Tuesday, November 23, 2010

planes, train and automobiles - and a crapload of work to do before that!

Sorry I've been MIA. Work got totally crazy as I've gotten a ton more responsibilities (and no more time to do them in - ugh). And then we went to Florida for my cousin's wedding. The trip was a ton of fun, but I'll just go ahead and weigh in on TSA with the rest of America now...

My complaint is not so much about the new xray scanners or pat downs, but on profiling. I realize that my toddler who SCREAMED her way through the TSA line (happily most passengers just noted to us that she was only expressing what we were all feeling) probably did do the most to "terrorize" other passengers (and cause terror - you're not on MY flight, are you?), but that does not make her a "terrorist." Seriously, does my 21 month old fit a profile? I know we all have to take off our shoes and everyone hates it, but it poses a threat - and all that stuff. But, see, her shoes are small - not even a foot long (no pun intended) so is it completely necessary for her to take them off when she REALLY doesn't want to (and I mean really!) while you take her milk away from her (ok, so it's possible that when you did that she did start to sound very threatening - but I don't think she's actually part of an organized group on this front).

On our way out, TSA was testing new screening procedures - with a long line of travellers and ONE agent checking IDs. I'd just gone for a new license that week (which I did not know was going to be mailed to me or I would have waited. As an aside, it arrived and I look SERIOUSLY psychotic in the picture. I know everyone complains about the pictures, but this is horrifying!), so, after an hour or so of wrangling a toddler in line, I handed over my old (not expired, just old) license with the paperwork from the DMV that meant it was still valid. I never should have handed over the paperwork. They never would have noticed the "void" stamp (I hadn't noticed it till just then). They called a supervisor who needed to call a monitor. After 7 calls, he hadn't answered the phone yet. My husband looked at the agent and said - wow, so if you guys had a real problem, I guess they just hang you out to dry. The agent, with no sense of humor, said - no, they would NOT. They come as fast as they can. (Well, how do they do that if they don't answer the phone?) Finally the monitor came and after I gave him some secondary ID (credit cards), he decided that the 30 something woman of Irish decent traveling with her family was probably not actually all that big a risk and I could go. (OK, yes, I know they need to double check these things and really would have been much more accepting if we hadn't had to wait SO long to get that far. Or maybe if we hadn't had to stand to the side with a TSA agent guarding us as my overtired toddler tried to make a run for it.)

Then we went through security (see shoes and milk note above). We got to FL and realized we'd made a reservation with the shadiest of all shady offsite rental car places (U Save - avoid them like the plague!!!) and cancelled it. When my husband said - you guys are shady (they had tons of hidden fees and were totally unprofessional), the guy at the counter told him that if he made one more comment, he'd be walking back to the terminal and he was going to follow us outside to ensure that no comments were made. Oh sheesh.

The vacation as good - though busy! The monkey enjoyed the beach a lot (though we did get kicked out of the pool at my Mom's place since she had a swim diaper on. This is south Florida - my husband joked that more of the adults have diapers on than kids!).

TSA was slightly less exhausting on the way back. I didn't hand over the paperwork with my license and they didn't notice the void stamp. We did have the shoes and milk issues again - ugh. Happily they did not make us go through the new scanners though - I have since looked them up and I'm pretty sure that the x-rays are safe, but I really hadn' researched in advance and just didn't want to walk the baby through that. Also, you have to walk through and stand like the DaVinci man - arms out, feet apart. How does one explain that to a toddler - who wants you to carry her? Thank goodness we just did metal detectors! I mean, what if she got the pat down instead? Who knows what she's transporting in that diaper? Actually... I found out later as we didn't want to wake her from her nap till we had to put her in the car even though we knew her diaper was full, so when she got outside and the cold air hit her (and inspired her), she peed all over me! Welcome home.

Happy Thanksgiving to all! I hope your travels go well!

1 comment:

  1. FREEDOM PATS! I will not get myself all spazzy before bed (YAWWN) so I will simply state that I greatly disagree with just about everything that the TSA is doing right now and leave it at that. Those bastards. They're going about everything all wrong. And that's all I'll say. About those jackasses. Who should monitor the actual plane rides instead of bursting cancer patients urine bags and making breast cancer survivors remove prosthetic boobs. I'll stop. Hatehatehate.

    *Zips lip*

    (And I'm not even a liberal!)

    I'm dying over 'They would NOT!'. That's awesome. (Truth hurts. Hehe.)

    How dare you go to Florida and not tell me. I KNEW something was up. Mmmhmm, mmmhmm.

    Massive props for flying with your munchkin. I can't even fathom the idea. And they take MILK from BABIES. Those scumbags. Those beasts.




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