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Before I complain about DHS…

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by ThePhonMan, Sep 4, 2015.

  1. ThePhonMan

    ThePhonMan Spokanistan Gold Supporter Gold Supporter

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    Greetings from Hyderabad, India. My company shipped me to India for 2 weeks to hang out with my development team. Or perhaps it was because I didn’t have enough third-world hell-holes on my bucket list. Who knows.

    I know many of us have complained repeatedly about how inept DHS is and how most of the measures they take are for show and don’t really provide any true security but, after coming here, I think I will complain a bit less. Let me explain.

    The hotel where I am staying and our office are in the Hi-tech city section of Hyderabad. Many foreign companies have development centers here. As a result, they take security very seriously (India style).

    Driving into the hotel, there is a huge set of steel gates with a steel guard bar and tire traps. Upon approach to the hotel compound, all vehicles are stopped at a good standoff distance and a very courteous gentleman scans the underside of the car with a flashlight-equipped inspection mirror. Another man scans the body of the car with a portable scanner (he wouldn’t tell me what technology it is but I’m glad I already had my kid just the same). They open the trunk or hatchback and visually inspect all interior areas of he car. Only after all of this is done is the bar lifted and the tire traps retracted hydraulically. The driver proceeds to the main entrance and you then have to have your bags scanned and walk through a metal detector to enter the actual hotel building. The same occurs entering our “office compound”. They have routine foot patrols of the grounds and each floor of both buildings and at work if they can’t see your badge they stop you to make you show it. Every day, same routine.

    While this all sounds great, there is not a single person in the 78-man security staff at the hotel that is armed. The same applies to the over 100 (I couldn’t get an actual number, just that there were “over 100”) folks at our office. They all look like they are 100lbs soaking wet and don't exactly give off that "I'll stop the threat" vibe.

    So what happens if they find something? It’s not like they can actually stop someone. I guess they could just pile a bunch of people on top of the under-powered car and hope to slow it down or stall it and if they see something in the bag scan they could stop the belt but I’m not feeling the “security”. I’ve seen dozens of police who are basically directing traffic and they aren’t armed either. It’s all very strange to me.

    I know DHS sucks only to a slight degree less than this but the approach they are using in India is just silly.

    BTW… The people here are incredibly gracious, everybody speaks English (thanks UK for colonizing it) and if you like travel I wouldn’t try to dissuade you from coming here. It’s just not my cup of tea.

    Thanks for listening to my rant. I know it’s long winded but what else am I going to do sitting in a hotel lobby in a third-world city on a weekend? Go "sight seeing"?
  2. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

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    If you're looking for some good clean excitement in India, go to a restaurant and order a steak or hamburger, and declare in a "loud tourist" voice how you just can't eat enough beef. Just make sure you're wearing some good running shoes... :D
  3. slimer13

    slimer13 Deer Park Well-Known Member

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    Maybe you can tell someone that my computer isn't really sending error messages and I don't need them to remote access it.

    Thanks in advance
    Stomper and DuneHopper like this.
  4. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    You are just too bad Stomper!:D

    Got the call from "Steven", again just yesterday!
    Stomper likes this.
  5. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    They probably keep one Gurkha in a closet somewhere in case something needs handled.
  6. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I grew up traveling overseas quite a bit and 35 years ago a lot of airports had militant police with FA rifles and made TSA look like a bunch of child touchers - cuz these guys didn't take crap from anyone.

    Took away my younger brothers 'New' squirt gun because it could be filled with acid and used to highjack the plane.

    We are way, way, way behind on security in the USofA.

    Dang good thing we have the means to protect ourselves here.
    Stomper and 41Slinger like this.
  7. 308

    308 ΜOΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ ΜOΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ Silver Supporter

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    LOL...I played the game when they asked me to "Start/search/msconfig/boot"...told them it said the OS was Mac OS 8.5 :D
    Stomper and 41Slinger like this.

    OLDNEWBIE State of Flux Well-Known Member

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    It's fine to have a bit of situational awareness but I wouldn't let that stop me from venturing out and seeing a few sights.

    Looks like a big City on the map. Never been to India so just walking about the places where the average citizen shops, eats and hangs out would be more interesting to me than touristy areas.

    Would you stick out as a, (I'm assuming) a white man or are there plenty of foreigners out and about?
  9. ThePhonMan

    ThePhonMan Spokanistan Gold Supporter Gold Supporter

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    This trip will likely be business only as the morons at home office have decided I will have “plenty of spare time while you’re there” and have piled work on me. 9 hours at the local office, run back to the hotel and do 5-6 hours of conference calls. Lather rinse repeat.

    Funny experience, somewhere between home and Hyderabad my checked baggage took a detour (too bad you don’t get frequent flier mileage for your luggage). Standing at the baggage carousel a very nice young man (lets call him Steven) walked directly up to me and said, “Mr. PhonMan, your bag didn’t make it onto the plane. Please come with me to process a claim.” Was this some sort of outstanding customer service that they knew each passenger by name and description? Or was it that I was the only male “gringo” on the flight? I’m going with door number 2. Since this isn’t my first time to the rodeo I had packed a few days worth of clothes and some sundries into my carry on bag. Call me clairvoyant.

    Do I stick out? Yes but the locals couldn’t care less, the vendors however… India evolved from some serious Persian influence and haggling is like a state religion. Even when you’re not interested in shopping you get accosted. It’s actually very good spirited and I’ve never felt any of the American Used Car Salesman vibe here.

    I’d feel safe enough walking the streets but the total lack of driving rules causes one to pause seriously before crossing a street. It brings a whole new dimension and area of focus to situational awareness. Primarily trying not to get crushed between a bus and a car that are both trying to get into a space that is cramped for a motorcycle is what you have to worry about most. Maybe next trip will include some out and about adventures.

    Thanks guys for all the good humor and reminders of home. NWFA is a great community.

    And Stomper, I don’t care what anybody says, you are just not right in the head. I’ll be trying your suggestion later today. Wish me luck. :)
    Stomper and Mikej like this.
  10. timac

    timac Loading Magazines! Well-Known Member

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    Some of the reason's they're not armed.
    1. They'll drop them and run.
    2. Use them on people they're protecting.
    Stomper likes this.