Do you find yourself receiving service that falls short of your
expectations? It may be the bored bank teller who performs her
duties with the speed of a tai-chi expert. It could be that disaffected
youth behind the counter at Starbucks who rolls his eyes in a manner you
haven't seen since you left Junior High. It might be the shop clerk who
can't understand a thing you say, reducing you to gesturing like a
thrashing squid. Some days it seems as though there must be some sort of
covert operation to make your life a living hell. If you have ever
found yourself feeling this way -- close, but no cigar.
You're probably not aware that the secret service budgets of the world's
nations have been rising steadily since the end of the cold war. Spy
agencies are being used like the National Conservation Corps during the
Great Depression: nations hurting in our global economic slump are
employing their jobless with money from their secret service budget. In
Tonga, for example, all persons not employed by the nation's gutsy
domain name sales program are employed by the Tonganese Secret Service.
With thousands of new spies swelling the ranks in recent years new
assignments must be found for them.
Suddenly foreign nations are
monitoring things they never would have bothered with a decade ago.
They gather intelligence on personalized license plates, per capita
spinach consumption, and the revolutionary science of coffee ground
disposal using their network of spies all around you.
So the next time your meal takes 45 minutes to reach your table or the
paperboy skips your house, it's not incompetence, it's an undercover
agent on an important mission. Cut them some slack. Their job is
international espionage, their training is minimal, and being courteous
to you is just their cover.