TSA: A cup of coffee please and hold the mayo!

Fun During Coffee Break, 1932. Martin Munkacsi, American. (Metropolitan Museum of Art © Joan Munkacsi, courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery)

It looks like it was kind of a slow week for the TSA during the period between March 23rd and 29th, 2012:

  • Firearms: 11: 5 loaded; 6 unloaded
  • 0 artfully concealed prohibited items found at checkpoints

Over at the TSA Blog, there are more photos, including their Find of the Week–a gun (lacking its cylinder) cleverly hidden inside a hollowed out book. And once again, TSA has saved air travelers from the dangers inherent in a jar of peanut butter that also contains pot. They don’t allow jars of mayonnaise either, even if there’s not a knife inside. I wonder how they view marshmallow-filled chocolate Easter eggs? Or Peeps?

In the news, a TSA employee got herself into some trouble last week at New York JFK Airport:

Steve Trivett, of Butler, Tennessee was exiting Terminal 8 when he overheard a group of TSA screeners chatting with the utmost vulgarity. Trivett, ever the Southern Gentleman, informed the individuals that they really ought to “conduct themselves more professionally in uniform and not use profanity or the n-word.” For his trouble, he was told to mind is own bleeping business, which is when he identified himself as a “TSA officer.”

Trivett then tried to grab the ID tags belonging to screener Lateisha El, 30, so as to report her crass behavior to her superior. But El, an East New York resident, was not having it, and police say she shoved Trivett and then threw a full cup of hot coffee all over him. Oh El, no! Luckily for him, Trivett was not hurt, but El was arrested on harassment and misdemeanor-assault charges.

TSA is investigating the incident:

TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein tells us, “TSA holds our employees to the highest professional standards and has a zero-tolerance policy for inappropriate behavior at airport checkpoints. TSA is looking into this incident and will take swift and appropriate action. The unacceptable behavior of a few individuals in no way reflects the dedication of our nearly 50,000 Transportation Security Officers who work tirelessly to keep our skies safe. As you are aware, a TSA officer at that very same airport this week detected an artfully concealed knife hidden inside a jar of mayonnaise that a passenger was trying to sneak on board an aircraft. That is much more reflective of the type of dedicated work our officers perform regularly.”

Separately, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) says he’s going to write a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano requesting her to direct the TSA to show some manners, at least to international travelers:

“She can instruct everybody that works at TSA to smile and say, ‘Hello,’”‰” Reid said of Transportation Security Administration employees who have a reputation for giving travelers a hard time.

It’s a small, friendly gesture, but Reid said he learned during a private meeting with Nevada gaming, business and tourism leaders that international travelers often complain about their treatment by U.S. workers, whether at security gates or while applying for tourist visas that can take six months to get.

“People who work for our government have to be able to do it with a smile on their face,” he said.

Laugh or cry? You decide.

One comment

Comments are closed.