Sunday, June 22, 2008

An Exercise in Restraint

I still can't quite figure out how I got all the way to Sunday night so quickly. But most of last week was a bit of an adventure, from the shrill fire alarm at my hotel outside St. Louis International Airport -- it made my teeth rattle, and convinced me that it would be impossible to sleep through it -- on top of two intensive days of training on a new system, to getting home late and then turning around the next night to retrieve Son of Mando from his exciting week at the Space Academy camp in Huntsville, AL.

A note to those picking up unaccompanied minors: if you take little brother or sister along, be sure to get a pass for them, too. We were all the way through security when they turned us back because my seven-year-old wasn't given a pass by the one Delta ticket agent we could find amidst the tumbleweeds in all of Cleveland Hopkins Airport on a Friday night. Back at security, those two patriots who sent us packing conveniently slipped off for a hard-earned break, having done their part to keep America safe from the likes of me and Daughter of Mando.

What is up with people and their need to satisfy some ridiculous illusion of grandeur? At 8:49 p.m. on a Friday night, there's no emptier place than the Cleveland airport. My daughter and I were literally the ONLY two people anywhere near security. Upon our returning all the way to the Delta baggage office, a far cry from the gate, to get a second pass, he told us that had never happened to him before. This was not a security issue. This was clearly a "let me be a big pain in the ass to this woman and her little girl -- I wanna see 'em jump."

But I don't like to jump. I pulled out my phone, prepared to call X when one of the TSAccidents agreed to walk me through and over the shortcut to baggage. What he should have done is walk me to the gate and waited there while my son deplaned. We raced back up and through and made it with about three minutes to spare.

I don't know what kind of training these people go through but it clearly doesn't include making rational judgements. We've had a fun if exhausting weekend since, during which none of us managed to make life difficult for anyone just because we felt like it.

I have one small consolation. In a little under 30 years, my daughter will be old enough to run for President. In her honor, for putting up with these witless icons of part-time authority, here's a sweet little instrumental off the brand new self-titled Infamous Stringdusters cd. Enjoy this one called Golden Ticket.


At June 23, 2008 7:34 AM, Blogger DrDon said...

I honestly think sometimes these people just get bored. They really have nothing to do. The fact is that historically there have been very few terrorist incidents on American soil but 9/11 was so bad that people demanded action. So we hired all these people but on a day to day basis they have very little to do so I think that once in a while they just hassle someone to break the monotony.

At June 23, 2008 8:35 PM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Doc, I think you're right. It's pathetic. Isn't there something they can do when there's no rush, like file reports or something? It will be interesting to see what happens when air travel starts to bottom out. Perhaps next time I should offer to help these wankers polish up their resumes as I'm passing through the fourth or fifth time on a Friday night.

At June 23, 2008 10:22 PM, Blogger Blueberry said...

ugh! The experience of air travel just gets worse all the time!

I need to get that new 'Dusters CD. It's on my (ever-growing) list.


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