“You oughta get better locks around here if you don’t want people taking your private information, Mr. Squirl. It’s up to you to do something preventive….”

“Mr. Mercer, I’m Jack Squirl, President of Data Miner Servicing, y’ know, ‘Servicing You With a Smile.’ Our security guard detained you one hour ago, and we are holding you here pending the arrival of the police. Would you mind telling us what you were doing in our office at 5 a.m.?”

“Well, Mr. Squirl, I was trolling the back alley and found a security flaw in your rear door, so I let myself in and made myself at home.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“No one was blocking the door, so I assumed it was okay to walk in. Nice place.”

“What were you doing in here?”

“Oh, that. Well, I found a paper clip on your secretary’s desk, so I picked the lock on your file cabinets, went through all your documents, made copies of the ones that looked interesting, and put the copies in my briefcase to sell to the public. Don’t worry, I put all the originals back in the files. Nothing’s missing, no harm done.”

“You copied our documents?”

“Sure. Went through your secretary’s drawers and found a love letter you wrote her. I didn’t figure anyone would want that, but I copied it just in case. Your computer was logged on, so I downloaded a bunch of confidential looking stuff, valuable stuff, copied it, and put it my briefcase. I only did it for YOUR benefit, so I can offer you products and services that might be of interest to you.”

“Is that all?”

“Oh, no. I picked the lock on the door of your private office. Y’ know, ‘Your privacy is important to us!’ Ha! You oughta get better locks around here if you don’t want people taking your private information, Mr. Squirl. It’s up to you to do something preventive if you want to keep guys like me from rummaging around.”
“Uh, did you find anything in my office of, uh, interest to you?”

“Mmm, yeah, some pictures that your wife would be interested in. I’m guessing they are of you with your arms around your secretary.” 

“Where are those pictures?”

“They’re on Facebook now. I texted your wife with the link if you’d like to browse them with her. Her number was on your desktop.”

“Mr. Mercer, what you’ve done here is burglary. It is a felony. We will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law. And I want that briefcase.”

“Well now Mr. Squirl, how come when I do it to you it’s called ‘burglary,’ and when you do it to me it’s called ‘data mining’? You people should come up with more honest names for your companies. Maybe “DataTheftClicker.” Or “NimbleFingers.” Or “WindowsPeeper.” I can’t see any difference between what I’m going to jail for and what you do legally and make a fortune. Oh, there is one difference. I have some pictures on my own computer of my girlfriend, too. But unlike the pics in your office, my woman has all her clothes on. Explain that to the cops. See ya later, Squirl. I’m headed next door to lift some wallets at the credit card company. Oh, and don’t forget to Like me on Facebook!”  

My new blog will take a fresh and often controversial look at a number of mental health, religious, and relationship issues, and power abuse issues. You can check it out at http://MarkMercer.blogspot.com. You will find a version of many of my posts here first on BloggerNews.

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