As I write, I am en route to Detroit from Victoria, Canada thanks to GM who asked Trend Hunter to review their new models for 2008. Part of that, of course, involves going through the tedious procedures at US Customs.
It doesn't seem so "random" when you're selected as "the random" every time you fly to the US. Since January, I have traveled to America from Canada four times, and four times was pulled aside and asked if I would let them do "a random, routine search."
"Sure," was my standard, amused response. But this time, as I was evasively padded down by a complete stranger down arms, chest and between legs, I had to ask: Why me?
I don't exactly look like a suspicious character; I am the exact opposite of what would qualify as a "terrorist" when it comes to physical attributes.
I am tiny, blonde, young, friendly woman. When traveling, I dress well â€" think blazer, pumps and nice jeans that fit so tightly, I couldn't hide a cell phone in my pocket if I tried. There's nothing I could be concealing.
So what's the deal?
With a friendly smile, I asked the woman performing the search on me why I was chosen. She frowned back and said, "It's totally random. Just routine check. Either you were the first in a group or we haven't performed a search in a while. It's random; I assure you."
Uh-huh. Sure. Doesn't the definition of random include something about being unpredictable? Inconsistent? Sporadic? Unsystematic? Oh yeah, and if you look it up in the thesaurus, it will give you "indiscriminate" as a synonym.
The entire security line was laughing with me as we rolled our eyes in amusement at the irony of it all â€" the least suspicious character in the airport was the only one getting checked.
A man approached me after and asked if I'd had it done before. I told him I had, four times in the last 9 months.
His theory? It's in checking people like me that the airlines believe they can stop any upset when they do search someone who characterizes the American view of the stereotypical terrorist, and there way of justifying that there is no racial prejudice.
So I'll take it as a compliment?
Not So Random "Random" Searches
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