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.
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Jul 31, 2008
He was told not to leave any vehicle to park in front of the gate, so he made move that giant red truck. Later the forensic could hardly distinguish his smile among the ashes.
Jul 31, 2008
The correct answer to, "Do you have any liquids, gels, creams, shampoo, soap, etc. in your carry-on bag?" is: "Well, I had a dozen lubricated condoms, but I used them all last night. ON YOUR MOM!"
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Jul 31, 2008
Maybe you'll find these funny/inspirational: http://businessguysonbusinesstrips.com/
Jul 31, 2008
Like many others, I have a similar story.

Leaving the plant late, after a hard day's system startup. Stopped by Security, asking if I had a pass to remove the laptop. I told them that I came in with it (and didn't need a pass to do so, or anything that acknowledged that I did), and every other day this week I had left with it, with no such scrutiny.

"Ah yes", came the reply, "but that's because you left on dayshift, when all the other salemen and service folk leave with their own laptops. But here on night shift, we make sure that anyone who leaves with a laptop has a pass, because there have been a lot a laptop thefts"

Puzzled by the concept that thievery only happens at night, I was told to get a pass from my supervisor. Unfortunately, my supervisor had gone home for the night a few hours before.

Wound up having to leave the laptop overnight. But while security prevented the "theft" of an old $200 laptop, they had no problem with me walking out with $1M worth of company secrets on disc. (Not that I did anything with those secrets - they were just part of the backup files that I had on me to continue (or not, in this case) working on later that night.
Jul 31, 2008
I once had a run-in with the security nazis at one of the places that I worked. I would typically spend my lunch hour rollerblading for exercise and the release of work frustrations. The company closed off a large section with of the parking lot with concrete barriers for reasons unknown to me. This occurred a few weeks after a significant layoff. I had previously been rollerblading in various off-site places, but when they isolated a large area in the parking lot, I could not resist. On the first day, I was out for about 30 minutes with no problem. On the second day, I was out for about 15 minutes when one of the security guards shows up and waves me over. He tells me that I cannot rollerblade in the parking lot because I might get hit by a car. I pointed out to him that because of the large concrete barriers, it was extremely unlikely that someone could actually force their way into the area I was blading in. His response was that it was company policy. I asked to see the policy. He responded that he would report me to my supervisor and that this offense could lead to my dismissal. Some friends/co-workers that had been blading with me pulled me away from the confrontation at that point. I really wanted to push the issue because I would love to have gone to my next job interview and been able to answer the "why did you leave your last position?" question with "because I was rollerblading on my lunch hour".
Jul 31, 2008
Unfortunately I have been in a situation similar to the security guards. Management creates an arbitrary rule such as no laptops leave the building unless they are in a bag or case of some sort so they can't be seen. To the management, this makes perfect sense, since the laptop can't be seen, it can't be stolen. Now for the poor person that has to enforce this rule, probably has not been told why the laptops have to be in bags, just to make sure that they are. He can't just let the guy walk out the door, then he might lose his job for not doing what he has been told. I'm sure he feels enough like a tool without other people pointing that out. The sad part is, in a lot of corporations, educational institutions and businesses, the security guard that has the keys to everything, is in charge of your safety and security, is quite often one of the lowest paid employees, just above the janitors. Most security guards are either making their way up the ladder to police, sheriff, etc., or have retired from one of those jobs and looking for a job to pass the time. They are not stupid people, just enforcing the rules made up by the stupid.
Jul 31, 2008
Barney Fife and his one bullet would fit right in!
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 31, 2008
The greatest form of tyranny is petty tyranny. It's also the easiest to amass unnoticed.
Jul 31, 2008
That's a typical corporate solution....if i can't see it I don't have to deal with it. Like a little kid covering their eyes
Jul 31, 2008
Let's all try to remember that the only people dumber than the security guards following the insane guidelines are the PHB's who make them.
Jul 31, 2008
That story isn't even funny, just depressing.

Did they ever ask for I.D.? I would think that would be the minimum. And if an employee had an official I.D. and was an employee in the H.R. database (which supposedly security has), why not just record that and the laptop ID?

The story would have been even better if it was a personal laptop!
Jul 31, 2008
Do I sense a new Dilbert character in the works, Bruce the security guard?

This is what bureaucracy will do to you. The guard could have easily photocopied his ID, or performed any of a million other security precautions, but I guess wrapping it in a windbreaker solves everything.

+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 31, 2008
yeah, and now the library's security will usher me out for disturbing other researches with roaring laughter. thanks a lot.
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