Do you know anyone who’s angry all the time? I did. Our hunting group used to include a man named Steve who just always seemed to be angry at everyone and everything in the world. He was truly a “rebel without a cause” as the saying goes. When his company announced a change in the dress code policy, he would wear a black “Iron Maiden” t-shirt to work the very next day, just to “make a point.” Sensitivity training only served to harden him against psychiatrists and counselors in general. He’s an extremely bright guy, just not willing to work with a massive population of people or authority. Steve doesn’t hunt with us anymore and in fact, he doesn’t even call us or talk to us anymore. I wonder what he’s up to from time to time and I hope the best for him, I really do.
A lot of airport workers have become “hardened” over the years and it’s easy to understand why. Most professions that involve dealing with a segment of the public who is ignorant to the things that have become second nature to the workers have this problem. Nurses, IT workers, diner waitresses, TSA security personnel… I’m sure they are all convinced that the people they “serve” are idiots. I suppose I can’t blame them. If I had to change poopy adult diapers all day and a patient asked me, “The doctor told me not to eat citrus but I want this orange, ok?” I’d be sorely tempted to give him a glass of fresh lemonade to wash the orange down with. It’s probably why I’m not a nurse…
Well, at Kennedy airport in New York City (a city NOT known for its friendly, patient, hospitable nature) they’re doing something about it! According to this article, more than 500 workers from the International terminal there are being sent to sensitivity training! The article states that, “The class, which is run by the Human Resiliency Institute at , is focused on teaching airport workers how to remain calm and pleasant even when confronted by irate passengers.”
That’s excellent news! Kennedy airport was where I was “randomly” selected for a “male assist” pat down after I had the nerve to ask the TSA agent what the current terror alert color code was and what it meant. She did not want to be interrupted (she was painting her nails) and I paid the price. She yanked my boarding pass out of my hand, turned on her urban attitude and said, “You just got selected for random search.” Random. Uh-huh.
I’d be curious to hear from folks who go through Kennedy from time. Are things better, worse, or the same? I’d be curious to hear from Steve too, there are still people out there to care!