In which the same TSA agent holds up both the ID and scan lines on my final commute

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The Rapid Traveler begins a new job in two weeks. Yesterday the familiar 3:20 am alarm was followed by shuffling to the PATH train platform for his last 6:15 am EWR-ATL flight. The Monday platform power washing complete, the regular platform was reopened for the 3:56 am train to Journal Square, but central dispatch did not get the message and The Rapid Traveler watched helplessly as the train trundled up to the other platform and was gone before he could navigate the staircases. The platform manager was quite apologetic but nothing could make the next train arrive faster than the 35 minute gap. And The Rapid Traveler does not take taxis (except when Mrs. Rapid Traveler has her wisdom teeth removed).

So it was in a rush and foul-temper that The Rapid Traveler made it to security check at EWR with few minutes to spare. No one was in the first class/elite lane except the women having her ID reviewed. Several minutes of careful study by the TSA agent later, there was still no movement and the other agents refused to grant access to the general check, no doubt thinking, “That impatient jerk in first class will just have to wait.” Eventually the agent was resuscitated and The Rapid Traveler breezed through to three scan lines, each with over 10 people. With some traveler profiling, the middle seemed best even though there was a family with infant.

The Rapid Traveler took place in line and made good time, but just as that family was loading their pieces on the belt, he stared in disbelief as the three ID check agents headed for the baggage scanners to swap positions. And there, as the belt stopped…and stayed stopped, was the top of the head that had minutes before clogged the ID line.

These are the kind of moments when The Rapid Traveler just has to smile. No other plausible (for him) vocation than road warrior would have had him anywhere but fast asleep at that time. And here he started the week off with absurdity to remember.

So indeed, he is changing jobs, but not to fly less.

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cynical travelerRapid Travel ChaiCraigaadvantagegeekBothofUs2 Recent comment authors

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cynical traveler

I could imagine the scene: “and The Rapid Traveler watched helplessly as the train trundled up to the other platform and was gone before he could navigate the staircases.”

“So indeed, he is changing jobs, but not to fly less.”
Hope for the better, flying even more 🙂 ?


So the most adventurous part of your trip is the journey to the airport!

Rapid Travel Chai

@Craig – my first PATH attempt the train was 20 minutes late. When I asked the platform agent, he said, “Weekends and nights, they all screwed up.”


Or real life imitating “Brazil”.


Sounds like it could be the basis of a Monty Python sketch