Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I agree they are getting more aggressive - aggressive with the people they are supposed to protect.

I've had run-ins with the TSA before (and another thing about that encounter).

I had another discussion with them this week. My daughter was sick when we left Knoxville for the happiest place on earth, so we had her digital thermometer in a carry-on. No issues when going through security in Knoxville - in fact, we got to go through the metal detector instead of the cancer machine. Win!

On the return, my wife and daughter got to go through the metal detector, so I asked if I could go through, too. Surprisingly, they let me. No fuss. So far, so good. (In fact, on the way to Orlando, I got to meet Jessie Godderz of Big Brother fame aka Mr. PEC-Tacular.)

However, the aforementioned digital thermometer got flagged in the x-ray machine because it had a nine volt battery in it. They asked whose bag it was, so I pointed to the three year old. The TSA agent took the backpack to a metal table to do the search. He asked if there was a battery in the bag. We said yes and that it was in a digital thermometer. He could not find said thermometer in the bag and my wife kept reaching to help him. This seemed to annoy him as we were not supposed to touch the bag.

During the search, I don't remember what he said, but something set me off, so I started my usual speech about my tax dollars at work and security theater. This really got his knickers in a knot. After finally finding the "hidden" thermometer, he took the bag to be re-scanned. While he was there, he must have asked for a supervisor to talk with the grumpy old white man.

The supervisor asked me if I had a problem with them searching my bag. I said I had a problem with the inconsistency - that the thermometer had not been a problem at the other airport. She said I should be glad that they found it here to keep me safe. What?!?! I should be glad you found a thermometer?!?! These people have no concept that false-positives are a bad thing, too. She was quite aggressive in her tone and insisted that I was in the wrong.

My wife got nervous and asked me to drop it.

The original agent held out the bag to me, but would not let go. I truly believe that he was hoping I would jerk it out of his hand, so that they could give me an even harder time. Finally, he let go and we moved on to our flight.

I cannot believe so many people are happy with the TSA as stated in the first link of this post. Security theater is better than reality.

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