Mariser showed me this incident of asshattery by a TSA employee in Philadelphia. He planted a baggie of white powder in her carry-on and then confronted her as a joke. It only lasted 20 seconds but that was an eternity for her.
This reminded me of a experience we had with TSA. It was totally different and not traumatic at all. Instead it was totally annoying.
We went to Alaska last summer to visit family. As we were bringing items for them, we had to check a large piece of luggage. Since I was worried about the latching mechanism (a lock was supposed to be used with it), we had to get a TSA approved lock. These have a special design so that TSA can open them with a master key and they have a special symbol so that TSA can identify them. Otherwise, they will cut your lock off. Mariser spent the better of an afternoon trying to find one in Lexington. And she spent about triple the price.
The Special Symbol:
So everything went without incident on the trip to Anchorage. Not so much on the trip back. The Anchorage terminal is older and smaller. So when the TSA added scanners for checked baggage, they had to put them in the lobby. So you first take your bags to the airline counter where they are weighed and tagged. Then you have to lug them over to the scanner and hand them off to TSA yourself. So the TSA employee notices I have a lock on the bag and quizzes me. "It that a TSA lock?" , I reply in the affirmative and he confirms that the lock is indeed TSA approved.