Fun with BDOs

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Affection, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. Affection

    Affection Original Member

    Greetings from PBI. Just realized that you can have a lot of fun with BDOs by reversing the game on them: asking the right questions will make them think they are the ones being tested.

    I asked a couple of BDOs who were roaming the halls about whether I could access a terminal (with a lounge) when I have a ticket for a different terminal (no lounge). You can spot a BDO because they almost always have 2 stripes (very rarely, 3) and are doing nothing but wandering, looking at people, and/or conversing with people. They seemed unsure of my query but settled on "Probably not, but we don't have the extra stripe so we don't get to make the call." I laughed, told them it was sad they didn't let BDOs run the place, and walked away.

    It took about 60 seconds before I got approached. "Sir, do you work for the government?" I get the impression that they assumed that I was an inspector that was testing them. I probably could have made them sweat by saying something like, "I'm unfortunately not permitted to disclose that." Instead I told them that I was a civil rights advocate, to which I got, "Oh (expletive deleted), I probably should stop talking to you then." They ran away.

    Anyhow, I was amused. I'm easily amused, of course, but it seems like making the BDOs feel watched could be a fun, passive-agressive way of giving them a taste of their own medicine. :)

    BTW, fun fact: to answer my original question I put to the BDO, the TSA is supposed to allow access, but in practice, often refuses.

  2. Was that an implicit admission that they are routine violators of everybody's civil rights?

    ETA: I'm totally gonna steal that line about being a civil rights advocate if an aparatchik ever asks me what I do for a living.
  3. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    That's pretty much what Paul Sanchez does -- engage them in conversation as he photographs them -- but he doesn't target BDO's specifically.
  4. Fisher1949

    Fisher1949 Original Member Coach

  5. DeafBlonde

    DeafBlonde Original Member

    phoebepontiac likes this.
  6. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Isn't teasing TSA BDO's or other TSA clerks kinda like teasing chimps in cage? End result will usually be the chimps slinging feces at you.

    Does fit with TSA's typical experience, eh?
  7. CelticWhisper

    CelticWhisper Founding Member

    In order for TSA clerks to do that, they'd have to break off pieces of their own bodies to throw.
    Caradoc likes this.
  8. N965VJ

    N965VJ Original Member

    Michael Roberts, the ExpressJet pilot that refused a body scan and grope two years ago last fall, first posted his experience in that forum.

    But yeah, an airline-issued employee ID badge isn't good enough for TSA at some airports because you can buy those anywhere.

    Pilots need to put on a pair of polyester blend blue pants and a white shirt because those can only be obtained after a background check, psych eval, Airline Transport Pilot rating, and x number of hours of PIC time. :rolleyes:

    So what's the worst they can do? I totally blew off one the other day when my flight started boarding, walked down the jetway, and sat on the plane for ~30 minutes without incident before we pushed back.

    During a recent Gate Grope, where TSA employees infest the boarding area in a show of force farce, one was standing about 20 feet from the jetway door. He addressed me by my first name :rolleyes: when I showed him the boarding pass on my phone and handed him my passport card. He then started to ask inconsequential questions. He repeated himself, then after a pause said "So..., I guess you're ignoring me...?"

    Those are some amazing powers of observation, fueled by several days of Behavior Detection Officer voodoo training! :p A few moments later he handed back my passport card. I stepped a few paces forward to the podium, smiled and and exchanged pleasantries with the gate agent. There was another TSA employee standing to the right of the jetway door, arms crossed, doing his best to suck in his gut and play acting at doing a Law Enforcement Command Stance **.

    I glanced at him briefly with the look any nuisance individual receives from me, like a airline credit card hawker, as I walked down the jetway. I wonder what kind of s0uper sekrit signals were going back and forth between the two TSA employees. :D

    Sometimes I get selected for a "random" secondary, what a surprise! :rolleyes: I have all sorts of fun, while dropping their own acronyms on top of them. Their "microexpresions" when they learn I know the lingo is priceless, like I stole their Cracker Jack decoder ring at the playground. :D

    Other times I'll have a runaround with the Trained Document Checker at the checkpoint, one striper TSA employee making up their own rules, etc. A Screening Supervisor (three striper), or Transportation Security Manager (guy in suit) is summoned, or even an LEO. Issue resolved, and I'm just waiting for a retaliatory secondary as my stuff comes out of the x-ray, especially after opting out of the Nude-O-Scope. Nothing happens! :eek: I think they get tired of me, and just want to get back to dealing with sheeple.

    I know that my interactions may not be the same as everyone else, and my background is different, but all it really boils down to knowing what the TSA can and cannot do, and standing firm.

    **When I see TSA employees play acting at doing a LEO command stance, I always crack up because Neneh Cherry's song Buffalo Stance starts playing in my head.

    Yeah, it's just fashion show in security theatre! Now quit scratchin' that record and gimme a beat. :p

    phoebepontiac likes this.

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