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ushermittwoch
Topic Author
Posts: 2617
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2004 10:18 pm

TSA Agents: Are They Bored Or Paranoid?

Tue Oct 16, 2007 11:24 am

So I was flying from EWR to MSP the other day and since I had the misfortune of suffering a periostitis in my shin a few days before, I had to wear a bandage. Now since it was pretty warm, I decided to wear shorts for my 7AM departure. Must have been very suspicious, since when I went through the screening at around 5AM this TSA agent pointed at my leg and asked me: "What is that?" At first I thought he meant my bottle of ibuprofen which was sticking out of my shorts' pocket. Then he asked again: "What is that?" I replied: "Periostitis, very painful." And then I wanted to proceed to go to the gate. He did not say anything but motioned with his hands that I follow him to a secondary screening. He then wiped one of those explosive detection papers over my bandage and my hands. BIG surprise that the results were negative when the machine was done with its work.

So now I am wondering if the guy was just bored or if he was just totally paranoid.
Where have all the tri-jets gone...
 
IAHFLYR
Posts: 4276
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 12:56 am

RE: TSA Agents: Are They Bored Or Paranoid?

Tue Oct 16, 2007 11:27 am

I'm am certainly not a TSA fan but sounds like he was doing what he is paid to do, a fairly uncommon practice most times.
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
 
halls120
Posts: 8724
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2005 3:24 am

RE: TSA Agents: Are They Bored Or Paranoid?

Tue Oct 16, 2007 11:41 am

Quoting Ushermittwoch (Thread starter):
So now I am wondering if the guy was just bored or if he was just totally paranoid.

You left out the most likely possible answer - that he was incompetent.

Quoting IAHFLYR (Reply 1):
I'm am certainly not a TSA fan but sounds like he was doing what he is paid to do, a fairly uncommon practice most times.

A bandage qualifies you for secondary screening?
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
AirCop
Posts: 5553
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2005 2:39 am

RE: TSA Agents: Are They Bored Or Paranoid?

Tue Oct 16, 2007 11:47 am

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 2):
You left out the most likely possible answer - that he was incompetent.

You're right on..

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 2):
A bandage qualifies you for secondary screening?

So does having a pulse.
 
PanHAM
Posts: 9719
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 6:44 pm

RE: TSA Agents: Are They Bored Or Paranoid?

Tue Oct 16, 2007 11:51 am

Quoting AirCop (Reply 3):

So does having a pulse.

and having no pulse at all after mandatory screening of cargo shipped on passenger aircraft becomes effective.
Was Erlauben Erdogan!!!
 
IAHFLYR
Posts: 4276
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 12:56 am

RE: TSA Agents: Are They Bored Or Paranoid?

Tue Oct 16, 2007 12:04 pm

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 2):
A bandage qualifies you for secondary screening?

It might! Does a laser pointer also qualify for secondary screening?

I've been hauled over 2 times for having a laser pointer for presentations in my backpack. After they run the backpack through the machine 2 or 3 times and can't figure out what is is, and only after a complete and search of the backpack does someone as what it is. My normal smart ass answer would probably keep me from getting past them at all so I only give them a very quiet reply of, "it is used for laser surgery" and away I go!!! Big grin
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
 
bond007
Posts: 4428
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 2:07 am

RE: TSA Agents: Are They Bored Or Paranoid?

Tue Oct 16, 2007 1:08 pm

Quoting IAHFLYR (Reply 1):
I'm am certainly not a TSA fan but sounds like he was doing what he is paid to do, a fairly uncommon practice most times.

Yep, if he hadn't had examined you more carefully, we'd be having a different thread on how you 'got through' security with a bandage on.

Honestly, as much as most of the TSA crap is totally unnecessary and inconsistent ... they can never win, since if they do it - they're wrong, and if they don't do it - they're wrong.


Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
ushermittwoch
Topic Author
Posts: 2617
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2004 10:18 pm

RE: TSA Agents: Are They Bored Or Paranoid?

Tue Oct 16, 2007 1:26 pm

Well I left out incompetence since he seemed to know how to use the screening machine.  Wink

The main "problem" was, that I was wearing SHORTS. I mean, if I wanted to conceal ANYTHING, would I not wear this bandage UNDER any form of garnment? Well, I guess terrorists meet the profile of complete idiots nowadays.
Where have all the tri-jets gone...
 
CMHSRQ
Posts: 859
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 1:49 am

RE: TSA Agents: Are They Bored Or Paranoid?

Tue Oct 16, 2007 1:57 pm

Actually they have a decent reason to check it, last year in Denver the TSA was tested and surprise surprise missed something like 19 of 21 screenings of testers who were carrying weapons or bomb type materials. One of those missed screenings was a person with a cast on their leg. The went through with a large knife if I recall correctly. I'll look for the info.

Found it

http://www.9news.com/news/article.aspx?storyid=67166

"In one test, sources told 9NEWS an agent taped an IED to her leg and told the screener it was a bandage from surgery. Even though alarms sounded on the walk-through metal detector, the agent was able to bluff her way past the screener."

HAHAHA great quote and so true

"There's very little substance to security," said former Red Team leader Bogdan Dzakovic. "It literally is all window dressing that we're doing. It's big theater on TV and when you go to the airport. It's just security theater."

[Edited 2007-10-16 07:11:04]
The voice of moderation
 
Boeing7E7
Posts: 5512
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2004 9:35 pm

RE: TSA Agents: Are They Bored Or Paranoid?

Tue Oct 16, 2007 2:05 pm

Bored, Paranoid.... Nah. Just incompitent.
 
SkyexRamper
Posts: 1952
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 12:17 am

RE: TSA Agents: Are They Bored Or Paranoid?

Tue Oct 16, 2007 4:05 pm

Quoting Boeing7E7 (Reply 9):
Bored, Paranoid.... Nah. Just incompitent.

Bingo! Big grin  bigthumbsup 

Quoting Ushermittwoch (Thread starter):
So now I am wondering if the guy was just bored or if he was just totally paranoid.

You should have let out a good scream in pain when it touched the bandage.
Good Luck to all Skyway Pilots! It's been great working with you!
 
nyc2theworld
Posts: 246
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 11:58 am

RE: TSA Agents: Are They Bored Or Paranoid?

Tue Oct 16, 2007 4:20 pm

Quoting Cmhsrq (Reply 8):
Even though alarms sounded on the walk-through metal detector, the agent was able to bluff her way past the screener."

But there-in lies the difference, the metal detector went off and they should have had a secondary! wherease the OP didn't (or did not make it clear) the detector went off. If it didn't go off, there should have been no problem.

Unless you got the dreaded SSSS
Always wonderers if this "last and final boarding call" is in fact THE last and final boarding call.
 
brilondon
Posts: 3164
Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2005 6:56 am

RE: TSA Agents: Are They Bored Or Paranoid?

Tue Oct 16, 2007 4:21 pm

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 2):
A bandage qualifies you for secondary screening?

Forgetting to take off your watch, sneezing, or having an itch qualifies you for secondary screening.  banghead  The the real incompetence comes through in the places that they stick their "magic" wand and neglect other places which would be more obvious I would think.  bigthumbsup 
Rush forever Closer To My Heart
 
robsawatsky
Posts: 477
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2003 7:07 am

RE: TSA Agents: Are They Bored Or Paranoid?

Tue Oct 16, 2007 7:05 pm

Quoting Brilondon (Reply 12):
Forgetting to take off your watch, sneezing, or having an itch qualifies you for secondary screening.

The only thing ever mentioned to me about my wristwatch was to leave it on, but that was in Canada. I usually take it off before getting to security just to avoid the possibility it will set off the machine - but it hasn't caused any problems when left on inadvertently in either the US or Canada.
 
PanAm747
Posts: 4711
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2004 4:46 am

RE: TSA Agents: Are They Bored Or Paranoid?

Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:53 am

Quote:
they can never win, since if they do it - they're wrong, and if they don't do it - they're wrong.

You hit the nail on the head! I won't say that every TSA agent is a future MENSA candidate, nor will I say that every TSA agent should be playing banjo in "Deliverance" territory - but they are in a damned-if-they-do and damned-if-they-don't quandry.

I remember an article a few years ago on Israeli security - one that is frequently used as a model of almost perfection. Come to find out, things were smuggled in on wheelchairs as well as other unusual ways. Even they let things through that shouldn't have gotten in.

Nobody's perfect, but we sure expect TSA to read our minds and know exactly what everything is. I try and smile and do what I can to get through the process, and even when pulled aside for SSSS, I do fine. In a world where I can still hear people say, "well, how in the heck were we supposed to know we had to take off our shoes before going through security?", never underestimate the cluelessness of the general public.
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
 
kalvado
Posts: 2996
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 am

RE: TSA Agents: Are They Bored Or Paranoid?

Wed Oct 17, 2007 1:16 am

My bet is that they have certain quota for secondary screening to fill, and filling that quota is one of their performance metrics. Similar to police in certain locations having predetermined number of tickets to distribute - in both cases safety is declared to me the goal...
 
jbernie
Posts: 206
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 10:09 am

RE: TSA Agents: Are They Bored Or Paranoid?

Wed Oct 17, 2007 1:17 am

If something is "different" then they should do a secondary search. ie If someone is dressed in a heavy coat in mid summer then they should get attention. If something doesn't feel right, do the extra search, better to find nothing than miss something that causes.......

When I flew DEN-LAX-MEL-SYD return last month i wore my insulin pump in full view everytime, it did not set of any alarms and each time I was asked what it was I told them it was an Insulin pump and other than once or twice being asked if i could remove it (no!) there was no further questioning. Keep in mind it has a 3ml vial of insulin, a AAA battery & a circuit board in it......

Ironically enough, when I went up Centerpoint Tower in Sydney, the security lady at the metal detector told me to not go through the detector and didnt do any follow up search.

Regardless of what the TSA does, people will complain over too much or not enough.
 
LH526
Posts: 1990
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2000 2:23 am

RE: TSA Agents: Are They Bored Or Paranoid?

Wed Oct 17, 2007 1:21 am

next thing the have some guy hife a weapon or explosives in his cascet / bandage, and do whatever he wants killing hundreds / thousands of people ... AFTER THAT everyone will yell "WHY, oh why didn't he had a closer looks to the leg.
Trittst im Morgenrot daher, seh ich dich im Strahlenmeer ...

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