An Alarming Lack Of Security

, , , , , , | Legal | July 22, 2020

I’ve shared this story in the comments of a few different NAR stories, so it may be familiar to some long-time readers.

About ten years ago, my hometown had a bit of a burglary problem. Several homes in the area are summer homes for rich people; they are not occupied year-round. Naturally, this made it easy for the burglar to avoid getting caught; they just broke into homes that they knew were empty. They also only stole routine items such as TVs, video game consoles, and power tools — stuff that was easy to sell in secondhand markets without drawing any significant attention.

Several of the rich homeowners had installed alarm systems through a local security/alarm company, but the company had not taken action in any of the burglaries, and law enforcement had never been sent to investigate an alarm. Naturally, the homeowners simply assumed that the alarm systems were faulty, but the company finally admitted that while each burglary had triggered the alarm, the automatic verification calls to the home had always come back as a false alarm report.

Law enforcement officers finally listened to the recordings of a few such calls to figure out what was going on. In each call, the company agent naturally went through an identity verification script to make sure they were talking to the actual homeowner. The only problem was that, instead of having the homeowner state the answers to the security questions, the company only required the homeowner to verify the information on file.

For example, instead of asking, “Who am I speaking with?”, the company would ask, “Is this [Homeowner]?” Instead of asking, “What is the address of this property?”, the company asked, “Is this the property at [address]?”

All the burglar had to do was answer yes to every question and the company recorded it as a false alarm.

Law enforcement seized the recordings of every such call and were able to use voice matching to prove that every burglary had been committed by the same man. When that man was finally caught trying to sell one of the stolen items online, he was arrested, tried, and convicted for every burglary. He spent a few years in state prison.

In the end, very few of the homeowners ever received compensation after being burgled. The alarm company declared bankruptcy and dissolved immediately after their negligent behavior was exposed, which somehow allowed them to avoid lawsuits from the homeowners. A few of the many stolen items were recovered from pawn shops and online markets, but most of the items were generic enough that they were never found again. And because the burglar didn’t have much going for him in terms of financial assets, any civil lawsuits filed against him would have earned such a small settlement that very few of the homeowners went ahead with such lawsuits.

1 Thumbs

They’re About To Become Infamous

, , , , , | Right | July 22, 2020

I am the night auditor for my hotel. I work from 11:00 pm to 7:00 am Sunday to Friday. A guest walks in with multiple people. They are all drunk and being very loud. I look at the clock and it’s 2:00 am.

Me: “Sir, could I please ask you and your group to be a little quieter? I have guests who are trying to sleep on this floor.”

Guest: “I’m f****** famous! I don’t have to care about these people because I make more money than them. Aren’t I more important?!”

Me: “Sir… everyone is equal under this roof.”

Guest: “Oh, go f*** yourself.” 

Ten minutes pass, and I hear screaming and crying and someone running through the halls. The phones begin to ring off the hook. Upstairs, the shouting gets louder.

Guest: “You dumb f****** b****! You’re no good without me!”

I watch the guest from earlier start to hit his girlfriend and scream at her and force her into a chair. I instantly call the police. Ten mins later, the police show up and I explain to them that these men from… a very trashy TV show… are staying at the hotel getting wasted and being super rude.

Guest: “Look, man, I’m famous. I’m on TV. I can’t get in trouble. Look, I’ll do you favors if you let me go.”

After the cops calm him down and get his girlfriend to leave, they all walk up to my desk and ask me if I want to talk to the irate guest. I say yes. 

Me: “Sir, I cannot have you disrespecting my guests, as well as me, and disturbing the atmosphere. If you continue to act like this, I will call these fellas back out here to escort you out.”

Literally moments after the police left, this guy started running through the halls to look for his girlfriend. He even had a friend of his help him search for her, and when they found her, as I watched on the camera, she looked like she was going to throw up out of fear. In the morning, I told the owner of the hotel what happened. He not only banned them for life, but he also charged them full price for the damages they caused. After all, they are famous; they can afford it.

1 Thumbs

The Customer’s Always Right, International Trade Laws Be Hecked!

, , , , , | Working | July 20, 2020

Working in the shipping dock of a software/hardware supplier, we’ve gotten some odd requests from the sales folks. This one, however, takes the cake.

Sales: “Hey, [My Name], I’ve got kind of a wonky request on this one.”

Me: *Jokingly* “Oh, you always have a wonky request! What’s up?”

Sales: “This customer wants us to ship [two products] but only put the value at a total of $100.”

Me: “Well, we don’t do declared value unless it’s over $5000, and they’re each like, what, 1500, 2000?”

Sales: “No, not the declared value, the commercial value.”

Me: “You mean the value on the commercial invoice? For Customs?”

Sales: “Yeah, they don’t want to pay the duties and taxes.”

Me: “Okay, well, no, we can’t do that.”

Sales: “Come on, man, you know we always have to go above and beyond for the customer!”

Me: “‘Above and beyond’ does not include ‘break international trade laws’! But hey, tell you what. Get [Boss] or [Vice President Of Operations] to give me the okay themselves, I’ll print the paperwork and you can sign it.”

Surprise, surprise, he never got that okay.

1 Thumbs

This Whole Staff Is Totally Methed Up

, , , , , , | Legal | July 18, 2020

I am the OP of this story. This is another story from the same hotel.

This same night auditor from the previous story continues to work at the hotel for months. He does take on a few day shifts but still occasionally will not show up for a shift and is not held accountable.  

One time he comes in for his shift at 4:00 am, five hours late, while I have stayed and started the auditing process (as I now have been conveniently trained due to/during the first story).

This continues on for some time until our front office manager notices that our two slot machines in the bar are short exactly $100 every Friday and Saturday night. After a few weekends of this continuing, they contact the police and set up cameras.

The cameras capture the night auditor stealing from the machines by popping the back doors open.

The police review the footage and obtain warrants to search his home; I’m not sure of the specific details here. They search his home and find that not only has he been stealing money, but he has a handwritten list of credit card numbers with names and CVV codes from customers of the hotel. Worse yet, it is actually his parents’ house and they have been running a meth lab out of the basement.

In This Case, MOD Apparently Stands For Master Of Drunkenness

1 Thumbs

When A Regular Behaves Most Irregular

, , , , , | Right | July 17, 2020

I work in a fairly busy restaurant and have to go for essential surgery just before Mother’s Day, which, naturally, is extremely busy. I’ve cleared things with my boss, and unfortunately, the surgery doesn’t go as planned and ends up being much more severe than I first hoped.

When I’m not completely dosed up on painkillers, I decide to drop in and update my boss and coworkers on the situation and how I may need more time away than planned. Luckily, they’re all awesome, and while I’m there, we end up just chatting and catching up when it’s not distracting them.

I’m fairly tired and just about to leave when one of my regulars comes up to me.

Customer: “You! You weren’t here on Mother’s Day! Why not?!”

I try not to sound too tired or uncaring.

Me: “Oh, uh… Hi, [Regular], I’m actually on medical leave right now. I won’t be back for a while.”

The customer huffs angrily at me.

Customer: “Don’t lie to me; you just wanted to skip working Mother’s Day, didn’t you?! It doesn’t matter; you can get my usual order now. Everyone else ignores me here!”

I am trying to wrap my head around her behaviour.

Me: “I… I’m sorry, but I really can’t do that. I was just about to go home to rest; I only had surgery a few days ago. I literally just came in to update [Boss].”

She starts trying to push me off my chair. Thankfully, my coworkers catch me; my balance is so bad at this point!

Customer: “Stop making excuses and do your job! Lazy! You’re all lazy!”

Coworker: “[Regular], stop! She’s not being lazy. She genuinely can’t move very well right now! I’ll make you your order. Just leave [My Name] alone now!”


She managed to push past my coworker and yank the chair out from under me. Of course, I was not prepared for this and landed hard on the floor, ripping half of my stitches and curling up in agony.

The rest of the scenario was a bit of a blur. My manager came out from the kitchen after hearing it escalate and kicked the regular out permanently for assaulting me. He called my mom to take me to the doctors to get my stitches redone; thankfully, I’d healed enough that it didn’t bleed too crazy but it was still pretty bad. My manager stayed with me and comforted me through the worst of the pain until she arrived, despite getting my blood on his chef uniform.

I was given plenty of morphine to help with the pain but I still had an extra week or two of recovery because of the regular being unreasonable. She tried to come back in to “apologise” but ended up having the police called on her. 

I’m recovering well now, though; thankfully, I didn’t need anything more to fix the damage she caused. I’ve learned either not to go in when I’m on medical leave or to go in full disguise at least, anyway.

1 Thumbs