My current job involves travel. Three days out of my week are spent in London, which means my employer, at presumably great expense to them, puts me up in a hotel and has me fly down to the kingdom’s capital. I fly the Little Red at 0635 meaning my alarm must wake me at 0400 to ensure I’m at Edinburgh airport on time. I’m tired, not just in the early mornings, all the time.
It’s 0610, I’ll be boarding soonish, I’m surrounded by what appears to be half the Jamaican Commonwealth Games team, who will be on my flight it seems. I am wearing the same shirt and trousers this corporate job has me wearing every single week. I have the same stuff with me as ever, two shirts, boxers, a tiny bag that I’m not allowed to store my preferred toiletries in because they’re larger than 100ml in volume. Hell, I’ve had to tell my doctor that if he’s prescribing me anything, I can’t have it if it’s too big to take on a flight.
On the flight now, I tried choosing a seat at the back of the plane though the diagram has proven deceptive, apparently you can’t have a seat at the back, there are in fact ten more rows of seat that were not shown, on the website, behind me. The lady next to me says she thought she was to be at the back too. We both agree that Virgin Atlantic’s checkin system had a terrible user experience so it really isn’t all that surprising.
With all the same gear as I have everyday, I wonder why it is that the security scanners choose to start bleeping for every fourth time I head through them. I can rely perfectly that I’ve removed everything out of my pockets, I’ve taken my laptops out of my bag, I’ve put my phones and Kindle in my jacket pockets and I’ve removed said jacket for scanning. What am I doing wrong then? Why must the metal detector beep randomly anyway? Why must I then go through the body scanner? Why is it that even when the body scanner shows up nothing that they feel a pat down is necessary anyway. Oh and great, apparently my bag is now suspicious. It’s packed identically to how it always is but now my laptops need to have tests done on them, because terrorists are so prone to building incendiary MacBook Airs. It’s these false positives that piss me off. Nothing’s different to last time, or any other time I come through security two times every week. Yet a quarter of times, you decide something’s wrong. If you get it wrong 25% of the time for me, is it 25% wrong for those who mean us harm too? Or maybe you just have a 25% target to meet. I don’t know, I just know it pissed me off 25% more than my ordinary base level of pissed offness.