Congress: TSA is worst place to work in USG, nearly half of employees cited for misconduct; it's getting worse


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/07/24/congress-tsa-is-worst-place-t.html


#2

Worst place to work?

According to that report, it’s almost impossible to get fired, no matter how much of a dick you are. It’s a douchebag’s paradise!


#3

I don’t know why, but this reminds me of the TSA.


#4

this is a pretty well-established sociological phenomenon I think (my mediocre work as an undergrad was long ago) that jobs like these, that are reviled or at best pitied from the outside, like prison guard, TSA agent, asylum orderly, slaughterhouse etc, that involve either violence or necessarily antisocial activities always rot from the inside.

I’d imagine it’s a combination of poor worker advocacy due to low profile (no one wants to think about it) staffing difficulties leading to loose qualifications and having to deaden one’s natural humanitarian instincts just to get through the day. Its an argument not only for better working conditions and also asking ourselves whether these institutions are better off dead or completely reformed into something more positive, even at the risk of appearing " weak"


#5

The TSA was created in less than 60 days.

But government, being what it is, I’m cynical that it can be dissolved in less than 60 years.


#6

Unfortunately, it is that way all over in the government. While I think one should enjoy job security, my ex works for the Dept of Labor and after years of complaints about a sexual predator, it took literally over a year to get him removed, and much of that he was on paid leave.

How much does the TSA pay? If I could talk in an ol’ timey carnival barker voice, I would consider it. I have a cane already.


#7

This is a feature, not a bug. The TSA was created to provide security theatre, not actual security, and as such, abusive, idiotic, officious, psychopathic employees are what it needs & wants, and as such are not simply the unfortunate result poor human resource policies.


#8

You know, now that I think about it, this has to be the worst job ever.

Your job is to stop terrorists. I don’t think they have ever done that in the history of the TSA. So their job satisfaction must be really low. I mean fire firefighters get to put out fires one in awhile. Life guards occasionally have to help someone out, or at least get to blow a whistle and say no running (and they get great tans).


#9

But the public, naked… hyeugh, hyeugh.


#10

I’m all for giving people second, third, and fourth chances. Really, I truly am and get uneasy when people who claim they are all for second chances get all NIMBYish. But this is fucking law enforcement and security. With police everywhere incapable of not shooting a Snickers bar if it’s brown and cops an attitude, we’re looking for higher standards, people.


#11

But hey, at least the IRS gets to enjoy not being the most reviled USG organization for a change?


#13


#14

I dunno about that, it’s not like they’re guards at Buchenwald. Some people hate dealing with the public, but I like it just fine. Of course it sounds like management makes everything ten times worse, because they get paid to do so. Maybe that’s the real problem.


#15

Very little, compared to most other government jobs, unless you consider “getting to shout at people” a benefit. It doesn’t surprise me they have problems with absenteeism and tardiness - pay’s low, customers all hate them, and management’s awful as well. They start at about $25k/year, and they’re not on GSA schedule so there’s very little promotion potential (max is about $44k, so 22/hour.)

As an employee or manager, I’d consider high absenteeism to be a real problem (since it’s an indicator of low job satisfaction and probably terrible management as well as low pay); as a customer I don’t care except that unsatisfied employees are more likely to be hostile to travellers and the ones who haven’t quit probably didn’t have the skills to find a better job, plus it lets the management blame long lines on tardy employees rather than bad planning.


#16

I’m pretty sure that whoever performed this study has a different definition of “integrity and ethics” than I do. Either that, or every time I fly the people I actually see in the “security” line are the 1 out of 50 employee that actually bothered to show up for work.


#17

We have been really fortunate the last few times we’ve flown. The TSA agents we’ve encountered have been friendly, professional and helpful.


#18

Aside from the reportedly atrocious management, hiring and retention probably isn’t helped by the fact that (at least in theory, I’d be unsurprised to hear about some…informal flexibility…when hiring is tight) they are subject to many of the standards you’d expect for a fed security job( US citizen or national, background checks, mandatory drug screening, etc.); but rank somewhere below mall cops in terms of public opinion.

It’s not a pleasant fact, but 25-44k/yr and something resembling job security is actually a pretty attractive offer compared to a broad swath of the grimmer retail and service sector jobs; especially if it doesn’t include “your hours are subject to change at your manager’s discretion with 30 minutes notice, good luck planning your life” and similar joys; but if you have to deal with a flying public that mostly resents you for fairly good reasons, management whose awfulness is legendary, and hiring standards borrowed from law enforcement that actually gets some amount of money and respect, that’s a harder sell.


#19

Might end up with even more canes- from the union that represents the TSA workers:

wtf?


#20

I know it’s getting old, but this still holds true:


#21

Incredible. Literally. I don’t believe it.