This morning when I was trying to catch my flight back east I had a little altercation with the TSA—sadly not my first—and almost missed my flight. I want to let everyone know—who like myself, hasn't read and memorized the list of all 347 prohibited items on the TSA website—that any tool over 7 inches in length is not allowed in your carry-on. Even if it's just barely over 7 inches. Even if it's less dangerous than a 6.99 inch screw driver, which happens to be allowed.
The TSA are robots, trained to respond to all situations in a scripted manor without any use of judgement, common sense, or rationalization. After speaking with three different agents(one who was a supervisor) and being informed three times of all of my options (none of which were viable), I told them to just keep the wrench so I could catch my flight. They promptly stopped me and asked, "Sir, are you voluntarily surrendering the item?" No, I'm not. You guys are confiscating it. I don't want to give it to you. It's mine. It's not dangerous. I need it to put my bike together when I arrive at my destination. There is nothing voluntary about this situation.
What do you do with these "surrendered" items anyway? Is it thrown in the garbage and sent to a landfill? Does it get auctioned off? Do you guys grab some beers at the end of the day and divvy up all your loot? Is it donated to a charitable organization? Or do you blow it up to make sure it wasn't a bomb? Inquiring minds must know.
I ask all of these questions because I'm sure that the confiscation of my possession is not a rare occurrence and people who are in a hurry are constantly "surrendering" their items, never to be seen again. But this forces the victim to purchase a new item just to replace a perfectly good one that the victim already owned. This really aggravates me. I even asked if they could place it in the Lost and Found so I could retrieve it on my way home (like my lost keys a few months ago). But I was told they "couldn't be responsible for doing that." It's great to know that we have irresponsible people protecting our airports. Heaven forbid something occurs that a script has not been written for, we will all be doomed at the hands of the almighty TSA.