I worked for TSA in San Jose for 3 years and have since moved on to a career I enjoy in another branch of DHS, but it can’t be said enough that you are dead on balls accurate on everything, down the line, from the Rapiscan AIT to the utter absurdity of the TSA uniform system. I’m particularly impressed with the fact that you managed to get the message across about those disgraceful wastes of taxpayer money without violating any of the various Federal Regulations regarding information detrimental to TSA. Well done.
In response to one issue I’ve seen on your blog: I worked with a GED screener in San Jose who defied all expectations of a person with a GED. He was a textbook match for your “good” TSA Screener. He was also one of the most articulate, intelligent, and thoughtful people I’ve met. One of the ways I would entertain myself at that banal job was to get another “good” screener to start advocating regressive tax systems in the presence of the previously mentioned GED screener. The ensuing debates were more entertaining, informed, and high minded than any held between Governor Romney and President Obama. I’m sorry to say that last I spoke with him he was on to a better paying, theoretically more intelligently executed job as a TSA K9 handler. That GED was a real weight on his neck when he tried to advance in his career…
That’s the first part of B’s letter, and thanks, B.
I’m glad that the GED-screener you knew was better than the one I knew (the girl who thought that Kazakhstan was the capital of Afghanistan).
I especially love the second part of your letter; your proposed additions to the Insider’s TSA Dictionary. Now, prepare yourselves, readers, because B. has blessed us with two mighty fine (possibly disturbing, depending how you look at it) new entries to The Insider’s TSA Dictionary.
…I’ll finish with two suggests for the dictionary:
“Splitting the upright”: Developed after the introduction of enhanced patdowns, refers to a screener’s hand coming off the leg during the search of the upper inner thigh and striking between the genitals, usually testicles, of the unfortunate victim, rather than remaining in contact with the leg until meeting resistance.
This was a joke my circle at the airport told as a possible retaliation toward those few traveler who came in determined to get in a fight with us. I never did it. I never saw it done. I can’t say it never happened.
“Spooging”: AKA a Fhaw (refers to the best onomatopoetical description) a traveler becomes frustrated with absurdity of TSA’s liquid restrictions and attempts to use logic on a screener who is confiscating her mostly empty, 4.5 oz, $25 hand lotion. The traveler takes the bottle from the screener and opens it to demonstrate the contents. The traveler then “accidently” throws some of the lotion onto the screener, to the sound of uproarious laughter from the nearby TSA staff.
“Spooging” is definitely something that I saw at my airport; passengers becoming enraged due to their liquids being confiscated and giving a screener a retaliatory facial cream shot, and I heard rumors at my airport of retaliatory rough pat-downs delivered by TSA screeners ala “Splitting the Upright.” It’s good to at least get some corroboration on the rumors.
I’ll be adding those two, along with a few others I’ve received, when I do the semi-annual (it’s looking like it will be twice a year or so) update of the Insider’s TSA Dictionary, a couple months from now.
Send all letters and proposed entries to the Insider’s TSA Dictionary to firstname.lastname@example.org