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Arriving at Orlando International Airport this morning, I finally got around to getting my biometrics done for CLEAR. Ironic, considering what happened right after. Hopefully, when I get the card in the mail, this idiocy won’t happen again.
Getting on line to go through security, there are two lines. I pick one at random, which winds up wrapping around a pole, then joining the other line. In essence, the barricade separating the two lines is pointless. I point this out very nicely to a TSA drone, who I’d late find out was named JD.
“So, um, both of these go to the same place, right? Why have the barrier, then?”
“Sir, it just is that way. Please hand me your ticket.”
Next thing I know, she’s written the dreaded SSSS on it.
Honest to God, that’s ALL I asked. I was polite, I wasn’t rude, I even smiled!
But now, I was PISSED. “You singled me out because I asked you a question about the lines?”
“Yes, I did.”
“Well, you’ve definitely shown me. You’re about to waste a ton of resources for the at LEAST four people who now have to search my luggage and anal probe me. Are you happy with yourself?”
“Yes I am, sir. Walk down this aisle, please.”
Getting to the Anal-Probe area, I endured a surprisingly quick pat down, then chatted with some really shockingly nice TSA people. I asked one of them what the deal was.
“Does she do this often to people who ask questions,” I asked.
“Yes. She does. Look at her,” said the TSA official. “Does she look like she gets to talk to guys a lot other than at her job?”
Ha! I laughed out loud at that one. The TSA official who was, by this point, done searching my bag, handed everything back, and actually apologized for JD’s abuse of power.
I walked over to the supervisor, who gave me a comment card, and as I was putting it away, the one who searched me came over and asked to see my boarding pass. He showed it to the supervisor, and noted that she wrote “SSSS” on her own, and didn’t fill out the required form. Apparently, when a TSA employee (not the airline) selects you, they’re supposed to fill out a quick form explaining why. This, the supervisor said, is to prevent that exact abuse of power that JD showed. Apparently, that kind of abuse of power isn’t too popular, which I guess is a good thing. Or, it could be, (as one of the TSA people whispered to me,) simply because JD is just a bitch.
I was told that JD would be talked to and potentially reprimanded. who knows whether it will happen, but it gives me a small measure of satisfaction.
You know, the extra search wasn’t that offensive to me. What really pissed me off was the fact that she did it simply because she didn’t like that I asked her a question. That to me, is the ultimate abuse of power. And if we continue to just accept it, why should it end there?
Think about it – I just paid $99 for a year, on a recurring yearly basis, to get through security faster.
Excuse me? Think about it: I paid money to get through security, an act that used to just… well… be something you did.
Are we safer? I doubt it. Is JD sending my sneakers to be sniffed simply because she has a stick up her ass preventing any planes from being blown up? No. Yet, we’re simply OK with it. This morning on CNN, there’s a story of a woman who went to a courthouse in Boise, Idaho, and was told to take off her underwire bra in front of security, or she wouldn’t be allowed in.
I guess I’m wondering when and if it’s ever going to end? Or is it just going to get worse and worse, and we’ll just keep having our rights chipped away, and we’ll just be all like, “Oh, well” about it.
I’m usually pretty chill about these things. Cameras in the streets? Who cares. You need me to strip to my underwear to get on a plane? It’s pointless, and does absolutely nothing but waste money, cause more bureaucracy, and doesn’t make us safer in the slightest. But fine – I’ll do it if I can make my flight.
But when the power is there just to be power? That’s an issue. Because then it gets worse – what if it’s because I’m Jewish? Or because he’s Black? Or because she has a tattoo? We’ve already heard stories about TSA officials selecting “hot” women for special screening, and if you haven’t read the Kip Hawley is an idiot story, I strongly recommend it.
So yeah… A little disconcerting. Thanks, JD. Hope you got off on this.