This question comes from Chris:
Was it embarrassing having to tell people you work for the TSA? The reason I ask is because I’m thinking of applying to TSA. Thanks!
That’s a hard question to answer, only because there does not exist a font large enough to convey a large enough “yes.” Personally, I am happy that I am no longer a TSA employee, having recently resigned in order to do something that I actually enjoy (as opposed to coming into work and finding out that, for instance, I have to direct toddlers into a nude radiation scanner or else face disciplinary measures).
But yes, having worked at TSA for several years, and having known many TSA employees, I can safely tell you that it is indeed generally embarrassing, especially for people who have the potential to be more in life than a suitcase surgeon (thanks to Avery from San Diego who emailed me the term “suitcase surgeon”).
Imagine for a moment that you’re at a party, and everyone’s asking what everyone else in the room does for a living. Here a doctor, an attorney, a web designer; there an architect, a college professor, a small business owner, and then the question comes to you. There’s no way out of it, no denying it: you pat people’s crotches down every day for a living. This is what your life has come to.
I will tell you, and anyone who works for TSA will tell you (if you ask), that no TSA employee will ever, under any circumstance, claim “the TSA” as an employer to a stranger. Every last one of them claims the Department of Homeland Security as his or her employer, because “the Department of Homeland Security” sounds much more official and potentially respectable than its little red-headed bastard step-child-black-sheep-of-the-national-security-apparatus family, TSA.
Hope that helps,
Send all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org