DEAR ABBY: I own a very busy neighborhood retail newsstand/convenience store. We serve a few hundred customers a day -- more men than women, for some reason. While our male customers generally dig into their pockets for bills or coins when paying, women usually bring out their wallets and open them to get cash. This is a dangerous practice.
When women open their wallets and reveal credit cards and the driver's license in the window pocket, I get a good look at personal information -- as do customers standing beside or behind them. It may take only a few seconds to get money out of the wallet, but it takes me less time to read their names and addresses.
It may seem like a reasonable place to keep your license in order to find it quickly should an officer ask for it, but most officers ask that the license be removed from the wallet anyway. I have made my family and friends aware of the danger, and have moved my wife's license to a safer location in her wallet.
I am reluctant to point out this danger to my customers because they may feel "funny" about my noticing. However, I worry that someone who is unstable or dangerous may obtain names and addresses -- and then who knows what will happen?
I propose that women put a favorite photo in the display window of their wallets -- or better yet, a photo of a very large male. That sends a safer message. -- RICH FROM LUCKY STOP, NORTH BABYLON, N.Y.
DEAR RICH: Great idea. And if the woman has no husband, boyfriend, son, uncle or male friend, a picture of a German shepherd with teeth exposed should suffice. Or perhaps women should carry a small coin purse with a few dollars in it and leave the wallets safely out of sight in their purses.