So the TSA is seeking the removal of 12 workers for improperly screening checked luggage at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina. Now what?
Well, as someone who has been fired by the TSA, I can answer that question.
I was terminated after 10 years on the job when I published a book about the agency that supposedly includes sensitive security material (SSI).
Now I find myself on the street.
Since I did not qualify for unemployment, I decided to look for a job. But what do I do now? What experience from TSA can I use in the private sector?
What happens to my benefits?
Most security companies have no use for an expert in pat-downs, X-ray operations, explosive detection, liquid testing, or behavior detection.
In fact, to get a job in security, you must be certified as a commissioned or non-commissioned officer, at a salary averaging half of what TSA pays.
I decided to take a one-week course with Blackhawk Academy in Houston for a commissioned certificate. The training included self-defense tactics, the use of guns at a shooting range, and interaction procedures with law enforcement and other agencies.
Now, that’s what I call real defense against terrorists.
While with TSA, I always wondered what would’ve happened if a gunman started shooting at a checkpoint. All we could do is take cover behind passengers.
TSA never instructed their employees on that scenario, since the only logical response would have been to ask the screeners to abandon post and run for their lives.
Police officers themselves would be of little help, since they would need to be embedded with the passengers to make a difference.
Thinking that I might be considered by the FBI a disgraced government officer, and that they might be worried about my training in firearms and the possibility of contemplating revenge, I decided to look further.
What if I applied for a car salesman’s position? After all, passengers view car salesman and TSA officers with about the same level of suspicion and distrust.
On the other hand, I was confident I could use my training and experience with TSA to better read my customers’ moods to determine if they were serious about making a purchase.
Maybe I could apply my sales pitches more successfully.
But no. Having applied and interviewed over a dozen times in the last few weeks, I found that all companies and dealerships declined my application because of a failed background check.
TSA made sure of that.
(Photo: Thomas Hawk/Flickr)