership here.
Me: I’m not sure what you mean. We don’t have “memberships”.
Him: Whatever it’s called. I’m in your system.
Me: That may be but I still need your ID to prove you are who you say you are.
Him: But I’m a member.
Me: I really don’t know what you mean. I’ve been working here for years and even I’m not a “member”!
Another time, I asked a fellow for identification, and it went down something like this:
Him: ID? What for? They’re not stolen.
Me: That’s the law in Ontario. I can’t buy anything used off anybody unless they show me ID.
Him: Like a license? Will my driver’s license do?
Me: Yup, sure will.
Him: Alright, I’ll drive home and get it, I’ll be back in 10.
So he left, and I’m standing there thinking, “What an idiot. What if a cop pulled him over?” Why wouldn’t you just put your wallet in your pants so you have it with you?
Then there were the paranoid ones. They were rare but they were out there, occasionally surfacing, to raise funds by selling off CDs or DVDs.
Me: And I just need a piece of ID.
Him: Don’t got any.
Me: None? Nothing at all? Driver’s License, Health Card?
Him: Nope. I don’t want the government knowing my affairs.
Nor did he want them to know he was selling off his Tammy Wynette albums, I suppose.
Bottom line: I was surprised how many people in this fine city walk (and sometimes drive) around without any sort of identification on them. Just an observation, is all, from the front lines of the record store.