When us mere mortals get a sneak peek into the world of secret societies, it’s a moment worth remembering. If you’ve ever been through airport security, then here you can discover the dark rants of TSA employees.
It’s not the same everywhere
One TSA employee vented off about how some people complain about how things are done. Sometimes it’s difficult for passengers to stomach how some airports will allow certain things while others are less than enthusiastic.
This situation is clearly something this person has had more than a few times, and they are sick of hearing it. It’s an easy excuse that people like to use as if it’s going to let them get away with it this time. Naturally, this doesn’t help at all, and just delays things.
Seeing it all
Some people can’t bear to see their children grow up. Not to mention, it can be tough knowing exactly when something should stop, like removing the stroller and getting your kid to walk wherever they need to go.
This employee noticed the kid in the stroller and was horrified to see how old the kid looked. You never know, she could be exceptionally young, just a bit more advanced where her height is concerned… at which point, it’s probably time to ditch it.
Can’t out-petty the TSA
As a passenger, it’s a little unnerving knowing that someone can go through, rummage and touch your items, especially since they’re so personal. However, leaving a note can put someone in an awkward position when it’s their job to check your stuff.
It might seem petty, but this TSA employee was told by her boss to touch everything. Why? A note isn’t going to stop them, and if anything, it spurs them on. Now we know not to ask anything of a trusty TSA employee.
Horton hears a what?
It seems the TSA employees hear this all too often. Passengers are always trying to smuggle items they want to bring with them on board. The problem is, did another airline let them fly with it, or is it a bad excuse?
At any rate, different airlines have different rules, so it’s always important to check in on them before flying. This TSA employee obviously doesn’t have a lot of faith in people, assuming they’re telling porky pies rather than the truth. We wonder what it’s usually for?
Big boss perks
It looks like one TSA employee has noticed a few problems with the management. Working in 100-degree heat is not easy at all, but these employees have to as they don’t have the money for fans or proper plugs.
However, they later found out that management was allowed to spend $3k on new chairs for the manager’s office along with other high-priced items. It does seem somewhat awkward and unfair, and where else to share that than social media? Maybe someone will take notice.
On the subject of management, it seems TSA employees have to warm up using the toaster in the break room. Perhaps this is another nod to how management might not always prioritize things that would make their staff more comfortable.
This guy seems to be taking that well, or maybe he’s the only one who gets cold while in the breakroom, which is why his coworker jokes at him. Apparently, many people could relate to this post, though, so there’s more than one.
Practice what you preach
One TSA worker got particularly irritated one day and decided to let it all out on the secret social media group. If you’ve never been to an airport before, then you’re not likely going to know all the ins and outs of what you’re supposed to do.
However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a customer or two who do make you wonder. Once you’ve been somewhere for long enough, it can wear you down. However, another employee explains that, after even longer, you block it all out.
The light is fading
We’d wager this happens a lot in a number of industries. Although, we’re not sure anyone would ever willfully claim to enjoy watching the happiness fade out of someone’s eyes. One TSA employee asked everyone whether or not anyone else enjoyed watching the happiness fade from new starters’ eyes.
We’re guessing it’s because they have been there themselves. They have been a new starter and had the light fade from their own eyes. Someone has even recalled watching it happen to them.
Starting the day right
You know, there are more jobs than you realize that seem to be some kind of snark magnet to the public. It’s different for many people, but sometimes you really are just representing a company you work for, whether you agree with the rules or not.
However, that doesn’t make having someone swear at you any easier. When one person was on their first break, they had someone swear at them. It might not seem too bad until you’re in the moment, hurt and confused.
Losing staff in droves
One person wondered whether or not other airports were losing staff faster than they could employ them. It’s interesting as it might reflect on whether or not the TSA is looking after their staff properly, or if one airport had a particularly high turnover.
Of course, messages like these always encourage a large amount of conversation. One person has even suggested that the TSA doesn’t treat their staff like human beings. Not a great start, but maybe someone will see this thread and change things up.
Something they can relate to
Well, there is one thing about going to an airport that many people forge, and that’s having those rigorous pat-down checks that most of us don’t have to go through. However, some people know what’s involved all too well.
One TSA employee joked about having to pat down a lonely passenger, suggesting they might not find it irritating or inconvenient. Instead, they could find it quite the opposite. Of course, we have no idea what they’re talking about.
The assumption of bad news
It seems kind of sad when someone assumes that, if they’re being called in, then it’s probably bad news. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case at all, and things ended up going pretty well in the end. They even got a promotion!
Although, that’s not what they were expecting at all. At least something positive has come from this secret group rather than just upset people and rants. Everything has to have a silver lining somewhere, even if it is coated in disciplinary anxiety.
Here we go again
You can tell what these guys have to deal with more often than other things. This employee has compared it to other scenarios in life, which kind of makes it seem sensible. However, that won’t ever stop people from comparing them.
Perhaps this suggests that there ought to be some rules that go across the board, saving this conversation and any further confusion. One person points out it can even be done by interpretation sometimes after some people relax over the years.
The extra ticket code
Sometimes, after a week of awkward and angry customers, you feel like things can be getting on top of you. It might even call for some job-specific banter, which this person is utilizing perfectly.
They want to add on an extra boarding code – one which might suggest that the person traveling isn’t perhaps as bright as they seem. We all need a little extra help sometimes, but some customers really do seem to push the boat out when it comes down to it.
The management are watching
There’s something exceptionally unnerving about CCTV. In most cases, it really is there to prevent people from stealing or doing something they shouldn’t, as a preventative measure. However, one employee has gone as far as asking for a written explanation for what CCTV is meant to be used for.
It can be pretty tough trying to do anything when someone is scrutinizing you. So, not only is it invading people’s personal space, it’s also potentially making people do their job a lot worse than they might otherwise be.
The pet scanner incident
It also stands to reason that TSA employees would have more than a few crazy stories. After all, where would these rants come from, if not? One man reportedly attempted to get his cat through the X-ray machine at LA Airport.
The cat was in a bag, not a pet carrying case, and so disguised the animal as he tried putting it through the machine. This was horrifying for TSA workers. It’s the kind of thing where there are no words that describe what it’s like to witness this.
What happens in the IO room
The image operator rooms are where TSA workers will screen a full body scan. This is to check if someone has anything suspicious on their person. One TSA agent opened up about how he gets to see what people look like without their clothes on.
Since images wouldn’t be stored, it meant officers could use it for whatever they wanted. The room could be used for secret, and somewhat illicit meetings between coworkers, or to stand and watch what people look like beneath their clothing.
Initiating the pat-down
While we have heard that TSA agents like to out-petty their customers, there are more than a few ways they try to do this. One of them is using code words to send a message to other coworkers about a particular passenger.
If a passenger had been rude at all, then they would give them a pat-down, claiming it was a ‘random search’. In order to cue this pat-down, they would just speak the codework ‘39’ to make it all happen.
Cats are a nightmare
Dealing with cats can be seriously problematic. It turns out that a cat can shut down a terminal all by itself. Since they’re so agitated coming out of their carriers, patting down a cat for weapons can be a real nightmare.
Sometimes, a cat can even make a break for it, getting out of their carrier and running through a terminal. Unfortunately, this is considered a breach, and that’s when a terminal can be shut down. This is because, if they’re carrying weapons, they’re now loose.
Dogs are awesome though
Whether you’re a dog or a cat person, patting down a dog is way easier than patting down a cat. This is according to TSA agents themselves. Most dogs who need to be patted down consider it as getting lots of positive attention and a pet.
So, despite most cats being smaller than the majority of dogs, dogs are way easier to deal with in comparison. We’re pretty sure most people wouldn’t have minded anyway, so can we have dogs to pet for our job, please?
People with big hairdos
It can be a real problem when someone comes through with an elaborate hairdo. It doesn’t matter if it’s fashion or if it’s for a special occasion, that large hairstyle is apparently the bane of TSA agents’ lives. This is because people could hide weapons or items in their hair that they shouldn’t.
This means that if anyone does come through with a larger-than-life hairstyle, then they’re going to have a much more rigorous inspection. Anything from braids to a scrunchie can set it off and start a problem.
TSA agents don’t like morning people
According to one TSA agent, the people they like the least are those who travel in the morning. For some reason, the people they like the most are the late-night travelers, as they seem to be more co-operative.
This is because people in the morning, according to this agent, can actually be a lot meaner than their evening-flying counterparts. Not to mention, apparently anyone traveling business will happily tell TSA workers where to go and what they can do with themselves.
TSA agents don’t feel they can open up
Believe it or not, TSA agents get a lot of public criticism. One employee took to social media to share their feelings and check whether or not other employees do the same thing. Apparently, this was something many people shared.
A load of people supported this anonymous poster, claiming they also don’t like to tell people what it is they do for a living. Most of the time, it’s because they fear some kind of personal backlash if they do.
Cheese looks explosive
This might sound a little strange, but if you’re the kind of person who likes to bring cheese on your travels, then you’re probably going to be stopped. The reason for this is because it seems to show up looking like a C4 explosive – it’s indistinguishable.
In fact, TSA agents get rather annoyed with anyone who feels like traveling with meats or orange-toned organic products. It all makes their job a lot harder just to make sure someone isn’t trying to do something horrible.
No settling in
TSA agents don’t get to settle down at their stations for the day like most other people do. Instead, they could be made to do anything after half an hour. Apparently, they will get assigned to different stations each day and be moved around every 30 minutes.
This is so that they avoid making any errors. Apparently, after half an hour of doing a task, you may start missing things. So, they can’t get comfortable and have to be on their toes all day.
People who opt-out slow it down
Some agents have a code name for people who opt out of the full-body scan. They were called ‘Tulips’ and were people TSA agents would get particularly annoyed about. Since 2013, they no longer use the x-ray scanners and use radio waves instead.
This means it is nowhere near as invasive as it used to be. The reason they get annoyed is because this slows everything down, causing pile-ups, and they’re not sure the passenger even understands why.
Checking you out
While we know that policies vary from airport to airport, which seems to be a big issue for some people, this is a general practice. Security officers who check out people’s credentials and identity can write something on your ticket to prompt a more thorough search.
They also have to write in their initials and their badge number, so that it’s clear they have been through security when they are boarding the plane. Watch out for those code names.
TSA agents get genuinely scared
Many of us in regular day-to-day jobs don’t have to worry about being threatened in any way. However, TSA agents do live the reality that there are credible threats to their careers and their lives. One TSA agent opened up about having to go through assailant training three times.
Not only this, but they were also told they could not wear their uniform to and from work as there was an active threat against the airport. Not what you want to hear when you’re just getting into work.
Take it off
One of the biggest, most irritating things that TSA agents have to deal with is having to change their gloves. It sounds petty, but they are often faced with customers who demand they change their gloves just because they didn’t see them change them already.
This usually occurs before a pat-down, and is something they can’t really get out of. TSA agents change their gloves all the time, but are still required to change them in front of a customer if they demand it.
Job security like no other
With everything else that has been said about the TSA, it seems kind of strange that employees would compare them to the mafia. Don’t worry, it’s nothing too crazy. Once TSA officers pass their probationary period, it’s apparently exceptionally tough to lose that job.
They call it ‘being made’, which is a term the mafia uses. Apparently, after this, you effectively can’t lose your job unless you commit a crime. Talk about incredible job security, right?
No perks of the job
While knowing you get to keep your job no matter what seems like a major perk, TSA employees don’t get any others. They’re not allowed to accept any airport perks, and accepting a gift could actually be cause for termination. Is that committing a crime?
However, there is a loophole they have worked out. If you befriend a pilot or have a close, personal relationship with an employee, then you may accept it. Pilots can offer you free miles on an airplane.
You can’t bring that here
Sometimes, people only need to try to bring something awkward to give a TSA agent a lousy day. Believe it or not, the military is not exempt from going through security. It makes sense when you think about it. However, they can bring back some pretty strange stuff.
One TSA worker explained how a bunch of times, they have had to confiscate weapons from armed forces because they’re bringing them through security. They’re around it every day, so it seems reasonable to them, but not for airport staff.
Bringing in a pet for emotional support
Most of us would love to have an emotional support pet, but we’re just not allowed to, or we don’t really need one. However, some people struggle to get by without them at all. Despite this, people still try and smuggle in their pet duck, claiming it’s their emotional support animal.
Sometimes, these situations can be exceptionally difficult to handle. After all, who’s to say that squirrel isn’t emotionally supporting the person? Except, it’s a bit strange to have a squirrel on a flight.
TSA workers have to be on the lookout for all kinds of weird things. Most of the time, they want to make sure people aren’t transporting illegal substances across countries. One guy was stopped from going on a plane because he had a suitcase filled with female mannequin parts.
They believed he could have been smuggling substances in there. Once they searched absolutely everything, it turned out the guy really did just have the mannequin. Still, a bit strange.
Bringing on a crazy magnet
It stands to reason that one of the most disturbing things to be shared is the things people bring with them on board. Someone decided to bring in a massively powerful magnet. It was so powerful that, while it was in the bag, it was ripping rollers on the conveyor. Three men had to get it off.
It only needed to be within 1.5 feet of a metal object to fly at it. Another worker had braces on, and a coworker had to stop him from getting near it.
The case of empty egg cartons
It makes TSA workers’ jobs harder when people won’t answer their questions. One person came through with two suitcases completely filled with egg cartons. They had nothing in them, just a whole load of empty egg cartons.
Naturally, when anything looks stranger than it should, they get pulled in for questioning. However, when they got pulled in for questioning, he simply refused to answer, claiming he wasn’t doing anything illegal. He was let go, but to this day, they don’t know why he had all those cartons.
Having to trifle through awkward material
TSA workers have seen a lot. One explained that they figured out a common tactic that people liked to use as a deterrent is to use adult magazines. Adult magazines tend to make people feel uncomfortable when they’re not expecting it, meaning they’re less thorough in their search.
One worker had a guy who had filled an old laptop with newspaper to stop his knife inside it from moving. He also had a bunch of adult mags at the top of his bag. Thankfully, he didn’t get away with it.
A strange way of doing it
One officer has witnessed some passengers trying to come through in the strangest of ways. One person was working in a terminal in Australia. One guy tried coming through wearing nothing on his upper half.
He was also carrying a 10-foot long tree branch. His shirt was hanging off the end of the branch, carrying a bunch of items he intended on taking with him. He didn’t get particularly far before security explained he couldn’t go through .
Take the batteries out
TSA workers have to report baggage to the police if anything is vibrating inside of it. Literally, anything that comes through, if something is vibrating, then the police have to be called. Most of the time, the TSA worker explains that it is probably an electric razor.
However, it doesn’t matter how mundane the item is, it’s got to be taken seriously. Sometimes, it can be a number of other, more intimate items. In essence, it’s probably best that you just take the batteries out.
The case of the missing spiders
One TSA worker had to deal with a really bizarre situation with a guy. For some reason, one guy decided it would be a good idea to bring a glass filled with tarantulas. Unfortunately, the creatures weren’t alive anymore but were still being smuggled.
People try smuggling all kinds of animals, so they can sell them on. However, this guy still wanted his glass of tarantulas. Sometimes, there is no easy explanation for people’s behavior.
Disclaimer: Some photos may be stock images used for illustration purposes only. The people or places in these photos are not to be associated with the article.