What does it take for someone to earn your respect? Is it hard work and dedication? Do you respect someone because of their accomplishments? Heck, these days you’ll earn my respect if you consistently show up on time and if you know the difference between “you” and “you’re.” Don’t laugh, it’s harder to find people with those traits than you might suspect. I dare you to go out and give it a try.
The TSA has been complaining lately that passengers don’t give them enough respect. Now that is something to laugh about! How can I respect someone with a name like “LaTrina” who’s too busy chewing gum and polishing her fingernails to inspect my ID? The solution (according to the TSA) was to get new uniforms and badges. Gold badges. The very day I read that the TSA planned to get shiny new gold badges, I was just starting to chuckle over the childish nature of the whole business when I read that local police units were upset because THEY have gold badges and they didn’t want anyone confusing a gold badged TSA employ from a gold badged policeman. Hilarious! I felt instantly transported back to my kindergarten playground where we debated who had the nicest marbles in their bag.
I can assure you, when I run down my mental list of things the TSA could do to earn my respect, a gold badge is just not quite enough to drive me to my knees in supplication. “Oh my, their badges are gold now… I’d better not try any funny business!” There are some things they could do to earn my respect. Recently, I wrote them a letter asking them why they search pilots and crew for weapons. After all, the pilot is flying the plane; he wouldn’t need a weapon. Nevertheless, the TSA answered my letter and assured me that, “All pilots and crew members have a private area where they can be searched and questioned away from the general public.” What? They didn’t even answer the question! If they want to earn my respect, they could learn to pay attention.
A recent article in USA Today talked about the TSA and their lack of procedures or policies in handling old uniforms and pass cards issued to their employees. Apparently, when you resign or leave the TSA, you don’t have to turn in your uniform or your pass cards. An audit by a private security firm turned up many EX-TSA employees (82, actually) who still had their uniforms and pass cards and in one case, a pass-card that was more than two years old that still worked to open many security doors at the airport! There were also 73 cases of lost cards processed and new cards issued without canceling the old cards from the system. If they want to earn my respect, they could learn how to secure the airport.
I know it’s a lot to ask, but to earn our respect, have they thought about just doing their jobs?
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