Minneapolis Airport Security Official Threatened Screeners
January 30, 2004 1:44 PM   Subscribe

"If you don't do as I tell you, I'll personally take you out in the woods and shoot you." A top federal security official at the Minneapolis-St.Paul International Airport angrily threatened to "shoot" baggage screeners and financially ruin their families if they did not do their jobs to his satisfaction, airport employees have told the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general.

All jokes about bombs, guns and killing will be taken seriously?
posted by busbyism (24 comments total)

 
That's just who we want keeping an eye on security in our airports: someone so hotheaded and irrational as to accuse his staff of trying to make him look bad.

I feel much safer now. Yeesh.
posted by me3dia at 1:55 PM on January 30, 2004


"None of the issues threaten airport security," the official told the newspaper
Neither does somebody making a stupid joke about a bomb either, yet you'll still face criminal charges. He's a federal employee, if anything he should know better and be held to a higher standard than a citizen. I bet he won't be though.
posted by substrate at 2:05 PM on January 30, 2004


I laugh, but only because I have no reason to need to travel in or throught the USA.
posted by tiamat at 3:05 PM on January 30, 2004


What a psycho he is--why haven't they fired his ass? (the employees should press charges too) And we're paying his salary, no? (I've heard that there's absolutely no diversity in management at TSA either, but can't find a link)
posted by amberglow at 3:12 PM on January 30, 2004


People like this infect every single job category known to western civilization. The truthful question is, if we're going to hold the people who have these jobs to a higher standard, shouldn't we be more adept at holding the position itself to a higher standard, and rewarding thereby? How can we expect relatively poorly paid functionaries to act with every one else's interest in mind, if all they do is question their own security of employment?

Maybe its time to start training these people in a somewhat more military (indoctrinated) fashion, and compensating them with respect to what it is they protect? You know, kinda like we should police and firemen? Just sayin' ...
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:16 PM on January 30, 2004


I laugh because this guy's supposed to be the example and he's most definitely the worst case scenario.

I hope he enjoys his new warden overlord.
posted by fenriq at 3:17 PM on January 30, 2004


All jokes about bombs, guns and killing will be taken seriously?

He wasn't joking. So, no need to take it seriously!
posted by kindall at 3:20 PM on January 30, 2004


Cool... a post about a crappy manager with poor managerial skills.

People like this infect every single job category known to western civilization.

Exactly. The problem is, this guy probably has the bottom of the barrel from which to pick his employees... lazy, lousy work ethics, little to no skills, etc. He probably freaked out and tried to motivate them with what he considered his last resort.
posted by Witty at 3:39 PM on January 30, 2004


Witty, and now his last resort should be an 8x8 prison cell. Even the dimmest of apes should be able to realize that threatening kill your staff is a no-no.
posted by fenriq at 3:58 PM on January 30, 2004


The problem is, this guy probably has the bottom of the barrel from which to pick his employees... lazy, lousy work ethics, little to no skills, etc.

Witty, one of my friends works security at a major metropolitan airport and was hired when the new rules went into effect. From what he's told me, and currently he trains the people who man the security posts, the people are no better and no worse than any other large collection of people paid under $50k/year to do their job. I certainly find your blatantly negative aggregation uncalled for and offensive, so thanks.
posted by billsaysthis at 4:08 PM on January 30, 2004


"If you don't do as I tell you, I'll personally take you out in the woods and shoot you."

"Okay boss, let's go there. We'll see how it turns out." Not that it would help, but it sure would feel good. I wish I had a boss like that. Just once. Sadly(?) I've been blessed with good managers and co-workers.
posted by moonbiter at 4:09 PM on January 30, 2004


the people are no better and no worse than any other large collection of people paid under $50k/year to do their job
Exactly what witty said.
posted by mischief at 4:34 PM on January 30, 2004


Um, no, mischief. What witty said was "bottom of the barrel" which does not correlate with "people that make less than $50k/year", thank you very much.
posted by Ufez Jones at 5:13 PM on January 30, 2004


They sure as hell ain't 'top of the barrel'. ;-P
posted by mischief at 5:18 PM on January 30, 2004


You guys should stop insulting them; they're just doing their job and they have no say in the stupid rules they enforce--and I've never found them to be anywhere close to this asshole in attitude. It's a shitty job, but it's a job.
posted by amberglow at 5:21 PM on January 30, 2004


You guys should stop insulting them; they're just doing their job and they have no say in the stupid rules they enforce--and I've never found them to be anywhere close to this asshole in attitude.

Oh, I don't know about that. There are plenty of assholes there, just like everywhere else. As someone who travels relatively often, I've seen some pretty atrocious behavior on the part of airline security people (and building security people elsewhere). It's the exception, not the rule, but still there are plenty of petty tyrants out there, clearly enjoying the ability to exercise their powers.
posted by me & my monkey at 5:33 PM on January 30, 2004


They are atrocious because they can be: if anyone is to call them on it or act offended at what the way they are treated in an airport they will be deemed a threat and removed. It's a no-win situation.
posted by xmutex at 5:44 PM on January 30, 2004


They sure as hell ain't 'top of the barrel'.

no, but they're not all "lazy, lousy work ethics, little to no skills", either. i'm pretty sure thats where the offense to witty's statement came from.

but people tend to act exactly like they're treated. so if the TSA official treated them like they were lazy and lousy, then thats probably how they acted towards him. and then its just a vicious circle all the way to the death threats.
posted by erisfree at 6:08 PM on January 30, 2004


Ok... I didn't mean ALL of them, sheesh. But a lot of the time, you're fishing in a pond of unskilled workers to fill these kinds of jobs. It's not always a good haul. I'm certainly not trying to defend the guy. What he did was wrong. I'm just saying that it's possible that he freaked out and blew his top because he was having a hard time trying to get people to give a shit.

In my managerial days, I was most frustrated with the employees who couldn't find a reason to respect their job without me having to give them one on a daily basis. I don't care what our job is, it's your job... and you should respect it and do the best you can, as best you know how. Show pride in your work, because... well, it's your work. If the manager has to light a fire under your ass every day, you're pretty much worthless. And since you can hardly fire anybody anymore...

Again, that may or may not be what happened here. Either way, his behavior is punishable.
posted by Witty at 10:46 PM on January 30, 2004



Ok... I didn't mean ALL of them, sheesh


Must be nice. To have lived a perfect life, no mistakes, no fuck-ups, no problems. Everything has fallen right into place. And via that, it must be refreshing to sweep all most of those dumbfucks under the rug.
posted by Ufez Jones at 11:57 PM on January 30, 2004



What Witty said.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 12:33 AM on January 31, 2004


Wulfgar!: Maybe its time to start training these people in a somewhat more military (indoctrinated) fashion, and compensating them with respect to what it is they protect? You know, kinda like we should police and firemen?

I think that's very insightful. One of the things that's always impressed me about the military, in general, is how well it manages to blend chain-of-command with innovation and ingenuity.
posted by trharlan at 12:12 PM on January 31, 2004


You know, if any of us threatened to take someone to the woods, shoot them, and then destroy their timesheets at work so their families wouldn't get paid, we would be looking at harrassment charges and restraining orders. This guy sucks, and his superior owes an apology to everybody he interacted with on the job.

I hope this guy gets the mental help he needs as he clearly has control issues; I am almost sorry that electroshock therapy and lobotomies would not be on the menu. Pity any woman he has ever dated.
posted by ilsa at 12:15 PM on January 31, 2004


More problems at Sea-Tac airport.

A letter and accompanying petition signed by 206 of the 1,100 TSA employees at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport called for an investigation into top management, saying that managers have created a culture of "fear and intimidation" that has led to high turnover and has hindered efforts to maintain security.
posted by lasm at 5:09 PM on February 1, 2004


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