A couple of posts ago, I mentioned the yahoos at the IRS and thanked God that those same yahoos don't work for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The TSA are the good people that keep us safe in the air (hopefully).
Based on my experience going to Las Vegas this week, I have some serious concerns if this is indeed true.
Our trip began like any other business trip for me, except that Angie was accompanying me. We got to the airport early and decided to get some breakfast at a restaurant. This took a little longer than we had expected, so by the time we got to our gate, the plane was almost fully boarded. In fact, they were calling my name for final boarding. Angie and I gave the agent our boarding passes and then things got weird.
The agent said that there was someone already in my seat, 18F. The sorted some stuff out on the computer and told me to tell the woman in my seat to move to 19E. I knew that we'd be moving that person from an exit row window to a normal (non-legroom) middle seat so I balked...and told the agent that 'that was her job'. She assented and boarded in front of us.
So, we get to the row and the lady is a little upset at having to move, until we looked at her boarding pass. She has a boarding pass WITH MY NAME ON IT!!! Basically, when she checked in, she got my boarding pass from the ticket agent. So, mistakes happen, I can understand that. Additionally, I rarely look at my tickets when I get them, so I can completely understand her not checking. But, what I am having a problem with is how she got through security, particularly that TSA agent with the ultraviolet light flashlight and highlighter pen who checks your ID, your boarding pass, and marks the pass to show that things are good to go.
Hers had been marked up....basically, the TSA agent fell asleep, didn't verify the names and allowed her to pass.
The more I think about that, the more I get pissed off. Is the agent at the x-ray machine making the same mistakes? Have they become so comfortable that diligence isn't maintained?
More importantly, have we? Has terrorism once again become something that happens elsewhere to others? I guarantee there are still those who hate our way of life and are motivated to cause fear and terror. I'm sure that our president bowing to foreign leaders is interpreted as a sign of weakness by those same people - instead of the conciliatory tone that is presumably intended.
I know this is probably a better post for a September 11 anniversary, but any day is a good day to be reminded not to forget.