Apologies Accepted, Lessons Learned

Some of my loyal readers have asked for the end of the story of my confiscated and abused items at the security check in the Columbus and Syracuse airports.

I did report to tsa.gov that at the Syracuse airport, , my lap top computer apparently was taken apart and then slapped together, just enough to appear that it was intact. When I got home and lifted it out of my back pack, it fell apart in my hands. I also reported that in the Columbus airport, when I was asked to remove all electronic equipment, I had forgotten to take my Braille and Speak out of my back pack, and when the TSA worker apparently took it out to examine it, he or she did not return it to my pack. Even though the website said that this site was not actively maintained, I was delighted to receive an apology from both TSA supervisors. The one in Syracuse said she would pursue this matter and take action. The one in Columbus invited me to call him to discuss it further. So I did. He couldn’t have been nicer or more apologetic. He took the time to watch the video of my going through security, and he described exactly what he saw. The worker did indeed take the Braille and Speak out of my pack, examined it, and placed it in a bin and sent it on its way. His mistake was that he did not return it to my pack or say a word to me about it, so I was unaware that it had been placed in a separate bin. I did not look for it, because I thought I had forgotten to take it out, which I had, so I assumed that it was still in my pack. The supervisor claimed full responsibility and promised that he would make sure more training was done. Clearly, the wrong-doing here was that the TSA agent did not communicate with me about the object in question. However, I made a few mistakes along the way myself.

From now on, I will have identification on every item that I think might be questioned, including my purse, my phone, my shoes, and all other special equipment that I carry, such as lap top, Braille and Speak, and Victor Trek. Having possessions taken out of my control can lead to disaster, so it’s up to me to never assume. Then, when I retrieve my belongings out of the bins, I will handle each item myself and make sure they are all there. My extreme anxiety about the loss of my lifelines to the world could have been avoided if I had taken the time to check each item. If it slows down the line behind me, too bad. They can go around me. I’m not going through that again. Thanks for asking, but my world is now back in place.

Mary Hiland



Author of “The Bumpy Road to Assisted Living A Daughter’s Memoir”

Available at Amazon.com, dldbooks, and NLS Talking Books DB 91261


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