Meet The 2014 TSA Clerk of the Year

Old Dec 8, 2014, 1:32 pm
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Meet The 2014 TSA Clerk of the Year

No joke -- This is what it takes to win this coveted honor.

She's a SPOTNik, no less. Among her accomplishments:

Officer Mendez, a Master Behavior Detection Officer, spent time this year serving at both Westchester County (HPN) and LaGuardia Airports (LGA).

<snip>

One afternoon when Officer Mendez was working earlier this year, she realized that there would be a need for additional female officers working the late afternoon shift. The airport was expecting an influx of travelers attending a nearby national womans lacrosse tournament, so Officer Mendez proactively approached her manager and offered to stay well beyond her normal 4 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. shift at HPN to assist with the expected increase in passengers. Its not everyone who would offer to work an additional shift after waking up so very early in the morning. But Mendez did.

<snip>

On a chilly February day earlier this year, while on a short break at HPN, Officer Mendez observed that a traveler was upset. She approached the woman who said that she was cold because she had no coat. Officer Mendez hustled outside to the parking lot where she had an extra coat in her car and handed her own personal coat to the woman for warmth. Its not everyone who would offer their coat to a stranger. But Mendez did.

<snip>

On another occasion, she observed an elderly woman in the airport who appeared to be distraught, FSD Ronan explained. Officer Mendez approached the passenger and engaged her in conversation to see if that might help ease her anxiety. The woman was travelling alone and was apprehensive and unsure about the screening process and upcoming flight. Officer Mendez treated the passenger to a comforting cup of coffee and step-by-step stayed with the woman and explained the entire process from airline check-in to checkpoint screening to boarding the aircraft and what would happen during the flight.

<snip>

Last December, just two days before Christmas, during a very busy holiday travel period, Officer Mendez saw the checkpoint line of passengers at HPN had grown in a very short timeframe. Without needing to be directed, she quickly initiated actions to open an additional screening lane, single-handedly gathered additional checkpoint bins and recruited some co-workers who were on break to assist her in opening the additional lane to get the travelers through the screening process, AFSD Iral explained. She took charge of the situation, inserted herself into the middle of the checkpoint to assist passengers divest their items and provided helpful instruction to passengers in terms of what they could do to expedite the screening process. Not every TSA officer would demonstrate such tremendous leadership with their peers.
"provided helpful instruction to passengers in terms of what they could do to expedite the screening process." = carnival barker

If nothing else, I'm glad we found something useful for SPOTNiks to do.
FliesWay2Much is offline  
Old Dec 8, 2014, 2:33 pm
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The first and last items illustrated incompetence in management of her local checkpoint. It's shocking that she didn't get punished for acting above her pay grade, and (by implication) demonstrating that management is unobservant and probably wouldn't recognize an imminent threat if one showed up. If they can't deal with keeping up with local news, or scheduling TSO breaks when the tsunami of holiday passengers is about to hit, it should be necessary for a Spotnik to save the day when her REAL DUTIES are to be looking for threats and not seeking out diversions like unprepared chilly or elderly passengers.
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Old Dec 8, 2014, 4:34 pm
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"handed her own personal coat to the woman "

I have heard of them stealing laptops etc by hiding them under their coat but stealing the whole passenger takes it to a whole new level
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Old Dec 8, 2014, 5:14 pm
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Well, congratulations to TSO Mendez.

Seriously.

It is nice to be recognized as one of the few TSA employees that actually acts like the human being they are supposed to be. All of the things listed are commendable, but really, they are the things most of us do anyway and no one ever knows about it to give us an award. It is just what nice people do for each other.

Snarky rant follows:

The fact that this behavior stands out as commendable actually reflects on the fact that she is different and that most of her colleagues don't give a rats rear end about anyone but themselves and (maybe) their coworkers.
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Old Dec 8, 2014, 8:15 pm
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The fact that some basic common sense is being applauded this way goes to show the bar is set pretty low in expectation of and from staff.

Also a reminder that positive feedback on staff is also a good thing but rarely given.
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Old Dec 8, 2014, 8:57 pm
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+1. And thanks for having the courage to not be snarky.
Originally Posted by InkUnderNails
Well, congratulations to TSO Mendez.

Seriously.

It is nice to be recognized as one of the few TSA employees that actually acts like the human being they are supposed to be. All of the things listed are commendable, but really, they are the things most of us do anyway and no one ever knows about it to give us an award. It is just what nice people do for each other.

Snarky rant follows:

The fact that this behavior stands out as commendable actually reflects on the fact that she is different and that most of her colleagues don't give a rats rear end about anyone but themselves and (maybe) their coworkers.
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Old Dec 9, 2014, 7:27 am
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Good for her!
It's a shame that 1 and 4 are considered "good," but considering TSA culture, they are indeed really impressive.

Even if TSA functioned well and properly, 2 and 3 are still above and beyond.

Congrats!
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Old Dec 9, 2014, 7:33 am
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Originally Posted by FliesWay2Much
"It's not everyone who would stick her hands inside other people's pants. But Mendez did."
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Old Dec 10, 2014, 6:41 pm
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Come on, people. She sounds like a good person. Even if you dislike TSA, give credit where it is due.
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Old Dec 11, 2014, 6:45 am
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Originally Posted by relangford
Come on, people. She sounds like a good person. Even if you dislike TSA, give credit where it is due.
Maybe she is a good person; maybe she is just a person who knows how to "toot their own horn."
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Old Dec 11, 2014, 6:50 am
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Originally Posted by DeafBlonde
Maybe she is a good person; maybe she is just a person who knows how to "toot their own horn."
Does it really pain you so much to give some a congrats, just because said person works for the TSA?
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Old Dec 11, 2014, 3:00 pm
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Originally Posted by joshwex90
Does it really pain you so much to give some a congrats, just because said person works for the TSA?
She has my heartfelt congratulations for winning the award, even though it is only because she knows how to toot her own horn. And it is a good thing she does, too. BDOs have to have something to brag about because they will never, ever, ever be able to "detect" a "teoworwist" by observing their behaviour (just in case one ever does show up at her particular airport).
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Old Dec 12, 2014, 2:39 pm
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Originally Posted by joshwex90
Does it really pain you so much to give some a congrats, just because said person works for the TSA?
It would pain me. They choose to work in a thug-filled operation with poisonous management, erratic and usually test-failing performance, and her own specialty is inadequately trained voodoo science where the practitioners can't even root out fellow clerks who steal from the customers and take bribes to let drugs through checkpoints. A personality flaw that more than makes up for any erratic goodness they might display in a weak moment.
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Old Dec 12, 2014, 3:16 pm
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Originally Posted by TheRoadie
They choose to work in a thug-filled operation with poisonous management, erratic and usually test-failing performance, and her own specialty is inadequately trained voodoo science where the practitioners can't even root out fellow clerks who steal from the customers and take bribes to let drugs through checkpoints. A personality flaw that more than makes up for any erratic goodness they might display in a weak moment.
So I'm assuming your job and your supervisors are absolutely perfect then? You've never been asked to do anything you found objectionable in some way? If so, maybe you wanted to resign. OK. Could you do that tomorrow and still be able to support yourself and any family during the search for your next job?

I'm all for judging the TSA as an organization, just like any other. But on a personal level, we have no idea what this woman's situation is, and she needs and deserves to earn a living like all of us.

I know I've certainly found myself a part of toxic organizations before that were very difficult to escape. Sometimes all you can do is do your level best to change what you can, then clock out and take nothing home with you but the money.
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Old Dec 13, 2014, 6:16 am
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Originally Posted by MusicManSamwise
So I'm assuming your job and your supervisors are absolutely perfect then? You've never been asked to do anything you found objectionable in some way? If so, maybe you wanted to resign. OK. Could you do that tomorrow and still be able to support yourself and any family during the search for your next job?

I'm all for judging the TSA as an organization, just like any other. But on a personal level, we have no idea what this woman's situation is, and she needs and deserves to earn a living like all of us.

I know I've certainly found myself a part of toxic organizations before that were very difficult to escape. Sometimes all you can do is do your level best to change what you can, then clock out and take nothing home with you but the money.
No, you can quit. I did. I have been self-employed for almost 25 years. I do not take jobs at places that require me to do things I consider wrong. I have lost income because of it. However, I can hold my head up and not be embarrassed about anything my work has been.

It is hard to quit. It may cost friends and money to quit. However, sometimes you just have to quit and do something else.
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