TSA Agents Absolutely Hate New Pat Downs, Find Them Disgusting And Morale Breaking

from the this-is-what-you-get-with-security-theater dept

One of the common themes that people keep mentioning in talking about the new TSA pat down procedures is that those involved must "enjoy" the groping they're giving people. But, of course, most TSA agents are normal every day people who don't actually want to grope random people. Chris Tolles points us to a post from BoardingArea.com, who reached out to some TSA agents and found that many TSA agents hate the new rules and find it to be sapping morale to have to grope passengers. Some of it appears to be the verbal abuse they're getting from travelers, but some of it is just the fact that they have to keep touching people they'd rather not touch in that way:
"It is not comfortable to come to work knowing full well that my hands will be feeling another manís private parts, their butt, their inner thigh. Even worse is having to try and feel inside the flab rolls of obese passengers and we seem to get a lot of obese passengers!"
Of course, it does seem like a lot of the "morale" part comes from everyone accusing them of molesting them. I recognize, they're not the ones making policy, but many of the people being groped do feel violated and it's not surprising that many of them speak out.
"Molester, pervert, disgusting, an embarrassment, creep. These are all words I have heard today at work describing me, said in my presence as I patted passengers down. These comments are painful and demoralizing, one day is bad enough, but I have to come back tomorrow, the next day and the day after that to keep hearing these comments. If something doesnít change in the next two weeks I donít know how much longer I can withstand this taunting. I go home and I cry. I am serving my country, I should not have to go home and cry after a day of honorably serving my country."
This is going to be a serious problem for the TSA if it doesn't figure out something quick. So far, the TSA seems to be in near absolute denial that this is actually a problem, but if these TSA responses are indicative of how most TSA agents feel, there are going to be a lot fewer security people at airports very, very soon.

Of course... it could be true that at least some of those actually are enjoying the process. Reader Lance point us to (an admittedly hearsay) story of a pilot traveling with his 18-year old daughter. As they approached the naked image scanner, the pilot overheard a TSA agent say into his radio: "heads up, got a cutie for you." One of the points the TSA has been making is that the folks looking at the images are off in another room somewhere, unable to see the people -- but they are in contact with those at the security checkpoint, and you'd have to imagine this kind of thing happens.

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  1. icon
    Rose M. Welch (profile), 20 Nov 2010 @ 6:50am

    Re: frak the children

    What about the doctor? Is the doctor's office also part of your "never under any circumstances" mantra?

    I have three children. They have had several didn't doctors over the course of their lives, but none of them have ever touched them the way that TSA agents do, or even in the same areas. There's no need for that until the child hits puberty, and can then understand and consent to the procedure.

    You'll tell your kids it's ok if the doctor touches them because the doctor is there to make sure your child is healthy!

    No, I'll tell my teenagers that it's okay for them to undergo those procedures, because that's the truth. I wouldn't tell my teenagers that it's okay for them to be groped because there isn't any reason for them to be groped. Maybe you lie to your kids, but I don't lie to mine.

    Well, like it or not, agree or disagree, the security agent is there patting people down to make sure NO ONE IS GOING TO BLOW UP THE PLANE.

    Not true. The TSA scan-and-grope can't look in cavities, so while a health exam by a physician is useful, a grope by the TSA is not.

    Look, I don't really believe that these pat-downs are going to catch anyone with a stick of dynamite hiding in their groin, but that IS the idea and that IS why it's being done.

    If you don't believe that these measures are useful, then you should join us in protesting them. We should never waste time or money on things that don't work, and when you add the actual abuses and hurt that this causes people, it's time to stop.

    That is just as good a reason for your child to "endure the horror" as it is at the doctor's office.

    As I've shown, no, it's not.

    Hey, at least at the airport they don't have to take their clothes off!

    At their doctor's office, they have never been asked to remove their clothing. In the future, when they're teens and can understand and consent to the procedures, they'll be asked to change into a gown that still covers their body to undergo health exams by people that they know and are comfortable with.

    At an airport, children have to get naked and be looked at by strangers and/or be groped and touched all over by strangers, without understanding, consent, or purpose.

    In what way are these two situation analogous?

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