Tuesday, December 29, 2009

After I.T. layoff or "retirement", should one become a TSA security screener?

I’ve gone off track from information technology as we usually see it, but I thought I’d revisit the fact that in 2002, among the “real jobs” that I looked at after the December 2001 layoff and retirement was TSA security screener. The TSA was going into various cities on hiring binges in August 2002 with all-day “assessments” at various hotels. There was some confusion as to the starting salaries, which were in the 20s.

The recent incident in Detroit is calling attention to the need for pat-down searches, body scans, and the like. Even then, I wondered if there could be a “legal” problem if a gay man who had intentionally “outed himself” in a book and websites worked in a job that required these functions, by some kind of analogy to how the military ban and “don’t ask don’t tell” policy worked. The security questions on the job application did not bring this up.

The TSA then had an 800 number for applicants which was always unreachable. But at the time you were told you weren’t supposed to disclose that you had taken such a job if you were hired.

In 2004, the TSA was hiring part time screeners, and actually conducted the initial assessments at CompUSA store. However for these jobs people without prior training or screening experience probably would not be able to pass the assessment tests.

Update: Jan. 1, 2010

Check this MSNBC/AP story "Pat-downs often ineffective security stop: TSA limits use of 'enhanced' searches due to privacy concerns", link here.

Also try this 2-minute security screening quiz. I got a "C" on it. The link is here.
This would be a very regimented, very trying "real job" for 40 hours a week, or more.

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