May 12, 2012

Just About Done with TSA

I posted already on the fact I couldn't get through TSA with a small hard rubber lift in my sandal... that was packed in my suitcase. Obviously someone thought it was a shank and I was going to butcher the passengers of an airplane with it.

What I didn't tell you is what happened the day before on my return flight home with the vocal department, with a bunch of pre-teen and teenage boys in my care.

It started with my mis-packing. I'd accidentally not packed the correct under garment to wear with a black sheer tank top I wear with a open weave top. That forced me to wear my Sunday shirt to the performance on Friday.

But come Sunday I realized... it had been so hot in San Antonio, I couldn't re-wear anything. I had sweated way too much. I was stuck.

So I decided to wear my dark blue tshirt pajama top, figuring if I put a hoody on over it, nobody would know. It could probably pass as a real tshirt.

We got to security and they told us that all sweatshirts/hoodies/coats had to come off. I thought, "Great. Now I have to go through security wearing my pajama shirt... but nobody will notice... hopefully."

I was coaching the boys through, getting them to take off their shoes, their belts, and to separate their electronics. Somehow, I got tagged to go through the big huge Xray machine where you put your hands over your head.

Great. In my pajama top.

I went through, did my thing... and I failed.

I got pulled aside and a female TSA person had me put my hands over my head as she started to pat me down. She said, "Let me know if I hurt you..." and she proceeded... to cup both my breasts.

I'm standing there, big as day, knowing I'm in my pajama top, with the middle school boys all around while the TSA agent feels me up.

I looked at her and said, "Excuse me, but did I FAIL the Xray machine?" to which she replied, 'Yes... but I think it was this...' and she proceeded to grab the middle clasp of my bra, fingering it, nearly unsnapping it. Her hand was between my breasts grabbing the center clasp of my bra.

Boys all around.

I've had three kids and honestly, there isn't a lot of modesty left in me. They had so many people in the room when I gave birth to Bones, due to some complications, that I suggested they pull in bleachers so everyone had a place to sit for the show. But can you imagine if this had happened to some teenage kid?

I walked down to the chaperones and told the Moms what happened. They said, "Call your husband and tell him you don't need anything from him tonight. TSA just about took care of it for you..."


I have a friend who is an airline pilot. I was telling him and his wife the story the other day, knowing he deals with TSA. He told me he's so sick of them he has attitude. This is a guy who flies into the SAME airport, back and forth... all the time. All.the.time.

He said he doesn't even fight with them anymore. He said he has such bad attitude that when they tell him he can't fly with something, like his razor, something he's flown 500 times before with, without ever being stopped, he just says, "Fine. I'm going home. I'll call my supervisor and tell him I'm not going to work because TSA won't let me..." and he walks away. The airline steps in then, I gather.

He said there is no rhyme or reason why he gets stopped. He can go for months and months and months, just gliding through, and then one day, carrying the same exact stuff he's carried for months and months before, someone will get a bug and decide he can't go through.

It's a power trip, mostly.

Except in my case? I seriously think my TSA agent was a lesbian and she just wanted to feel me up.

I'm not kidding.

Posted by Boudicca at May 12, 2012 08:30 PM

Oh my Gawd!!!! And the worst part is... there is nothing we can do about it. Nothing except not fly and that is so wrong. Damn!

Posted by: Teresa at May 12, 2012 10:02 PM

I agree with you 100%. She must have liked the way you looked. So sorry for your groping.

Posted by: Mary at May 12, 2012 11:37 PM

Join thousands of other voices fed up with TSA abuses. We are conducting a Congressional briefing May 22 - we are organizing and will not be quieted. We will not go 'quietly into that night." The TSA must be brought under Constitutional limits - in this we will prevail.

Posted by: 1amWendy at May 13, 2012 10:58 AM

You must look *hawt* in that pajama top! LOL

Posted by: DogsDontPurr at May 13, 2012 03:28 PM

That's just plain wrong!! I don't fly a lot, but when I do I do expect courtesy and common sense. Yeah I know . . stop laughing!

However, I damn near lost it a few weeks back when my 13 yr old daughter and I flew. She was wearing jeans with a blingyish design on the back pockets. They pulled her aside and started patting her down. I stepped in and said . .'excuse me, she is a minor. Please ask me first before doing this' I was absolutely furious!

So sorry for your pat down! Hope she got a thrill out of it . . .NOT!

Posted by: Nina at May 13, 2012 03:29 PM

The whole thing was disturbing. Really, you have to see me tell it in person... it will make you laugh.

There were a few things that went through my head with all the travel lately. I am trying to think how many times I've been through that Xray machine in the last few weeks. Four? And, I keep thinking about those business travelers. How many times a week are they zapped?

We get all this crap in the news about, 'Oh! Don't do dental Xrays! Cover your thyroid!' and that's once every couple years? But if you travel a lot, you get zapped, entire body, over and over and that's OK?

I'm kind of at a loss here with Xrays and exposure. Which is it? It's bad to have someone take a picture of the structure of my face every couple years to ensure I don't have decay or a filling gone bad, but it's OK for me to have a full body zap four times in one week? Really?

And the problem with the TSA, beyond the whole power trip thing that some of them have going on, is that they have lost touch with humanity. I was just another slab of meat that needed to be groped. Meanwhile, there are 25 teenage boys standing there. She doesn't notice? She's in charge of our security, supposed to be observant of her surroundings, but she doesn't fully grasp the concept that she has pulled a female chaperone from a group of 11-14 year old boys, and proceeds to grope her? She doesn't notice them? Or the situation? But she's in charge of noticing abnormalities in our surroundings that would cause her secure our safety? Because you know... the 46 year old Mom traveling with 25 boys surely is a serious flight risk.

It is absolutely not possible for me to look more benign than I am. All 5'2" of me...

Posted by: Bou at May 13, 2012 10:41 PM

Arthur flies for word, but there's no way I'm going to try to board a plane.

That touchy/feely crap.. is disturbing. Good word. Especially since there's no out.

Posted by: pam at May 14, 2012 07:55 AM

I was thinking about this during my bout of insomnia last night.

As far as I know and have read they are not suppose to use the front of their hands at all while touching women, they are suppose to use the back of their hands.

What that TSA women did to you was incorrect, not to mention totally out of line. I would report it.

Posted by: Quality Weenie at May 14, 2012 09:57 AM

I haven't had action in a while, so now you have me thinking that I should probably book a flight somewhere. I could hide a dime in each cup in my bra. Oh, mama.

Posted by: Erica at May 14, 2012 10:11 AM

(Of course you know I am joking. But just in case you don't: I really find the TSA f--king disgusting).

Posted by: Erica at May 14, 2012 10:13 AM

Hey you have something in common with Henry Kissenger, he was just given a full TSA pat down also.

Posted by: Quality Weenie at May 15, 2012 12:18 PM

Ok, really rude suggestion, but I remember one of my boys' friends telling about how he would load up on gas inducing foods the day before, so that they would want to process him as quickly as possible.

I can't imagine what an entire plane trip with him would have been like, though!

Posted by: PeggyU at May 18, 2012 02:45 PM

I like Peggy's suggestion. Cheap burritos would be my gas-food of choice.

Seriously though - hopefully Romney will win the election and bring down the hammer on the TSA - and all these other unelected "czars" that are circumventing our rights and the Constitution.

Posted by: diamond dave at May 18, 2012 10:22 PM