I always try to be a bit of an a$$hole to the TSA “officers” because it would be disingenous to “thank” them for doing things I think are bad. But I’m also a sucker for genuine niceness. The first TSA lady who asked for my government ID, albeit quite odd-looking, was authentically friendly, and I then couldn’t resist telling her something along the lines of “enjoy your day.”
In retrospect, I feel she was there to butter me up for the horrorshow to come. After removing my belt, shoes, laptop, and pockets, I proceeded to walk through the screeners. A morbidly obese TSA guy standing by the X-Ray machine mumbled something to me in unclear diction. I continued to walk towards him, and he repeated his command, this time in a clear manner and more threatening tone. “Again, let go of everything you’re holding, and don’t make me repeat this again” (I was holding my bording passes in my hand at the time).
Mistaking my inability to understand his unclear speech for insolence, the big load then proceeded to “frisk” me. It was insulting and invasive. It felt like he enjoyed it simply because he had power over me. In any case, he knew I couldn’t question his attitude and antics, as I’d risk missing my flight.
Even after I got through screening, the nightmare hadn’t ended. The guy by my gate’s check-in area announced that as a “surprise” the TSA screeners would be randomly checking our bags again prior to boarding. And yes — you guessed it — I was one of those people lucky enough to be searched! I watched as a bossy agent rummaged through my shirts and underwear. Her condescending tone and need to pontificate about ridiculous government laws on luggage safety made things even worse.
Undoubtedly, all of this was horrible and monstrous. But it can only be prevented in the future through continued opposition to the TSA.Published in