Getting to fly people around the country, I absolutely LOVE what I do for a living!
Though we all strive for more money in life to live abundantly, for me that will come hopefully sooner than later as airline pilots make significantly less income than the public is aware of. But despite whether I earn a generous salary or earn peanuts, no matter the tax bracket I’m functioning in, I still choose to live my life with happiness!
According to the people closest in my life, this happiness ideal exudes from both my personal and professional life. Often creating a warm persona with my coworkers, to humorous adventures with friends, to random smiles given to strangers, I try to live daily by choosing happiness.
For this reason, I often wonder how some people get through life living just….unhappy. I mean, I feel it’s a personal choice in how someone chooses to conduct themselves at work/ in family life/ etc. despite their circumstances which could be gravely negative.
I believe people possess this ability to make the choice to be happy despite their situation.
If life seems difficult, just remember….. things could always be worse. Example: think of the worst thing that could happen to you in your life right now (loss of a home, a family member passes away, you wrongfully go to prison, you lose your job, a spouse leaves, your child runs away). Now add to it a broken bone, or a horrific skin condition that prevents you from being able to receive hugs, a tumor, cancer, complete memory loss, blindness, etc . No matter what your original issue was, if you add the physical pain into the equation … things could be drastically worse.
Despite this exercise in happiness perspectives, I understand everyone has a bad moment from time to time. But as I divulge into a direct encounter with someone’s use of their own unhappiness to negatively impact others, this brief encounter puts into perspective just how astonishingly hurtful life can be when you are rude to others because of your own underlining issues. It also can cause an enormous amount of unprofessional-ism and liability when a disgruntled employee is representing a company name.
This was my direct hit by an airport employee:
Most larger airports have what’s called KCM or known crew member privileges. This is a program where crew members who have been checked by TSA through government security background checks, can go through security in a much more relaxed environment. Most airports that do not have KCM access will allow crew members to use TSA pre check lanes. And most airports will at least give known crew members professional courtesy.But …..not the miserable human being that dealt with me this day.
Using the normal passenger screening line, I asked if I had to remove my laptop and shoes etc… The agent gave me a sarcastic yes of course you do. I then walked near the metal detectors accidentally setting one off. The agent had such an immediate combative attitude and said because I set off the metal detector I would be required to have a full pat down. I kindly and calmly explained it was probably my belt, took it off, then walked through detector again.
This time the detector was silent. No security breach at all. In a larger airport where these discrepancies happen often, the passenger usually just passes through the metal detector and is then finished with security.
Yet this lady stated, quite condescendingly, that I was still required to have a pat down. Not only was she going against the grain of normal procedure, but she was being unnecessarily nasty to me, as though I had personally offended her.
The next agent walked me through the pat down process but failed to mention he would be moving my nutsack from one side to the other in order to feel my legs. TWICE in the back then TWICE in the front. Oh yeah, then once more with the back of his hand along my penis.
Was all this seriously necessary? All because I’m a crew member who is NOT in uniform who needed to remove my belt? Would being in my uniform actually have made any difference? Or did this woman just decide to use her unhappiness full throttle against me for no reason?
Normally, when going through security in uniform, I’m allowed to bring water bottles and to leave my belt on. I’m allowed to walk through metal detectors with my shoes on. I’m given some professional respect. My badge has been earned with endless courses, hours and hours of study, oaths that I take pride in, and great sacrifices I made to get to this point in my career. To be treated SO disrespectful as an affiliate airline crew member, was beyond rude. It was literally unfathomable.
I’m not claiming I should be less “screened” as a crew member. I am however claiming that this particularly disgruntled human being hand- picked me out of a larger group and focused solely on my demise. It was as though her intention was to make my experience miserable. To be frisked in a public setting with unnecessary roughness to my genitals was not only awkward, but honestly I was violated.
Things did not end there.
When my girlfriend and I couldn’t get on the first flight we had, we had four hours before the next flight out of this particular airport. I wanted to check on rental cars as a backup plan, so this caused us to have to go back a second time to security.
The second time through security, I told my significant other to keep a watchful eye on the psycho employee who put me through the wringer before.
We read the witches lips and she clearly said,”he is NOT crew”. As though she wanted to be superior to me.
I guess my badge means nothing to her, or to this smaller airport. Yet it allows me the right to walk through KCM at the most trafficked airports in the country. For an airport employee to ignore my badge that is to save me and others time and security concerns, defeats the purpose of the badge if it is to be ignored.
The second time I took off my shoes and belt, I didn’t even bother showing my badge. I asked the screen technician if my iPad should be placed out of my bag. He told me no -it would be fine. But guess what happened on the other side of security? The disgruntled security woman attacked me again and this time wanted extra screening on my bag.
Are you serious I thought! It was so hard to keep my mouth shut at that point. I just smiled and said, “No problem”. Her claim now was that my bag was ‘cluttered’ and must be re-screened. I said, “It didn’t have to be re-screened last time, but okay, whatever makes you happy. ”
I wonder if some crew member that looked like me broke her poor little heart? What on earth happened to this woman for her to treat me witch such a vindictive attitude? In our brief encounter, it seemed as though she was just a miserable human being with a personal vendetta against me….a stranger.
My point is, is if you are like this witch of a person and simply miserable, you need to take a good look at yourself. A big part of ‘professionalism’ is to represent a company well despite however you may be feeling during the time of your work. To treat others appropriately, to exercise fairness to all, and to follow procedures accordingly is something you should do no matter your personal feeling crisis.
And just in case you think you know this difficult lady, she was of Asian decent from an area on the west coast that’s about a two hour drive to the ocean or three to the bay. She works for TSA obviously, and looks like she has enough years on her to know better.
Next time I’ll be going through her checkpoint, I’ll be wearing my uniform.
But no matter what unhappiness you may face in your own life, remember it could ALWAYS be worse. And of course, we all have bad moments or a bad mood in our day to day life every now and then. But your own unhappiness is not a valid reason to discriminate against people or to be purposefully rude and unprofessional.
Choose happiness. Choose to treat people with love and respect even if you are miserable in your own life. Choose happiness for your own sake and for the sake of others. And if you have a bad moment or are unkind to someone, have the integrity to apologize and make the situation right.
Whether you fly high in the sky, or clean toilets. Whether you run airport security or run a daycare, choose happiness and find something to be grateful for.
After all, success is not determined by what you do per say. It’s often determined by what you choose.