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Old Aug 16, 12, 9:13 pm   #1
 
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Rude, lazy, incompetent and too dumb to lie....

accurately describes the a-hole screener I had the displeasure of interacting with today, though very much to my surprise his supervisor actually seemed to care!! Most of the time I find the TSA just annoying but on 2 or 3 occasions someone has done something that made me want to actually complain immediately to their supervisor, this was one of them. Typically they are the one sitting up in the booth thing with 3+ other TSA screeners talking and laughing...you know sucking tax dollars and doing nothing. So it was very much to my surprise today when the guy actually seemed to care that one of his screeners was a being an a-hole.

Here's what happened, only MMW scanners were in use (LAX) and there was a TSA guy standing directly on the other side of the WTMD, pointing people to the MMW, which had a line of 4 people in it. After putting my items on the belt I approached him:
Me: I'm going to opt out
D-bag TSA: (blank stare)
Me: (stares back)
D-bag TSA: I don't do that.
Me: huh?
D-bag TSA: stand over there (points to line for MMW)
Me: but I'm opting out
D-bag TSA: yeah I don't do that
(now I didn't expect him to do the pat down, what I expected was for him to slightly turn his head and call out: "Male assist" as is always been the case)
Me: I get that but don't you need to call someone
D-bag TSA: I don't do that
Me (getting somewhat annoyed at this point): so what do you do?
D-bag TSA: I stand here.
Me (trying real hard not to share my true feelings at this point): ok can you find someone who does things then?
D-bag TSA: (blank stare)

about 20 seconds later another screener comes over and I tell him I'm opting out, he apparently can say the magic words: "Male Assist" and rather quickly a screener comes over, I get through, get my pat down but I'm far from done with this idiot so I march over to the little supervisor area and ask to speak to whomever is in charge.

He actually comes down, asks me what happened I explain the screener was being rude, dismissive and apparently thinks his whole job was to "stand here", he asks me who it was and I point over to the guy (which was easy since he was still standing right where he was the whole time...which apparently in his mind constituted 100% of his job responsibilities), he had a pad of paper and took down notes of what I described, turned to the guy next to him and asked his to "tap out" Captain Standing Here. While I'm waiting there Captain Standing comes over and the supervisor asks him what happened, to my shock he tells him: he wanted to opt out, I told him I don't do that, I was standing blocking the WTMD. The supervisor got this look on his face like AYFKM, rolled his eyes, turned to me, apologized and said "I'll take care of it". Now who knows if Captain Standing will actually be disciplined, but it did seem like the supervisor was both interested in being helpful and recognized this guy was being a giant douche, so here's hoping he does.
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Old Aug 16, 12, 9:27 pm   #2
 
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I wonder if he was a BDO and not "responsible" for saying male assist.
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Old Aug 16, 12, 10:12 pm   #3
 
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My guess is that the supervisor cared because that's an obvious violation of their policy, or it can be interpeted as such.
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Old Aug 16, 12, 10:16 pm   #4
 
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Originally Posted by felipegarcia View Post
My guess is that the supervisor cared because that's an obvious violation of their policy, or it can be interpeted as such.
well my previous attempt to point out an obvious violation of policy at another airport was met with: "the cards are over there" (points to box with cards) and the resumption of the discussion about weekend plans. Thus my surprise.
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Old Aug 16, 12, 10:16 pm   #5
 
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I think I would have assisted by yelling "I need a male assist and a supervisor immediately" in my loudest possible voice myself.
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Old Aug 16, 12, 10:20 pm   #6
 
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OP, I can only imagine the look on your face when he said, "I don't do that" to you. I have this thought in my head of you responding to him, saying, "Well, I don't do THAT" and gesturing to the scanner. You two could have volleyed the "I don't do that" line back and forth all day! I'm glad the supervisor apologized and seemed to get it. You handled this situation much better than I think I would have.
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Old Aug 16, 12, 10:21 pm   #7
 
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Originally Posted by cynicAAl View Post
I think I would have assisted by yelling "I need a male assist and a supervisor immediately" in my loudest possible voice myself.
I was only a couple seconds away from doing just that, well not the supervisor part but the "Male Assist" part, when the other screener showed up and thankfully unlike Captain Standing Here he was not only capable of handling that task but will also willing to do so.
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Old Aug 16, 12, 10:27 pm   #8
 
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Originally Posted by youreadyfreddie View Post
OP, I can only imagine the look on your face when he said, "I don't do that" to you. I have this thought in my head of you responding to him, saying, "Well, I don't do THAT" and gesturing to the scanner. You two could have volleyed the "I don't do that" line back and forth all day! I'm glad the supervisor apologized and seemed to get it. You handled this situation much better than I think I would have.
yeah I am sure I was sporting quite the facial expression. It took great restraint not to tell him off but I figured if I had then he would have just claimed I was being "disruptive" or some other nonsense. Even now I'm still surprised, and find it rather sad and hilarious all at the same time, that he didn't try to make up some BS claim and just told the sup exactly what he did. Its like he really thought it was what he was supposed to do.
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Old Aug 16, 12, 10:33 pm   #9
 
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As much as it's hard for the bulk of the folks who frequent this forum to admit, there *are* actually some good apples in the TSA who care. Glad that this STSO appears to be one of them, and kudos to the OP for keeping a level head and properly addressing the issue.
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Old Aug 16, 12, 10:40 pm   #10
 
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Originally Posted by cynicAAl View Post
I think I would have assisted by yelling "I need a male assist and a supervisor immediately" in my loudest possible voice myself.
I found out the hard way that they don't like you calling for your own assist... there was a line at the xray entrance so I asked the TSO directing people through the NOS to preemptively get an assist and he refused, so I did it myself. f-ing chaos ensued.
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Old Aug 16, 12, 10:44 pm   #11
 
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Originally Posted by avsfan733 View Post
I found out the hard way that they don't like you calling for your own assist... there was a line at the xray entrance so I asked the TSO directing people through the NOS to preemptively get an assist and he refused, so I did it myself. f-ing chaos ensued.
haha please do elaborate on said chaos
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Old Aug 16, 12, 10:52 pm   #12
 
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Originally Posted by UshuaiaHammerfest View Post
As much as it's hard for the bulk of the folks who frequent this forum to admit, there *are* actually some good apples in the TSA who care. Glad that this STSO appears to be one of them, and kudos to the OP for keeping a level head and properly addressing the issue.
while you are right from a factual perspective, here are my thoughts on the issue...

The entire reason that we have to go through the absurdities the TSA forces on us is because of 'a few bad apples'. We call them terrorists, and they in reality are worse than the TSA, but at the core (pun intended) they really are just bad apples within the defined group of society. Yet here we are with the TSA's bad apples and being asked to just ignore them because there are good apples to.

I am a good apple of society. If we use the logic that the mere existence of good apples in anyway excuses the bad apples, than my existence in society proves that we don't need the TSA if we apply the same logic. Airport security exists because there are bad apples in society. We need to run it on the assumption that there are bad apples in the TSA.
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Old Aug 16, 12, 11:04 pm   #13
 
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haha please do elaborate on said chaos
Yelled at, supervisor, threatened to call police, just basically standard threatening...but before that, the whole place just stopped. I unintentionally yelled way louder than necessary or they didn't recognize the voice or something. Everyone stopped...the supervisor basically materialized and I had a very thorough patdown and very thorough luggage search. I have a lot of good PHX stories. Unfortunately, the new job usually has me flying out on a flight that gets me to my destination within about 4 hrs of meetings instead of the day before so the shenanigans have died down a little. But there was the time I started taking photos and they followed me for like half an hour.
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Old Aug 17, 12, 12:15 am   #14
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I have the same issue at our local Walgreen's

Some clerks are extremely loathe to call out the magic Walgreen's phrase "I see three" when the line becomes more than 3. SO I have taken to calling out myself if the line gets too long "I see three."

Needless to say the staff doesn't like it but i get into nowhere near as much trouble as I would by calling out "male assist" at the airport.
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Old Aug 17, 12, 12:23 am   #15
 
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Originally Posted by avsfan733 View Post
while you are right from a factual perspective, here are my thoughts on the issue...

The entire reason that we have to go through the absurdities the TSA forces on us is because of 'a few bad apples'. We call them terrorists, and they in reality are worse than the TSA, but at the core (pun intended) they really are just bad apples within the defined group of society. Yet here we are with the TSA's bad apples and being asked to just ignore them because there are good apples to.

I am a good apple of society. If we use the logic that the mere existence of good apples in anyway excuses the bad apples, than my existence in society proves that we don't need the TSA if we apply the same logic. Airport security exists because there are bad apples in society. We need to run it on the assumption that there are bad apples in the TSA.
Not sure I understand your point. The TSA has an interview process that one must pass in order to become a member. Society does not. One can be fired from the TSA by a single individual (called a boss). One cannot be so easily fired from society. (ETA: Multiple posters have already pointed out it's very hard to be fired from federal employment. Still, it's easier than being fired from society, and the decision is ultimately made by a single person, even if that person is not the individual's day to day supervisor.)

(And of course the good apples don't excuse the bad apples. Bad apples should always be weeded out of any organization whose job is to serve the public. I also don't think we're going to get there as long as anyone claims that 100% of TSA's employees are bad apples.)

Last edited by UshuaiaHammerfest; Aug 18, 12 at 7:12 pm..
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