Couldn’t Have Been The Sharpest TSA Agent

, , , , , | Working | April 22, 2019

(My friend and her husband are traveling for vacation. My friend works for an international fast food company writing training manuals and tweaking ingredient amounts for certain food and drink items. They successfully make it through airport security and are gathering their belongings on a bench thirty feet away to head to the gate. When she is putting her laptop back in the case, she feels something odd inside. She pulls out a large ginsu knife.)

Husband: “Uh, honey? What is that doing in your bag?”

Friend: “Oh, my gosh! I forgot to empty my bag from the [Company] conference! I was doing a demonstration with the knife, and I put it in here to bring home and never took it out!”

Husband: “How did TSA miss that?!”

Friend: “I don’t know! What should I do?”

Husband: “There’s a trash barrel. Quickly! Put it in there!”

(They gathered their belongings, knife hidden underneath her jacket, ran up to the trash barrel, and threw it away. I wonder what else gets missed.)

A Kindness Souvenir

, , , , | Hopeless | April 16, 2019

I have flown to Washington DC with my grandma to meet my aunt. I am returning home by plane, as my home is over a thousand miles away. As a minor — I turned fifteen a month ago — I can bring in my relatively small suitcase, but I run into a problem at the security checkpoint where the fluid in my suitcase — a souvenir — is a problem, and I will have to check in the luggage. Okay, no problem.

I make my way back and notice my grandma, who has watched me through the security checkpoint, has already left before the problem and is most likely currently going through security at her own gate. My aunt dropped us off but did not come in with us.

I head over to the check-in service and wait in line, before finally coming up to the nice lady manning the station. I’m socially anxious, as well as hard of hearing — I wear hearing aids — so it takes quite a while for me to understand and do everything; this is my first time doing it without parental help. She tells me it will be a $20 fee.

My mother has given me my personal debit card and has told me to never let my balance go below $10. However, I have spent quite a bit on souvenirs, bringing the total on my debit card to $12. I do not know this, so I hand her the debit card and it is declined. Slowly, it starts to sink in that I do not have enough money. I’m starting to panic and start texting my mom. Again, being socially anxious plus hard of hearing means I can’t hear my mom over the phone.

A few minutes later, she hasn’t texted me. I’m just awkwardly smiling at the other passerby while trying so very hard not to cry. She finally texts me, and my heart plummets when I read it. She can’t transfer money to my debit card.

I don’t want to bother my grandma to come back through security. I don’t have any change. And I’m currently a thousand miles away from home with no way getting there. I start crying, trying to cover up my tears, and sobbing and apologizing profusely to the lady. She’s offering a smile but it’s hopeless; I can’t get back. I can’t get rid of the souvenir, either, because my grandma got it for me, and it included some other things.

All a sudden, the lady working in the next booth over speaks up and pays for it — all $20. I honestly can’t remember what happened because it was all such a haze, but I was either too dumbfounded to utter a thank-you that sounded sincere or was thanking her non-stop.

Thanks to that lady, whom I can honestly not thank enough, I got home safely. I will always forever be grateful for her, and even as I’m writing this, I’m fighting back tears. She has my undying thanks. I wish I could find her and pay her back the $20.

After the ordeal, my mom and I have vowed I will now keep at least $30 in my debit account, working to make $100 in there and keeping it in there.

I Live At One America Street, America

, , , , , | Right | March 11, 2019

(I’m at the check-in desk at an airport in Israel.)

Customer: “Excuse me?”

Me: “Yes?”

Customer: “There is only one airport in the USA, right?”

Me: “Only one airport… in the entire USA?”

Customer: “Yes!”

Me: “Please listen to yourself. Are you serious?”

Customer: “…”

Me: “…”

Customer: “Yes, only one airport. Thank you!”

Me: *face-palm*

Could Have Been Sharper That Day

, , , , , | Right | March 7, 2019

(I traveled with my family quite frequently growing up so I am generally well-prepared for going through security, except this one time. I am about fifteen and traveling with my parents. The security agent does all of their checks, passport, liquids, and laptops out, etc., and I have gone through the metal detector.)

Security Agent: “Is this your bag?”

Me: “Yes.”

Security Agent: “I am going to do a search through it.”

(They begin searching through my bag as I rack my brain to figure out what could be in it, and they pull out a small zipper pouch.)

Security Agent: “What do you have in here?”

Me: “String that I am using to make string bracelets…“

(I suddenly clue in to what else is in there right at the same time as he pulls them out: a pair of big kitchen scissors, the only ones I could find at home, which I had been using to cut the string. Cue me turning bright red at being that person in the airport security line.)

Me: “I am so sorry. I totally forgot that those were in there.”

Security Agent: “We are going to confiscate these, but try to be more careful in the future.”

(Thankfully, they realized that it was a genuine mistake and were good about it and didn’t put me on a secondary screening list for life or anything, but my parents, on the other hand, won’t let me live it down.)

There Is Nothing Preferred About This Customer

, , , , , | Right | February 12, 2019

(I’m a customer in this story. There have been a series of storms that have caused some significant flight delays into the Northeast. I’ve arrived almost eight hours late after what was supposed to be two-hour flight. It’s 2:38 am when I get to [Car Rental Agency]. There is a long line of beleaguered travelers who just want their d*** cars. Several customers in line are so-called preferred members who can ordinarily skip the line when the express counter is open. It is closed between 1:00 and 4:00 am. There is obviously some displeasure at the continued wait, but none are more pointedly accusatory towards the staff than one middle-aged man who is about twelfth in line.)

Customer #1: “Why can’t I get my car now if my name is on the board?”

Desk Agent #1: “Because the express counter is closed.”

Customer #1: “But why can’t I get my car now if my name is on the board?!

Desk Agent #1: “I’m sorry, sir, but the express counter is closed until 4:00 am.”

(This repeats several times.)

Customer #1: “That’s great. That’s just f****** great.”

Customers #2 & #3: *to me, just loud enough for half the line to hear* “We’re on the board, too!”

([Customer #1] rants at various volumes for the next ten minutes, until finally, his inner seven-year-old comes out. In the warbling, modulated moaning whine that any parent or former child would instantly recognize, he starts repeating:)

Customer #1: “But I’m a preferred customer!”

(This went on for ten minutes. The staff was moving people through at the best rate that they could, but they now had to deal with this middle-aged man’s tantrum. Finally, they created a line just for him. Sadly, this was a year ago, and the voice of this forty-something child still haunts me.)

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