communication skills for tsa agents

Help Wanted: Communication Skills for Managers and TSA Agents!
Traveling is one of my favorite places to get new material for speaking. The routine begins the same, but the end result is always unpredictable. Such was the case with the TSA Agent in Boston.  Her management skills lacked tact and sensitivity.

I had already undressed while the rest of the crowd of people placed their shoes, computers, prized possessions and precious zip lock bags of 3-ounce necessities in the gray tubs. I was separated from my husband, because I was to be frisked. Standing alone in the middle of the noisy action, I heard a rough speaking woman say, “Follow me.”

I just stood still. I was clueless about who was talking to me and certainly was not about to follow them. She circled back around for me and scolded me, saying, “I told you to follow me.” I purposely said softly, “I lost my eyesight,” which always makes everyone feel bad for pushing me around. After apologizing, she offered me her hands and we walked like old friends.

I love the standard questions when you get frisked. It is always the same instructions: stand with your feet spread apart and hold your arms out to your side with your palms extended upward. I anticipate the next questions.

“Do you want a private screening?”

I think to myself, “Why not ask me when I don’t look like I have already been arrested?”

“No. That is okay.”

The agent asked, “Do you have any sensitive or ticklish spots?”

I replied, “I wont’ know until you touch them.”

More thorough investigation continued as the agent searched my waist band, fondled my body, patted my fat and mashed my hair to make sure nothing extra was in my Texas volume. Touching my hair upsets me the most, but I never let on.

Soon I am cleared, and then the best questions follow

This time she asked kindly, “Traveling with anyone?

“Yes. I am traveling with my husband.”

The Bostonian TSA agent stepped into my favorite question of all.

“What does your husband look like?”

I shrugged my shoulders and said, “I have no clue. Just find me someone handsome.”

She surprised me and said, “Take my arm and let’s go find him.”

Now standing on the opposite side of the metal detectors, she yelled in her Eastern brogue, “Hey! Is this anyone’s wife?”

To my despair, no one answered. She asked again. I felt like I was on the auction block waiting for someone to begin the bidding.

In her impatience she started to take me to dressing passengers. One poor man was on the bench putting his shoes back on.

“Hey, Mister! Is this your wife?”

He was reluctant to speak and said, “I don’t think so. I am still single.”

My fear was not missing my plane but being drug to every available man, only to be rejected and shunned. At last, a familiar voice from the other side of the terminal said, “She’s mine.” Finally, my claim check in the lost and found at security was matched with my owner.

While this is just one story from my life where I glean great material for when I am speaking about great communication skills for manager,  or maybe not so great, it is actually pretty common. What is one of your best ways to learn? Where does it occur? What do you do with those nuggets of truth?great communication skills for managers at tsa