Monday, July 25, 2011

False Sense of Security

I'll admit it, I was fooled.  But there are just some times when you ought to be able to trust the world presented to you.

At right is a blue Rubbermade tub.  On the side, the words "Read, Respond, Recycle Your Mail"  Up top, a metal lock.  In front of the PO Boxes at our post office is a long counter and underneath are 4 or 5 of these boxes.

I can't recall, I might have even made a blog post before praising Rubbermade and the U.S. Postal Service for these boxes.  Before, I had to find some other way of disposing of all of the junk mail I received, especially pre-approved credit card offers.

Now, I thought, I could avoid all of the hassle and figure that it was either being shredded in the back or at least combined with so much other mail that the chances of someone pulling mine out were greatly reduced.

Well, that turned out to be a false promise.  If the weakest link in any security system is the humans involved, the ones at my post office are doing a crack job.  

The other day, I decided that something I had dropped in hadn't gone in far enough and someone could fish it out.  I grabbed the edges of the lid to lift up the container to shake it.  And the lid popped right off.  I found a key inside in a plastic bag taped to the lid.  I removed the key, locked the lock and nothing happened.  I removed the lid.  On the box is a metal tab with a slot.  On the lid, the lock turns a metal bar that pivots into the slot.  Only on this box, the metal bar turned away from the slot.  I used the key as a screwdriver to remove the bar, reverse it, and then tighten it again.  Perfect.  The box was now locked.  I dropped the key in the outgoing mail slot.  I knew it would fall into one of those bins on the other side where it would be discovered.

And it turns out it was - the next time I visited the post office, all of the boxes were unlocked.

So I'm back to having to find some other method of more securely disposing of my unwanted mail.

But just serves as a reminder that we should not accept the world at face value, but poke it, prod it, question it, make sure it's what it claims to be.
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