TSA Agents Are Constantly Being Watched By Big Brother
Okay, maybe not exactly by Big Brother, but TSA agents are constantly being watched by leadership. The TSA claims that agents are monitored for their protection, but they are not just being watched to protect them, they are also being watched for infractions.
As reported by The Atlantic, “supervisors also view the tapes to search for the slightest infraction—anything from gum chewing to unauthorized trips to the bathroom.” The account comes from a former TSA baggage agent, Jason Edward Harrington, who ultimately resigned due to the strict intrusions he was subject to as part of his job. The purpose of the surveillance is to discredit any claims filed by passengers. For example, if a passenger reported that their iPad went missing, the TSA would be able to pull the video footage from their bag inspection and discharge any and all liability. But really? Chewing gum?
According to the same article, some studies have suggested that “workers who sense they are monitored have lower self-esteem and are actually less productive.” The low self-esteem, I assume, is probably linked to questioning your every move because employees fear being reprimanded by leadership.
On the flip side, I understand why the TSA is monitoring their employees. We’ve all seen a level of incompetence, including TSA agents not even knowing that Washington, D.C. is part of the United States. Their end-goal is to protect the millions of travelers that take to air transportation every year. And watching out for a bad apple is equally as important.
Perhaps — and this is just a thought — instead of focusing on employees chewing gum, they should focus on employees who are the least efficient, or the inefficiencies of the agency as a whole, or have the terrible attitudes. We all know there are plenty of those around.