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Security Theater

Several years ago there  was a book called “Politically Correct Fairy Tales”.  I don’t remember the author, but I do remember it was funny because it was so outrageous.  I suspect it wouldn’t be funny anymore; more of an HR department policy manual.  One of the things I remember from the book was the phrase (used in place of the word “beggar”) “unencumbered by the confines of regular employment.”  I only mention that, as it seems to be the most apt description of my current situation.  Anyway one of the things I do part-time is Professional Urine Collection. Yup, that’s me: the traveling pee collector.

Actually, it isn’t that bad.  I was collecting UA’s as far back as 1980 in Corrections.  No big deal.  And I get to drive pretty much all over the southwestern half of Kansas.  There are times, however, that it just isn’t worth the hassle.

We have the contract to do random testing on our city employees, so this morning I was down at city hall to collect a sample.  Now I’ve been down there in the middle of the night to do post-accident collections.  Piece of cake.  The cops let me in, I do my job, and we all get on with our lives.

Not how it works in the daytime.  They refused to let me in because I had two small pairs of scissors in my bag.  After I went back to the parking lot and dropped off my lethal weapons, I did the whole metal detector, run your bag through the x-ray machine, etc. and they finally let me in.  Now inside the bag they scanned were 8 clear plastic bags, each containing two vials of human urine (from my first job this morning).  At least that’s what I told them was in the vials.  They didn’t inspect the bags or look at the vials or anything.  And I’m thinking, “You won’t let my scissors in but you don’t even bat an eye at 8 packages of what could conceivably be a binary explosive.”  So I go to the offices and find the cop I’m supposed to be testing, who it turns out is a member of the bomb squad.  I saw him looking in my open bag while I was digging out my supplies, and he was just shaking his head.

To add insult to injury, I had to pay for parking.  The idiot in the parking attendant booth looked like a LARPer-wannabe.  And he was sporting THE worst fake upper-class British accent I’ve ever heard.  Just seemed to be the icing on the cake.

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