As part of the Monday morning commute to the client site, we in the consulting business undergo the “Monday Morning Blues”. However our commute isn’t just only traffic and dumb drivers on the snowy highways of Toronto, Montreal or some random North American city, we also have to go through the US Customs process and the Security check.
Want to know how your day is going to go? When you check into the the Super Elite desk and the conversation goes something like this …
- <A/C Agent> Good Morning, Mr. Sankar. Pleasure to see you again …. <Pause while she checks you in and reviews documents>
- <Me> Morning Alice, working the early shift again? Sucks, eh?
- <A/C Agent> Yeah kinda sucks, but guess what? <Her eyes crinkle up>
- <Me> Oh boy, lemme guess? The SSSS hit me, didn’t they?
- <A/C Agent> Yep. I have to give you the standard message.
- <Me> No, Alice, let me do it … ” Dear Mr. Sankar, you been randomly selected for the “enhanced” security process. Upon passing through customs, you will have to go through the “enhanced” security process. Please have your documentation ready
- <A/C Agent> Well at least you’re in good spirits about it…
- <Me> Well you know me, I always have fun with this stuff.
FYI, When you check in for a flight at Pearson, check the Remarks in the bottom right hand corner of your ticket. If you see a code : S S S S – then you’ve been “randomly” selected for an enhanced search.
Now the questions that used to go through my head were some of the following …
- Why was I selected for this enhanced security? I know now, that is it the computer that selects someone …
- Is there no system in place to check friends or travel partners also because they are travelling with me, they could also pose a “Risk”? Nope .. nothing in place for this scenario … smart eh?
- Was that GE machine the ones in which they can see me naked? It does, but I am always opting out … I get enough radiation in the airplanes, no need to add more to my cancer bag.
- What was the purpose of taking everying thing out of my bag and wiping each thing with this piece of paper and putting it in a machine? Supposedly to see if one has some type of residue, used for ulterior purposes.
- I have travelled to and from the US and other countries about 100+ times in the last years, does my previous record not hold for anything? Nope .. doesn’t count for a damn thing.
- Does the colour of my skin have anything to do with this? Nope … not a damn thing. Profiling might exist in the minds of some, but “enhanced” security is an equal opportunity inconvenience.
So basically continuing on … I get to the “enhanced” search area and they go through the procedure with me and the conversation went like this …
Moral of the story … if these guys are going to make my life miserable … I’m going to have fun at someone’s expense. It might be mean … but the process is a charade and stupid.