Here is my response to this anonymous TSA security mook who decided to lecture us on how we should act when we enter their little kingdoms.
We’re sorry you have this job, but we didn’t actually force you to take it. We have no more sympathy for you than we do for the clerk at the DMV. To us, you are a faceless bureaucrat, the living embodiment of a government agency we thoroughly resent. You do not make our lives easier. You do not make us feel safer. You inconvenience us with ridiculous regulations and make few attempts to engage us in a way that makes us feel like anything but nascent terrorists at worst and nuisances to your terribly busy day at best. It is none of your business if we carry a sex toy in our carry-on bag or if we dress like Rahab the Harlot or if we argue with our spouse the whole time we’re standing in line. You do not have the right to lecture us as if any of these things were your concern and when we see or hear you belittling us when you think no one is paying attention you remind us of just how big a pain in the ass you are to us.
I know this is tough for for your poor, put-upon self to understand, but people might just resent having their lower intestines plumbed by someone with all the enthusiasm and sensitivity of a 3 year old trying to win a teddy bear from a claw game at Chuck E. Cheese for the privelege of seeing Grandma on Thanksgiving Day. You say that flying is not a right and you’ll certainly get no disagreement from me. Flying is a business and when your agency interposed itself between us and the airlines, you became part of the business arrangement. We are going to treat you just like we’d treat the attitude-laden hipster with the pierced nose at Starbucks who dumps a load of attitude on us. We do not exist for your convenience but the other way around and if you can’t remember that, we’ll have no problem running our complaints to your boss or your bosses’ boss just like we would at Starbucks. Do you really want to pick that fight with the flying public this close to the busiest traveling time of the year?
Here’s the deal. You are not allowed to yuk it up about what we carry in our bags, or how we dress, or what we say to our children ever. You remain polite and professional because that is your job and if you can’t manage that, then go find another one better suited to your lack of impulse control.
We’re not asking you to play Officer Happy all day long. We are telling you, in ways subtle and overt, that you serve us and not the other way around. Would a little commiseration kill you? Would it be that much an inconvenience to keep a few cheap lollipops around to give the kids who feel just a little bit uneasy that you’re groping Mommy in a way they never even see Daddy do?
I’ll let you in on a little secret or two. If you acted like you understood how much the routines you must put us though degrade us, then we wouldn’t see you as an unthinking, uncaring tool of the know-nothing bureaucrats who created those routines. If you learned a sense of humor, figured out how to laugh with us and not at us, you’d find that we all are more than wiling to cut you some slack. A small amount of pleasantness can go a very long way toward making all our lives easier. You deal with the public all day. Empathy and social skills are cheap; invest in some.
If you can’t, I’m sure they have openings at Starbucks.
Category: The Rise of the Nanny State