Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Of Care and Complacency

A couple of months ago I was returning from a trip to Hong Kong. I enjoy the convenience of going through the automated lane at the airport. Place your passport on the reader; make your way through; place your thumb on the second reader; you are cleared. Very efficient. Very fast. And foolproof.

On that occasion, there was a queue at the automated lane. But, I figured it would move fast and definitely faster than the manual lanes and besides that day there were long queues in all the lanes. So, I joined the automated lane. It was taking a while for each person to get through. A chap standing in front of me remarked to the officer who was trying to assist something along the following lines.... Wah! Nowadays the security is so tight ah? Singapore passport also the machine is taking so long to check.
Obviously it was a snide remark about the glitches in the device that did the scanning. It drew chuckles and smiles from the rest of us in the queue. The officer obviously treated it rather seriously. He said something to the following effect..... Singapore must be careful now. We cannot afford to make any more mistakes.

I'm not quoting verbatim. My memory is not that perfect. But, I must say that it is pretty ironic that all those claims of being careful gave way to a lapse. To be fair, the lapse took place at the budget terminal.
Budget terminal = budget service = budget security

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