The Spirit of Competition and TSA Security Lines

Have you ever had one of those trips where everything seems to go wrong?   Yeah, me too but you have to find the win in everything.

I am coming off of a trip where I arrived at my hotel at midnight only to be told that the hotel was oversold that evening and I was being ‘walked’ to another hotel, in a different chain and one that was on a much lower level of service.  Awesome, right?

And this was with a chain I am very loyal to and have status with.  Strike one!

Then in true Road Warrior fashion, I spent the day running around Atlanta with one of my co-workers who continuously got us lost. It was not her fault.  I am well aware that this person is completely directionally dysfunctional but for some unknown reason, I let her drive.  She even sincerely offered to slip out of the driver’s seat and let me drive but I was too ‘polite’ to let that happen.  The result, we were late to both of the meetings scheduled for the day and I HATE being late.  Strike two!

To top it all off, I got to the airport in Atlanta only to find out that the secondary security line, the one that puts me right by my gate and is always way shorter than the main line, was closed.  Strike three!

You can probably guess that I am not in the best of moods at this point of the day.  It is late, I have been rushing all day, I have continually been marginalized and I just want to get on a plane home.  How am I ever going to make this trip palatable?  Enter unknown Road Warrior #2.

I still don’t know his name, or what he does, or where he was going but I know that I beat him through security.  If I could, I would make getting through security an Olympic sport.  Now this process does not start with unpacking your laptop, nor taking off shoes or even making sure you know what 3:1:1 is referencing.

No!!! It begins with lane selection!! 

There is an art to this and RoadWarrior#2 and I were about to do battle.  We both had had rough days and needed some release.  So the challenge was on, who could make it through security first.  I had to do some quick evaluation:

  • Evaluating the other travelers in front of you (are there families? Travelers that are obviously not seasoned?  Elderly who you know are going to set off the alarm?)
  • Evaluating the length of the line options
  • Evaluating the TSA officer who is in charge of ticket validation
  • Observing the TSA officer who is running the x-ray machine (the most important factor in my opinion)

With our lines chosen, we waited with baited breath to see who would prevail, me in the longer but seemingly faster moving line or he in the shorter but ‘TSA Challenged’ choice.  In the end it took a last minute jump from one x-ray machine to another and a random extra screening warning on RoadWarrior#2’s part to ensure the victory for me.  A hard fought win at the end of a challenging day.

More importantly, it was levity to a heavy day that two RoadWarriors were able to share and brighten each other’s trips.  So stay safe and be friendly out there RoadWarriors and remember, if you are getting in line at TSA, it is always a race.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s