back to article How HAPPY am I on a scale of 1 to 10? Where do I click PISSED OFF?

I am in a long, slow-moving queue of anxious passengers trudging through airport security like chained natives thrown into the lava pit by Ursula Andress giving a “lesson in obedience”. I remove all items from my trouser pockets and put them in my coat pockets. I take off my coat and put it in a plastic tray. My laptop goes in …

  1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Spot on, Mr Dabbs.

    Do I want faster data? Yes.

    Do I want to pay for it? No.

    And the same with the airport. The only thing worse than the default wander-around-half-undressed is the occasional 'could you come with us please' requests which involve a small room, unsmiling people, and pointed questions about the amount of technology I happen to be carrying and why I have two passports... Once upon a time, flying used to be a pleasant, enjoyable activity. Now it's a torture worse than the London Underground. How can one fail to have anything other than a dreadful time there?

    It's the wrong question, Grommet!

    1. Dave Bell

      Re: Spot on, Mr Dabbs.

      In my experience, what saves the London Underground is the presence of the ordinary people of London. Though I managed to avoid the rush hour. London is messed up by the ultra-rich seeking to preserve their precious bodily fluids, every night.

    2. Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen
      Facepalm

      Re: Spot on, Mr Dabbs.

      Well, I feel sorry for the other people in the queue...

      << my Personal Molester has a good rummage around inside each pocket to ensure that they have been pushed down sufficiently to reveal my arse crack to all and sundry >>

      Frankly, I'd rather not have to see the arse crack of about 98.2% of travellers, including Dabbsy's, and Sod's law dictates that I'll never get to see the ~1.8% of tasty totty tushy on my preferred list. This is the true tragedy of Airport security.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The machine is not designed to detect things. It is simply designed to go “bleep”.

    Actually it is. I have had this confirmed by security guards at three airports - to be more exact LHR, SOF and MAD. After one of the many recent scares (forgot which one) they all had a "random trigger" added to keep the security personnel on its toes. The more interesting was the attitude:

    Me, p*** off: Why is this bleeping?

    LHR: Do not worry, it is random, they added it recently.

    MAD: This is just random, it's annoying, isn't it?

    SOF: The m***f*** c*** added this last week so I now need to waste my time on people who are OK. If I could only *** *** the mother of whoever came up with this idea...

    As far as surveys being designed artificially to drive a particular cause there is nothing new there. 99% of them are designed by the creators of the Donetsk Referendum:

    Option A: Do you want our country to be independent?

    Option B: Do you want our country to declare independence and then ask Russia for absorption.

    How about option C? Guess not...

    1. Cliff

      Re: The machine is not designed to detect things. It is simply designed to go “bleep”.

      Quite. A paper survey with the question 'would you be prepared to volunteer some help to other residents in this sheltered housing' has just been used by one of the richest charities in the country as a 'consultation' in order to sack half the staff.

      So, anyone involved with these misleading and deliberately deceptive and coercive survey questions - fuck you. It's cynical to say people were satisfied with no real intention to listen and to fudge the figures. You're complicit in actively making the world a shittier place and deserve all you create.

      If you want a genuine mood-gathering system start by sacking all the market research experts who offer their services and employ someone with a good grasp of English and Engineering - it'll go a long way.

      1. Frankee Llonnygog

        Re: If you want a genuine mood-gathering system

        And that's why they don't ask someone with the aforesaid qualities. How then would you get the right answers when asking the turkeys if they're in favour of extended human families gathering once a year for a slap-up meal?

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: The machine is not designed to detect things. It is simply designed to go “bleep”.

      The Donetsk Referendum:

      "Do you support the declaration of state independence of the Donetsk People's Republic?"

      Amazingly, no mention of Russia.

      I suspect you are making things up.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: The machine is not designed to detect things. It is simply designed to go “bleep”.

        "I suspect you are making things up."

        I think he might be referring to the Crimea referendum.

    3. Heathroi

      Re: The machine is not designed to detect things. It is simply designed to go “bleep”.

      option c, staying loyal to Kiev, whoever was in power, had been rendered moot already

  3. Vociferous

    >as soon as you come across the “results of a survey” in the media, you can be certain they are selling you products or spinning you bullshit

    Also true of "a study shows". All studies which get press as "showing" or "proving" something invariably are junk, either commissioned by or seized upon by a pressure group.

    >t seems if you were to offer smartphone owners faster throughput, the other 40 per cent of them will smile and shake their heads

    That'd be for instance me. I don't need faster throughput on my smartphone, because I don't move large amounts of data with it. 3G speed is more than sufficient for Youtube and Drive, and there's nothing else I'd like to download to my phone. I do not wish to pay more than I do now for a feature which has no benefit to me.

  4. Dr_N Silver badge

    Although a fairly accurate and amusing portrayal of LHR security...

    ... the real problem with airport security is the number of morons in the queue who have to be repeatedly told what to do. Thus slowing the whole process down.

    Sometimes weighted surveys are useful. Especially the ones you have to hand out after running a training course, which are probably put on your file over at corporate HQ.

    1. Cliff

      Re: Although a fairly accurate and amusing portrayal of LHR security...

      Is it really? Or is the real problem a theatre of security that adds very little actual protection buy degrades every traveller (with every native tongue, with many infrequent flyers) with ever-variable and inconsistent rules? Toothpaste? Is it a cream or liquid? The sign doesn't ask for pastes, and it contains very little liquid, less than an apple - so what's the water percentage threshold?

      For instance, in the Middle East they were quiet happy for me to take 2 bottles of water as hand luggage to fly to London. Some places want to see your laptop unpacked, in its own tray, some even see it turned on (unlucky if you've got a crappy battery), yet other airports don't. Some want shoes off for everyone, others don't. It's highly inconsistent, and the first time most people find the particular combination of socks, shoes, pants, belt, jewellery, coins, keys, phones, water, toothpaste, laptop open/closed/powered, etc is tired, stressed, and being humiliated in a factory farming dehumanisation programme.

      By the way, I've now landed in London with my water and some and toothpaste - lucky I didn't detonate over the city, eh? It's a pantomime of actions that look like diligence, complex rituals to appease the security gods - don't blame the poor fuckers caught up in it.

      1. Vociferous

        Re: Although a fairly accurate and amusing portrayal of LHR security...

        It's only Western airports which take all the latest security paranoia from the US seriously, in Asia and Africa the airports either just go through the motions, or implement a tiny subset of security*.

        * not necessarily the reasonable parts. I recently had my toiletry bag emptied and nail clippers and shampoo bottle confiscated, at the same airport where no one bothered to check why I was causing the metal detector to go berserk.

        1. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

          Re: Although a fairly accurate and amusing portrayal of LHR security...

          "It's only Western airports which take all the latest security paranoia from the US seriously, in Asia and Africa the airports either just go through the motions, or implement a tiny subset of security*."

          I took an internal flight in West Africa a while back, and when my bag went through the scanner I'd forgotten that I had water in my drinking bottle. The nice lady at security simply asked me to take a swig then, noticing that I hadn't exploded, she let me take the rest with me and wished me bon voyage. I haven't seen that kind of common sense in Western airports for a long time.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: Although a fairly accurate and amusing portrayal of LHR security...

            After having traveled with a baby/toddler + all the paraphernalia that that entails for a few years I can only conclude that most security workers are about as confused as the passengers over what they can take and what they can't, but they're better at pretending they know.

            I'm surprised Dabbsy didn't get the police called in for his rant, it seems even sarcasm can get you a warning that you're stepping out of line. What are we without sarcasm but Americans?

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Although a fairly accurate and amusing portrayal of LHR security...

            I haven't seen that kind of common sense in Western airports for a long time.

            It is the norm in Eastern European countries if you are travelling with small kids. Some western European countries show some sense too (Spain). They actually know that water is required to mix kids formula.

            Compared to that Heathrow is a combination of a pointless abuse and idiocy.

            I remember travelling right after they introduced the new liquid rules and my wife was not yet familiar. So she packed 6 bottles of ready-made formula for our 45 days old daughter. I was made to drink from every one of them (so we had to dump most of it in the toilet by the end of the day), harassed, pestered and abused for 30 minutes. In the meantime junior (age 6 at the time) who was allowed by us to pack his backpack himself cruised straight through. He had in his backpack a box of plasticine with a Tom-n-Jerry big (20 cm diameter) alarm clock with an external ringer on top wrapped in headphone wire. No comment on what this looks like on X-Ray.

          4. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

            Re: Although a fairly accurate and amusing portrayal of LHR security...

            Ha. Last time I flew in west Africa the woman next to me had a microwave oven on her lap. Times really have changed...

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: Although a fairly accurate and amusing portrayal of LHR security...

              As long as she turned it off for takeoff and landing you are fine

            2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

              Re: Although a fairly accurate and amusing portrayal of LHR security...

              @ Androgynous Cupboard

              The last time I flew in Tajikistan, the chap next to me had a chicken on his lap, and there was a goat rampaging up and down the aisle... about ten or twelve years ago, mind; they may have improved since.

              Having said that - I also had my cabin baggage on my lap since the overhead lockers would comfortably have held a medium-sized paperback, though not, I think, an inch-thick airport blockbusters.

      2. P. Lee Silver badge

        Re: Although a fairly accurate and amusing portrayal of LHR security...

        I got caught taking the well-known explosive Marmite through LHR security going to Australia. Apparently it is a paste and therefore highly dangerous. The upside is, at that point (if you have enough), they will take your entire heavy hand-luggage bag off you and check it.

        I noticed that they don't mind it being on the aeroplane, they just don't want you to be able to eat it.

        We need to publicise a single phrase to use to express dissatisfaction at the "any other things you want to say?" section. With enough people repeating what they think of the security theatre, maybe it will be so embarrassing that (a) they get the hint that no-one believes them and/or (b) they stop asking for surveys, either of which would be a good thing.

        1. Arctic fox
          Joke

          @P.Lee Not at all old chap. You have to understand that our Antipodean compadres....

          ......regard it as a strategic cultural imperative for Australia to protect the home Vegemite market.

        2. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: Although a fairly accurate and amusing portrayal of LHR security...

          @ P.Lee

          Marmite.

          Maybe they are just working for the Marmite makers.

          They have a thing about it being brought in and out of different countries from where it was made.

          So some strictly religious Jews in the UK can no longer get guaranteed kosher Marmite (some change in the manufacture proccess here), but it can (could) be obtained overseas and imported.

          But no, Marmite stepped in, went to court and stopped the small stores who'd imported it.

          Same stuff, same company. And a tiny number of people in the UK who would go to these lengths to get their toast covering - but who would not, under any circumstances now eat the UK product. So Marmite would rather lose them as customers than let them buy and bring in their tiny supply.

          It seems to be some sort of obsession with them.

      3. chivo243 Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: Although a fairly accurate and amusing portrayal of LHR security...

        @Cliff

        Well stated and an upvote for you. I only travel a couple times a year, and never at holidays because of all of the bullshit and headaches that come with everyday travel. I'd like to enjoy my travel, as I did in the early 90's. It was a fun adventure then, not it's a fight to retain even a modicum of calm.

        In the end, air travel makes me feel like I'm a criminal and I must defend myself just to board an aircraft.

        Big Brother because the plods at the airport already know how you should answer their poorly formed questions.

      4. Trygve

        Re: Although a fairly accurate and amusing portrayal of LHR security...

        "a theatre of security that adds very little actual protection buy degrades every traveller (with every native tongue, with many infrequent flyers) with ever-variable and inconsistent rules? "

        Too effin' right. Most frequent travellers have a fair grasp of the current security zeitgeist, especially at their core airports, but the poor chumps who only fly once or twice a year have no clue or real chance of getting one. The surly incompetents who man the miles of tattered queue-barriers have interest whatever in providing information and the airport websites seem to make a deliberate point of providing inaccurate information (presumably to foil The Evils). The only reliable rule is to travel with nothing, lower your expectations, and wear clean underpants. Also assume that LHR and JFK will consistently exceed your worst expectations, appalling shitholes that they are.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Although a fairly accurate and amusing portrayal of LHR security...

      "the number of morons in the queue who have to be repeatedly told what to do."

      Really? Or is it that there are lots of people who only rarely fly and are terrorfied by what might happen to them if they get a step wrong in the security checking?

      It's quite some years since I last got on a plane and after all the scare stories I've heard, I know I'd be in that position. Last time I flew we still voluntarily chose whether to walk through the red or green channels, collected our luggage off the carousel and didn't even speak to anyone official most of the time.

      Despite the series of "Airport nn" films, and various hijackings aound the world, few people were scared of flying and no one was scared of airport security.

      1. Dr_N Silver badge

        Re: Although a fairly accurate and amusing portrayal of LHR security...

        "Really? Or is it that there are lots of people who only rarely fly and are terrorfied by what might happen to them if they get a step wrong in the security checking?"

        No. I'm talking about the morons.

        You know the ones:

        Business traveller. Too busy yabbering on the phone or emailing to sort out his overcoat, laptop, bag of "liquids", carry on suitcase (that's actually waaaay to big to be carry on) etc whilst in the queue.

        And then just has to argue with the security bods as to whether his wallet has to go through the scanner or not.

      2. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: Although a fairly accurate and amusing portrayal of LHR security...

        > the number of morons in the queue who have to be repeatedly told what to do.

        Or like me, they're pissed-off obstructionist assholes protesting in the only possible way that won't get them immediately arrested.

        "WHAT'D YOU SAY SONNY BOY? SPEAK IN MY OTHER EAR, THAT 'UN'S NO GOOD!"

    3. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

      Re: Although a fairly accurate and amusing portrayal of LHR security...

      "the real problem with airport security is the number of morons in the queue who have to be repeatedly told what to do. Thus slowing the whole process down."

      Not to mention those too slow witted to take their wedding ring, watch etc off & put them in their laptop bag while queueing. Or those so poor at thinking ahead they wear badly fitting trousers needing a belt on the day they are travelling. Similarly hard soled shoes, wear flat ones that don't need to be removed. If the airport supplied liquids bag isn't up to your exacting standards bring your own.

      My top level of ire is reserved for those idiots who when their bag is diverted into the search and swab row get angry with the poor sod who is just doing his job. All but one of these guys in the numerous times its happened to me has been careful and respectful of with my property. Like the scanners 1 in X bags gets a random search and swab.

      1. Ivan Headache

        Re: Although a fairly accurate and amusing portrayal of LHR security...

        "... wear flat ones that don't need to be removed."

        So how come I have to take off my Birkenstock sandals every single time I fly?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Although a fairly accurate and amusing portrayal of LHR security...

        Personally my wedding ring is made of non-ferrous materials.

    4. Marshalltown

      Nuts

      The sole justification for modern airport "security" is to convince people not to travel. What metric is available that shows that "security" either benefits me or in fact even catches the occasional smuggler? What we do hear about are folks that jump the que, dodged the security bods and disappeared into the mob beyond. We hear about people with health problems arrested, detained, and expiring in TSA custody, of folks with poor fashion sense arrested for trying to meet their significant others wearing t-shirts fitted electronic signs (and that was outside the security perimeter), and more fail after fail. The problem is "security" personnel with their common sense de-installed. "I'm sorry, that is a full liter of water. You can't take it through security." "But, it's just water! And besides, it isn't full. I've been drinking it!" "I'm sorry sir. The container is just too big." Tcha!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MiB

    A person is smart but people are dumb, panicky, dangerous

  6. jake Silver badge

    Such surveys are invented by marketards.

    And, like everything marketard-driven, are best ignored.

    I don't visit the federally mandated molestation stations. How do I avoid them? Easy. I don't fly commercial air anymore. Life's too short.

    1. Vociferous

      Re: Such surveys are invented by marketards.

      >I don't fly commercial air anymore

      Glad to hear you find your parent's basement so safe and comfortable.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: Such surveys are invented by marketards.

        Glad to hear you find your parent's basement so safe and comfortable.

        It's Jake. He's built his own jetliner, which he's flying himself everywhere he needs to go.

        1. jake Silver badge

          @Stoneshop (was: Re: Such surveys are invented by marketards.)

          I find it amusing how many commentards put words into my mouth ... Do you, Stoneshop, actually believe I claimed anything you wrote? Why? Inferiority complex?

          1. pepper

            Re: @Stoneshop (was: Such surveys are invented by marketards.)

            Owning a plane isnt that expensive, and if you enjoy flying a N amount of hours a year then it already quickly evens out compared to renting. I even know some people that got the certification required to do their own maintenance on their aircraft cutting the costs even more.

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: Such surveys are invented by marketards.

        Actually, Vociferous, I own and fly a couple of small aircraft.

        Try thinking outside of the box.

        1. Vociferous

          Re: Such surveys are invented by marketards.

          > I own and fly a couple of small aircraft

          If you're that rich, what the hell are you complaining about? You don't have to mix with economy class plebs like me at the security checkpoint or passport control anyway.

          1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

            Re: Such surveys are invented by marketards.

            > You don't have to mix with economy class plebs

            That's what he is saying

            1. jake Silver badge

              @DAM (was: Re: Such surveys are invented by marketards.)

              "That's what he is saying"

              No, DAM. What I am saying is that if you apply yourself, you have options. I could take my boat to SF Giants home games. I don't; rather the wife & I take the Larkspur Ferry. Fun trip, every time, even on the return after a loss!

              It's not about "economy class", it's about sensibility.

          2. jake Silver badge

            @Vociferous: (was: Re: Such surveys are invented by marketards.)

            I wasn't complaining. I think you are, though.

            Get an education, get a useful job, save some money, invest wisely, live a little (not a lot!). It's not going to happen overnight. There are no magic fix-it pills. You have to work early on if you don't want to worry about paying the bills later in life.

          3. Kiwi Silver badge

            Re: Such surveys are invented by marketards. @Vociferous

            You don't have to mix with economy class plebs like me at the security checkpoint or passport control anyway.

            Don't worry. Not long until wholesale bans on private planes start to come in, then he'll suffer more than the rest of us. After all, the alledged 12/9 attackers supposedly learned to fly in light planes, as did a few others.

            With so many attacks by light planes over the last few years (0 since 2002?) they must be about due to make new laws about them (just like the recent 'passed under urgency' laws in NZ that will address things that've never been a threat and almost certainly never will - and even if they were the new laws would neither detect nor prevent).

            /sarcastic rant

            (Oh, Jake - I bear you no ill will and hope to join you in private plane ownership before much longer :) )

        2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: Such surveys are invented by marketards.

          Actually, Vociferous, I own and fly a couple of small aircraft.

          Oh dear, is your home-made teleporter broken?

    2. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Such surveys are invented by marketards.

      I don't fly commercial either. When I go from Orlando to Phoenix, I drive. All 2,129 miles of it. I do stop off at interesting spots along the way.

      I burn as much carbon as I can too, taking my dirtiest car

  7. Shane McCarrick

    Having studied applied statistics and biometrics- and worked for 2 marketing companies when I was a student- to pay for my pot noodles- I have to concur......... The relevance of a significance proportion of the questions is slight at best, and the manner in which you combine the answers from multiple questions- to profile those poor fools who answer the surveys- is nothing short of criminal.

    As for airport security- try explaining that you have permanent pins in your tibia, fibula, femur and hip- along with the scars to prove it......... I have actually been asked to strip to my underwear in public in Heathrow numerous times- and as an apology the security guy said single men travelling from the UK to Ireland are considered high security risks? Really? I have a major in chemistry too- doesn't mean I've concocted an explosive device and implanted it in my leg, which I can walk on quite well......... Also- seeing as they're seen most of my body, bar my genitals- my medication may as well be examined in detail- they actually have special little trays for this- so your immunosuppresant tablets, cortisone and ibuprofen can be examined tablet by tablet (I have Crohns- and do in fact take 15-20 tablets a day- and have done for years)..........

    At least in Charles De Gaule in Paris- they actually got me a very drinkable coffee and free access to one of the lounges- after molesting me......... I didn't think it was a good tradeoff at the time- until I discovered my onward connecting flight was delayed for several hours........

    Sigh- next time I'll take the boat.

  8. imanidiot Silver badge
    Coat

    Why would anyone bother

    even IF you're an idiot, why would anyone bother filling in a survey these days. You get them from all and sundry, all of them pointless, all of them asking exactly the same thing in just an ever so slightly different way, and all handholding you into giving a much more positive response than you intended.

    1. Unicornpiss Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Why would anyone bother

      Simple---someone has to do their part to try and offset the rave reviews given by simpletons and morons.

      Incidentally, the only time I was ever waved through the body scanner I discovered my luggage had been searched and left in disarray with shampoo leaking on everything. Coincidence?

    2. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Why would anyone bother

      All of the surveys I've gotten recently have been decent and to-the-point. One was trying to find out what Kerbal Space Program merchandise I would like to buy. Another was my experience at AIMExpo and how I'd improve it. A third was about my experience with my TomTom GPS and their tech support.

      They didn't have leading or vague questions.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Why would anyone bother

        ".....trying to find out what Kerbal Space Program merchandise I would like to buy."

        The products mean nothing to me, but the quoted question suggests that they weren't asking what you thought of the stuff,or whether you in fact did want to buy it/thought it over priced/ or whatever.

        In fact it's a beautiful example of a loaded question.

        1. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: Why would anyone bother

          "The products mean nothing to me, but the quoted question suggests that they weren't asking what you thought of the stuff,or whether you in fact did want to buy it/thought it over priced/ or whatever.

          In fact it's a beautiful example of a loaded question."

          Or they are making merchandise and want to know what to make?

  9. frank ly

    Better than beep:

    When I came back to England from Tunis airport, after a package holiday in Tunisia, back in 2000, lots of people were just standing around looking at noticeboards and waiting for flights. A security man was wondering around carrying what could best be described as a cross between a wand and a mace, about a foot long with a bulbous translucent plastic head. Every now and then he'd wave it around someone and every now and then it would flash coloured lights in the head and make a noise best described as 'beeeee-weeeeee-oooooo-beep'. Then he'd move on, apparently doing nothing about the lights and the sound.

    He approached me and I decided the best course of action would be to ignore him. He waved the 'wand' over me as he passed me to my right, then the wand made it's noise. I made no reaction and he moved on. I can only assume that it was some kind of psychological test whereby a person who was feeling guilty about carrying a bomb or drugs would jump out of their skin and make a run for it - or so their security theory would go. The entire thing was surreal and very silly. Has anybody else encountered this type of thing anywhere?

    1. Vociferous

      Re: Better than beep:

      > Has anybody else encountered this type of thing anywhere?

      Staff ignoring metal detector alarms? Yeah, it's pretty common in Asia and Africa. I guess they're paid to run travelers through a metal detector, not to actually do anything when there's a hit.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Paranoid explanation

    The people who design airport security systems are all, in fact, paid by videoconferencing and virtual reality companies.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How to deal with airport "security"

    I was on crutches after breaking a bone in my foot two days before a trip to Paris (no, not *her*). The staff at Bristol Airport couldn't have been more helpful, they scanned the crutches but otherwise I by-passed most of the hassle of other sheep.

    So, top tip for a hassle-free trip - take crutches with you and limp...

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: How to deal with airport "security"

      Yup, it worked for Edward Fox in Day of the Jackal.

    2. A Twig

      Re: How to deal with airport "security"

      Try telling that to my quadraplegic mate who was asked if he could stand up so they could search his wheelchair...

  12. Denarius
    Meh

    Oh I dunno

    Had fun with a recent insurance survey on my experience with their latest cold call, which was dropped on me despite being on Do Not Call register. When I responded "no" to the obligatory "Tell the staff if you do not want this called recorded" question sales droid hung up. Apparently the script says drop call. It will make no difference, but it was fun to tell them their cold call script writers logic needs work, aside from their history of not paying claims. Except for the occasional opportunity for messing with sales weasels heads, agree surveys are a waste of time, especially political party/pressure group ones.

  13. Jonathan Richards 1
    Stop

    Ten words...

    ...that should never appear in this order. Ever.

    >reveal my arse crack to all and sundry. Youtube Video

    Thank you. I shall now read the rest of TFA.

    1. Wensleydale Cheese

      Re: Ten words...

      "..that should never appear in this order. Ever."

      My personal autopilot kicked in and skipped that video.

      I'd rather not risk it straight after my tea,

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anonymous cowards can not choose their icon.

    ...the engineer turned up a half hour late, brushed over the problem, ate your lunch and vacuumed the cat, followed by a half-hour reflex training session where you try to catch all the stuff they topple over? That's a 9...

  15. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    FAIL

    87% of statistics are made up

    Whenever I read survey results, or their bastard kin, I remind myself of such inspirational examples as:

    Donnie Darko's "Fear and Love line"

    Chris Morris's "Speak your Brains".

  16. ukgnome

    That's why

    i wear pajamas on international flights. Everything of value is checked in. The security bod at heathrow was a bit bemused that he didn't get a beep.

    1. ortunk
      Holmes

      Re: That's why

      Tried and tested from Istanbul to Washington and London and Back.

      PJ Works every time :)

  17. DJV Silver badge
    Meh

    Feel free...

    'Feel free to replace “Virgin Media” with the preferred target of your irrational ire: BT, O2, Vodafone, DPD, Ocado, etc.'

    Nope, Virgin Media will fit the bill just fine!

  18. JulieM Silver badge

    All You Need to Know aboutSurvey Results

    According to surveys, men have sex with women twice as often as women have sex with men.

    People don't answer surveys honestly -- they give the answer they think the survey organiser wants them to give. And if you ask the same question twice with different phrasing, you can get two different answers.

    A well-designed survey will attempt to control for this phenomenon. Or exploit it ruthlessly, depending on the objectives of the organisers .....

    1. Wensleydale Cheese

      Re: All You Need to Know aboutSurvey Results

      "A well-designed survey will attempt to control for this phenomenon. Or exploit it ruthlessly, depending on the objectives of the organisers ....."

      These are known in the trade as "lie detectors".

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: All You Need to Know aboutSurvey Results @Wensleydale Cheese

        These are known in the trade as "lie detectors".

        They often fail due to poor wording though. I have seen many where what I guess might be the same question worded differently is actually using words that can have significantly different weightings.. As an example (and not something I've yet seen in a survey) question one I might interpret as "Would you feel uncomfortable a person you trust came up behind you with a razor in hand and offered to shave your back" and q2 might read more "Would you be alarmed if some person ran towards you weilding a large butchers knife screaming 'die you....'?"

        That's how I've often read so-called lie detector questions, simply because the way the author interprets/weighs words is quite different to how I interpret or weigh them.

        Another example might be that I have lived with chronic pain since before I started school, so naturally my tolerances to pain are higher than people who don't experience it. It's hard for me to rate pain on a normal person's scale because what others would rate as a "7" (10 being extreme) to me is normal background noise.

    2. Mike Flugennock
      Devil

      Re: All You Need to Know aboutSurvey Results

      "...People don't answer surveys honestly -- they give the answer they think the survey organiser wants them to give..."

      ...or, in my case, I give deliberately wrong answers -- or, I should say, answers which are the direct opposite of an "honest" answer -- in order to "pollute" the data. This was a trick I learned in the late '90s, from some activists who were organizing against the undue influence that "exit polling" has on elections.

      Something else I learned from my activist work is that big corporate media polls -- such as by CNN, AP, New York Times and the like -- aren't so much an honest reflection of public opinion, but a propaganda tool used to promote a particular editorial position (or that of the State) and to demoralize dissenters; it's as if they're saying to us, "the majority opposes you, might as well give up now". The polling results aren't so much a reflection of public opinion as they are the results of a "final exam" administered to the public by the media after spending a certain amount of time pummelling the public with the official party line on a given issue.

  19. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Even stupider security

    I was called to jury duty, so I had to go to the courthouse, where of course you're screened because everyone showing up for their civic duty is a member of the Taliban.

    For some reason, the guard took offense at my keys. 6 keys, on a 1" ring, clipped to a small double-ended clip that then clipped to my belt. I have no clue how that could be a weapon dangerous enough to bring down a federal courthouse building.

    Anyway, she instructed me to take it back to my car, and LOCK MY KEYS IN MY CAR.

    Seriously. Not kidding. I matched her complete irrationality by calmly saying my vehicle didn't have doors and I couldn't do that. She stared at me for about 30 seconds, got a pissed off look and waved an officer to come get me.

    The officer escorted me out of the building with my extremely deadly weapon.

    Of course I went home and called the court clerk, who - after hearing the story - did a facepalm you could hear over the phone, and consequently released me from jury duty.

    1. skeptical i
      Meh

      Try showing up for jury duty on a bike [was: Even stupider security]

      Apparently the great annals of security lore include countless examples of buildings being taken down, and people left reeling in terror, by bicycle tyre pumps and box wrenches. "No, sir, I can NOT lock all this in the trunk of my bike, so where do you want me to check it in?" In a city that warbles on about how great it is for bicyclists, no less. This same security checkpoint, I noted on exit, had also confiscated a 10" inflatable ball belonging to a youth who (with parent) I deduce had some family court business to endure: the youth (maybe eight years old?) had to sign her name that she had in fact received back her confiscated kick ball. Sigh in relief, citizens, you are being protected.

      1. 's water music Silver badge

        Re: Try showing up for jury duty on a bike [was: Even stupider security]

        I attended court as a witness a few years ago and declared the multi-tool in my pannier. The security bod ummed and ahhhed and let me through but didn't mention that he was going to call the police who subsequently attended and confiscated the blade under threat of arrest.

    2. Black Betty

      Re: Even stupider security

      Hold in hand with individual keys protruding between fingers. Punch. Not necessarily deadly but one can really mess a face up that way. You will also most likely mess up your hand too, but if something like rape is on offer, it's probably a small price to pay for escape.

      You might be surprised by what ordinary, seemingly innocuous items can be used as improvised weapons or damage multipliers.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Even stupider security

        And you might hijack the building and crash it into an airliner

      2. DocJames
        Thumb Up

        Re: Even stupider security

        You might be surprised by what ordinary, seemingly innocuous items can be used as improvised weapons or damage multipliers.

        This. If you want to know what can be dangerous look at what's allowed or not into prison. If officialdom were serious about protecting passengers from terrorists, or even criminals, there'd be no keys (as above), CDs (snap into dagger shape), plastic bags (smothering)... luckily since they've banned matches/lighters they don't need to worry about plastic toothbrushes (melt into stilletto).

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On my trip back from the USA I politely declined the offer of being irradiated by the body scanner. Christ, did they go to town on me because of that. Laptop bag stripped to its bare essentials, every item scrutinised and drug swabbed, all for nought.... Took 20 mins longer but fuck em....

    *in small print at the bottom of the panel that tells you about the body scanner is written "Use Of This Technology Is Optional...

    Fucking right it is!!!!

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's articles like this..

    That make me glad I'm on the "no-fly" list.

    Although, I'm only on it due to airport securities lack of a sense of humour.

    For some reason, they didn't find it amusing when I first said "Can you hurry it up? I got a plane to blow up!" to the security guy.

    Shortly after they asked me to turn my laptop on to "prove" it's a laptop, and me being me, moved my finger VERY slowly to the power button and as I pressed the button I shouted "BANG" they security guy almost crapped out a brick. The sheer look of panic on his face.. he looked absolutely terrified after.

    I thought it was funny, but they thought otherwise and took me in for questioning and put me on the no fly list...

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: It's articles like this..

      Before we took my 8 year old to the USA a few years back, to visit our cousins, she heard us talking about airport security. We explained that Americans don't understand sarcasm

      So one of the first thing she said to Cousin was "Americans don't understand........"

  22. JCB
    Meh

    Why must I always give a star?

    I hate those feedback options where you have to give at least one star out of four. I don't see why I should give any stars when I am dissatisfied.

    As for rating something on a scale 1 to 10, I treat it as a binary option, 1 = Bad, 8 = good.

    I always wonder when I see a survey of children's knowledge, such as only 4 out of 7 children know King William the first was a Norman, oh how stupid children are today. How old were the children they asked? Five year olds don't actually know a lot anyhow, and if they are any older I can imagine a group of little boys in the playground afterwards - "I told her the earth was flat You should have seen her face. What did you tell her?"

    On the whole I don't fill out surveys. I discovered some years OK that for real market research, they select people from their panel according to criteria to get the right balance and then PAY for your time. I stayed with that long enough to get a couple of hundred quid while it still seemed like a good idea. After that it seemed silly to do the same thing for free. If they won't pay for your time, the survey obviously isn't worth the effort. If they pick respondents at random, then they will get random results.

  23. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Leading questions

    The point is they only ask questions that elicit what they want to hear.

    If they know four aspects of the product/service that are reasonably good, and one that is absolutely terrible they will ask about the 4 OK ones.

    There will be questions about, say, the colour, weight, packaging and power of the widgit, but will make sure there is nowhere to record that the "on" button can only be operated by an octopus.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You just understand

    You should thank a Terrorists for your perceived injustice in airport screening.

    While some view the screenings as some assault on their person, the reality is people make way more out of the process than it is - because they resent the process. It's NOT the end of the world to go through these security checks which I routinely do flying internationally. No one is killed or sexually assaulted despite the claims or inferences.

    Many people fail to understand the value in these security checks. Thousands of loaded guns and concealed knives are removed from carry-on luggage along with illegal items attached to peoples bodies, in their shoes, etc. Any of these items can lead to your death or the downing of an entire aircraft full of people. When the next one is downed.... and there will be a next one, hopefully travelers will wake up and understand that the security inspections are for your benefit, not some means of cruelty as often decried by some folks.

    As if to prove a point four people were stabbed on a train in the U.S. yesterday. It could have been much worse. At 30,000 ft. you can't easily jump from the plane to safety...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You just understand

      Except that the primary result of this security theatre is to create a huge, soft and incredibly easy to attack target that cannot be protected at all.

      The queue.

    2. Richard 12 Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: You just understand

      Thousands? [Citation needed]

      I fly rather a lot, and I've never, ever seen anybody have anything other than a bottle of water get confiscated.

      By the way - I mean "Actually discovered by the security checks", not "Passenger forgot they had it until joining the security queue". Aside from that, an item carried with no intent to harm is harmless.

      A small amount of checking is needed, however the current level is way, way beyond what is sane or even useful.

  25. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge
    Happy

    Survey results

    Let me take this opportunity to vote in favor of more Russ Meyer movie clips embedded in El Reg articles.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Survey results

      Brilliant that. I didn't think anyone even knew who that was let alone the most famous B movie of all times.

      1. Mike Flugennock
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Survey results

        Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! is certainly a helluva "B" movie, but the most famous? Depending on who you ask -- especially me -- that honor would go to Ed Wood's Plan 9 From Outer Space which, ironically according to a survey of critics, was officially voted the worst movie ever made. Mike Nelson, one-time host of MST3K, has referred to it as "the Citizen Kane of bad movies".

        (Paris Hilton, because some would argue that her infamous sex tape was the worst movie ever made.)

  26. Hollerith 1

    My knife and I...

    ...I forgot my little penknife and went through four different Canadian and USA airports, until finally caught on my way back to the UK. It was taken off me--a sad loss, as it was a great little knife. I am now carrying a small ceramic folding knife, as I regularly forget I have one on me as I approach airports.

    On other surveys: I see on eBay and other selling sites that vendors beg to be scored the top mak (5 out of 5, usually) if they have delivered the correct goods on time. Anything less than 100% is market death. They also ask that if you are not perfectly satisfied, then not to report at all, but to contact them, presumably so that they can ritually apologise and appease you. I always thought that a 3 or 4 meant: order was fine, thanks. and that a 5 meant 'they were bloody brilliant, it came the next day and they threw in a freebie' or something like that. As it is, these 'ratings' are now as bollocks as any other feedback.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  27. Mike Taylor

    100 flights in the last year, can't say I mind the security line usually. Except the other week, there was some arse moaning about having his Marmite confiscated that held us up

  28. FrogInABlender

    Thanks for all the lovely language.

    I've never been disappointed with your ' column'.

    JB (Montreal)

  29. ecofeco Silver badge

    Customer Service

    The modern oxymoron.

  30. sjsmoto

    Surveys. I hate ones that force you to choose between two options, neither of which I want. "But what if you *had* to choose one?" is usually the asker's response, to which I say "ok, both then."

    1. Kiwi Silver badge

      @sjsmoto

      ."But what if you *had* to choose one?"

      Had a surveyor some years back put it into a life-or-death (as in "The only way to save my life is for you to pick one".

      My response was the (rather obvious I guess) "Then you're gonna die, 'coz there's no way I am ever picking either one"

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    LHR security scum

    Having finally racked up enough frequent flyer points to qualify for fast track access, I went through LHR the other week - the scum that were manning the fast track security queue were clearly on a go-slow for their own jollies. Swapping jobs (loading/scanning/checking) every 3 bags just for shits and giggles, walking between the stations at a snail's pace, and giving smug looks to the ever-growing queue of partly frequent fliers, and partly extremely-high-net-worth-foreigners that would be travelling in First class. Given the comments they were making (related to the fact that the "normal" queue next to fast track was processing passengers about 4x faster, and would have been a better option for most people in the fast track line), I'm pretty sure they won't ever be flying BA out of LHR ever again, potentially costing them tens if not hundreds of thousands of pounds, just because a few employees decided to be complete twats. Funny how the airline doesn't seem able to put any pressure on the airport to run that queue with extreme efficiency... Unionised scum...

  32. Buzzby
    Big Brother

    Dangerous Crocs

    I was traveling through Gatport Airwick ( LGW ) 3 years back and had my old worn croc lookalikes x rayed. They must have looked dangerous, made of plastique perhaps! This was done after passing security by the departure lounge entrance.

  33. Tom 7 Silver badge

    The correct response to "it’s for my benefit"

    is to politely point out that the increased time spent in safety checks is 5 times more likely to cause my death than terrorism does.

    1. DocJames

      Re: The correct response to "it’s for my benefit"

      Tom 7: upvoted but citation needed, so I can quote it when required...

  34. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

    Surveys are another form of consultation.

    Which I 'll happily provide at consultancy rates. £100 gets answers for up to ten questions. Take it or leave it.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OK

    If you feel airport security is too much hassle, take the bus. No one is being forced to fly. Even if you don't care about flight safety, many travelers do. While the security screenings may be slightly inconvenient they are a lot better than death. People need to get their priorities straight.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: OK

      Yes, people need to get priorities straight and that means *useful* screening and not the various pointless additions (like 100ml fluids) that were knee-jerk reactions to a failed terrorist attempt. They are winning you know, not by blowing us up but by wasting our lives and freedom by knee-jerk reactions.

      Incidentally can anyone cite a case of the new THz scanners actually leading to an arrest or something to justify the additional invasion of privacy?

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: OK

      "If you feel airport security is too much hassle, take the bus"

      I take it you're a USian. Other people have a knowledge of geography which tells them that there are places that buses don't go. They're called oceans.

    3. Bilby

      Re: OK

      Sure, I'll get the bus.

      Can you tell me when the next bus from Brisbane to London leaves?

    4. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: OK

      If you feel airport security is too much hassle, take the bus. No one is being forced to fly.

      Like most readers here, I live in the UK.

      My mother lives in Greece, I have a sister in New Zealand. If I want to visit my Mother, it involves a four-hour bus journey at each end plus the flight and security theatre. Buses across Europe would take several weeks, and be prohibitively expensive. If I want to visit my sister, I don't think it's even a theoretical option.

    5. DiViDeD Silver badge

      Re: OK

      "If you feel airport security is too much hassle, take the bus"

      Tried that once on a trip to Hobart. Bloody bus sank in the Tasman with all hands.

      I only survived at all cos I made this story up.

      Seriously there are a few trips for which a bus is less than practical. Drain the oceans and lay some serious tarmac I say.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think I know him...

    " one of the funky, dance-about-the-room, punch-the-air types [...]. He had a permanent smile and crazy eyes"

    Did he also yell "Developers! Developers! Developers!" ?

  37. Red Bren
    Coat

    Reflexology with a happy ending?

    I'll accept that feet can be an erogenous zone for some, Mr Dabbs, but to that extent? What happens to you when you stub your toe?

    P.S. Why was El Reg pushing a pop-up survey in my face when reading this article?

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: Reflexology with a happy ending?

      >> Why was El Reg pushing a pop-up survey in my face

      We like irony.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Reflexology with a happy ending?

        Is irony like coppery and zincery????

        1. Alistair Dabbs

          Re: Reflexology with a happy ending?

          No, it's like goldy or bronzey but made of iron. © Baldrick

    2. Mike Flugennock

      "Why was El Reg pushing a pop-up survey in my face...?"

      Waitaminnit. A pop-up survey?

      Damn. The things I miss by using NoScript...

  38. wolfmeister

    "you can get any result you want by massaging the questions." Sarah Harding polling expert, To Play The King (House of Cards Trilogy)

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No pos

    After a long day of hopping from taxis to airports I was going to take my Belem (Brazil) to Paramaribo (Surinam) flight.

    It's in the Amazon forest.

    It's the start of the rainy season.

    There are so many diseases carried by mosquitoes that just writing this sentence I feel some kind of weird tropical fever.

    Here come the security check.

    I had my mosquito repellent spray on me. 100 ml. The woman looked at me and asked me what was it. Not speaking Brazilian I mimed the mosquito biting me and me spraying my skin (not the eyes of the pilot or whatever paranoid scenario they dream of). She looked at every side of the spray, then said "no pos?" (question mark). Not possible ? but why ? and why the question mark ? I tried to said that yes, it was possible, no problem, healthy stuff, byebye mosquitoes, happy and long life.

    - "No pos?"

    - "hum...si pos!?"

    -"... No pos?"

    -"??!!!?"

    -"no pos!."

    ok, no pos.

    But why??

  40. Herby Silver badge

    It gets worse...

    My recent experience was traveling though JFK airport. You see when you come in from overseas, you must pass US customs at the first point of entry. Fine enough. The problem is that after you do that, they consider you "unscreened" and to get on the plane to the other side of the country, you need to pass through theatre "security" again. Why why WHY can't they just have a "bypass" (you DID get screened before you got on the plane in Venice?) and go directly to the gate. Oh, it would be nice if they had a nice luggage conveyor to route the just passed customs luggage back onto the plane you will be taking soon.

    Now I know why when you do a connection that involves customs, you need to provide HOURS of time. At least you can get a bite to eat while waiting at the gate to be loaded in the cattle car coach economy.

    Yes, it is just theatre. I can hide my pocket screwdriver inside my eyeglass case, and carry on (yes, I do this quite frequently!).

  41. Felix Krull
    Happy

    A word of warning

    Next time you go to an airport, prepare: empty your pockets beforehand, don't wear a belt, wear shoes you can step out of without unlacing, don't wear clothes with zippers or metal buttons, don't bring a two-liter diet coke and don't be cute with the goons.

    Because if I'm behind you in the queue and it takes you five minutes to negotiate the checkpoint, I'm going to drag you into a toilet cubicle and kick you to death in a puddle of stale piss.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: A word of warning

      Actually, it starts at a more basic level- the supermarket checkout.

      There are some people ( I use the word loosely) who will stand in line, watch all their goods being scanned through, pack it all into bags and only then will they start to fish through their pockets/handbag to find their wallet/purse. The idea of having the cash or card ready and accessible just doesn't occur to them.

      (They are probably the same ones who go to fill-up and won't use the "Pay-at-pump", but insist on leaving their car while they trudge inside to use the clone-me counter.)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A word of warning

        The reason, clever clogs, that a lot of people wont use "pay at pump" is that they, like me, don't like the idea of RFID chips in everything they have upon their person. As we all know they are not exactly secure..... Also, what if they more than fuel????

      2. You Cannot Be Serious

        Re: A word of warning

        "(They are probably the same ones who go to fill-up and won't use the "Pay-at-pump", but insist on leaving their car while they trudge inside to use the clone-me counter.)"

        Or perhaps they have been burnt too many times when the machine fails to spit out an invoice and then have to spend 20 minutes with the retard behind the counter explaining what they need to put on a hand-written VAT receipt.

    2. Red Bren
      Thumb Up

      Re: A word of warning

      I'm not a frequent flyer so if I'm struggling to jump through all the latest bizarre security hoops and you start getting arsey, I'll quietly inform "the goons" that I was threatened by the agitated man behind me when I refused to carry a package through security for him...

      Thumb up because that's where it will be going!

    3. Bloakey1

      Re: A word of warning

      <snip>

      "Because if I'm behind you in the queue and it takes you five minutes to negotiate the checkpoint, I'm going to drag you into a toilet cubicle and kick you to death in a puddle of stale piss"

      Try that irrational crap with me and I will rip your head off and shit down your neck.

      I am a frequent traveller and see all the behavious you mention but like to rationalise that Joe Public, bless him knows no better. I am flying tomorrow and I will take a slow rational trip through security, my pulse will be slow and I will not let the shittiness of the whole experience get to me. In the event that it does get to me then they have won and I will not have that.

      Thumbs up to the guy who swabbed me and found traces of explosives on a mil spec hardware encrypted drive a few years back. A quick explanation of what I was doing in Abu Dhabi and I was on my way.

      On another point, why when I fly first class to tye Middle East do they issue me a dirty great steak knife and not go through the safety routines?

    4. DiViDeD Silver badge

      Re: A word of warning

      I have to say that, in 40 or so years of flying, especially the last 10 years (Arsetrailer is a BIG place and to get anywhere else involves crossing a lot of water) I have never been asked to remove my shoes. Mind you, you can always tell the merkins at security because they're the ones going through in their socks while the security people smirk at them.

  42. Mike Flugennock
    Thumb Up

    Telephone "push polls" are the worst

    During "election" years, our house is inundated with polling calls -- usually from the GOP -- conducting what's called "push polls", asking absurdly loaded questions like "do you think families are a good thing?". It's almost as if they're daring me to answer "no".

    I usually hang up on these clowns, though I sometimes get the urge to answer "Hell, no! Have you met my family? My mother was a doormat for my Dad, and my sister is a stupid, diet-pill-addicted little skank who's shacking up with a coke freak and has been busted twice for embezzlement. I got the hell out of that goddamn' house as soon as I could after I finished college."

    Needless to say, if the Caller ID displays the words "MARKET RESEARCH" I immediately punch it over to voicemail. Fuck 'em; let 'em talk to the robot.

  43. Number6

    Happy with Airport Security

    Be very careful about pressing the Pissed Off button at airport security. If too many people start expressing unhappiness with the process we'll have another ratchet up on the War On Terror so they can point to all the precautions they are taking and how they are all justified because of this.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Happy with Airport Security

      Maybe you should look up the definition of denial.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Really?

    If it really bothers people that much to go through airport screening, I suggest they take a train.

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: Really?

      I can't seem to find a train from London to Amsterdam. Perhaps they're booked up.

  45. James Cullingham

    Yes Prime Minister on surveys/opinion polls

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0ZZJXw4MTA

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: Yes Prime Minister on surveys/opinion polls

      I was going to post that, you saved me the trouble.

  46. Rogue Jedi

    on one occaision after contacting my mobile phone service provider I recived a text message asking if I would be willing to complete a survey, I responded "yes". the first question was "on a scale of 1-10 how much did the customer service repreasntative care about your call", I answered honestly "I do not know" strangely the survey did not continue.

  47. bpfh Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Reminds me of a post-"training" form we were asked to fill in...

    My boss sent 5 of us on an "advanced administration" course for a mass-mail tool we were using.

    After turning up, coffee and started the training, a Customer Support guy wanders in, informing us that the trainer forgot that we were coming (inspite of a 500 euros-a-head price tag on the 1 day training session), and that he would stand in and give us the low down on the administration of his mass-mail tool that we used so we could apply things to our instance.

    We saw a couple of interesting things, but the guy went off rambling about new features, presenting the new interface, the new functions, the new interface modules, explaining each function in detail, and ended: "This feature is so usefull, but you don't have the licence for this" or "This is a killer function, but your version does not support it".

    Ad the end of the day, we had not seen database management, schema extensions, UI customisation, logging functions, service restarts, anything really techie or advanced, just a 2 day in-depth sales demo for functions we did not have, need or use, and we were asked to fill in the quality form.

    Out of everyone there, it seemed that I was the only one expecting an advanced, technical presentation of what was actually in the training presention. Was the trainer knowledgable? Yes, surely. But not knowledgable of what we needed - or what we were paying for. Was the training interesting? Yes! but I've learned nothing that I can apply to our needs.

    I ended up handing everything in as 1 in a 1-to-5 scale, with everyone else giving 4 to 5 stars, then getting yanked into my boss's office afterwards when I told him that we learned nothing of use, it was a waste of 2500 euros, a waste of 5 man-days and we should contact them to tell them that we were not paying the bill.... Of course, the training quality documents came back out "but everyone except one gave us glowing recommendations that the training was good. Where is your problem?".

    In the end, we never ever did get the advanced training. Or pay the bill after they finally admitted that they gave us the wrong session and the wrong trainer. We ended up documenting the database ourselves, writing our own behind the scenes optimisation and built our own webmin tool to actually get stuff done on their app. And somehow, my internal database maintenance procedures ended up in their advanced administration manual. Uncredited of course :(

    1. Number6

      Re: Reminds me of a post-"training" form we were asked to fill in...

      I got sent on a training course once, for budget reasons - the project was running out of money but there was some in the training budget. I complained about it being a total waste of time but they still sent me anyway.

      I remember filling in the post-course form:

      1. What did you expect to learn from this course? Nothing.

      2. What did you learn from this course? Nothing.

      Another time, as part of a drive to remove dodgy software from the company we were going to be given proper Word Perfect licenced copies, except we were told that company rules stated we had to attend a training course first. Note that at this point the team had been using WP for several months, writing various proposals and requirements specifications and were pretty competent at it. We looked at what the course was supposed to teach us and pointed out to the engineering manager that we all knew all of that. However, rules are rules, and he insisted we had to go do the course. Then he found out that it was going to be charged to his overhead budget and suddenly we didn't.

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