The TSA Agent Who Knew My Name Before I Told Her

Aug 20, 2014 by

The TSA Agent Who Knew My Name Before I Told Her

A few flights ago, a TSA agent told me something interesting:

“In the future, go to the front of the line and tell them you’re a Selectee (i.e. on The List). That’ll let you skip the line and get right to the front.”

I’d never really thought about this, but I imagined it would work. While skipping to the front of every line at security sounds pretty awesome, my immediate reaction is: There is no way I’m going to be so undignified as to raise my hand and say,

“Excuse me TSA. I’m on your terrorist list and am submitting myself to your intrusive search and degrading security screening. Yoo-hoo, here I am. Take me.”

I have too much self-love. No way.

Then I was flying out of Seattle one morning. I was a little late. And the line was really long. Like, really long. I was sort of in the danger zone for possibly missing my flight. And I recalled the TSA guy’s advice.

A TSA woman was going down the line asking everyone to move against the wall or something, so I waved to her and said,

“Hey, I’ve got a boarding pass with the four S’s.” I pointed at my boarding pass.

She was 30 feet away and well out of eye shot of the fine print on my boarding pass. And I never expected her response,

“Mister Young? We’ve been waiting for you. Come with me.”

She knew my name. And she knew I was coming.

“What do you mean you’ve been waiting for me?” I asked.

“Follow me.” she said.

We bypassed hundreds of people and probably 30 minutes worth of line, and arrived at the podium where IDs are checked.

“This is Mister Young. He’s a Selectee.” (Again, TSA code for being on The List.)

They did the drill: Scrutinizing the boarding pass, looking at me like a caged unicorn, then calling for backup. A couple of TSA agents were standing around the podium at this point.

Someone came to “assist” me through, and as we walked away, one of the agents said,

“Have fun mister Young!” Said in the most flippant way possible.

As thuggy as they are, I had never heard them get snarky. I could only infer I had been a topic of discussion at that morning’s meeting. And I had been the subject of some form of belittling ridicule, making me worthy of this understated-yet-direct mockery.

Here’s the lesson, terrorist-watch-list-inductees: They know you’re coming. Be flattered.

 

 

-Jetsetting Terrorist

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1 Comment

  1. Brother Phil

    Maybe one of them has come across this blog.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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