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  • August 16, 2017, 08:03:00 AM

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Author Topic: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)  (Read 1374999 times)

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blue2000

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Considering what I have seen in my 15 years in state government, I sincerely doubt that the government conspiracies even exist.  There is too much laziness, guesswork, poor decisions, and general loose lips for me to be anything but the cynical cuss I am today.

Oh, they definitely do happen - witness the news about the NSA collecting Americans' phone records en masse and how other agencies now want access to that database.  Obviously that particular situation has been going on for a while (no one will say how long), but it sounds like knowledge about it was restricted to the NSA.

Now, I'll definitely grant you that *most* conspiracies that people worry about aren't happening - we didn't fake the moon landing, we're not implanting mind-control drugs in corn flakes, etc.  But I think it's a bit naive to say that no conspiracies exist, given that we have big scandal exposés probably about once a year   :-\

To me that is more a demonstration that the government can try to keep a secret but doesn't seem to be very good at it. Especially in this digital, everybody-is-connected internet age.

There are secrets that government and public officials have kept for long periods of time before being suspected/found out. But it is generally secrets that very few people know anything about. As soon as people know enough to ask questions, you've lost control of your info.

I do agree with you about the digital age. It is really hard to shut someone up or deal with the fallout when they are tweeting to the entire internet (much to the chagrin of officials who have outed themselves). ;D
You are only young once. After that you have to think up some other excuse.

darling

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Considering what I have seen in my 15 years in state government, I sincerely doubt that the government conspiracies even exist.  There is too much laziness, guesswork, poor decisions, and general loose lips for me to be anything but the cynical cuss I am today.

Oh, they definitely do happen - witness the news about the NSA collecting Americans' phone records en masse and how other agencies now want access to that database.  Obviously that particular situation has been going on for a while (no one will say how long), but it sounds like knowledge about it was restricted to the NSA.

I heard 7 years, from a website that I trust (a.k.a, not a conspiracy theorist site).

LazyDaisy

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There are too many opposing groups just watching and waiting and spying on each other for any little detail so they can point fingers. I feel like people (or at least our media) can play quite dumb sometimes when in reality they knew all along. Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) gave a speech in 2001 warning about the likelihood of this very NSA scandal when he was the only Senator to vote against the Patriot Act. His 2001 speech can be found online.

But wait...didn't the FBI collect extensive personal information about US Citizens under J Edgar Hoover... and what about the "investigations" of Sen. McCarthy? Just substitute "communist" for "terrorist" and we're back in the 50s. Somehow we all forget that the government has been spying on its own people for...ever. But we're shocked every time it happens again.
"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." — Douglas Adams

gingerzing

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Impossible request  from my consumer feedback. 

Quote
i won a bag of charcoal didgital coupon for GroceryStore. and i looked in my GroceryStore account and its not there? my GroceryStore account # is ...
(not including name of store or account number, but the rest is how it came in)

Amusingly enough, I work for a commodity farmer's group.  Have nothing - or at least very little - to do with said grocery store.  And have nothing to do with charcoal or coupons for the store or the charcoal. 

Yes, I did email them back.  I basically told them to use the GroceryStore's contact us link (yes, sent them it) and let them know we did not have their accounts in our system.  Oddly, I didn't hear anything back, though that may be just as well because I have occasionally had people INSIST that I DO have similar information.  Sort of like when people call a wrong number and then insist that you are wrong, they dialed correctly.   ::)


amylouky

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Yeah, that's true, but I just see so much that is contraindicative of true conspiracy planning.  My cynicism makes me roll my eyes so much it is a wonder I can see.

Ahh, but maybe this perceived incompetence is part of the conspiracy?? We'll make them THINK we don't know what we're doing so they won't believe we're capable of what we're doing..

 ;)  (just kidding, not a conspiracy theorist although I know a few..)

VorFemme

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Impossible request  from my consumer feedback. 

Quote
i won a bag of charcoal didgital coupon for GroceryStore. and i looked in my GroceryStore account and its not there? my GroceryStore account # is ...
(not including name of store or account number, but the rest is how it came in)

Amusingly enough, I work for a commodity farmer's group.  Have nothing - or at least very little - to do with said grocery store.  And have nothing to do with charcoal or coupons for the store or the charcoal. 

Yes, I did email them back.  I basically told them to use the GroceryStore's contact us link (yes, sent them it) and let them know we did not have their accounts in our system.  Oddly, I didn't hear anything back, though that may be just as well because I have occasionally had people INSIST that I DO have similar information.  Sort of like when people call a wrong number and then insist that you are wrong, they dialed correctly.   ::)



The ONLY times that worked for me when I got a request for information on their claim (auto insurance company - I worked the internet desk) was when either their last name, their first name, or the combination was so unusual that it was going to be very unlikely that there was more than one person with a recent accident in the 13 states handled by the regional office that I worked at.

And the woman from Cambodia turned out to have turned in the accident in the wrong state - so the email and her claim had to be transferred to another adjuster in the next regional office over.  Think North Carolina instead of South Carolina and a rural road in the mountains somewhere close to a state line.....or Kentucky and Tennessee...locals knew where they were (in which state) - people who were going to college in the area might not have any idea beyond "USA".

Or a really oddly spelled (Polish?) name in an area not known for many Polish immigrants in the last hundred years - turned out that she was a lawyer's secretary, but her parents and three brothers had policies with the company - the person who was seeing her boss also had a policy with our company, but the name was NOT given in the email.  Nor was the claim number...or the policy number....or any searchable data. 

I did get a phone call from her the next work day with that information - and asked that they have the person in the accident set them up with permission.....then sent the contact information for the lawyer to the adjuster on the file.  Just in case it was needed.....I remember nothing else about the claim - only that she worked for the lawyer......
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I explain?

LazyDaisy

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I took a call from a customer at my previous employer who stated she had just placed on order through our website and she needed to make a change. I politely let her know we didn't have an online order system...at all...and I'm so sorry but she couldn't have placed her order with us online. I did search her name in our database just in case she could have possibly faxed or emailed us an order (a big stretch but I was trying to give good customer service). She kept insisting that we did have online ordering and she had just used it...back and forth back and forth several times. She finally demanded that I tell her who had she ordered from then.  ???  I told her I had no way of knowing that information and suggested she should go through her browser history, or check for an email order confirmation, or call her credit card company to see if she could track down the company name. I think what happened is that she Googled our company name and then clicked on the first link at the top of the search screen --where the paid "Ads related to Printing Company" were listed -- without looking to see if it was really our web address. Even though she wasn't really nice about it, I felt bad for her because she was panicked about having submitted her credit card number.

I also had a customer insist I was not in California -- he KNEW my company was located in Virginia and so he wanted to pick up his order rather than pay for shipping (admittedly, it was very expensive due to the weight of 2,000 notepads). If he really wanted to pick them up I would totally let him -- the money goes to UPS not my pocket -- and we had customers who really would come to our location to pick them up. Usually they were from someplace closer like Nevada or Arizona, and they were going to be in the area for business. He just kept insisting that I was not in California. I don't know what he was thinking -- I'm so lost I don't know what state I live and work in? I think I would remember commuting approximately 2,600 miles to get to work.
"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." — Douglas Adams

ti_ax

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I took a call from a customer at my previous employer who stated she had just placed on order through our website and she needed to make a change. I politely let her know we didn't have an online order system...at all...and I'm so sorry but she couldn't have placed her order with us online. I did search her name in our database just in case she could have possibly faxed or emailed us an order (a big stretch but I was trying to give good customer service). She kept insisting that we did have online ordering and she had just used it...back and forth back and forth several times. She finally demanded that I tell her who had she ordered from then.  ???  I told her I had no way of knowing that information and suggested she should go through her browser history, or check for an email order confirmation, or call her credit card company to see if she could track down the company name. I think what happened is that she Googled our company name and then clicked on the first link at the top of the search screen --where the paid "Ads related to Printing Company" were listed -- without looking to see if it was really our web address. Even though she wasn't really nice about it, I felt bad for her because she was panicked about having submitted her credit card number.

I also had a customer insist I was not in California -- he KNEW my company was located in Virginia and so he wanted to pick up his order rather than pay for shipping (admittedly, it was very expensive due to the weight of 2,000 notepads). If he really wanted to pick them up I would totally let him -- the money goes to UPS not my pocket -- and we had customers who really would come to our location to pick them up. Usually they were from someplace closer like Nevada or Arizona, and they were going to be in the area for business. He just kept insisting that I was not in California. I don't know what he was thinking -- I'm so lost I don't know what state I live and work in? I think I would remember commuting approximately 2,600 miles to get to work.
Naughty Ti_ax would reply: "Wow, thanks for telling me that, Customer! These California taxes have been killing me for years!"

artk2002

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Considering what I have seen in my 15 years in state government, I sincerely doubt that the government conspiracies even exist.  There is too much laziness, guesswork, poor decisions, and general loose lips for me to be anything but the cynical cuss I am today.

Oh, they definitely do happen - witness the news about the NSA collecting Americans' phone records en masse and how other agencies now want access to that database.  Obviously that particular situation has been going on for a while (no one will say how long), but it sounds like knowledge about it was restricted to the NSA.

Now, I'll definitely grant you that *most* conspiracies that people worry about aren't happening - we didn't fake the moon landing, we're not implanting mind-control drugs in corn flakes, etc.  But I think it's a bit naive to say that no conspiracies exist, given that we have big scandal exposés probably about once a year   :-\

To me that is more a demonstration that the government can try to keep a secret but doesn't seem to be very good at it. Especially in this digital, everybody-is-connected internet age.

There are secrets that government and public officials have kept for long periods of time before being suspected/found out. But it is generally secrets that very few people know anything about. As soon as people know enough to ask questions, you've lost control of your info.

I do agree with you about the digital age. It is really hard to shut someone up or deal with the fallout when they are tweeting to the entire internet (much to the chagrin of officials who have outed themselves). ;D

The problem with most of the big conspiracy theories out there (911-tuthers and the others with the "truth" about recent tragedies) is that they would require the cooperation of hundreds, if not thousands, of people. Man of whom would have no particular motivation to conceal the conspiracy and plenty of motivation to expose it. My favorites are the alt-med people who are insisting that the entire evidence-based medical establishment are conspiring to hide tremendous, earth-shattering truths. Truth be told, it's nearly impossible to get three doctors to agree on a difficult diagnosis, much less keep some major secret. Or that the moon landings were faked. The sheer number of people who worked on the space program through the 60s is staggering -- and someone expects us to believe that they all kept this big secret?

It is possible for the government to keep a secret, but the more people who know it, the greater the risk it will be revealed. The NSA stuff got leaked as did the FBI's domestic spying in the 60s. Sustaining a conspiracy with a large number of people for a long time is nearly impossible.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Midnight Kitty

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Rather than reconstruct the quote tree, I'll just reply.

I didn't say there were no government conspiracies; I just don't think they are common because government is too disorganized.

The examples given are mostly "spy stores" - Agencies like NSA, FBI, & CIA.  Secrets and conspiracies are their bread & butter.  For 90% of government workers, secrets are in the "who is sleeping with whom" category.
"The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit.  The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are."

Marcus Aurelius

blue2000

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In Canada it has either been "who is paying off whom/stealing from whom" or in a few cases, "which high-ranking official is coming in to work drunk or high".* I'm honestly surprised at what people get away with for years at a time before being outed.




*Google Rob Ford. Go ahead. I dare you. ;D It's hilarious as long as you don't have to live in Toronto.
You are only young once. After that you have to think up some other excuse.

Library Dragon

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Love this time of the year.  School starts next week and we have scores of parents coming to get the required reading for their offspring.  I was helping at the desk and looked up the title Mom wanted.

LD: Sorry, our 5 copies are checked out. I can place a request in the system.
MOM: Well, I'm just going to have to go to (neighboring city) to check out a copy. [This said in a tone that I should be embarrassed at this prospect.]
LD: Here let me check their system.  We cannot get it, but let's check before you drive there.  Oh, their 3 copies are checked out.  I'll be glad to put a request in our system.
MOM: No, so, you're telling me I'll have to buy it.  (Again, disgusted tone of voice.)

We finished our conversation.  She moved into magic thinking by continuing to stand to the side (similar to behavior described in another thread). It was as if I was going to make a copy of the book appear because she was still there.   ::)

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camlan

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Love this time of the year.  School starts next week and we have scores of parents coming to get the required reading for their offspring.  I was helping at the desk and looked up the title Mom wanted.

LD: Sorry, our 5 copies are checked out. I can place a request in the system.
MOM: Well, I'm just going to have to go to (neighboring city) to check out a copy. [This said in a tone that I should be embarrassed at this prospect.]
LD: Here let me check their system.  We cannot get it, but let's check before you drive there.  Oh, their 3 copies are checked out.  I'll be glad to put a request in our system.
MOM: No, so, you're telling me I'll have to buy it.  (Again, disgusted tone of voice.)

We finished our conversation.  She moved into magic thinking by continuing to stand to the side (similar to behavior described in another thread). It was as if I was going to make a copy of the book appear because she was still there.   ::)

You're lucky that all she did. When I worked at a university library, I was subbing at the Reserve Desk one afternoon. There was a run on a particular book for one course that day--the moment someone returned it, someone else was at the desk asking for it.

At about 3 pm, a guy came to the desk and asked for the book. I told him it was checked out and due back at 5 pm. The kid basically threw a temper tantrum at the desk. Apparently, the class was having a quiz on the book that day--and class started at 5 pm. "They can't keep the book for three hours, " he yelled. "They can take the book and copy and then they have to bring it right back!" I believe there was some desk pounding, as well. 

The student demanded the name of the student who had the book, which I was not allowed to give out. So he started a search of the library, all 8 floors of it, looking for the poor student who had the book.

Half an hour later, he was back, without the book. It still hadn't been returned. But, the original student had picked up 6 or 7 of his classmates while on his search, and they were all standing at the desk, getting angrier and angrier.

I don't know where the kid who had the book was holed up in the library, but I was beginning to get worried about what would happen if s/he came up the desk while the mob was there. And I use the word "mob" on purpose--those students were angry.

I found an excuse to take a book out back and called Security while I was there. The security guard came and watch the group for a few minutes, as they kept talking and yelling and getting madder and madder. Then he called for the other security guard, and they made the group break up and leave the building, with the kids threatening to sue the guards because now they were going to fail their quiz because they weren't allowed to read the Reserve book.

Did I mention that it was the last week of the semester, and these kids had most likely known about having to read that book for 13 weeks? Waiting until a couple of hours before the class and quiz seemed like a lack of planning on their part. Not that I was going to say that to any of them.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Midnight Kitty

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Did I mention that it was the last week of the semester, and these kids had most likely known about having to read that book for 13 weeks? Waiting until a couple of hours before the class and quiz seemed like a lack of planning on their part. Not that I was going to say that to any of them.
Their lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on your part, camlan. ;)
"The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit.  The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are."

Marcus Aurelius

z_squared82

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I do know someone who went to the Manchester NH airport to pick up someone flying in for business, only he'd been sent to Manchester, England.

When I worked for Major American Airline, I had a customer call up and want to know why his flight was so long, I looked at his ticket and told him there was a time change. He said, I'm staying in the same state, there is no time change.

He wanted to go to Rochester, NY. He was booked to go to Rochester, MN. I fixed that for him and refunded the difference.

(He was kind of perturbed though that anyone would ever think he would want to go to Minnesota. "What's in Rochester, Minnesota, anyway? Why would anyone visit there?" "The Mayo Clinic is there, sir, I sell a ticket to that destination at least once a month." At least he had the good grace to be a little chagrined.)