Thursday, January 31, 2008

UPDATE: TSA: Bloggin' like they care

The Transportation Security Administration has suddenly gotten all touchy feely and has started a blog for passengers to "sound off." From the Baltimore Sun:
The federal government wants to hear -- or at least read -- your gripes at the "Evolution of Security" blog the Transportation Security Administration introduced yesterday. And it promises those complaints and suggestions won't vanish into thin air.
Yeah, and neither will a commenter's name or IP address, I bet!

It's pretty amusing reading once you accept the fact that nothing will ever come from this. Currently, there are 252 comments at "Evolution of Security" (really? Shouldn't it be "Creationism of Security"?) Almost half are from happy TSA employees. The rest are basically people venting. Oh, and one blogger named Christopher who's billed as "Evolution Blog Team Member." He hasn't actually answered any questions or addressed anyone's concerns, he just says "great question!" and "check back Friday."

Here are some of my faves:
"The TSA liquid policy is ludicrous and indefensible. It suggests that 6 oz of liquid can blow up a plane but two 3-oz containers can't."

"shoes off for sure. This rule is fine. The only problem is can we get some foot booties to help protect us from fungus."

"In its current form, this blog is beyond useless. It's just a huge pile of random comments, only some of whose questions or comments are half-addressed many, many posts later."

"Why do TSA employees have to loudly yell to no one in particular exactly what is posted on several signs around the screening area and announced on the airport PA system regarding security rules?"

"As far as I'm concerned, Kip [Hawley] is the real terrorist, using fabricated threats to justify this government workfare program."

"From this blog's T&C: 'In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect.' Hmmm, would that be the same respect that TSA agents mistreat the traveling public with every second?"

"As a frequent flier, I would like to thank TSA for providing me with a laugh every time I go through security. I stand watching people trying to take off shoes, put laptops into bins, remove jackets and isolate liquids, while pushing belongings along tables, carefully placed so that each one is several inches higher than the preceding one. I realize that I too am one of those idiot dancers, pirouetting with a plastic bag in one hand and shoes in another."
UPDATE II: The party continues over at the new TSA blog. They've gotten about a thousand comments in the past 24 hours, and I have to say, I'm enjoying reading them almost as much as I'm enjoying reading the responses from TSA tools. So far they are super cheery. "Great questions, everybody!" I can't wait until one of them finally loses it and says what they're really thinking. "Look, this stupid blog wasn't our idea, and we know the rules are idiotic and inconsistent. Quit writing to us!"

Today they put up "evidence" of a foiled shoe plot. Click on the image to right to see the tools of the terrorist: a switch and a piece of wire. No, they're not connected to each other or to anything else. (But imagine what they could have done with those implements and 4 ounces of toothpaste! Whew!)

I know, right? And I think I'm going to be allowed on a plane in a couple of months for vacation after I write all of this?

Okay, so this is kind of fun -- clearly the TSA had no plan, no vision for how to run their blog or what to do with the bajillion comments they were sure to get. Today's post is entitled "WOW! What a Response!" With over 700 comments already, the TSA is now deciding how to design their blog. Good planning, TSA!
Frankly we’ve been overwhelmed with the number of response we’ve received, more than 700 comments at last count, and comments are still pouring in.
Wow is right! So many responses! Who knew there was such passionate opinion about the TSA?! (Ding ding ding -- that's right, everyone knew that!)

And here's another fun fact: it appears the Team Blog Member Christopher has been fired. But -- just so we don't hate them all -- we're now introduced to a fun cast of bloggers that seems to be a mix of I Love Lucy and Friends: Bob (has a 100-pound German Shepherd!), Ethel (enjoys hog calling in her spare time!), Jay (used to be a high school football coach!), Chance (likes to read!) , and Jim (used to work on Capitol Hill!). I am not making this up....

No comments: