What a pain in the ash the Transportation Security Administration has become, if this story is indeed true — but should we automatically jump to conclusions?
An Indianapolis man who was transporting home the ashes of his grandfather in a tightly sealed jar with “Human Remains” imprinted on it was irritated when a Transportation Security Administration agent allegedly accidentally spilled the ashes all over the floor of the airport security checkpoint in Orlando after opening the jar and sifting through it with her finger, despite being clearly informed of the contents of the jar prior to the incident.
However, instead of apologizing profusely to the man for what had happened — even though she is supposedly required to pass a container with human remains through the X-ray machine instead of handling it herself — she instead reportedly laughed as the increasingly infuriated passenger scrambled to collect as much of the remains of his grandfather as possible.
Look — I realize anyone can make a mistake. What this Transportation Security Administration agent allegedly did was heartless, in my opinion — and I certainly do not defend her actions in any way, shape or form. However, I am going to play Devil’s Advocate here.
I remember going home on the New York State Thruway years ago with a friend and our girlfriends at the time. Due to an injury sustained by my friend, I drove my car while my girlfriend drove the other. She drove my friend’s car recklessly, including excessively speeding to a point where my friend and I could no longer could see her. When we finally stopped at a rest stop, I scolded her but good — and I do not anger easily. She started laughing at me as a response, which only angered me even more. After later apologizing to me profusely, she then explained to me that that laugh was a “nervous” laugh and that she could not help herself.
I personally do not understand “nervous” laughter, as I do not do it myself. However, I have seen others laugh nervously at situations when they are stressed or in trouble. I am certainly no psychiatrist by any means nor do I have professional credentials to back up what I am about to say, but I will bet that the Transportation Security Administration agent laughed a “nervous” laugh. I personally cannot believe or logically conclude that someone would find the accidental dumping of the ashes of a human being funny or comedic in any way — especially if the person laughing is the one who caused the incident.
Should the Transportation Security Administration agent be fired for what happened? If the laugh was indeed a “nervous” laugh, I am not sure — but she does need to be severely admonished at the very least for causing an unfortunate and callous incident that could very easily have been avoided.
What do you think?