Brad Feld

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When 16 TSA People Are Too Many

Mar 02, 2005
Category Random

Tuesday afternoon I went through the Terminal C entrance at San Jose Airport.  I got to spend five minutes with 16 of my friends from the TSA.  16?  There was no line (there never is at San Jose Terminal C), two machines in operation (I’ve never seen more than two in action), and 16 people in TSA outfits mulling around.  My TSA greeter barely spoke English – I had to ask him what he was saying (he wasn’t really saying anything, just mumbled at me about a laptop or something).  I took off my jacket, shoes, emptied my pockets, took out my laptop, put my drink in the basket, and made sure I held on to my board pass (which was just checked by airport security 30 yards earlier).

As I walked through the x-ray machine, I looked around and noticed 12 of the 16 TSA dudes just hanging around. The post x-ray greeter looked at my boarding pass again and scribbled on it.  Two of the 12 people doing nothing were talking to each other about whether or not you are supposed to cut a pita pocket in half (huh? – seriously – this conversation continued as I put my shoes back on and managed to last at least two minutes).  One of the nothing-to-do-TSA-people was on what was clearly a personal phone call next to a sign that said “heightened threat level.”  Two other nothing-to-do-TSA-people were playing some sort of slap hands game with each other and laughing hysterically.

Even FDR – the great TVA master – would have been bummed out by the behavior of these TSA folks.  I definitely felt like I was only getting 12.5 cents on my tax payer dollar today (Amy just told me that my tax dollar actually goes to pay interest on the debt).  Where is Jack Bauer when you need him?