Thursday, 5 November 2009

Have you got any ID?

While out yesterday two sets of delivery people called at my house, couldn't give me the package and get my signature, and had to leave a card. One had my new digital voice recorder (for voice practice - more on this in another posting!). The other (Royal Mail) wanted to deliver the original Deed Poll, returned with the 25 legal copies I'd ordered (and more on them in my next post).

Problem: how to establish my identity when all the Deed Poll documentation was in a sealed package at the local sorting office? I managed it. I had to show a convincing chain of evidence.

Thank goodness I'd been introducing myself as 'Lucy Melford' to anyone new for months. Back in May I'd had an eye test with Specsavers in Brighton. The results card had printed on it 'Ms Lucy Melford', but at my old address, the one I had before moving into Dad's house from June. I also had my driving licence with a nearly useless photo, but my old name at that same old address. I showed the man at the sorting office these things. He agreed that I had established a link now between J--- and Lucy at the old address. Next, I showed him a Council Tax statement addressed to J--- at my present address. This completed the chain of evidence, connecting Lucy to my present house. I was then able to sign for the package and take it home.

This little episode reminded me strongly of my old job, where I often found myself going through hundreds of invoices, job sheets, delivery notes, diaries, correspondence and other bits of paper - and latterly computerised records of course - to establish a similar chain of evidence, perhaps to reveal a link between two or more people, or to winkle out the details of some carefully-concealed transaction. I had patience and method and I was good at that sort of work, and at presenting my findings. I wasn't so good at the follow-up, but that's another story I won't (and indeed cannot by law) go into!

I have to say that the people at the local sorting office, who had seen me before in J--- mode, turned not a hair at myself in unshaven and straight-out-of-bed Lucy mode (it was early in the morning). Full marks to them.

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Lucy Melford