I’m back in the air and back at sharing my opinion whether you want it or not. It’s been a long day, I flew to DC and within a day of arrival on what was to be a week long trip, I got word that I needed to head home for a family emergency. My heart sunk. My excitement about the trip and jumping in last minute to lend a hand to coworkers working hard to pull off an important pitch was gone just as quick as it came. I wanted to be home.
In need of a genuine smile and positive attitude, which these days can be hard to find in an airport, I got just what I needed in one of the most unexpected places.
The TSA line.
In recent months, the TSA has been given a horrible wrap. I get it, I too would not want to wait for more than 15 minutes to get through security (hence the reason I have Global Entry – best $100 dollars I’ve ever spent). Although I have not experienced the long waits, what I have experienced are humorless, unpleasant TSA just like the rest of you. But, do not let those few sour apples ruin the whole bunch. Believe it or not there are pleasant, friendly TSA agents who take their job seriously, yet are also personable and have a sense of humor.
On my way home from DC, the TSA agent told me she was going to have to confiscate my purse. With a serious face, she said it was due to a new program that required her to hold it in quarantine, at her home nonetheless, for at least 2 months. At that time she would determine whether or not she’d be able to return it. I couldn’t stop laughing, she was funny, happy, and put a smile on my face. Given I happened to be carrying my hand-me-down Hermes bag I told her she’d be better off with the Louis Vuitton that belonged to lady behind me. Who is joking now!?
A few weeks ago, I wore my Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Jetsetter Tee through security. When I got through the scanner, the TSA agent said, “I see what you did there!” When I realized he was speaking about my tee, he asked about it and took a minute to see where I got it. Listened to my story, and wished me well on my entrepreneurial adventures. It took more effort than saying, “you’re clear,” but I’ll remember him. Kindness goes a long way.
Although I’ve only shared two examples, I have had many a pleasant experience with TSA. So yes, although there are many employees who are less than stellar, enthusiastic and lack personality, there are still plenty who have all those qualities. So next time you travel, share a smile with the person checking your ID and ask them how they are, more than likely they’ll return the favor. It’s not them that is necessarily causing the slow down.
*Note: This post was written in early June – and it’s taken two months for life to settle enough for me to review it and post. Regardless, the sentiments are the same.