Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Package, or My Foray Into The World Of International Smuggling

So I've not been much into posting lately. I'm alive. I'm well. I'm busy. Dance recitals, swim meets, preschool graduation, birthday parties (pictures to come). I've also been looking over my shoulder the last week, on the lam so to speak, because I have recently earned the nickname "Captain Contraband" at work. Yep, I'm an international smuggler.

Not that I set out to smuggle; its not like I woke up one morning and said "Self, you're getting nowhere with this 'rheology' farce. Give it up and start earning some real money on the global black market. Then you can earn enough to buy that vacation house working part-time from home, just like those people on TV." No, like most people, I just stumbled into it rather blindly.

I've got a coworker, you see, who is Chinese. He's home for a month in China, taking care of some family business; while he's there, though, he's talking to some chemical suppliers and getting me some samples for a current research project. Here's where the trouble comes in. You know all that stuff you here about the global market and the Chinese beginning to dominate it, sometimes through shady practices? For example, how many kid toys have you thrown away in the last year because of lead content? Well, the complaints are little exaggerated.

I got the samples I was wanting, through a shipper. Below is a picture of what was labeled as "PVC Carpeting Samples".

The problem - I didn't ask for PVC anything. In fact, I was expecting a black powder (hint: you'd find it in roads). So I'm thinking two things: 1) I'll take these home and use them for a mat for the kids to play on and 2) They probably hid my samples inside these packages. BING BING BING BING BING BING! Give the man a prize!

Ah, there's my black powder, tucked inside a hidden pocket in the innocuous "PVC Carpeting". Conveniently shipped without proper safety information, proper hazard notification to the shipper, and likely avoiding high shipping costs and customs delays.

Just look at that little pocket. What could have been secreted in there? Cash? Coke? A popular poppy product? A statuette of Jesus made out of cocaine? Plastic forks? Plastic explosives? The possibilities are endless.

So, I spent a little time last week documenting this arrival. Talked to my boss. Talked to my Chinese coworker to let him know what they did. Tried to make sure that the chemical supplier knows we don't do business this way. So far, no visits from men in uniforms with hats and guns, so I'm probably safe. But if I do disappear, you'll know that Homeland Security has me and someone needs to help Mrs. E and the kids with legal bills.

In other news, I've been tasked recently with pricing and arranging demos for a new microscope for the lab. I didn't have the final decision in which one we got, I just did the leg work. And now that we've selected one, I'm the one getting pestering and even angry calls from the people whose microscopes were not selected. It feels really good to be made the scape goat, ya know.

How's your week been?

Tags: , ,


Amy said...

That's amazing! Very interesting.

texasinafrica said...

I just snorted diet coke up my nose in an effort to keep from spewing it all over my laptop. This is even funnier considering that I'm reading a book about the international diamond trade. What I can say about that is that at least no one swallowed your samples.

Douglas said...

A country can only get away with crap like that for so long before it comes back to bite them in the ass. Corruption is one of the biggest drains on an economy. The wheels of justice grind slowly, but they grind very fine.


BTW: Have you no opinion whatsoever about the future of gas prices, or do you just not keep track of old blog posts? The fate of several thousand dollars sits in the balance awaiting your verdict... or at least your input o wise seer from oil city.

Douglas said...

Also, as I posted on shlog, Augustine had nothing to do with the rejection of polygamy by the first Christians. You've been misinformed on that point. The rejection of polygamy, one sided divorce and, well, divorce and remarriage in general is rooted in the teachings of Jesus on what kingdom of God entails.


euphrony said...

Sorry, me no check old posts lately.

Gas prices: high in the short term, but who knows about the long term?

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by to leave a comment. Be nice, and it'll stay. Be mean, and it'll go.