Tuesday 17 July 2012

Security - who needs it!

There was a time when kids played in the streets. People left their doors unlocked and even wide open, knowing no one would dream of stealing anything. Everyone wandered in and out of each other's houses whether they knew them or not...and they were welcomed with a cup of tea and a plate of bread and dripping.
Idyllic days and long gone. Now days kids are picked up by mums in 4X4 street-busters and allowed out for a swearing match on Saturday morning's football training session in the pouring rain, carefully chaperoned by a expleting dad and a worrying mum.
Suddenly we're all security conscious, but some more so than others. Who and Why?

The last time I went to my local bank branch (if you can find one these days) I had to queue in a Disney World zigzag for 15 minutes and pass by an array of pamphlets giving me the opportunity of buying any number of financial products (including PPI amazingly!). When I got to the front of the queue and was summonsed forward  by a flashing light the smiling young lady called Mandy who confronted me was protected by an inch of bullet-proof glass. No wonder she was was smiling! I only wanted to pay in a small cheque which the bank could play with for 3 days before agreeing I'd actually paid it in. Her electronic Dalek voice sweetly asked me to put my card into a small machine and type in my number. I had the impression everyone in the zigzag queue was craning forward to see my 4 memorable numbers, but when I looked round to surprise them they were looking anywhere but in my direction. People are dead scared of being accused of being pin number collectors! The sweet girl behind the bullet-prrof glass smiled and told me the transaction had been authorised and the money would be credited to my account in 3 to 5 days. In the mean time the bank would buy champagne with my money and use it in their casinos in London Goodbye, and have a nice day!

I had to go the HQ of one of our national banks a few weeks ago on business. I was a fully accredited person and due to meet the group COO at a particular time, so there was no question that I had every right to be there and was meeting one of their most senior executives. Nevertheless I was 15 minutes late for my meeting after security took nearly half an hour to "process" me. I had to go through  anumber of body scanners, while my case was opened and searched for suspicious items....such as pens, papers and staplers!
I was given a key with which I could summon the lift and go to the correct floor to meet my host. Actually the key was programmed to only let me go to one floor and presumably had I tried to get off at any other floor I'd have been electrocuted. At the correct floor I was met by a very smart and totally unapproachable young lady who exuded class, but nothing else. Charisma had gone on a long holiday! I was again searched and had my identity card checked and a phone call was made to the main reception to make sure I was the same person that had booked in 30 minutes earlier. I was then escorted by a security guard down a corridor whose carpet had a pile so deep I had to part it to see where I was going! Eventually we reached my host's room and I was greeted by a smiling smoothies with no tie and an open-necked shirt. He poured us both coffee and had it not been for the half an hour of security shake-down I would have thought I was an honoured guest, instead of a suspected terrorist.

So who needs security?

Obviously banks, because after the way they've been ripping off the country for years and paying themselves eye-boggling wage packets, let alone bonuses, not to mention telling fibs like ""you endowment will cover your mortgage and give you a healthy lump sum for you to retire with", and "PPI will guarantee that no matter what happens your loan will be repaid". Bollocks! And they knew it. Then there the rate fixing scandal that made the banks millions, but sent hundreds of small companies to the wall. It's no wonder bankers hide behind bullet-proof glass and more levels of screen security than the Pentagon. They're scared and rightly so!

Many place that use to have local offices, such as the Inland revenue, or whatever they call themselves now, operate through call centers manned by people who can read a script. The people who decide our tax fate may have a name (probably fictitious) which they put at the foot of letter demands, but it's impossible to meet them and discuss, or explain a situation and any mitigating circumstances. You certainly can't be put through to them. Like bankers they hide behind a wall of call centers and security. Penetrate that, and you'll probably find there's no one there. They all retired years ago and nobody knew.

Gone are the days of public service and accessibility. Big Brother now rules and wants our money and any freedom we thin we might have left. In return ....security. In case we fight back.
Come the revolution....!

Blog on, Dudes!

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post! It's pretty laughable isn't it, though particularly infuriating at the same time. I'm sick of banks and sick of feeling like a criminal every time I want money out of my account.

    CJ x