Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Clear | Lefsetz Letter


Felice hates to wait.

It doesn’t bother me that much. I’m not saying I love the traffic, but I endure it, it’s payment for the privilege to live in SoCal. Then again, I tend not to drive during rush hour.

So we were at DIA last summer and Felice became intrigued by Clear. Funny how I’m not always an early-adopter. We now expect things to work right right out of the box, but I remember the old days, when you never bought a car in its first year and the products you got often didn’t function. And didn’t a company like this already go out of business?

Clear gets you into the airport faster. To be exact, you skip the I.D. check. Go straight to the conveyor belt/scan. It costs a buck seventy five a year. But we got free passes, for a while anyway, Felice saved hers, I threw mine out. I don’t sign up for anything I might cancel, a free trial, FORGET ABOUT IT! Then you’re dunned ad infinitum with e-mails forevermore. As for those people playing the credit card game, signing up and canceling for the miles… Life is too short to play the mileage game. I guess I’m my mother’s son, she’s never used a coupon in her life, saying it isn’t worth the nickel or dime, but I do remember forcing her to save Green Stamps way back when, to paste in the book, when I saw the paltry offerings, I never did this again.

You see you can concentrate on making money or grubbing at the bottom. If you’ve got a travel agent who can cash in your miles for a trip, fantastic, but otherwise it’s a full time job, I feel I’m better off working, trying to make real money.

So I didn’t sign up for Clear and Felice implored me to. Saying she wasn’t gonna wait for me in the airport.

But last summer Clear wasn’t yet in L.A., and usually we fly to EGE, only DIA when the direct flight to Vail ends. But she pushed me and pushed me, saying she had one month free, and I did it.

Actually, I had a problem with the website. Could have been user error. That’s the problem with modern life, you’re doing so much that if you try to do everything you screw up. It’s a full time job paying bills and keeping your enterprise running. In the old days, before everybody worked 24/7, mothers didn’t and they did this. And don’t go all #MeToo on me, I’m just reporting history, which cannot be changed, even though it can be analyzed.

So I e-mailed the customer service guy, the bigwig on the website, and he got back to me right away and helped me. And then I was in.

Until today, when I got to the airport.

They said you had to sign up, go through some mumbo-jumbo to complete the process.

Thank god there was a woman there to help me, although at first there wasn’t and I would have skipped the process accidentally but I asked a question… My father always told us to ask, sometimes it bugs people when I do, sometimes I feel self-conscious, but in this case the operator was away from her station and the clerk pointed her out and she helped me sign up.

Along with the woman next to me.

I need full attention. I get uptight when things get official.

And there were problems with the scans, they just couldn’t get my fingerprints right.

But worse was the iris. The operator told me to skip it, to do it next time, but I was having none of that. This was my one and only time, I didn’t want to wait again.

And then I thought I was done.

But there were questions…

The name and age of my mother. THEY HAD IT! I had to confirm it!

That’s weird.

But then they asked me where I’d gotten mail in the past couple of years other than Santa Monica and I realized they wanted Felice’s address.


As for my fingerprints, I’m not afraid of coughing them up, you have to do this to become an attorney.

But all this other info?

I get it, I get it, Cambridge Analytica used all that data to try and sway people’s opinions, and I’m unswayable, then again, I did believe that fake news during the election saying Trump thought Republicans were stupid, before I realized he was stupid, but the truth is…

The privacy ship has already sailed. We’re living in the future. And I’m still shocked.

Now I thought PreCheck was enough. But it’s not. That’s how life is, just when you climb the rung of one ladder, they put another one up on top. The PreCheck line is getting longer and longer. In this case, I bypassed the TSA agent corroborating identity and ticket and went straight to the conveyor belt and realized…I SAVED SOME TIME!

But at what cost?

Like I said, a buck seventy five. I realized that after the free trial was up I was gonna pay it. For all the b.s. about people not wanting to pay, they do so for convenience, which is why you can still steal music but it’s just easier to pay Spotify, because stealing is time-consuming and problem-ridden.

As for the airport lounge…

That’s now been broken down in two. If you get the black FIRST card, you get a free buffet and no screaming children, at least not today.

But it’s nothing like flying private.


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