Wednesday, February 22, 2006


I read this thinking it came from one of my former co-workers still muddling through at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It came from ScreenerCentral.Com. I thought that I would give it an additional kick using the added exposure that The Rogue Jew gets these days.

As a current federal Transportation Security Officer, I owe Washington Post "Federal Diary" columnist, Stephen Barr, for his reporting on TSA's severe employee retention and morale problems. But, as with any company which repeatedly trips over itself while inspiring its dedicated employees to bail out in mass, TSA...has mainly itself to blame.

Only TSA, allowed one federalizing airport after another to start top heavy with too many managers, buttressed by rampant cronyism. In 2002, almost immediately, TSA proceeded to break its promises made with TSA-contracted airport screeners it later hired.

For example, TSA reneged on its Base "matched salary" plus the federal locality policy. Instead, TSA resorted to dishonorable "bait & switch" hiring tactics to lure more aviation security experienced rehires. Neither did TSA bother saving promised higher paying Supervisor and Lead positions and guaranteed seniority.

Initially, TSA, tried to blame its then-media besieged and much overpaid no bid hiring contractor, NCS Pearson. Later, as the nation's entire screening work force and Congress later found out...TSA had flat out lied. In refusing to honor both its own policies, and contracts...TSA just brushed off thousands whom it had suckered into signing on their now missing...dotted line.

TSA's later excuse...Congress made us do it. We were broke, so blame your elected.

Might not ski resorts TSA provided Pearson staff, lifetime achievement awards for a months old agency, a four thousand square foot health spa for a mere seventy plus employees, more to blame?

Compounding TSA's screener morale drop at rocket speeds, was the fact its new hires, learned that they too, were unnecessarily lied to as well. It wasn't before long before both prior TSA-contracted and new hires, all saw through TSA's constant internal "spin" machine...seeing TSA for what it really was. A sadly broken employer...from a moral point of view. In the real world, once your employees can't trust you, its like running in mud, trying to spin your self-flattened tires.

Soon, unusually high resignation rates flourished among TSA non-management screening officers and led to severely understaffed airports. Mandatory worked shifts on normal regular days off is fats becoming the norm for our nation's screening workforce. Not the best way to keep the freshest eyes on the ball, for national security's sake.

To fix this, rather than create its new undemocratically hand-picked national employee advisory council, TSA, needs to look long and hard in the mirror. Yes, showing remorse might be a good start, but, making good on its broken promises, however embarrassing and budget stinging it may where truth meets the rubber.

The fact that many major airport's officers, like ours here in Boston, petitioned our elected and the DHS Inspector General for investigations into TSA management practices, underscores just how far TSA will have to grow up. If TSA is to have any chance at all, then the required introspection and growing up needs to start at our headquarters. That is where TSA's initial promise, both began and soon after, self-imploded.

In America, the one which combat veterans like myself and others bravely did and are currently defending, this should never happen. The best company and person I ever worked for, didn't pay me millions. But, they did keep their word. That's a lot more than TSA can look us in the eye and say.

Sincerely yours:

AJ Castilla, Transportation Security Officer
Transportation Security Administration
Department of Homeland Security
Logan International Airport
Boston, Massachusetts

A supporting story can be found by CLICKING HERE! A story from of all places, the NY Times. Something in the Times that isn't fiction? Had to happen sooner or later!

None of this stuff actually surprises me. After all, I was one of the disenchanted thousands that the TSA lied to and cheated on! Makes me proud to be an American! Watching TSA management is like watching that commercial on TV with all of the monkeys swinging and dancing around, but make one feel like you masturbated with a cheese grater....Painful and useless!

I have some stuff from the Honolulu Airport that I will be featuring next week on the continuing saga of the BIGGEST WASTE OF TAX DOLLARS IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES....THE TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION!

The Rogue Jew

1 comment:

C R Mountjoy - GDF said...

Thanks for the visit to my site. Hey, is the Grand Rapids Brewing COmpany still in GR. I went there many years ago. It was great!

As for the TSA. I did a bit on the new blower screener I expereinced at Dulles International a few weeks back. What a gem that is.

I fly out of Orlando and I just signed up for the CLEAR rapid clearing system so I do not have to stand in line with the Great Unwashed - and if you've flown in and out of MCO, brother, there are a lot of people who could use a good hosing!

Great piece about the TSA and thanks for the visit. Please come back and post your comments.

Keep The Faith!