I was in San Francisco over the weekend to see a friend compete in the SF Slam Finals. The only thing that marred the trip was some rudeness from TSA personnel (they're allegedly understaffed and suffering from low morale so they bully passengers Just Because They Can) at SFO yesterday. TSA Alpha Male, anticipating passenger feedback, screamed:
THIS ISN'T CHICAGO!!! THIS ISN'T VANCOUVER!!!--a marvelous way
to make passengers comfortable before going through the screening process.
I incurred the sting of another TSA Alpha Male's tongue when I was about five seconds too slow in putting items in the plastic bowl, after the de rigeur removal of shoes, belt, keys and fountain pen. Obviously, it's important to the TSA to keep the line moving a la Chaplin's MODERN TIMES even if mistakes or omissions in the screening process occur.
My all-time favorite example of bad TSA behavior is from when I was in Seattle last November and the agent responsible for giving out prescreening orders to passengers (products in tiny ziplocs, etc.) yelled THIS IS THE ENDGAME! It does remind me of how some production assistants and ADs behave towards extras on film/TV sets.
One exception: if you talk back to a PA or AD, you only have the economic worry of being fired on the spot and potential blackballing from the extras' casting agency and/or calling service who sent you on the job. Any response to an obnoxious TSA agent--from polite-but-irritated to righteous anger--can lead to detainment (a missed flight, for example) and possible arrest.
I just love the use of stupid power to keep people in line while they're waiting in line.