I always opt out of the full scan. Always have. No concerns about health, really. Just some serious misgivings about being scanned while my hands are held over my head in surrender. The whole prospect is distasteful.
Anyway, I have done this enough to know I’m going to get a full body pat-down. Also distasteful, maybe just a millimeter less so, but what can I do? Driving is really not an option for business, whatever the government wants to say about “other reasonable options”.
I have had pretty good experiences with this, to be honest. The people giving the pat-downs have been friendly, joking, making light, conversational and overall polite. I’ve had the feeling that they saw the absurdity as much as I, and were just trying to get through the day.
After Thomas (didn’t get his full name) finished handing out terse commands for a couple minutes, and said I was free to go, I asked if I could offer some advice. Sure, he says.
“If I’m going to give up my rights to go through this, all I ask is for some politeness. Can you throw a ‘please’ in there now and then?”
“I hear you, but, no. I won’t do that.”
“You won’t be polite?”
“No, I won’t. You are going through my security, not me through yours.” And then he turned and walked off.
Unacceptable. Ostensibly, this is for my security. It’s done for my (everyone’s) safety. You are a government employee. Ultimately, you serve the very people you are monitoring. I don’t think it unreasonable for you to be polite to those you are frisking. I get it, you can have a bad day, and maybe that’s all it was. But, when someone pushes back with a, “Man, can you use some common courtesy in the future?” the absolute wrong response is, “No.”
I talked to another gentleman from TSA, who was watching all the flows, standing apart, looking somewhat manager-ly. He was friendly, understanding. Said he’d talk to the guy. Maybe he will.
Let’s hope the rest of the journey home can proceed with a little bit more congeniality.