Tuesday, October 14, 2008

From Obscurity to Oprah

A few weeks ago, I started what began as a normal day. I got up and got ready for work just as I would any other day. I'm a Behavior Detection Officer at TSA, working behind the scenes in airport security. Just before leaving my house, I noticed a message on my cell phone and checked it. Shortly thereafter, my day would be anything but normal. It was a call from TSA public affairs saying that they wanted me to fly to Chicago to tape a minute segment for the Oprah Winfrey Show. After a few moments of thinking "this must be some kind of joke," I called the office only to find out that it was very real. Six hours later, I was boarding a plane on my way to Chicago.

There were thunderstorms and traffic was horrible. We almost missed the meeting. Finally, discussions with the producers at Harpo studios made the trip worthwhile. Instead of a pre-recorded segment, they invited me to return to participate in taping the show with Oprah!

The issue of the episode: "Is America changing from the land of the free to the land of the rude?" Now granted, I am certain that we can all share some doozies - TSO's and passengers alike - but I can only speak for myself. Are we moving farther away from civility? Is rudeness the rule versus the exception? I had the opportunity to share my experiences as a uniformed transportation security and behavior detection officer. The episode will air tomorrow, Wednesday, October 15.

It was a wonderful experience that I will never forget. I hope the show sheds some light for people - it has certainly made me more aware of my actions and I hope it will do the same for others. As a result, I will try even harder to be kinder, gentler, and above all else, choose to be civil.

If you have the chance to watch the episode tomorrow - passengers and TSA officers - check back to the blog and share your thoughts. This could be an interesting dialogue to improve how we interact at the checkpoint.


Guest EoS Blogger