It has been a while since I have had anything to rant about. I have done a fair job of shedding the Type A personality that was a requirement for the 30 years I worked in Ross Perot companies. Every once in a while I get a flash back and things, that might not bother others, bother me.
Today was one of those days. I went to Boquete to visit a friend that lives in Valle Escondido. I have been other times without problems, but today was different. If you have never been to Valle Escondido, it has a guard gate you must pass through.
Since I was going to a residence, I had to request a card that allowed passage through the automated gate. Today, the guard asked to see some identification. I assumed it was to record my name for security reasons. I had no problem with that and handed him my pensionado card. He took it and returned with the electronic gate card.
I asked about my pensionado card and he said he would give it back when I left. I told I didn’t like that, but since I was on a tight schedule, I went on.
When I later returned to the gate to exit, the same fellow came out to get the gate pass. I asked about my pensionado card, and he turned around and went back into the gate house. He came back and reached for the gate pass without extending his hand which held my card. When I would not give him his card without having mine in hand, he decided to go back in and talk on the phone. Annoying!
When he returned and gave my card, I gave him the electric gate pass. He said it was management policy to take the card. If it is indeed management policy, then it really needs to be rethought.
I was more than a little bit angry. I make it a policy to never relinquish my passport or pensionado card to anyone. In Panama, documents, such as that, have a way of disappearing, or information misused. Getting a replacement is costly and very time consuming.
Had I been a person looking at a property to buy or rent in Valle Escondido, I would have made the decision not to do so based on today’s experience.
I agree with a gated community knowing that it is admitting only authorized people. However, the guard did not ask who I was going to see. He did not have previous notification from the person I was going to see, telling him to expect me. He did not call the residence to see if they were expecting me. Therefore, he provided no security. He didn’t even look at my card to verify that the photo was me.
Supposedly, keeping my card was to insure that I would return their electronic gate card. I prefer not to lose control of items that have inputting information on them, such as passport numbers.
Los Molinos, has a guard gate too, and they record your name when you enter. I have only entered Los Molinos to go to the restaurant. I have also visited the gated community of La Barqueta. You go not get through that gate unless the guard has talked to the owner of the house you are visiting.
Today is the last time I will go to Valle Escondido and give up my identification card. Call it a lack of trust. There is too much identity theft in today’s world.
Well, that is my first rant in 2012. I hope it is the last. I am sure Lilliam does too. Lilliam gets annoyed when I rant.