Have you joined my incredibly non-annoying, once-in-a-while email newsletter?
Sometimes, things that seem like such a good idea only become that much more noticeable when they fail. Like Passport machines – I paid a fee, took a background application, went in for a personal interview, and finally got my sticker – Lets me blow past the immigration lines at all major US International airports.
Landed at EWR from Bogota about an hour ago. Walked down to immigration. Four other planes (at least) landing at the same time. Lines at EWR usual level of insanity, plus/minus 20%.
Walk up to the woman, this was the conversation.
“Hi, ma’am, I have the PCB sticker, (hold up passport) can you point me to the machines?
“They over there, but they don’t work.”
“They don’t work?”
“Nah, they haven’t worked since they installed.”
“Can I look at them?”
“Yeah, but when you see they don’t work, you gotta come to the back of the line.”
I walked over, and halfway through, saw the lovely “OUT OF SERVICE” line, written in black magic marker on a piece of loose leaf paper.
If I was allowed to use my camera in the Immigration line, I would have shot a photo.
25 minutes later, I get to the passport control officer.
“Where are you coming from?”
“Business or pleasure?”
“What do you do?”
“I’m an entrepreneur, and start companies.”
“Oh. What kind of companies?”
“All kinds. Internet, Social Media, agencies…”
“What kind of agencies?”
“PR agencies, mostly.”
Me: “Hey, speaking of agencies and Internet and computers… Any idea when the out-of-order GOESPASS machines behind you are going to be working?”
“No idea at all, huh?”
“Are you being sarcastic?”
“What? I’m asking a ques… You know what? Never mind. Thanks.”
I walk away, secure in the knowledge that if I had ANY question of whether I was back in the US, and EWR specifically, it was answered.
As I was walking out, I happened to see a supervisor.
“Excuse me – Any idea when the GOES pass machines are going to be operational?”
“Really? That’s great news! What’s soon?”
“I dunno. We’ll put them up eventually.”