I Know What I’m Doing Over Christmas Vacation!

Email Print

I’ve discovered nirvana! One of the TSA’s former employees — shockingly enough, a guy (or gal? Our writer coyly furnishes only the initials NJR by way of identity) with a sense of humor and enough smarts to damn the agency, resoundingly no less — has a blog entitled Taking Sense Away with 3 months’ worth of archives. I browsed only a couple of entries, laughing the while, before hurtling back here ASAP to give you, dear reader, an early Christmas present. NJR is a writer who hates the TSA as much as we do! A former scoper-n-groper who knows where the bodies are buried, or at least stripped naked, and tells us, charmingly and hilariously! A whistleblower who wants to “giv[e] back to the public after my many years of employment with the TSA” and thus treats us to such gems as

The rule that pilot’s Swiss army knives must be confiscated … is an affront to the very ideals of the Enlightenment, to look the pilot of a commercial aircraft in the eyes, holding the tiny Swiss army knife that his grandfather had given him when he was a little boy, and which had passed through security countless times before, and explain to him that because the x-ray operator decided to call a bag check on it today, the knife has to go into the garbage, in the name of making the very airways he is about to navigate safer. If anything, you make it more likely that the pilot will turn the plane back around in a rage and take the entire airport out.

It exhausts me, thinking back on all the mind-meltingly dumb rules I had to follow, and— whenever possible, break— in the name of the common sense this great nation is so often lacking in these post 9/11 days, so I will leave it here, and say a prayer tonight for safe passage of that jar of homemade apple butter that your grandma slipped into your carry on unbeknownst to you.


In my time at TSA, I secretly refused to follow…[t]he directive, at first, to place everyone, including toddlers, into the full body radiation scanners. …the most shameful period working at TSA for me, when 3 year olds were made to assume the position and take radiation doses in the name of freedom. It made me sick, sitting in our I.O. room (Image Operator room, where we viewed those images) having to analyze nude images of what were obviously toddlers. I mostly just instantly cleared those images, and when it came time for me to direct the kids into the backscatter machines, I almost always found a way to exempt them.

Oh, such delight! My only quibble is a page entitled “Submit,” which I thought referred to the attitude TSA expects from us. Instead, it invites submissions for publication on Taking Sense Away. (Note to NJR: 5 little letters — ssion — will make that clear, unless you’re punning, in which case, more power to you!) Our hero manages to savage the TSA even here:

Some reasons I may reject your submission:

- It was just an angry passenger rant about some dumb or outrageous thing a TSA employee did to you. While I do not for one minute doubt that the TSA did in fact do some dumb and outrageous thing to you, try to bring a sense of humor and structure to your expression of it.

- It failed to display even a basic level of grammatical proficiency and or spelling. If you are a TSA employee, I will offer some leeway on this— a government discount.

Enjoy! I know I will!

1:22 pm on December 21, 2012