Go Around

I once read an interesting “true crime” story about thieves that wanted to rob a particular hotel room. Apparently there was someone very wealthy staying in that room, with a large assortment of valuable things like jewelry, and the thieves wanted to get at it. This being a high-class hotel, the security was very good – all the doors were basically unbreakable and had all sorts of high-tech locking mechanisms and such. There was virtually no way to bypass these doors.

Except… to bypass them. Entirely.

The thieves just booked the adjacent room under a false name and cut through the drywall. Because that’s all it was: ordinary drywall, the same as would be between any two rooms that aren’t bank vaults.

I often see problems of this nature absolutely confound people. Even very smart people. Because society in general does a good job of herding us towards the doors. But if a particular door is incredibly secure – locked, bolted, sealed, onerous – then maybe look at going through the wall.

A classic example I see a lot in my line of work is submitting a job application. People are often nervous about everything from applicant tracking systems and keyword filters and hiring manager bias and competition and all those other barriers. But those are locks on the door. That machine is horrible – I’ve lived in it for years and years. Skip the door. Go through the wall, the window, the skylight.

That can mean a lot of things. In one instance an old client of mine just found out who the head of the department he wanted to work for was, recorded a video of himself making a pitch for the job, and then sent that video on a USB drive via FedEx direct to the manager at his desk. The manager had to sign for the package, which contained a USB drive and a hand-written letter from the applicant explaining why he sent it. The manager watched the video and hired the man the next day.

That’s going through the wall.

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