Homeland Secured?

The man who would choose security over freedom deserves neither.

-Thomas Jefferson

I’m spending this week with Luke working on Puppet and since he lives a good long walk from where I live, I had to spend three hours on a flight to get here

I haven’t done a lot of traveling in the last few years, and apparently I have been missing out on some real fun at the airports. (For the last few years, work and home have all been in a 5 mile radius, which I was nice.)

Approaching the security check point, as I was being inundated with signs and sounds concerning what is and isn’t allowed through, I realized that I had a bottle of cologne that was definitely over the limit. This isn’t super fancy stuff, but it was a gift and I didn’t want to lose it. Realizing this, I asked the gentleman checking my boarding pass, the last step before the XRay conveyors, and he suggested I pull it out of my carry on and put the cologne through the XRay machine by itself.

So, that’s what I did. I took the 4.2 oz bottle of cologne out of my luggage, put it on the tray, with my wallet and cell phones, and proceeded through the metal detector. I found the take-your-shoes-off shuffle a bit disconcerting and slightly dehumanizing, but that’s the world we live in and I don’t get to make all the rules.

Here is where things get interesting, the cologne gets through without a second glance, but the XRay crew wants to confiscate my 80% empty tube of toothpaste.

Uhmm, Ok, take it, a small sacrifice to balance out the universe and keep my bottle of cologne.

So I re-shoed and went on my merry way.

Now I don’t pretend to understand all the issues of why I can no longer travel with toothpaste, and I certainly don’t begrudge the young man doing his job, I just find a certain irony in the capricious enforcement.

Why is this on my blog about software development?

Does your team have any (silly?) rules about how something should or shouldn’t be done? Are those rules arbitrarily enforced based on whim and circumstance?

Can you not check in a mostly empty tube of toothpaste, but it is perfectly acceptable to commit the 4.2 oz cologne, if you put it on the XRay conveyor by itself?

Problem Solved

I’m sure code everywhere will sleep better tonight knowing that your process protects it. . .


One response to “Homeland Secured?

  • knifewine

    Bureaucracy encourages senseless ritual – if your project has brains then “reflecting and adjusing” will throw the ritual out the door when it’s purpose is lost…

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