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Old Mar 27, 12, 6:46 pm   #1
 
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Shocking behavior at JFK Term 4 Immigrations

Flew in from Amsterdam on Saturday afternoon on Delta and we came in to Terminal 4. I'd never done that before on an international arrival and the initial appearance was much more welcoming than the usual dungeon atmosphere at Terminal 3.

The immigration lines were incredibly long, which it seems is the norm these days. After about a 35 minute wait, I was finally at the short line in front of each agent's station. As I was waiting, I noticed a Border Agent about two stations down, suddenly close her station, and then come over to the agent that was at the station I was waiting.

She proceeded to berate him in an incredibly loud voice, something along the lines of "How considerate of you to sign my name when I wasn't even there. Nice to know you're looking out for me." She said more than that and in a clearly sarcastic tone. Meanwhile the agent had passengers in front of him and they all looked at this "crazy lady" in shock. To think she was also armed!

When she finished, she went back to her station, called over the next passenger to process, and as she was doing that, another agent came over to her station and the woman agent ignored the passengers in front of her and started venting at the agent who came to her station. Finally, after several minutes, she turned to her passengers, apologized, and then began processing them for entry.

I still can't believe what I saw and how this whole thing played out. If I were the passenger who was being processed while she came over to yell at "my" agent, I really don't know how I would have reacted. I think I would have been as shocked as the agent was who was being yelled at!
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Old Mar 28, 12, 12:44 pm   #2
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Perhaps she had good reasons to be upset at one of her colleagues, but the appropriate way to deal with that is to escalate up the management chain or take it to the relevant OIG if satisfactory resolution to the issue doesn't occur. I'd stay out of it as a passenger and just hope no shoot-out occurs. [DHS employees shooting at one another has occurred before.]
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Old Apr 5, 12, 2:28 am   #3
 
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Don't forget the team supervisor or area manager

If something is going on at an immigration, customs, security or similar work area where staff are behaving like what happened in JFK, I would suggest that you talk to the team supervisor for that checkpoint airea. about what was going on. Similarly, if a staff member went out of their way to help you, I would let the team supervisor know.

The team supervisor's job is to know what is going on in that area with the team they are responsible for; and should not be forgotten about. Similarly, the managing officer who is responsible for the airport / terminal should not be forgotten about.

With regards,

Simon Mackay
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Old Apr 6, 12, 6:41 pm   #4
 
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Behavior like this should never happen in front of passengers. It's unprofessional and embarrassing. In addition to resolving the issue with a supervisor, it has always been reminded that such confrontations should be done behind the scenes. However, it's bound to happen.
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Old May 1, 12, 1:20 pm   #5
 
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Originally Posted by scott523 View Post
Behavior like this should never happen in front of passengers. It's unprofessional and embarrassing.

Professional, Immigrations and JFK should never be used in the same sentence.
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Old May 2, 12, 4:22 pm   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonMackay View Post
If something is going on at an immigration, customs, security or similar work area where staff are behaving like what happened in JFK, I would suggest that you talk to the team supervisor for that checkpoint airea. about what was going on. Similarly, if a staff member went out of their way to help you, I would let the team supervisor know.

The team supervisor's job is to know what is going on in that area with the team they are responsible for; and should not be forgotten about. Similarly, the managing officer who is responsible for the airport / terminal should not be forgotten about.

With regards,

Simon Mackay
Welcome to FT!

And thanks for the advice. How would one go about locating or escalating to a team supervisor?
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Old May 2, 12, 5:13 pm   #7
 
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Originally Posted by tonypct View Post
Flew in from Amsterdam on Saturday afternoon on Delta and we came in to Terminal 4. I'd never done that before on an international arrival and the initial appearance was much more welcoming than the usual dungeon atmosphere at Terminal 3.

The immigration lines were incredibly long, which it seems is the norm these days. After about a 35 minute wait, I was finally at the short line in front of each agent's station. As I was waiting, I noticed a Border Agent about two stations down, suddenly close her station, and then come over to the agent that was at the station I was waiting.

She proceeded to berate him in an incredibly loud voice, something along the lines of "How considerate of you to sign my name when I wasn't even there. Nice to know you're looking out for me." She said more than that and in a clearly sarcastic tone. Meanwhile the agent had passengers in front of him and they all looked at this "crazy lady" in shock. To think she was also armed!When she finished, she went back to her station, called over the next passenger to process, and as she was doing that, another agent came over to her station and the woman agent ignored the passengers in front of her and started venting at the agent who came to her station. Finally, after several minutes, she turned to her passengers, apologized, and then began processing them for entry.

I still can't believe what I saw and how this whole thing played out. If I were the passenger who was being processed while she came over to yell at "my" agent, I really don't know how I would have reacted. I think I would have been as shocked as the agent was who was being yelled at!
And this is relevant how?

Seems like a mild workplace dispute between collegues. Out of the ordinary, yes. Shocking and disturbing? Hardly.
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Old May 8, 12, 2:53 am   #8
 
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Originally Posted by gobluetwo View Post
Welcome to FT!

And thanks for the advice. How would one go about locating or escalating to a team supervisor?
Firstly, I would ask to see the supervisor or for the location of the supervisor's office.

Another way would be to look for a staff member who may not be at the work stations but who may be at a desk or table near the security / customes / immigration area and doing some "office-type" homework like looking over papers like spreadsheets or forms; or simply roaming around the area. Also look for offices that are near the area concerned and knock on the door of one of those offices.

Last edited by SimonMackay; May 16, 12 at 8:35 pm. Reason: Semantic editing
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Old May 9, 12, 8:50 am   #9
 
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Originally Posted by CBear View Post
And this is relevant how?

Seems like a mild workplace dispute between collegues. Out of the ordinary, yes. Shocking and disturbing? Hardly.
I was just about to say the same thing.

The OP's experience was almost identical to what I saw a couple of months
ago.... at the local DMV.
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Old May 9, 12, 1:42 pm   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonMackay View Post
Firstly, I would ask to see the supervisor or for the location of the supervisor's office.

Another way would be to look for a staff member who may not be at the work stations but who may be at a desk or table near the security / customes / immigration area and looking over papers like spreadsheets or forms; or simply roaming around the area. Also look for offices that are near the area concerned and knock on the door of one of those offices.
Or you could just mind your own business and carry on with your life.
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