MIAMI, FL – As the longest U.S. government shutdown in history slogs into its fourth week with no end in sight, Transportation Security Administration officials have resorted to making up lost paychecks however they can. While some have committed to absenteeism, many more are simply confiscating passengers’ loose change from conveyor belts.
At Miami International Airport, where one concourse has already been closed due to lack of T.S.A. personnel, more passengers are funneled to the remaining security checkpoints. The constant jingle of loose change passing through the x-ray machine has been too much for some agents to handle. “Trump hasn’t given me my money, those Democrats haven’t given me my money,” says Officer DeAnn Mears, “so I’mma just take my money if I gotta be here.” Officer Mears explains that the vast majority of passengers are already so frustrated with the longer wait times that they fail to notice their missing coins from the trays.
Starting salary for agents, who have been called to remain on duty as essential personnel during the shutdown, is about $25,000 a year. Agents like Officer Mears believe that they can make up, or even improve upon, their withheld wages 15 cents at a time from the thousands of travelers they screen each day.
when Boredroom News inquired about these activities, the T.S.A. officials responsible for supervision at Miami International, as well as spokespeople for the agency itself, could not be reached as they had all been deemed “non-essential” by the executive branch.
While Officer Mears confirms that she will do whatever possible to keep paying her bills without a salary, other agents have also sold back confiscated knives and firearms to passengers on the “No Fly” list to make ends meet.