I just got a taste of the TSA doing their thing. A guy – totally nice looking, burnt-orange button-down shirt, maybe Indian, maybe Pakistani – walked into the terminal through the exit, bypassing security.
The TSA guys. They mumbled, looked at each other, looked over their shoulders. One of them said to another one, “Did you clear him?” Duh. No one said a word to him. By the time they realized that, uh, he shouldn’t have been allowed to pass, he was most of the way down the fairway toward the clustered gates.
And then they went into action. Bang, clank, security doors close to separate the gates from danger. Whine, hiss, the aircraft BACK AWAY FROM THE GATES! Yes, really. What may as well have been ten hours after he entered, the ponderous protective machinery kicks into gear. Of course, that’s second gear, no faster. The supervisor sends the guy guarding the carts to guard the exit so that the exit guard can id the perp. Every guard who can be spared converges directly in front of me, babbling to her about establishing the timeline, descriptions, and such like. And then the suits show up.
They look around.
The guy finally wandered back on his own when he got to the closed security doors. He was coming back to ask where the gates were. Really.
It was pretty subtle, I guess. I was sitting directly in front of the action, eating a black bean veggie burger with swiss cheese and mushrooms. I asked for no onions, but of course, I got onions.
I also got a rather amusing look at the job that might have been mine in those tight Hawaiian days, had I not owed back taxes on my Sovereign Nation.
Poor guy. They took him back around, sent him through the security checkpoint, and then looked at each other like they didn’t know what came next. Not a one of those TSA people wanted to question him. They made him stand around for a few more minutes and then one of them asked what flight he was on. I guess any answer was good enough, because they let him go.
Okay. So, I think that this guy was no danger, but jeez. The whole automatic process that happened was such a big deal that I can’t believe how lackadaisical the guards are. Wow. Really.