Confessions of a 20-something mother

Talk about anything under the sun or stars - but keep it civil. This is where we really get to know each other. Everyone is welcome, and invited!
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Petrie
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Postby Petrie » Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:19 pm

My disagreement is not so much with the workers who really are just doing their jobs as with the entire policy as a whole and the people who put it in place.
Unfortunately, a lot of people can't make that distinction. The TSA is not some faceless giant organization; it is comprised of a bunch of little people doing what they're told but being painted with this broad, harsh brushstroke thanks to the decisions of a much smaller group of people at the head of said organization. I think the workers who deal with people are doing the best they can given the circumstances and catching a whole lot of undeserved hell for it.

They're doing random searches on a small percentage of passengers and yes, it sucks to be part of that selected percentage but based on the outrage, it seems like people are assuming that every single person to buy a ticket and fly has to experience this. To help minimize chances, put anything you suspect may be metal in the luggage bin. Follow the rules; shoes in bins, liquids out, jackets, laptops, all that.

I'm all for filing complaints and writing letters and directing anger and disappointment, etc. through the right channels and people, here especially, have every right to voice their opinions but I don't know what would be better and I'm not certain anyone else does, either. I hear about bombs being smuggled onto planes, passenger or cargo, like the one headed for Chicago within this past month and I think something has to be done. It's an unsafe world, people want to hurt Americans, including Americans.

I have had terrible, involuntary experiences of a sexual nature at various ages (as young as 3.5, 4 and as old as 17) and do not respond well to being touched by people I don't know and trust. I would be very much affected by this, too, for what it's worth. Both the body scans and the patdowns.

I'll risk it, though. Because there are a lot of good people working for the TSA and I have to trust that they are on my side.




I didn't say what I did in my first post in here to start any arguments, by the way. I'm sure there are people shaking their head at how much of a sheep, do as I'm told, rule-following, non-revolutionary I am and thinking things will only get worse if everyone adopts my attitude but while those people are focusing on the big bad organizations and policies (and we certainly need people to do that), I'm going to focus on the individuals I have to deal with. Like Nomi said, if I can't do anything about it, I try not to get too worked up about it.
So raise your glass if you are wrong in all the right ways, all my underdogs.

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Postby Eaquae Legit » Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:06 pm

As far as the individual TSA workers go, I have sympathy. I have a ton of sympathy. My disagreement is not so much with the workers who really are just doing their jobs as with the entire policy as a whole and the people who put it in place.
This is why I draw a distinction between "f- America" and "f- Americans". It's a fine line, I guess, but I really have to beef with individual Americans, who as far as I've ever encountered them, are decent, rational people. But somehow these policies go through. I don't know what on earth it is in the national ideology that leads to measures like this, but I hate it. And even more I hate how it encroaches on other nations' sovereignty. If we hadn't already booked our flights, I would arrange to fly domestically out to Halifax or St. John's and go from there.

I do feel pretty bad for the TSA agents (like Brian), who are probably dealing with a lot of abuse from the public and the generally unpleasant task of having to touch everyone.
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Postby jotabe » Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:09 pm

I wonder...if a large portion of the US believes terrorists = muslims, yet it's only non-muslim white women being accosted....security?
I think that what a large portion of any human group believes is irrelevant, as it is far too common for large human groups to be mistaken. What is really scary about that is that there are differences between the searches depending on the person's qualities. They are effectively laying out a manual on how to avoid thorough searches, removing any kind of usefulness the "tapping down" could have. As you suggested, just dress yourself up as a devout muslim woman.
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Postby starlooker » Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:10 pm

*shrugs*

There is a distinction. I will write letters of outrage to politicians. I will avoid flying. I will do whatever the hell I can as a citizen to vent this.

However, should said emergency come up and I end up flying and end up being randomly selected or whatever, I have no intention of being anything but polite to the individual TSA worker (unless that individual behaves in a way that warrants otherwise).

Spent too much time as a 7-11 worker getting blamed for the price of cigarettes not to be able to make that distinction.

As far as "well, SOMETHING has to be done," yes, it does. But I really do not see this as an effective use of money and resources for stopping terrorism, while it IS a gross violation of civil rights. I do not see enough benefit to outweigh the cost.
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Postby Eaquae Legit » Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:19 pm

However, should said emergency come up and I end up flying and end up being randomly selected or whatever, I have no intention of being anything but polite to the individual TSA worker (unless that individual behaves in a way that warrants otherwise).
Definitely this. I predict my reaction with be much along the lines of "*sigh* Neither of us like this, and I'm sorry you have to do it. Tell me what to do to get it over with the quickest." I generally make a deliberate attempt to be cheerful and/or friendly at airports, driver bureaus, or anywhere I know the employees take a lot of abuse.

Although I wonder if Steph or Brian knows who I could (politely) complain to. I'm not American, so writing to my congressman is out, but I would like to at least make my opinion known to someone who has any power or at least can forward my complaint to someone with power.
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Postby Caspian » Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:14 pm

Lots of people wrote:
workers who really are just doing their jobs
I'm sorry, but this is baloney. I do have sympathy, and I fully recognize the very difficult position that TSA employees have been put in by this policy, but "I was just doing my job" is not an acceptable defence. When your job involves violating people, when it involves forcing victims of sexual assault to relive their experience by groping them, when it involves what in any other context would be justifiably considered assault, it is no longer acceptable to fall back on the excuse that you are just doing your job. You are able to refuse, and if necessary to find another job. I do understand that standing up for your convictions at the risk of personal hardship is very difficult. But it is possible, and sometimes necessary.[/b]
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Postby daPyr0x » Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:41 pm

Confession: Finding out that one of my group members corrected my "is" to "are" when referring to a single entity makes my right eye twitch slightly.
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Postby neo-dragon » Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:53 pm

it is no longer acceptable to fall back on the excuse that you are just doing your job. You are able to refuse, and if necessary to find another job. [/b]
That's not exactly a reasonable course of action for most people. Besides, nobody is participating in this because they want to. It is meant to be a security measure. Whether or not it is the most effective or reasonable measure is a question which I don't feel qualified to comment on, but it's not like it's being done for kicks or to be cruel.
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Postby Petrie » Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:01 pm

I think it is grossly unfair to basically accuse all agents of assault and to suggest that they are all groping passengers when they do patdowns. I do not believe they were trained to assault or grope and the horror stories of an unfortunate, vocal minority does not mean that all agents are being as intrusive as the person who did Kelly's search. Yeah, it's security and not a doctor's office and so the degree to which people are going to be uncomfortable with such searches is going to be great, yes, it's this great violation of your rights, intrusive, awful, etc. Yes, this type of searching, as well as the body scans, should be replaced by something more dignified for passengers and employees alike.

But I think it is unrealistic to expect people to up and leave their jobs, especially in this climate, over policy that may or may not be around for long. As far as I know, there have been many concerns from the agents themselves passed up the chain of command and the TSA is supposedly looking into the issues that have arisen.

It's a tough situation, it's the beginning of a slippery slope and I don't want to say that the policy is okay, because it's not, but there are in fact people employed to do this who are doing their best to make the best of this situation without resorting to giving The Man the finger on principle.


File complaints, folks. Please do not sit in a morally comfortable position, staring down your nose at employees who are in tough positions.
So raise your glass if you are wrong in all the right ways, all my underdogs.

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Postby powerfulcheese04 » Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:03 pm

Lots of people wrote:
workers who really are just doing their jobs
I'm sorry, but this is baloney. I do have sympathy, and I fully recognize the very difficult position that TSA employees have been put in by this policy, but "I was just doing my job" is not an acceptable defence. When your job involves violating people, when it involves forcing victims of sexual assault to relive their experience by groping them, when it involves what in any other context would be justifiably considered assault, it is no longer acceptable to fall back on the excuse that you are just doing your job. You are able to refuse, and if necessary to find another job. I do understand that standing up for your convictions at the risk of personal hardship is very difficult. But it is possible, and sometimes necessary.[/b]
Really? Do you think it's fair to say that if you don't agree with these measures, you should just quit your job? What if you're the single bread-winner for your family? I'm sure you're aware of how difficult it can be to find jobs right now. Is it really fair to say that strangers' comfort is more important than feeding your family? I'm sorry. I just don't agree. I think it's reasonable for TSA employees to say that they disagree with the policy, but that they are required to enforce it, distasteful as it is.
-Kim

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Postby eggbalancer » Tue Nov 23, 2010 12:53 am

To those of you who are speaking up in my defense, thank you. You're right, TSA agents don't enjoy patting down random strangers any more than the strangers enjoy it. Has anyone paused to think about the strictly-enforced policy that all pat-downs be executed by a screener of the same gender, witnessed by another officer? Now think about touching a stranger OF THE SAME GENDER in sensitive areas. Not fun. And, this is the federal government we're talking about. You wouldn't believe the red-tape and bureaucracy surrounding the job, and there is no more sure-fire way to get fired than to stray from the professional guidelines presented in the Standard Operating Procedures. So, no, TSA agents don't pat you down for fun. And incidentally, there has been very little change to the pat-down that was previously used on people who chose not to undergo metal-detector screening (i.e. pregnant women, people with pacemakers, hippies afraid of technology) and the pat-down that is now in use. The main difference is that more people are being patted down.

I will say that I am all for filing complaints, especially in cases where the screener was unprofessional or unresponsive. Screeners are not supposed to touch your skin, and they are not supposed to squeeze your sensitive areas, and if they do, you need to get their name and complain about it. Talk to a supervisor. Ask for a complaint card. Post on tsa.gov. File a grievance. Write your airport's Federal Screening Director. Write your senator about the policies. Write Janet Napolitano and John Pistole. There have been tangible results at my airport in recent months. People are listening. If you have better screening suggestions, by all means, present them. Just don't walk into the airport ready to start a fight with the local screeners. Most of them didn't come to work to make your screening process a miserable one. Some of them are actually decent human beings who like people, know how to relate to them, and believe that they are doing an important (if incredibly complicated and almost insurmountable) job: keeping the public safe.
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Postby Rei » Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:35 am

I would be curious to see how EL AL manages screening, especially as they're known for being the most secure airline in the world.
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Postby Caspian » Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:18 am

You're wrong, Caspian
I'm really just making a general point, that the people who carry out orders are still morally responsible for what they are doing. If you believe that the TSA scans are wrong, rather than just inconvenient, then the people who are actually doing the scans share in the culpability.

And yes, we are morally responsible for the wellbeing of others, even if they aren't our immediate family. If you think that the TSA scans are simply uncomfortable than you don't think they are actually wrong at all, and it becomes irrelevant whether officers are responsible or not.

I'm really just saying that "they are just doing their job" is not a defense of immoral actions.
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Postby daPyr0x » Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:55 pm

I don't believe the pat-downs are morally wrong (for the employees of the TSA to perform). They are constitutionally wrong. When it comes to morals, everything (to me) boils down to the 3 tests. Assuming everybody knows as much as you do about the situation, would I like it if the situation were reversed? Would my parents be proud of me? Would I be okay with it being printed in the news? If I'm a professional doing the job to the best of my abilities, only putting up with the job while finishing school or looking for something better in order to keep food on my family's plate. It is not easy to get work in the US right now. I don't think you can auto-fail the 3 tests. Sure there are exceptions, but I can't justify saying all employees of the TSA are morally wrong for following their orders in a government funded organization.

However, the powers making this situation happen are actively breaking constitutional laws, which automatically fails the news test. Given the situation regarding the cozy backscatter manufacturer (link), the actual source of the laws that increased the TSA...I don't think these people can pass the 3 tests. These are the people who are morally wrong.

I'd also like to add this. Interesting.
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Postby VelvetElvis » Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:41 pm

I am watching Glee right now for the very first time. I think maybe I'm missing something, since I dislike it. Maybe it's better if you see it from the start?
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Postby neo-dragon » Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:48 pm

I'm not a die-hard "gleek" or anything, but I'd say that tonight's show is far from the best.
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Postby VelvetElvis » Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:51 pm

I LOVE singing and dancing. And their songs have been ok. Most of the rest has just been uncomfortable to watch.
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Postby Petrie » Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:57 pm

I think the only actual Glee I've seen was Gwyneth Paltrow's rendition of "Forget You" by Cee Lo and I loved it.

I intend to give this show a try as soon as they put it on Netflix streaming.
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Postby zeroguy » Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:28 am

For the first time... well, ever, as far as I can remember, recently I've been feeling some strain from this whole secrecy/"identity separation" thing. I've been taking some other communities more seriously and it's just getting difficult and... augh. I don't know whether to merge them or drop some.

That may not make much sense, but my mind has kinda been everywhere this week, though I've been trying to not show it.
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Postby Luet » Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:16 am

You better not drop us. I'll hurt you, dude.
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Postby VelvetElvis » Mon Nov 29, 2010 6:05 pm

I'm really excited to change my name. It's ot that I dislike my current name (I won't be dropping it) I just can't wait to add his to it. It's such a cool name!
Yay, I'm a llama again!

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Postby powerfulcheese04 » Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:13 pm

I'm really excited to change my name. It's ot that I dislike my current name (I won't be dropping it) I just can't wait to add his to it. It's such a cool name!
It still blows me away some time that I'm getting married in less than a year!
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Postby Petrie » Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:12 am

This is probably a "Be careful what you wish for" situation but I want to get sick. Not approaching sick but never making it all the way, the way I have been on occasion this year, but actually sick.

I feel guilty using my time off, even though it's there and mine to use, and I'd feel guilty lying about being sick. In fact, the only sick hours I've used in the entire year and a half I've been at the library were 4 in February when I went to work slightly sick, struggled through half the day, and didn't finish off the day only because I was sent home by my coworkers/supervisor.

Right now, I'm tired. I never feel properly rested. It sucks so badly watching coworkers take off two weeks here, two weeks there because they accrue time faster (from being there longer) or have more saved (also from being there longer), and because they have no issues with leaving the work to be done by others. I feel bad being a burden on them and they think nothing of unloading more work on me. That's my issue, not theirs, and I should be grateful I have a job, given the state the county is in and how they're likely to start either a hiring freeze or job cuts next fiscal year.

But that doesn't change the fact that I'm tired, overwhelmed, and doing my best to keep a positive attitude but failing more often than not. So, I'd like to get sick.
So raise your glass if you are wrong in all the right ways, all my underdogs.

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Postby VelvetElvis » Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:52 am

I'll let you borrow my sick.
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Postby Petrie » Tue Nov 30, 2010 6:50 pm

I just meant something like the flu or a cold, something basic but debilitating for wimps such as myself. I'd say a tooth emergency, since mouth pain is the best way to weaken me, but those cost too damn much. A flu or cold requires no money, just time and tissues.

Your particular sick sounds not fun and unknown, the latter of which makes it more not fun. Thanks but no thanks.
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Postby Luet » Wed Dec 01, 2010 10:11 pm

I couldn't decide whether to put this in Bob or here. Oh well.

I don't know if it's my new med or what's going on but I'm really anxious about my upcoming trip to CA. I'm excited about seeing Kelly, my SIL, and her baby, but I'm feeling nervous about going by myself (which I've done many times) and renting a car and driving on unfamiliar, traffic-filled roads alone. I just keep having visions of car accidents. This is not like me. I'm usually quite self-assured. I think I've been online shopping out of stress. At least it's all stuff I can return locally. :)
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Postby Petrie » Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:47 am

Regardless of what is causing the anxiety, I'm sending good thoughts for a safe trip.


~Nomi~
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Postby Eaquae Legit » Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:33 am

*hugs for Nomi* Have a great trip! Prayers are with you for a safe journey!
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Postby Luet » Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:54 am

Thanks guys. I leave Tuesday. Not sure how much I'll be able to get online but I'll miss you all!
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Postby Petrie » Fri Dec 03, 2010 6:39 pm

We'll miss you, too, if you can't come online. :)


I have been about 100 times happier in the past 9 days paying no attention to anyone's personal pages on Facebook and only paying minimal attention to my News Feed. Facebook is a decent idea but it causes so many unnecessary emotional problems for me.
So raise your glass if you are wrong in all the right ways, all my underdogs.

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Postby Eaquae Legit » Fri Dec 03, 2010 10:36 pm

I feel like myself with my best friend here! I'd almost forgotten how that felt.
"Only for today, I will devote 10 minutes of my time to some good reading, remembering that just as food is necessary to the life of the body, so good reading is necessary to the life of the soul." -- Pope John XXIII

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Postby Petra456 » Sat Dec 04, 2010 1:45 pm

Confession:

I absolutely hate getting in the shower. I always shower every day, but on days like this, it's almost noon and i'm still putting it off. Especially on mornings we have to be somewhere, Will has to fight to get me in so we can go.

I don't know why I hate it so much, because I love the feeling of being freshly clean that comes right after.
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And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.

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Postby Gravity Defier » Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:07 pm

Whenever my grandma visits, I steal her wedding ring and wear it around until she demands it back, usually just before she heads home. This could mean I wear it anywhere from a day to a few weeks. I don't wear it on my left hand, it stays on my middle finger on the right hand, but even so, I steal it and wear it because my mom's ring went missing years ago and no matter which I was wearing and no matter which hand and finger it is on, I do it because I think this is the only occasion I'll ever have to wear a ring like this.
Se paciente y duro; algún día este dolor te será útil.

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Postby Eaquae Legit » Mon Dec 06, 2010 4:45 pm

Confession: I function extremely poorly on lack of sleep.

Confession: I really don't mind having this song stuck in my head, and I've been humming it since last night.

Confession: I laughed really hard over this video. Momma duck looks so harried!
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Title: Fides quaerens intellectum
First Joined: 24 Nov 2003
Location: Between the lines

Postby Rei » Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:58 pm

That video of the ducks is awesome!
Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne connait point.
~Blaise Pascal


私は。。。誰?

Dernhelm


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