By Bob Cusack
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) wants the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to be more polite. A lot more polite.
At a hearing earlier this week, Connolly pointed out that the TSA and members of Congress are both in the customer-service business. Some customers/constituents are pleasant; some are not.
“There’s no excuse for someone barking orders continuously at the public at any airport in America who is an employee of the federal government, or a contractor for the federal government,” Connolly said. “I’d lose my job if I treated the public that way and rightfully so.”
According to the New York Daily News, Connolly added, “I counted — in one encounter — 20 barked orders. Take that off … Move over there … Back up … Put your hands up … Take your shoes off.’ Not once was the word ‘please’ used.”
Like any shrewd government agency official, TSA Assistant Administrator for Security Operations Kelly Hoggan agreed with Connolly that customer service is important.
And like any good politician, Connolly said he would consider introducing legislation if TSA agents keep (allegedly) acting like ogres.
“I know I won’t have any resistance from the other side of the aisle on that one,” Connolly said.
Of course, writing the courtesy-mandate legislation could be tricky. Is smiling a must? How many references to “please” and “thank you” are enough? And how many would be deemed sarcastic and over the top? ITK, to be sure, will monitor this issue very closely.