Give America a little credit

1 year, 7 months and 26 days.

That’s all it took.

Just 604 measly days until some fucking fucker attempted to use my credit card.

Back in the UK I had held a credit card for over 22 years without any fraudulent activity at all and yet it seems that every American I have met has been the victim of credit card fraud.  I wonder why it happens here so often?

Very strange.

Oh, wait, my mistake, I’m talking total bollocks…it’s not strange at all.

As much as I love this country, they’re unbelievably lackadaisical about credit card security. They’re more careless than a micro-surgeon with Parkinsons; it’s ridiculous.

When I moved to America back in 2015, they were in the process of transitioning credit cards from the strip to the chip. This was for ‘added security’, and I so expected to be asked to enter my 4 digit PIN number[1] on every transaction.

Nope.

Apparently all that changed was that you now insert your card into the card reader at the front, instead of swiping it at the side.

Ooooh!

Basically, all it did was introduce Americans to another type of motion…..or ‘exercise’ as some of them call it.

And a lot of shops and stores don’t even use the chip reader because they don’t work or aren’t set up yet!

Not only are you not expected to enter your secret and secure 4 digit PIN, but more often than not you’re not even ask for a signature or proof of identity!

Petrol stations (Gas stations) vary in the way they take credit.  Some ask for a signature, some don’t; some ask for identification, most don’t. It’s a fucking minefield and thoroughly pisses me off when i’m not asked for ID.  I could be anyone!

It gets even worse at restaurants where the server takes your card away and you don’t see it for 5 minutes until they bring it back with a wad of receipts for you to sign. This, I discovered, is plenty of time for them to make a copy and charge it to some fucking clothing company in Beverly Hills to the tune of $650!

Wankers.

Back home in Blighty, the waiter or waitress (I really don’t like the term ‘server’) brings the credit card machine to your table and you enter your PIN number directly into it. The card never leaves your sight.

Not once.

Ever.

It’s such a simple thing and saves a shit-ton of paper.  Seriously, why am I given so many pieces of paper?  I always pause when trying to figure out which one i’m supposed to sign and which one i’m supposed to take home and wallpaper the house with.

And the scariest thing of all is that no-one in America seems surprised about credit card fraud; a compromised card over here is as common as rain in England…or drunken violence.

So now I had no choice but to cut up my existing card and wait for another to be delivered. Thankfully I have another credit card I can use until some bastard decides to help fund some Nigerian prince with it.

Debit cards, on the other hand, need a PIN number to be entered.

I give up.

[1] Yes, I know that PIN stands for ‘Personal Identification Number’, so saying “PIN number” is effectively saying “Personal Identification Number number”.

Talking crap

I’ve just been for that first satisfying bowel movement of the day.  The one that usurps all others.

It was great.

But, unlike those I enjoy at weekends, this one was at the office.

A downside to curling out a fresh biscuit at work is that you’re not always the only baker in the bakery.  This visit was one of those times.

Now, a story like this isn’t unusual under normal circumstances, but this was far from normal.  As I entered the toilets [restroom/bathroom] I could hear that the occupant of the far cubicle [stall] was talking to someone.  He was on the phone.

I took the first cubicle because, well, no-one likes to poo within a foot of another person.  I don’t care if there’s a layer of wood between me and him; if I can see the shadow of his feet, I’m too close.

The toilets at work don’t have piped in music, nor are they located next to an airport runway so it was deathly quiet in there and therefore I could hear every word he was saying.

“I know”

“Yes, I heard you”

“Well, you hurt my feelings”

“Yes”

“Yes I know”

“OK”

There was a pause.

“I love you”

His call must have ended at that point because he then proceeded to wipe his arse.

Nice.

I finished my performance, flushed and then spent an unnecessarily long time washing and drying my hands.

Why?

Well, it could be because I believe in good personal hygiene, or it could be because I wanted to see if this guy had the bollocks to come out of his cubicle and reveal himself.

He didn’t.

I wouldn’t have either.

So, to respect his privacy and integrity, I left.

Then, out of respect for the guy, I didn’t hang around in the kitchen waiting to see who emerged.  I didn’t think it was right to make myself a coffee really slowly so I could check out if it was someone I knew (who may read my blog and somehow take this invasion of privacy personally).

After a few minutes he emerged.  Thankfully I didn’t know him.

It was just one of our security team; a massive bastard built like a brick shithouse.

This could be my last post.

picard phone loo