Posts Tagged ‘inside scoop’

airport security

January 27, 2016

CLICK HERE TO CATCH UP ON AMT329

Bit of leftover business from last year’s AMT – following AMT329, Phil in Pennsylvania writes:

Helen, answer me this: why didn’t you smack Olly for his idiotic suggestion that people should let their children ride baggage carousels at airports?

Maybe I did, but you couldn’t hear it on the recording…

I’m a “below the wing” worker for a major international airline, so half my job is taking bags off planes and delivering them to the carousel. Every day I see the address tags, straps, buckles, locks and strings getting pulled into the small gaps between the steel plates on those carousels. How is a child’s shoelace, or the drawcord on their hoodie, or their finger any different? I don’t believe in putting children into protective bubbles, but I also believe that parents shouldn’t act like complete morons just for a laugh.

Although, to be fair to the parental Manns, in this case it was the child Olly being a complete moron, to their consternation.

Phil also provides the inside scoop on what the baggage carousels are really for:

Your answer to the baggage carousel question left out a couple of reasons for the existence of carousels: tracking and security. At every step of the process, we use handheld scanners to read the tag on each bag, so we always know where it is. Going on the plane… scanned. Coming off the plane.. scanned. Delivered to the baggage carousel… scanned. If all the bags were just dumped into a big pile, it would be awfully hard to properly scan them.

Also, the area where we drive the baggage carts and deliver the bags to the carousel is a secure area. We pull up to the carousel, open the security doors at either side of the carousel, scan the bags and put them on the carousel. Once all the bags are unloaded, we close the security doors again. (One of my coworkers is now the subject of a police investigation because he didn’t fully close one of the doors a few nights ago. That’s a major you-can-be-sacked sort of mistake.)

Those doors are only just big enough for the bags to fit through, although a person could squeeze through if they tried. But what if the door were big enough to drive a whole cart through? Far too easy for people to wander through, far too hard to secure properly. So, the carousel’s real purpose is to deliver the bags to the passengers while keeping the passengers (and terrorists) out of the secure zone where the planes operate. And then let the airport workers sit in the back, undisturbed, so we can listen to podcasts while we wait for the next plane to arrive.

We can definitely endorse that last reason.

Also, it’s not just us being given the scary once-over by immigration officers in American airports – and it’s not just the American officers who are scary. Noah in San Francisco writes:

A few years ago I (an American) was flying into Gatwick. I was coming to London representing my art gallery for an art fair. When I asked by HMS Customs if I was there for business or pleasure, I answered “Business” in a proud fashion. I had never traveled for business before and was feeling quite proud of myself for doing so. I was, in the blink of an eye, an “international businessman” — but when I looked up to see the eyes of the customs officer, did I realize my grave, grave error. He had the look a starved jackal gives a frightened sheep. The ordeal that followed — what’s the nature of your business, who are you traveling with, just exactly why are you conducting business on our territory and thus clearly depriving others of work — was thorough, exhaustive and exhausting.

I explained everything: the fair was advertised all around London on large banners, advertised in all the current newspapers and magazines; nothing was done in secret, this was a well-publicized fair. He wasn’t having it, and after reappearing after 30 minutes, escorted not only me, but my fiancée and young sister to airport jail! We were thrown in the tank, questioned separately (my fiancée and sister were in separate queues and answered that they were there on please, only making matters worse). I think my sister got the worst of it as she got her diary read and passed around by several customs agents. I MAY have made things worse by answering the question: “Have you ever been searched by this before?” with “Well, once in East Germany in 1987, but it only took half the time.”

My fiancée (and now wife (and mother to my kids)) would insist I was being remiss if I didn’t mention the kind gentlemen jailer who fed us a seemingly endless supply of strangely-delicious triangle sandwiches.

A few hours later, we were released sans passports. Sis had to pickup our passports at the airport the next day, along with sincere apologies from the higher-ups at HMS Customs.

End of Cautionary Tale.

Could’ve been worse, Eric. A friend of mine, on his way back from a holiday in Florida, was held for several hours on suspicion of being the Atlanta Bomber.

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EPISODE 326: macho line dancing

October 29, 2015

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Happy news! AMT325‘s Beckie, who was worried who was worrying about having chosen the baby name ‘Aoife’ because her family were being dicks about it? On Tuesday, the baby was born! And she has been named….Aoife! Good for you, Beckie, and welcome to the world, Aoife. All together now: aaaaaawwwwwww.

Let’s change some more lives in Answer Me This! Episode 326 shall we? Or at least deal with a range of minor to moderate problems, concerning such matters as:

Gogglebox
crying vs fart machines
sport vs Helen’s love for her family
sport vs Andrew Lloyd Webber
the haka
the Crystal Palace dinosaurs
matryoshka spy dolls
Queen Victoria
and
the likely successor to The Human Centipede.

Plus: Olly has the equivalent of a shy bladder but for sneezing (which you already know is a problem for him); Helen has to choose between her family and her dislike of sport; and Martin the Sound Man’s cup of Earl Grey is full of tears.

In today’s Bonus Bit of Crap on the App – available for iThings, Android and Windows devices – rugby brings the rest of Helen’s family joy, but also forces her brother Andy to tell the biggest lie of his life.

It’s no lie that we welcome your questions. Leave voicemails on the Question Line – call 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis – and deliver your emails to answermethispodcast@googlemail.com. Say hi at facebook.com/answermethis and twitter.com/HelenAndOlly.

Additional ventures:

Olly’s so fecund at the moment! Birthing out babies and podcasts all over the place. You can find his new show The Modern Mann at modernmann.co.uk, as well as on iTunes and Pocketcasts and the various other podcast-getting places.

Helen is currently releasing new doses of The Allusionist EVERY WEEK (wilts) because Radiotopia is raising funds. Love any of the shows? Donate at radiotopia.fm! And join in her Reddit AMA at 7pm GMT today.

Finally, Martin the Sound Man’s Song By Song podcast is now embarking upon Tom Waits’s Heart of Saturday Night. Not a difficult second album, a cracking second album! (Except for the bits which sound like dinner jazz, which are sub-cracking.)

We’ll return on 12th November 2015 with AMT327.

Helen & Olly

••• AMT326 Child-Friendly Rating: 30%. No bawdy content, but there are swears all over the place. •••

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Hooters hooters

November 25, 2014
Physically diverse Hooters staff

Physically diverse Hooters staff

CLICK HERE TO CATCH UP ON AMT302

We love it when you listeners give us a peek behind the tight T-shirt curtain of your varied and interesting jobs, and following AMT301,
A Respectable Probate Attorney
has been in touch – and not about probate:

As a probate attorney I would prefer to remain anonymous, but I’m happy to clarify that NO there is not a cup size requirement to be hired by Hooters.

However, there was an ass size requirement in 1999. On my first day of work I was asked what size shorts I wanted to wear; and when I asked for a size medium the manager gave me a size XXS. The short sizes available to servers were XS, XXS, and XXXS. One of the waitresses was able to get formal permission from Hooters Headquarters to wear a size small. The reason being that she was in college to become a certified public accountant and needed to dress more conservatively (less cheek showing).

To back what Olly said, Hooters servers do have to be charming. We were expected to wear our makeup and hair “like we were going to senior prom.” I would say it’s all harmless flirtation; we were never expected to dance or entertain for tips. If someone made advances, he’d be tossed out.

It’s also worth mentioning that in 1999 there was no policy that bathroom masturbators had to leave. The manager caught one of my customers in the bathroom and I still had to politely wait until he finished his meal to give him the bill. I’m glad to hear the policy has changed since.

So there we go! Perfectly standard workplace policies. Hooters really is all about the chicken wings, and NOTHING ELSE.

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EPISODE 261 – SO delicious

June 13, 2013

Hello listeners,

This week, we learn a few very important lessons about sheep: not to underestimate them intellectually and emotionally; what they have in common with Margaret Thatcher; and what they also have in common with Helen’s mum. Discover these things right now in Answer Me This! Episode 261:

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In which we also learn about:

emogothpunk style
Casper the Suicidal Ghost
small-talk with accountants
the losers’ cafe in The Apprentice
BHS Dr Martens
free sunglasses
pony-drawn rollers
the Cabinet vs. the Divine Right of Kings
iced coffee vs. cold coffee
Olly’s face vs. Richard Gere’s face
The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club
hair-blindness
and
advice from Paul Ross.

Plus: Olly had to go cold turkey on the brown, by which we mean Mr Brown drinks, not heroin; Helen sounds and looks and smells like an old fart; and Martin the Sound Man’s emotional needs are not going to be met by sheep. Let’s not even contemplate whether they can meet his sexual needs, please. But you can meet Martin’s needs by going to his website or YouTube to watch his spectacular new music video (/visual evidence of his nervous breakdown).

In this week’s Bit of Crap on the App (available for iDevices and Android) Helen expresses her ever-unrealised desire for unusual-coloured hair. She may have wimped out of having an experimental phase in her teens, but when she’s a geriatric she WILL go full-bore Marge Simpson. Promise.

Promise us to send us your QUESTIONS for our next series: leave voicemails on the Question Line – call 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis – or send emails to answermethispodcast@googlemail.com.

We’ll be back with AMT262 on 11th July, so please join us then; in the meantime, check back here for our imminent album, the Answer Me This! Holiday, our all-new follow-up to our Top 20 (no really!) albums Jubilee and Sports Day, available for your delectation at answermethispodcast.com/albums.

Byeeee!

Helen & Olly

AMT261 Child-Friendly Rating: 90%.
References to hiding pornographic magazines; very mild profanity.

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