Take a gander at Stupid Security and learn about the silliness that has cropped up around the new industry of Homeland Security… such as:
Every day the UPS guy comes to the company where I work. Every day since the start of GWII (Gulf War II), he is met by the security guard, escorted to the elevator, and then to the mailroom where he drops off the packages. So today, I asked the UPS guy, “So, you are escorted every day now?” “Yes, sir.” “Anybody ever check what’s in the boxes you deliver?” “No one ever has.” BOTTOM LINE? The guy in brown gets escorted out of the building— and the bomb box stays?”
Find some more stupid security stories at Privacy International’s competition (thanks, NPR’s Morning Edition):
Last September 2002, I was flying through Heathrow Airport. Just ahead of me in the queue at the hand luggage X-Ray checkpoint was an elderly gentleman of Mediterranean appearance whose bag contained some items of interest to the security staff.
… a dual quarter pound cellophane wrapped cardboard package of loose leaf Chinese tea. It was decided that the tea was allowed, but that the evil word “Gunpowder” was not. Consequently the security staff then rummaged around (thereby delaying me and the rest of the queue) and found a plastic bag into which they decanted the fragrant tea leaves, and confiscated the cardboard packaging!
Shortly after Richard Reid’s attempt to light his shoes, I boarded a flight from San Francisco to London on British Airways. Traveling alone, I was singled out by the computer for further inspection. The polite inspector informed me that he had to check my shoes for explosives. I dutifully removed them and handed them to him. He picked them up one by one and slammed them down on the floor with full force.
Apparently, as they hadn’t exploded, they were not dangerous, and he handed them back to me to put back on.
Let this be a warning to future terrorists. Your explosive shoes may go off in the crowded departure lounge instead of on board the plane.
Oh, and speaking of Verizon:
I recently tried to pay my Verizon phone bill online but was not able to since I didn’t have my account number and other information only found on the paper copy of the bill mailed to my residence.I am traveling for work so called customer service to get the numbers or pay by phone but got the same run around on the phone. I was told it is “impossible” to pay your bill unless you have the paper hard copy of the bill. Two operators and a “supervisor” said this was for security reasons to protect me!
I guess there have been a rash of people calling in to pay other people’s bills or something so they have had to tighten payment security. When I asked the first operator to let me speak to her supervisor she flat out refused (I quote “This is not a management issue” ) and she hung up on me. When I did get a “supervisor” on the second call I was told that was the policy and it couldn’t be changed.
On about the 5th call to customer service someone finally broke down and gave me my account number so I could pay my bill.
Who knew that terrorists are plotting to pay our phone bills? While I’m on the subject, how scary is it that a company that tries to bill itself as a major communications and internet company can’t seem to enable it’s own customers to access services online? If the anecdote above doesn’t make you shudder, read about Thom Watson’s experiences with the big V.