Some Security Staff Are Not The Sharpest

, , , , , , | Working | November 2, 2019

I am traveling via plane to Seattle one morning for an appointment and coming back later the same day. All I’m carrying with me is a computer shoulder bag. As I go through the TSA checkpoint, I put my pocket clutter into the basket, thinking nothing of the tiny Swiss Army “gentleman’s knife.” The woman behind the counter informs me she’s confiscating it. I protest that’s it’s in guidelines as a less-than-2.3-inch blade. She says I can leave it or stay with it, my choice.

The trip goes quickly; I get my business done and come back, passing through SeaTac TSA with no problems.

A few weeks later, I’m cleaning out that computer bag and in a bottom pocket, I discover a four-inch Leatherman SuperTool multi-tool I’d forgotten about. It went through TSA detectors twice. That’s 4.5 inches long and weighs over nine ounces, and is clearly forbidden, while they confiscated my tiny knife…

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The Hardest Event Tonight Is The Waiting Game

, , , , , , , | Working | October 19, 2019

(My brother has the opportunity to be on a TV competition about physical strength and agility. The show films at night so we all have to stay up to watch. The coordinator tells us that he will be on at 11:00 pm with the other competitors in his group. Not bad at all! It is supposed to be a warmer night, so we only bring sweaters to keep us warm. While my brother stays with the other competitors, the rest of us walk toward the seating area. A security guard stops us.)

Guard #1: “Can I help you?”

Mother: “My son is competing tonight and—”

Guard #1: “And you’ll be called when he goes on.”

Mother: “Oh. We just thought we would watch the other people.”

Guard #1: “That’s not allowed. Go wait outside until it’s your son’s turn.”

Mother: “We can’t watch? Do we have to buy tickets or something?”

Guard #1: “No, only seat fillers and people with the current competitor can be in there.”

Mother: “But there’s barely anyone watching. How do we become seat fillers?”

Guard #1: “Seat fillers can’t be family. Move along.”

(So, away we go to wait our turn. Small groups file in and out for a few hours. Eleven comes and goes and my brother still hasn’t had his chance. We go to another guard.)

Mother: “Excuse me? My son was supposed to run with the 11:00 group and—”

Guard #2: “You’ll be called when his turn comes.”

Mother: “Is there a coordinator or supervisor or someone I can talk to? It’s almost 1:00 am.”

Guard #2: “No.” *turns and walks away*

(It is getting colder and we are getting tired and impatient. Another hour passes with no word. My brother isn’t allowed to have his phone on him, so we can’t even ask if he knows anything. Some of us decide to nap until it is my brother’s turn. I am too excited to sleep, so I stay up as long as I could. Eventually, though, I nod off. My mother shakes me awake and tells me to get up. I open my eyes to see sunlight peeking over some of the buildings. I check my watch and see that it is nearly 6:00 am. Seven hours have passed since my brother was supposed to compete and FINALLY, his group is going. We go back to the entrance and [Guard #1] escorts us to a section by the end of the competition. Half of our group sits down and he ushers the other half to another section. It is far colder than any of us anticipated, so we are all shivering.)

Mother: “Excuse me. Why can’t we all sit together?”

Guard #1: “Gotta fill the spaces. A few small empty spots look better than one big empty spot.”

Mother: “You wouldn’t have empty spots if you’d let people watch.”

Guard #1: *glares* “Okay. Cheer loud, be proud, and don’t shiver!”

Sister: “We’re cold!”

Guard #1: “You should have thought of that!”

Mother: “We would have if someone had said we’d be here all night!”

Guard #1: “Not my problem, lady.” *walks away*

(My brother has his turn and the next person comes up. We all get up to leave but [Guard #1] steps in our way.)

Guard #1: “Where are you going?”

Mother: “We’re leaving.”

Guard #1: “There are more runners in the group. Go sit down.”

Mother: “And we would have stayed to watch had we not been here all night waiting.”

Guard #1: “What?”

Mother: “[Son] was supposed to run at 11:00 pm. That was seven hours ago. I would have sat here all night and watched everyone compete, but you said we couldn’t be here.”

Guard #1: “Well, I—”

Mother: *holds up her hand* “I understand that you’re just doing your job. But I hope you understand why I’m not willing to sit here anymore.”

(My mother pushes past the man, who stands there in stunned silence as we leave. When we are just beyond the exit, the guard decides he wants the last word.)

Guard #1: “Hey! Thanks for being true fans of [Competition]! Great team spirit!”

(The next season, my brother was contacted and asked to compete again. He declined.)

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These Online Filters Have Seeped Through To Real Life!

, , , , , , | Working | October 2, 2019

(I work at a company that requires you to use an ID badge to get through the front doors. However, rather than having an automatic reader you scan, there is instead a manual, hand-held scanner that the person behind the reception desk will use to scan the ID. If they get the green light, they’ll then hit a button behind the desk to open the doors. On this particular day, I get to the desk while I am still trying to pull my ID out of my pocket. The lady behind the desk is someone who I’ve never seen before.)

Receptionist: “You need to present your ID.”

Me: *cheerfully* “Yep, sorry. It got stuck in my pocket.”

Receptionist: *rolls her eyes* “If you don’t have an ID, you aren’t getting in.”

(At that moment, I manage to pull it free of the fold it was stuck on, and hold it out.)

Me: “Right, sorry. There you go.”

Receptionist: *not even looking at my card* “You need a card to get in.”

Me: *slowly wiggling it back and forth* “Yes, it’s right here.”

Receptionist: *turns away and starts fiddling with her computer* “I can’t just let you in without an ID.”

Me: *frustrated at this point* “I know, which is why I have my ID right here.”

(She doesn’t respond, leaving me standing there with my ID out. After a moment, one of the security officers for the building comes over.)

Officer: “Is there a problem?”

Receptionist: *wheeling around* “He’s trying to get in without an ID.”

(The officer looked between the card in my hand and the receptionist, before reaching over and picking up the hand scanner. He didn’t say a word as he scanned my card, the light flashed green, and he then reached around and hit the door-open button behind the desk. Throughout all this, the receptionist kept looking at him, continuing to not even acknowledge that my card existed. I left at that point, and I haven’t seen that woman at the desk since then. I’m still not sure if this was some sort of weird power play on her part, or if her brain really was filtering out the existence of my ID card.)

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It’s Not Exactly The Da Vinci Code

, , , , | Right | September 16, 2019

(I work in a call center for a security company, and I have dealt with my fair share of interesting customers. This one was a first, though.)

Customer: “I need to get some information about my account.”

Me: “All right. Can I verify your code, please?”

Customer: “Oh, I’m not supposed to give that out…”

(Note that at this point, I have the customer’s information pulled up and I am literally staring right at her code. I just need it to verify that she is who she says she is. I’m taken aback by her response, and I say the only thing I can think to say.)

Me: “Um… I won’t tell anyone.”

(She gave me her code after that, but I think someone needs to tell her that it’s okay to give her code to her security company… which assigned her the code in the first place.)

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God’s Dirt Has Been Paved Over In China

, , , , , , , | Friendly | August 9, 2019

(I am outside my university’s research lab building, by the parking deck. I am American, but ethnically I am half Chinese, which some people can spot right away. I’m also a scientist and an atheist. I am walking towards my lab and using the sidewalk next to the parking garage. There is a security guard standing on the sidewalk next to the garage, watching some birds in a patch of grass. I smile and say hi to her. She stops me.)

Guard: “Isn’t it amazing?”

Me: “…?”

Guard: “You can just throw anything in God’s dirt and it’ll grow!”

Me: “Uh… what?”

Guard: “Yeah, you can have any seeds at all, throw it into God’s dirt, and it’ll grow, just like that! Isn’t it amazing?”

Me: “Well, yes, life in general is pretty amazing. But I gotta tell you, not everything you throw in dirt is going to grow…”

(I launch into a very short explanation about plant needs, soil fertility, and crop rotation, which apparently is quite lost on the lady.)

Guard: *quickly changing the subject* “So, you work in that building over there?”

Me: “Yep, I’m a graduate student here at [University].”

Guard: “Are you Asian?”

Me: “I’m half Chinese.”

Guard: “Isn’t China a communist country?”

Me: “Yep.”

Guard: “Well, you have yourself a nice day.”

(She couldn’t get rid of me fast enough! Shun the non-believer!)

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