TSA Agents Face Abuse, Angry Travelers Vow to Disrupt Travel
As Paranoia stated in last weeks' Paranoid Guide to Better Living, the whole mess with the new security measures in airports is just getting started. While mentioning that, Paranoia also called for a revolution - change is needed now before change becomes the norm and we all blindly accept it.
While the anger among the public has grown, people have begun lashing out already. One man stripped down to his tidy whiteys to protest the pat-down, other passengers have become verbally abusive to the TSA Agents, and still others have promised a protest that is objectively supposed to interfere with travel on the busiest travel day of the year, the day before Thanksgiving.
There are two separate issues here. The first is the TSA Agents. While I have made fun of them in the past for their general demeanor and apparent intelligence, and I stand by that, they are simply following orders. I'm not saying they are too stupid to assess a situation and think on their feet (while I'm guessing many are), I'm saying they aren't allowed. They have a job to do, they have a checklist and they have no choice in the matter.
Sure, some of them are surly or thick-skulled assholes, but most are just like the rest of us. They are frustrated, they are over-worked and like the traveler in front of them, they want to get through the process as quickly as possible. This makes for a very stressful situation when both parties, the traveler and the TSA agent, are impatient and pissed off.
That does not defend the decision of the Government and the TSA as a whole. We just have to realize that there is a difference between the TSA Agent (or TSO - Transportation Security Officer) and the TSA as an agency. As stated by Sharon Pinnock, the TSA union's director of membership and organization;
"Our concern is that the public not confuse the people implementing the policies with the people who developed the policies."
Some TSO workers have left very poignant comments on the blog of Steven Frischling, an aviation and security blogger.
“Molester, pervert, disgusting, an embarrassment, creep. These are all words I have heard today at work describing me. ...These comments are painful and demoralizing.”Continued on the next page