Blue shirts, red faces: more on TSA uniforms and public embarrassment

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by TSA News Blog, Apr 18, 2013.

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    As you know, the TSA recently signed a $50 million contract for new uniforms, a contract that some lawmakers are none too happy about, especially with across-the-board budget cuts from the sequester.​
    A few congressman challenged TSA Deputy Administrator John Halinski on Capitol Hill today about the increased uniform budget and about the agency in general. They also promised more hearings.​
    Apparently each TSA screener gets $446 a year for uniforms. In 2012, that added up to $12.8 million.​
    Our pal at Taking Sense Away, about whom we’ve written before, has a hilarious new post up about TSA uniforms and about the joy of being a screener. Some excerpts:​
    You’re working at an agency that is looked upon with disdain, at worst, and ambivalence, at best, by the flying public. You’re being bossed around by many supervisors, managers, and other higher-ups who would be pushing carts at Wal*Mart if 9/11 had never happened. Every few months you have to take an absurd, mostly theoretical SOP and practical test that can potentially get you fired (you’re always being given tests, tests that are just as nonsensical as the idiotic rules you’re forced to impose upon the flying public. The tests are not ones that only smart people can pass, either. Look around at your co-workers). The TSA promotion system makes very little sense: people with college degrees and several years of experience in management are passed over in favor of some jackass who made buddy-buddy with the TSA “interview panel.” The furthest you will ever even theoretically advance in life, on your present course, is to the post of leading an organization that everyone A) thinks is funny and doesn’t matter, or B) hates.
    Doesn’t sound like the ideal job, does it? So are there any perks, outside of decent health insurance and a few government discounts, that the TSA can provide?​
    As a TSA employee, I had access to more ugly, useless, embarrassing uniforms than I could have ever needed. You too will find this to be the case should you ever become a TSA screener. This is the one selling point that the TSA could honestly post in its job announcements: “We will give you so many of our uniforms, which you’ll generally be embarrassed to wear, that your (expletive deleted) mind will be blown.”​
    Your first year, things will start off sensibly: you’ll be given a few pairs of uniforms. “OK, this seems reasonable” you’ll think, “I have a few pairs of uniforms, here.”​
    Then not long after, you’ll be given approximately $300 to buy more uniforms.​
    “Well OK, I have back-up uniforms now. So 6 pairs of TSA shirts, and 5 pairs of TSA pants, that’s literally like a week’s worth of uniforms, not counting repeat wears, which everyone does. This is cool. I also have 7 pairs of these shitty VF Solutions-issue socks that are like wearing wool towels on my feet, but hey, whatever. This is coo–”​
    Wait, there’s more! You just got more money deposited into your uniform allowance! Go crazy!
    “OK so I have 12 pairs of TSA shirts now, 9 pairs of TSA pants, a TSA sweater, TSA jacket, a TSA all-season jacket, and 14 pairs of towel/socks. I’m just two years in with this agency, and I’d say I’m just about covered as far as uniforms go for the next couple years or–”​
    Hold up (wait a minute!). You now get additional funds deposited into your account annually, on your hire date!​
    Go ‘head, it’s your birthday! Go TSAshop, it’s your birthday!
    “OK. So 16 pairs of pants, 2 TSA sweaters, a TSA plain jacket, a TSA all-season jacket, 17 TSA shirts, 2 TSA belts, 4 back-up epaulets just in case, 19 pairs of TSA socks, an extra name badge, and a two-stripe Lead shoulder board, just in case I ever make Lead. Two years in and I’d say I’m just about covered for the next couple years or…”​
    BAM! The whole thing’s starting again!​
    Etc. Go on over to read the complete post.​
    (Photo courtesy of your tax dollars)

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