Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Airport Employees

At the risk of this somehow making its way back to the Secretary of Airport Operations, the Czar of Flight Security, or the UN Ambassador on Irritating People Before Cramming Them Into a Tiny Seat Beside Someone Who Has a Complete Disregard for Personal Space, I have to share with you the dark truth behind airport employees. This is worse that the Dateline expose' on old meat being cleaned up and sold at Food Lion... worse than the youtube video of a fast food employee bathing in the dish sink at the back of the chain "restaurant"... dare I say worse than the horror stories you hear about transient ride operators at local fairs.

Brace yourself.

Airport employees, thanks to terrorism and despite their overwhelming lack of higher education, have been trained to believe that they have complete control of airports, security, you, me, our luggage, the tube of chapstick I so wrongly tried to smuggled through security without restricting its devasting power in a ziplock bag, the order in which we board the plane, our right to not sit beside a person as large as a linebacker for an arena football team (that's right, somewhat fit, but mostly fat and either way oozing into my seat from above and below the armrest that is my only remaining hope at the personal space bubble I have tried so hard to maintain in my 28 years), in fact the entire the fate of the world (both free and otherwise) rests in the hands of these employees. It is quite the burden. I can see why so many of them have turned into sour faced, grumpy shells of the fun loving people that surely they used to be.
As I sit on a plane (if you can call a 20 row turbo prop a legitmate plane) from Denver to Boise I consider the days events thus far.

As I enter the line for security a woman (who is being paid how much?) stands at the front of the entrance. Is she there to check your boarding pass? Perhaps to check your ID? To help inexperienced travelrs through the process? No. Her job is to make you consolidate your items into one carry on and a personal item. "But ma'am, I need to keep my boarding pass and ID out." "I'm sorry, you have to prove that you can fit everything into one carry on and one personal item before I can let you into line." So I take my drivers license, boarding pass, and cell phone and drop them in my bag. "You'll need to put your suit jacket in your bag or put it on." Great. Who am I to argue.

As I approach the next airport employee just 5 to 10 feet away, I am asked to produced my ID and boarding pass. You know, the ones I was just asked to put away. So I open my bag and out they both come... again.

I step up to the cold metal tables to prepare for the walk. On a side note, I think security has become more of a walk of shame than the proverbial walk of shame. I mean, so you put on a cute outfit and stay over at someone else's place. The next morning hopefully you're satisfied, as long as you were an adult about things- you're not worse off than the day before, and you get to put on the same cute outfit to go home. No shame. But at the airport, you have to take off your jacket (the one I just put back on because someone told me to), your belt if it has too much metal, any large metal jewelry, your shoes, take all your anti aging creams, whitening toothpaste, antipersperant, make-up, etc out of your bag and display these things for everyone to see while you walk through a metal detector wearing what is left of your outfit.

I digress.

The rest of the travel day continues along the same lines from security to the gate attendants to the flight attendants to car rental people at the airport. But truthfully it doesn't really bother me. It doesn't even particulary affect my mood. At least not as much as the man sitting next to me on the flight from Denver who at first I thought smelled of vomit, but decided later had more of a processed meat/camping trip/no shower smell.

No comments: