January 17, 2004

Personal questions

Last week I had to do the interview for my security clearance update, which is routinely done every five years or so. The Special Agent came to my place of work at the time agreed on, and we sat down so she could conduct the interview.

These interviews start off with about five minutes of "Privacy Act..." and "Civil Code..." and "You can..." and "If you so desire...", accompanied by much form signing and reading of paperwork.

Then comes the personal questions. Most of it is just verifying that what you told them on your paperwork is correct, and asking for certain amplifications to an answer here and there. It's the price you pay for the clearance, and in this neck of the woods, the clearance is worth extra bucks on your resume.

After a standard series of questions about "illegal substance" use, I asked the agent whether anyone still answered with "I didn't inhale". She laughed and said that she had never had anyone use that line.

I told her about my last interview, when asked if I ever smoked marijuana that I had replied "I suppose the politically correct answer is: I didn't inhale". That agent wasn't amused, so I quickly revised my answer to a simple 'no'.

The interview was easy, because I'm boring. The agent said that for this purpose, that's a good thing.

In the next month or two, the neighbors will tell me about being visited by an agent asking questions about me. Personal privacy is a relative thing.

Posted by Ted at January 17, 2004 08:09 AM | TrackBack

We recently had the FBI knock on our door as part of this process. When it is done, buy your neighbors a decent bottle of wine or something. The first few moments between when the person identifies themselves as FBI and when they explain why they rang your doorbell are sheer hell. It is amazing how quickly you can do an assessment of the last 10 years of your life to try to guess what brought the feds the door.

Posted by: StMack at January 17, 2004 03:13 PM

I tried marijuana once. Either I'm allergic or it aggravated my allegies and I had an asthma attack. That was enough.


Posted by: Wince and Nod at January 18, 2004 05:11 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Site Meter