Update: TSA screener who wrote Jill Filipovic note about her vibrator suspended

On Tuesday, Lori blogged about Jill over at Feministe getting a note from TSA after they found her vibrator during their search of her luggage.

get your freak on girl

The TSA agent who wrote the note has now been removed from performing further inspections. The TSA put out a statement on its blog saying that, “That individual was immediately removed from screening operations and appropriate disciplinary action has been initiated,” the agency said in a message posted on its blog. “The handwritten note was highly inappropriate and unprofessional, and TSA has zero tolerance for this type of behavior.”

The note, which said, “Get your freak on girl,” while amusing as Jill acknowledged is also very creepy and unprofessional. So it’s good that the TSA suspended someone who’s job is to protect us from terrorist attacks. I feel really confident in their screening procedures given the judgment of this one individual who felt it proper to write that to a total stranger after going through her personal belongings.

Oh wait….nope. At least this TSA screener wasn’t photographed asleep on the job. The TSA really needs to step it’s game way up.

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3 Comments

  1. Posted October 27, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    An employee in a repetitive menial job, who has to sift through tons of personal possessions every day, decides to write a note complimenting someone on being bold enough to pack a vibrator. In essence, she reached out from her monotonous job to give someone a little written high five. Of course, we all know that all of our stuff might have been handled if there is a TSA note in the bag, and if you think further, you can be pretty sure that the person behind that search did form an opinion about you based on your more interesting stuff, but this note reminded us of that. So now we’re glad that she’s being punished. That will teach those TSA agents to try to relate to us as fellow human beings.

    • Posted October 28, 2011 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      But they aren’t our friends or confidants. They are performing a search of private belongings that many people will have submitted to only because they have to in order to fly. Sure the person performing the search will have thoughts/opinions, but they don’t have to be said. Bringing a vibrator in your suitcase does not mean you want to celebrate about your sex life with a stranger. Some people might not have a problem doing that, but tsa works with many different people and have an obligation to respect boundaries. Since they can’t know where each person’s boundaries are for each person, I would say leaving notes like this is a no. It is great to interact with people as a human, but that can mean being warm to those you check in or showing compassion instead of rigidly enforcing rules. Interacting as a human and treating others as humans means respecting boundaries and privacy.

      • Posted October 28, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        We know that anything that we take on a plane or in our suitcases will be inspected, so we are making the decision to share those things. The intrusion is the same whether they write you a note or not. When I pack things that are far stranger than vibrators, I wonder what the TSA agents are going to think. It might make us uncomfortable to be reminded that a real person had to look through our stuff, but is it so bad to be made uncomfortable because you were reminded of something that you already kind of knew to be the case?
        I guess I feel a little disturbed by the way that we’re so glad that someone as either put on suspension or fired for this. It was a note that made the recipient laugh, but “ooh, inappropriate” so we’re glad that that TSA agent just took a financial hit, and might now be unemployed. That’s like getting a checkout clerk fired for commenting on your purchase. I just can’t rejoice over some menial employee facing unemployment for stepping out of line so slightly.

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