The Pat Down

On Monday morning, I flew. I started my new job by flying to Toronto for a meeting. It was only a domestic flight but I was still worried about what all the new security measures would mean. Sunday evening I checked the Transport Canada and the airline websites to see what new hoops I would have to jump through at the airport. I couldn’t really find that anything was different except for the enlarged text that I should EXPECT DELAYS. I could still arrive at the airport one hour before the flight, and even thirty minutes before, if I were the last minute type, which I am so not.

Now on a regular day I am a very punctual person. I am almost never late. I also enjoy (ha!) worrying quite a bit, so even though my flight wasn’t until 9:00 am, I set my alarm for 5:30. Tony asked me why so early, and after a pause I replied “so I can fret.” He smiled and didn’t even roll his eyes at me or even look exasperated. He knows me pretty well. Thanks Honey.

I do not remember hitting the snooze button over and over again, and when I was finally conscious enough to be aware of the time, it was 6:00 am. My taxi was coming at 7:00. Since I am a worrier planner, I had everything ready the night before, so all I needed was to drink my obligatory two morning coffees, and to make myself presentable for my first day in my new job with the people that I would be working with.

The taxi arrived on time; I was ready, and I arrived at the airport before 7:30, an hour and half before my flight. After re-printing my boarding pass, I made my way to security where there were no long lines, no signs of chaos, and there was even a friendly Wal-Mart style greeter at the entrance. The next step was to stand on a large rubber mat for randomized screening. After stepping onto said mat, a big green arrow pointed to the left. It seems I had failed the mat test. I was headed for additional screening, also known as the pat down.

After doing the usual gel, ziplock and electronics shuffle, I stepped through the metal detector and went to a semi-partitioned area, where a very nice young woman was waiting just for me. She told me where to stand and how to stand, arms outstretched, and she proceeded to professionally and courteously touch my entire body from head to toe.

****Warning: explicit details coming up next.****

For the delicate parts, if you want to know, she felt around the entire edge of my bra through my shirt, but didn’t feel the contents within. She did go over my butt, but not into the crotch area, thank goodness.

****OK, safe to read again****

At last all was done. It was professional and not undignified. I would likely choose this option over the naked body scan. I think. Perhaps.

And coming home there was no rubber mat and so it was clear sailing for me.
I am home safe and sound and was so happy to be run over by my beautiful daughters as I came in the door.

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About Finola

I am an Ottawa area Mom, writer-want-to-be and coffee legend in the making.
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4 Responses to The Pat Down

  1. JoeGirl says:

    Hilarious, Fin! Great post. Nice to see the humour coming through. You have a definite flare for it!

    So, how *was* your day in Toronto?

  2. O.K. now I really do not want to fly. That is embarrassing! Glad you have a sense of humour about it. My husband and friends that travel to TO rave about Porter Airlines…I wonder if they feel you up too?

  3. Finola says:

    Joe – Toronto, once I got there, was great. I think I'm going to really like this new job.

    Laura – Ha! I would have liked to have tried Porter, but where I work we are supposed to use Air Canada. Maybe your husband can us know how it goes next time he flies Porter.

  4. Jenn N says:

    travelling with my sister a few years ago, she was 'selected' because they were selecting every sixth passenger… so, Finola, it sounds like you were “sixthed”… hope you don't feel too violated!

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