In these terrorism-laced times it is hard not to feel vulnerable and targeted, no matter who or where you are. And at Sky Harbor International Airport, self-proclaimed “America’s Friendliest Airport,” the big challenge is to be at once accepting of a mind-boggling diversity of humanity, and mindful that the Bad Guys often strike at or near the airport, or on and/or with airplanes.
One consequence is that a new airport-vendor hire is treated as a provisional employee while a ten-year criminal background check is done. Until the positive results come in, the new hire must be escorted through and beyond the security checkpoint everywhere, including to the restroom. My own background check, just completed, took a solid three weeks. Somehow I managed to limit my restroom need to once per shift. (Yesterday’s shift was 10-1/2 hours. Yoicks!)
When I was “cleared for takeoff” (just last night) I was voiced-mailed to go to the Badging Office for video watching and testing. I arrived at the Office at 10:30 AM this morning (Tuesday and Saturday are my days off right now) and emerged, educated as to my responsibilities as a blue-badged airport employee, at 12:45. The videos I was shown did a good job of covering security basics, which are mostly common-sense things (example: if you badge yourself in through a door, you must be 100% sure that the door closes securely behind you before you leave it) that such as I, being NON-commonsensical, don’t normally think of.
Now I am badged. The badge is good for six months. I trust and hope that I am too.