Be careful next time

29 Jan

Going through security at the airport can be a frustrating experience, even in Asia.  The US still takes the cake for the most obtrusive, but even the Philippines has the umbrella rule (click here for that story) and other islands weigh you before you check in.  Recently in Singapore I also had an interesting experience.

In Singapore, you go through customs first, but don’t go through security until you enter your boarding gate.  I like the system, for the most part as it is more efficient in terms of getting people trapped in the boarding area which means flights board in a timely manner.

This time after I pulled out my computer, iPad, phone and laid each thing on the belt I took half a step the wrong way and bumped into a pole next to the metal detector.  My pants caught on the very sharp edge which was at thigh level and it ripped a pretty large hole in my jeans.

My jeans after the fact - be careful next time!

My jeans after the fact – be careful next time!

I expected an apology or at least some type of excuse, but instead the screener said “You should be careful next time.”  I don’t see how this was my fault and the comment really bothered me.  Why in the world would any airport put a razor sharp pole at thigh level?  If it was a little kid it could be eye level which would have been very dangerous.

I wish I could have thought of a comeback at the time, instead I repacked my bag and entered into the gate holding area.  Recently there was a study globally that said Singaporeans ranked very low on the global happiness index.  The behavior I experienced confirmed that and was something that I would have expected more in mainland China than in Singapore.

Luckily the jeans I was wearing were pretty old, so at least it wasn’t new clothes, but it still bothers me.  What would you have said if it happened to you?

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12 Responses to “Be careful next time”

  1. roomaomao January 29, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

    Yikes, I expected better from Singapore. I heard great things about the airport. I’m like you, I would have been a bit shocked that the worker said that and not have been able to come up with something to say back.

    • gkm2011 January 29, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

      I expected more as well to tell you the truth, if it happened in China I don’t think I would be so surprised. The rest of the airport there really is great.

      • roomaomao February 1, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

        Japanese security in Narita airport was my favorite. The baggage inspector asked me very timidly, very politely, “May I open this?” before each zipper compartment in my bag. It was hilarious. I felt if I had said no, he would have gone along with it!

      • gkm2011 February 1, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

        Haven’t been there yet, sounds like an experience!

  2. expatlingo January 29, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

    I too often wish I had better comebacks for screeners the world over … but the sharp pole is just plain dangerous! Lucky you weren’t wearing something thiner.

    • gkm2011 January 29, 2013 at 9:34 pm #

      Yes, it was an awkward situation for sure but could have been worse!

  3. Jeanette January 30, 2013 at 2:19 am #

    I don’t know what to say…. Such an unpleasant (and unnecessary) experience. What if that pole had hurt you?! I’m not very good at handling such situations; but, my husband –who handles them better– would not have left without speaking to a supervisor…

    • gkm2011 January 30, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

      I know, not one of my strengths either. When you’re the one with the ripped pants it is pretty tough!

      • Jeanette January 31, 2013 at 2:04 am #

        Absolutely true! Travel is stressful enough these days without (as a woman) dealing with ripped pants!!

  4. sarahinguangzhou January 31, 2013 at 4:15 am #

    Yeah I always feel embarrassed, like it’s my fault for being clumsy.
    It’s a good airport though Singapore.

    • gkm2011 January 31, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

      I agree, a very good airport, that’s why I was so surprised!

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