[extropy-chat] Re: extropy-chat Digest, Vol 11, Issue 21

mail at HarveyNewstrom.com mail at HarveyNewstrom.com
Thu Aug 19 16:28:37 UTC 2004

Everitt Mickey <evmick at earthlink.net> wrote,
> and the same mentality that brings Killer SUV's b rings....

Funny stuff.  It's good to have you back. 

> "Would you like us to call you before we come?"
> I replied that I didn't see how he would be able to do that, since our 
> phones weren't working. He also requested that we report future outages 
> by email. I asked him,
> "Does YOUR email work without a telephone line?"

This wouldn't be idiotic for me.  I have a cell-phone and a cable-modem 
Internet connection.  Both work fine while my home telephone is dead.  Nor 
is it really idiotic that they can't schedule the time more precisely.  They 
have no idea what is wrong or how long it will take for each call, so 
subsequent appointments cannot be scheduled.  Trying to get a more exact 
time won't actually make it happen. 

> I was signing the receipt for my credit card purchase when the clerk 
> noticed I had never signed my name on the back of the credit card. She 
> informed me that she could not complete the transaction unless the card 
> was signed. When I asked why, she explained that it was necessary to 
> compare the signature I had just signed on the receipt. So I signed the 
> credit card in front of her. She carefully compared the signature to the 
> one I had just signed on the receipt. _As luck would have it_,
> they matched.

The flaw here is not that the clerk asked the patron to sign the card.  This 
is proper procedure when encountering a blank card.  The problem is that she 
then proceeded to process the cards normally, which does include comparing 
the signature on the receipt to the one on the card.  What she should have 
done is use the alternate procedure for unsigned cards, which is to get the 
card signed and then compare it to the signature on a photo ID provided by 
the patron.  VISA has very specific procedures for these cases at 

> *I was at the airport, checking in at the gate when an airport employee 
> asked, "Has anyone put anything in your baggage without your 
> knowledge?"** To which I replied, "If it was without my knowledge, how 
> would I know?" He smiled knowingly and nodded, "That's why we ask." *

The Air Carrier Standard Security Program describes the security procedures 
that air carriers must follow.  Although no longer required, there used to 
be two different questions that they were supposed to ask.  The above 
question isn't one of them.  They are supposed to ask if you packed your own 
bags and if the bags have been in your control at all times since you packed 
them.  If so, you can confirm that no one has put anything in your bags 
without your knowledge.  American Airlines paid fines in 2001 for not asking 
the appropriate questions. 


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