An insider’s view, passed along without comment:
[S]ince most TSA supervisors are too daft to actually supervise, bending the rules is easy to do.
Did you know you don’t need a high-school diploma or GED to work as a security screener? These are the same screeners that TSA chief John Pistole and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano refer to as a first-class first line of defense in the war on terror.
These are the employees who could never keep a job in the private sector. I wouldn’t trust them to walk my dog.
… Most TSA screeners know their job is a complete joke. Their goal is to use this as a stepping stone to another government agency.
… Supervisors play absolutely no role in day-to-day functions except to tell you not to chew gum. Gum chewing is a huge issue with management. I once saw a supervisor make an officer open his mouth to prove he had a mint and not a piece of gum.
Goofing off and half-hour-long bathroom breaks are the only way to break up the monotony. There is also a lot of ogling of female passengers by the male screeners. So, ladies, cover up when you get to the airport. These guys are checking you out constantly.
… The rest are only there for the paycheck and generous benefits. Screeners start at $15 per hour, and there is tons of overtime — mainly because they are filling in for the many screeners who don’t bother coming to work. For every 40 hours you work, you receive four hours of vacation and four hours of sick time.
One screener didn’t come to work for four weeks. When he finally reappeared, he asked for another week off. The answer was no. So what did this brainiac decide to do? He took another week off — and didn’t get terminated.
People have been caught falling asleep on the job. They get written up, it’s put in their file, and that’s it.
New hires see how bad it is working there, and, believe it or not, TSA does manage to hire some pretty decent people. They just don’t last because they can get a normal job.
It’s the people who’ve been there a good number of years who could never find employment elsewhere. When you have a real job, it usually means you have to actually work and think, which a lot of them have a hard time doing.