The Blue-Shirted Gestapo ... May They Rot in (expletive deleted)

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Mike, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. Bart

    Bart Original Member

    LOL. Thanks, I think. I'm trying to figure out whether there's a specific point that's drawing all this heat or if it's just a general attack since it's known that I'm a TSA employee. I am genuinely interested if all these negative comments would be posted if I was not identified as a TSA instructor.
     
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  2. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    I'm still genuinely interested to know if you'd even be posting here if you weren't working for the TSA.
     
  3. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    Hey, Bart, it's been claimed someplace else that it takes at least a year for background checks and "rigorous" training to be complete for a new TSA screener hire. Is that true?
     
  4. RB

    RB Founding Member

    And I expected better from TSA but my personal experiences have clearly shown that TSA has major problems that go unaddressed.

    Insisting on Honesty and Integrity would be a good start for rebuilding TSA.
     
  5. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    With the arrogant attitude you often display, yes the reaction would still be negative even if you did not self-identify. What's in the water out there in San Antonio as your fellow TSAer displays the same, although he is often almost incoherent.

    Actually, I believe I can at least partially answer my own question: you are in a unique community, a community made up mainly of military and ex-military that drives a good bit how you respond.
     
  6. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    Insistence on honesty and integrity would mean they'd have to demolish the TSA and start from scratch. The attitudes and corruption are endemic and universal now.
     
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  7. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    These folks are ticked off, and your posts often seem like you have a "bring it on" approach to this. I would suggest a more empathetic response would perhaps be more effective, with the goal being not to necessarily to fight your opponent, but to defeat him. There are a number of weaknesses in the arguments of the TSA's opponents, none that I regard as fatal, but enough perhaps to blunt some of their spears. There's no secret to what these are, I have mentioned a few in various posts, such as that the arguments are classist. Furthermore, many of the objections to TSA's current search regime raise genuine issues of security, such as for example the widely reported circumstance of passenger's property being placed out of their line of vision.
     
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  8. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    A lot of ex-military are on the other side however.
     
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  9. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    ...and when passengers complain they can't see their stuff, they're told it's their own fault for "opting out" and requiring a groping instead of irradiation.
     
  10. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    Oh, that is a problem, certainly, but I'm looking it from a security point of view. Here you have property that supposedly needs to be inspected, but you have no way of tracking who has had access to it.
     
  11. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Bart I don't think anyone is attacking you personally but as a TSA trainer I, and I think some others, are trying to get you to understand that what is happening at TSA checkpoints may not be exactly the same as what the training says should be happening. There is a disconnect.

    It has been recommended that TSA use secret shopper type testing to see how screeners operate when they think they are not being graded by the trainers. I think if TSA did this on a regular basis it would open some eyes.

    I hold no animosity towards you and I suspect I would enjoy having a cupa with you where we could tell war stories and such.
     
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  12. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    So am I. What does it say that the people supposedly being "secured" cannot trust those doing the "securing?"
     
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  13. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    I don't know why this isn't being done now.
     
  14. Bart

    Bart Original Member

    Well, let me make one thing absolutely clear: I am very arrogant. I freely admit it and have no shame about it. Has nothing to do with TSA. And just in case you haven't figured it out, it's common among many military people, especially snake-eaters. It's not that the military makes us this way; these types of military jobs ATTRACT people like us. I guess you and others don't have any problems whenever we're out in the boondocks doing the things we do in the name of the national interest and other similar (expletive deleted) ideals. But when we come back from those third world shitholes and integrate back into polite society, you and others wrongfully stereotype military and ex-military as loose cannons or Rambos waiting to explode.

    I know that I am the TSA poster boy in this web site because of FlyerTalk and the way I was booted out of that place. Fair enough. Didn't expect to win any friends in here. I don't mind certain cheap shots; I understand the guilt by association. What truly amuses me is how you and others seem to think you know what type of person I am or why I do the things I do. That's only your insecurity rising to the surface on things you don't understand.

    I know why I work for TSA; you don't. My promise to you is to train the officers in my charge to screen you and your property vigilantly, courteously and professionally. There's a lot about TSA policy that is truly beyond my control. I am not a decision-maker or high-ranking staff puke. I'm just an instructor, low on the totem pole in the grand scheme of things. I have my personal views about some of the changes that occurred almost a year ago, and I occasionally share them with you. I know there is room for improvement in TSA policy and procedure; never said otherwise. But I work within the framework that I'm given.

    What I draw from this site are your insights and perceptions about TSA screening. There's nothing I can do to change your experiences; however, I can incorporate them into my training classes to make things less unpleasant for the next person who screens at one of the checkpoints at my airport. (I don't think it's possible to make ANY screening experience "pleasant.") A lot of officers respond positively but there are a number who are pretty jaded. That's my challenge to contend with.

    I'm a firm believer in the motto I learned over 30 years ago and apply it in all aspects in my life: RANGERS Lead the Way!

    Have a nice day.
     
  15. mikemey

    mikemey Original Member

    Bart:

    How do you reconcile the training you give your charges with the reports coming out of the field of what's going on? If that's not supposed to happen, and they were supposedly trained properly, then WHY IS IT HAPPENING???

    And you can't give me this "Well, things are fluid, yadda yadda yadda." If there's an SOP, then why isn't it enforced, uniformly, across the country?

    And, this former Army truck driver can smell male bovine excrement from 1000 yeards, so don't even try it. :p
     
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  16. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    Because they simply don't care as long as the American public is cowed into submission.
     
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  17. Bart

    Bart Original Member

    I can't answer the background check question because I'm not familiar with it. As for the training, it's a two-week course followed by OJT which can take up to four weeks to complete (depending on type of airport, passenger flow, shift hours, etc.). However, there are other factors as well. The one-week course is a basic screener course. There's also follow-up training for any airport-specific systems or procedures. At our airport, we add another week after the basic course to make the OJT as comprehensive as possible.

    When I was hired as a private security screener, my training consisted of a six hour computer-driven course and OJT checklist. The length of OJT was not driven by any specific criteria; it just depended on how the supervisor felt was long enough. Usually, once we received our personal dosimeters, OJT was over. Towards the end, before TSA took over, dosimeters were no longer required. But by that time, we weren't hiring any more new screeners.

    In the private security company, there was no follow-up training or annual re-certification requirement. There was no annual testing or recurrent training. Changes to the SOP were addressed by giving the screener a few minutes to look it over and sign a piece of paper saying that he or she read it.
     
  18. Bart

    Bart Original Member

    I don't try to reconcile what happens at other airports. At my airport, I conduct tests, evaluate on-going screening operations and incorporate weaknesses in our recurrent training. In the Army, we used to call that METL-oriented training.

    As for uniformity, I think that's a very subjective term, especially when we're talking about the dynamics of human interaction. I do expect consistency but not uniformity.

    HOOAH!
     
  19. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    So you just bury your head in the sand and ignore the "big picture" of what's happening with the agency you work for.

    This explains much.
     
  20. mikemey

    mikemey Original Member

    Therein lies the problem. There isn't even consistency. (expletive deleted), there isn't even consistency from shift to shift at the same airports.

    You can't ignore the big picture Bart. To pound your chest and say "I'm doing it right" doesn't mean you're winning. The rest of the team is pulling you down. You are, in a sense, leaving your battle buddy behind. You are only as good as your weakest link. Your slowest runner.

    To not account for that doesn't win the war. Ever.
     

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