Those Poor, Abused TSA Workers

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It seems that all of the reactions to TSA workers sexually assaulting airline travelers, not to mention the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse they have been throwing at the public are hurting morale in the TSA ranks. Yes, the poor wittle bullwies are upset, according to their union leaders:

The American Federation of Government Employees, the union that represents TSA workers, is urging the TSA to do more to protect its employees from abuse from airline passengers angry over the new security methods. The union reports that some members “have reported instances in which passengers have become angry, belligerent and even physical with TSOs (transportation security officers).” [Gee, I wonder why people are so upset.]

But there even is more from this TSA pity party:

“TSOs are trained security professionals,” (Union official Sharon) Pinnock said. “Despite this call for chaos and disruption, it’s our belief that our members and people we represent will respond as the security professionals that they are.”

Full-body scanners are now in place at close to 70 airports and send virtually naked images of passengers to a TSA screener at a remote location. Those who wish to avoid the scanners must instead undergo a new, open-palmed pat-down that many travelers, and even some security officers, feel is too personally invasive.

Aviation and security blogger Steven Frischling said he has received comments from TSA front-line screeners complaining of verbal abuse.

“Molester, pervert, disgusting, an embarrassment, creep. These are all words I have heard today at work describing me. …These comments are painful and demoralizing,” one unnamed TSO posted on Frischling’s website.

Another said: “Being a TSO means often being verbally abused. You let the comments roll off and check the next person; however, when a woman refuses the scanner then comes to me and tells me that she feels like I am molesting her; that is beyond verbal abuse.”

Right. When someone who aggressively is molesting someone is told that, well, they are engaged in molestation, this is NOT “beyond verbal abuse.” It is the truth. How would this person react if someone were to put hands on this person’s private parts? People are sent to prison for LIFE terms for doing less.

But, there’s even more:

Guy Winch, an expert on the psychology of complaining and customer service and the author of a forthcoming book, “The Squeaky Wheel,” is concerned with the stress levels TSA employees may be experiencing this week on the job.

He explains that the “emotional labor” TSA workers must do — “processing people regardless of hostile exchanges … and looking for explosives and weapons” — makes the stakes for performing their duties correctly “as high as they get.” Winch says the best thing TSA administrators can do for employees doing enhanced pat-downs is to provide an extra layer of managerial and supervisory support. “They need to convey the message that superiors are aware of the stresses the employees are under and are there to support them.”

Winch says having a mental health professional on staff or available as a referral “can be crucial in helping the people who did not make these rules but are charged with enforcing and implementing them nonetheless.”

Stewart Baker, who worked at the Department of Homeland Security as its first secretary of policy under President George W. Bush, suspects the new security protocols and the aggressive reaction of some passengers is hurting TSA morale.

“TSA has made a lot of progress in training its officers to be professional even in the face of unhappy passengers, but the latest protocols — and press coverage of the most inflammatory stories — have led to a much higher level of hostility,” said Baker.

“Instead of making this Wednesday National Opt-Out Day in which a bunch of self-appointed guardians of liberty slow down the line for everyone by asking for pat-downs,” said Baker, “maybe what we need is a day when everyone who goes through the line says, ‘Thanks for what you do.’ ”

Gee, thanks for molesting me! Thanks for all of the worthless work you do!! Now, please, go see your shrink and tell him how hard it is to be a sex pervert! Leave it to someone from the Bush administration which gave us this worthless drain on resources to tell us we should be thankful for people willing to molest and humiliate others. A bi-partisan effort.

4:13 pm on November 22, 2010