Home
A Dilbert reader sent me this true story:

I have a funny story for you about the security people at (company name deleted). I was leaving on a Friday afternoon with my laptop in hand (not in the case) and was stopped by security and told that I cannot take the laptop with me and that it had to be inside a bag.

I asked why and they said that there had been a lot of computer thefts. They asked where the bag was. I told them that it was attached to my bicycle which I had to leave at another building because they (security) won't let me take it (the bike) in with me. After a momentary standoff, they said I could fill out a form to take the laptop with me and I said that I would.

They then said that I could not fill it out - my manager had to. I told them that my manager doesn't work in the building, nor does anyone in my management chain. This posed a problem for the crack security team. At last, they formulated a brilliant solution to the problem. They told me that if I had grocery bag in my office I could put the laptop in it and everything would be okay . Of course, I don't have grocery bags in my office. Who would? I did have a windbreaker, however. So I went up to my office, wrapped up the laptop in my windbreaker, and went back down.

I don't see how this prevents theft because now it really looks like I am stealing the laptop. Satisfied that they had performed in the line of duty, the crack security team let me go on my way. Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.
 
Rank Up Rank Down Votes:  +24
  • Print
  • Share

Comments

Sort By:
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 11, 2008
Ah, sadly very typical.

I once delivered a small box to a construction project at the Parliament Buildings here in Ottawa. Security stopped me, checked my ID, checked the package, used a rolling mirror to check under my car, made me open my hood and even the gas tank flap to make sure there were no bombs hidden inside...but failed to ask me about the 20 other boxes in my hatchback (i.e. they were fully visible). They were plain white boxes with no tags of any sort, about 12" square and 24" high. Did I mention there were 20 of them? As in enough to hold a whole lot of explosives?

They waved me through and wished me a nice day.

Oh, and the ID was one I made myself on my computer and had laminated at Staples, because my company-issued one looked like it had been made in a kindergarten class...or maybe in a terrorist camp with poor facilities.

And these weren't rent-a-cops, either. They were RCMP, our top police force. Sigh.


 
 
Aug 7, 2008
I used to work for a multinational company that made printers. I bought a printer through them, and as I was always working, it was delivered to my desk at work. When I went to take it home, security asked for a security pass for it. I asked who could write up the pass for it, as it didn't belong to the company, it belonged to me. My boss didn't have responsibility for it, I did. After 15 minutes of calling supervisors and looking at the addressing label on the box, they decided that I could sign the security tag, but I refused, as I didn't want the company thinking it could track my personal equipment in their asset database. Another 15 minutes of calling supervisors started, but I said I was leaving, and if they felt I was stealing my own printer, they should call the police. They didn't.
 
 
Aug 6, 2008
The security people were just doing their job. Be thankful that they were willing to work with you to let you take it out. They could of just as easily said no bag = no laptop leaving, thats the rule.
 
 
Aug 5, 2008
I had to go to a bank (two hour trip) to patch a small piece of my software. So I go into the bank and then aproach the offices where I have to go past the security checkpoint.

"Can I see you're cellphone sir" ... "Umm, ok ?"
He looks at the phone and looks at a list.
"You'll have to leave this here with us" ... "?? Why" ... "We don't allow any camera phones into sensitive areas"

I point out to him that the phone has no camera, nowhere to have a camera, nothing that looks like a camera.
He points out to me that his list has an entry with my phones manufacturer and nothing else. We "agree" that they'll escort me to where I'm going and they can work to resolve the issue while my phone stays.

The weenie I'm going to see instantly apologizes profusely to security and tells them he'll explain it to me. The office door shuts and he tells me about the internal politics, and how security is under "corporate" control, and how they just have to humor them. Suddenly realizing that I'm there completely empty handed, he asks "Wheres your stuff ?" ... As I pull a usb cable out of my pocket I say "Its in the drive on my phone". Three hours later, the situation is unresolved and I go home.

The following week I return, as I approach security I exclaim "I don't have my cell phone this time" which is answered with smug smirk. ... I'm waved right through, with my laptop bag on my shoulder.
 
 
Aug 5, 2008
To be honest,

It just sounds like you got played by the security team. I use to work IT at a company and my friend worked head of security. He told it's pretty typical for his guys to make up rules just to play with the employees. "Your laptop must be in a bag" sounds like they just wanted you to play fetch, hahaha sorry.
 
 
-2 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 4, 2008
Further to my previous blog, some security guards are just plain IDIOTS.

I just finished thouroughly expaining a situation to my boss when an email came through from him (cc me) to the client with a fairy tale he must have concocted in his head while listening to me, and attached my name to it.

I knew i should have done it myself.

Pardon me i must go and crack a scull on a wall, his or mine, i'm yet to decide!

 
 
+4 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 4, 2008
The same management that the blogger most likely receives mind numbingly stupid ideas from would have come up with the security guards operating procedures.

Basically, if he follows the rules he gets paid, if he doesn't, everyone thinks he's a dope any way, so he gets fired.

Yes, I am a security guard and battle daily with management trying to talk sense into them reguarding, impractical and often impossible solutions to irrelevant problems. I.e fingerprint ID scan on the front entry and a back door hanging off the hinges.

It happens! More often than you think, and in scenarios that would unsettle your sleep.

 
 
Aug 4, 2008
"risingstarlp:

Actually, all of the assertions of that OP/ED piece are attributed to scientific studies in peer reviewed journals. Leveling off of education attainment has nothing to do with "hippies" which aside from a couple of anachronistic, bell-bottom wearing old men don't even exist anymore. Maybe you should up the dosage on your medicine so that you stop having paranoid fantasies about "hippies" and little green men that are out to get you.

Oh and please look up secular. It has nothing to do with welfare or with education. Thanks for playing, better luck next time." -- synapticmisfires

Wow, you know nothing!

I said nothing about secular applying to welfare or education. It's obvious you can't read because you didn't read what I wrote. My use of the word hippie is to apply to the start of the secular liberalism movement in this country which was based on having a good time and not on morality, which had contributed to educational achievement and advancement by stressing personal responsibility. Apparently, you weren't educated very well since you couldn't see the obvious connection. Next time, try knowing something before you post. That article used factual evidence and made ridiculous claims, a lot like Obama when he tries saying high gas prices are McCain's fault while he voted for Bush's oil company tax breaks and McCain didn't. Makes sense for the NY Times to publish both.

You lose, you don't get to continue onto 3rd grade, you're stuck in 2nd for the 20th time.
 
 
Aug 1, 2008
risingstarlp:

Actually, all of the assertions of that OP/ED piece are attributed to scientific studies in peer reviewed journals. Leveling off of education attainment has nothing to do with "hippies" which aside from a couple of anachronistic, bell-bottom wearing old men don't even exist anymore. Maybe you should up the dosage on your medicine so that you stop having paranoid fantasies about "hippies" and little green men that are out to get you.

Oh and please look up secular. It has nothing to do with welfare or with education. Thanks for playing, better luck next time.
 
 
Aug 1, 2008
User Name: virgil Jul 31, 2008 0
[completely unrelated :) ]
Scott, have you read this article?
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/29/opinion/29brooks.html?ex=1375070400&en=7286e3c1957017ac&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink


That was the biggest piece of garbage I've ever read. It starts out with facts and then ends up with a slam job on McCain and a worship article of Obama. Also, all the non-facts can't be substantiated one bit. The decay in educational attainment has more to do with the secular shift that liberals have proposed where it's okay to not work, have free-spirited relationships, and have low accountability, because the government will give you support if you do. This in turn decays the "human capital" and allows for the homelife and eventual educational achievement of generations past 1960. It's surprising how free spirited hippies and educational achievement decay started at the same time. But of course an editiorial in the NY Times would never show anything about that. Some people need to be threatened with the fact that if they don't work hard they'll end up on the streets begging for quarters. If the government is there to always help them, that will cause a chain effect that extends to later generations. Call it harsh, but that's why socialism has failed everywhere in the world that has tried it. Fact.
 
 
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 1, 2008
"Actually, I think this company policy/rule is based more on insurance companies, rather than the direct stupidity of any employer."

Where I work, the laptop insurance policy doesn't cover any situation under which a laptop might conceivably be stolen. For one thing, it doesn't cover laptops outside the workplace. So if it's stolen from my home or when I'm away on business or in transit between any of these places, I can't claim. Second, it isn't actually insured in the workplace unless it is chained to a desk.

So if someone with a bolt cutter steals it from my locked office inside a secure building, I'm gold. If it happens when I'm using it to perform my actual job, which involves carting it about the place, I'm screwed.
 
 
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 31, 2008
[completely unrelated :) ]
Scott, have you read this article?
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/29/opinion/29brooks.html?ex=1375070400&en=7286e3c1957017ac&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

Maybe your 'economist poll' is not the best indicator :)
 
 
Jul 31, 2008
This "in the bag" policy may not be as dumb as it appears. My guess is that the rightfull owner will usually have a bag for their laptop. In contrast, a laptop leaving "naked" is statistically more likely to be stolen. It's obviously not fool proof, but it allows them to catch some of the casual (and not so very smart) thieves.
 
 
Jul 31, 2008
Surely we must be close to the point where we and the barely-evolved apes we laugh at will form two distinct species. I'm sure early homo sapiens used to make the same jokes about neanderthals. "Hey, that stupid neanderthal wouldn't let me just take a rock out of the cave - he said I had to make a cave painting of me taking the rock and get my tribal chief to sign it first"
 
 
+4 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 31, 2008

From : http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/the_way_we_live/article4371704.ece

'Talking of silly airport rules, which I was last week, there was a story in Private Eye about a woman passenger whose manicure scissors were confiscated in New Zealand. As she sat biting her nails on the plane, passengers smelt petrol coming from the luggage compartment. The aircrew found a huge chainsaw, leaking petrol, which the security staff had not banned “since it wasn’t on the official list”. '
 
 
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 31, 2008
I work in a large Asian Olympic holding country at a regional airport doing maintenance on airplanes. The security has been advised that all cars entering the facility must have the boot (trunk) checked. So that's all they check. If you want to sneak something in or out just put it on the back seat and that's ok. They weren't instructed to check there.

They also have an x-ray machine for checking your bags in and out, but only if your bag is the size of small purse.

Of course all of this is negated if you are a manager, since their culture will not allow them to confront their leaders...

Me... I'm a foreigner, so I'm always looking suspicious!
 
 
Jul 31, 2008
Stupid is as stupid does. Forest Gump.
 
 
Jul 31, 2008
One time, I got a pc video card from best buy. It came from one of those locked glass cabinets, and the guy said I he had to ring me up there, for security. I told him I was with my dad, so can I just go into the regular cash register with my dad.. it's not like I'm gonna steel it or anything. He says ok, so I go looking for my dad.

Meanwhile, my buddy calls, and I get very little reception in best buy, so I absent-mindedly walk outside with this $200 video card, and the guy at the door gives me a "have a nice day" as I walk out on the phone. While on the phone, I realize what I have done, so I run back into the store. Once in the store, I realize what I have done, and curse myself for coming back.

Moral of the story: if you look like you are doing something important (default is on the cell phone), you can take anything from anywhere.
 
 
Jul 31, 2008
I work in a place where we need security passes to enter. Unfortunately, one of the scanners would beep no matter what. It beeped, but it also opened the gate to let you in. The security guards didn't even look up anymore.
 
 
Jul 31, 2008
Actually, I think this company policy/rule is based more on insurance companies, rather than the direct stupidity of any employer. I had a friend who had a laptop stolen out of his car, but they told him they wouldn't cover the loss because the laptop hadn't been in a bag. Which seems ridiculous since a laptop in a bag is just as recognizable as a naked laptop.
 
 
 
Get the new Dilbert app!
Old Dilbert Blog