Monday, March 24, 2008

I'm a "Clear"

Earlier this year, the company called Clear announced in their tagline "the wait is over". Clear is the company that handles the federal government's Registered Traveler program, which, according to the Washington Post, "offers passengers the happy prospect of getting through security lines faster, swifter, better." In fact, they are supposedly guaranteeing a max 4 minute wait. I'm ready. For a guy who travels as much as I do, it might be worth the $100 annual fee...

But that's not why I'm writing this blog. No, the Post goes on to ask if we can get a Clear card for all of life, and calls certain types of people "Clears." And I'm clearly a "Clear"--my wife read the article over the weekend and agreed the description fits me to a tee. To quote the Post:

Clears are already the fastest people at the airports even without the cards: shoes and coat off, laptop out of the case, X-ray buckets lined up on the conveyor belt, waiting for EVERYBODY ELSE to get it together.

Yep, that's me alright. Airports are one of the few things in life I'm a little anal retentive about. When I moved to San Antonio a few years ago, I lived pretty close to my boss, who was also a good friend. Since he was the president and I was VP for raising money, we thought we'd ride together to the airport the first few trips we took together out of town.

It only took me a couple of times to figure out it wasn't going to work.

You see, he's not a Clear, at least not in flying. His goal was to be the last person on the plane; anything else meant he was wasting time in the airport. If we missed one flight, well, there would be another one or the out-of-town meeting could just meet without him. No way I could live with that. So we started taking separate cars to the airport...but I digress. Here's some other quotes on the qualities of Clears:

Clears are the simple and speedy people, who tend to know the price of things before they get to the register and always have their cash or debit card ready, and step out of the way immediately to a place where they can put away their change and receipt and reassemble themselves without obstructing flow. Clears do not dig into purses in search of engorged wallets into which they go a-huntin' for six cents so as not to break a bill, or to look for that Subway sandwich stamp card...

Clears can give you a very long lecture about the economic concept known as OPPORTUNITY COST, which is just another way of saying time is money, so why clip coupons?

...Clears almost never special-order or substitute menu items, and are quietly horrified when their dining companions do. Clears love stores with names like Grab-N-Go, or Git-N-Gone, and long for the day when such establishments can honestly and consistently live up to such ideals. Corporate America invented self-checkout lines for Clears, which worked well for about five minutes, until someone who wasn't a Clear caused yet another human paper jam...

...A Clear finds himself standing in line at 7-Eleven, with a Big Gulp in one hand and a couple of dollar bills in the other, and realizes that he's going to have to wait for six Un-Clears in front of him to buy lottery tickets and the exact pack of cigarettes that the Un-Clear clerk cannot seem to locate.

Wow. I love self-checkout lines. Ticks me off that Wal-Mart never has them open anymore, and that they don't hold people with 22 items accountable for being in the 20 item or less line. And I've had so many conversations with my wife about opportunity costs...

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