Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Jet Blah II: below the Mason Dixon line

A few days later when I was returning to NY I thought things would flow much smoother, it’s not JFK, it’s the South, they are supposed to be helpful, right? The terminal was calm and relatively empty, no lines no waiting. There were only 2 agents – but no big deal the place was deserted. I printed my boarding pass at the self serve station, stepped up to the counter, then placed it down along with my Driver’s License. Not sure if the design of the counter was done purposefully but the top surface slopes down towards the agent and it has a rounded edge so of course my pass and my ID slipped gingerly over the precipice and disappeared out of my view onto what I thought was her desk top. The agent didn’t make any gesture to retrieve my run away articles but instead flatly informed me “They’re gone”. I popped onto my tippy toes to spy over the counter top only to discover that the agent’s desk top sloped back towards the counter with a 3” wide chasm that was a portal to the 6th dimension. I said, “Ok so what do we do now?” her reply, “Nothing, I mean I can’t do anything”.

She offered to print a new boarding pass but she couldn’t do that until I handed her my government ID… you see where this is going? We danced in this circle for about 3 rounds with her asking for my ID and me reminding her that it was under her desk top. Finally the agent next to her looked over, bent down, OPEDED the cabinet doors under the desk top, and started fishing around. Funny cause neither of the agents appeared to be bothered by the sudden influx of passengers waiting to check in as the line swelled to about a dozen inpatient New Yorkers.

Tada! Agent Two resurfaced with a Drivers License in hand gently placing it on Agent One’s desk top. Agent One typed a few key strokes then without looking at me said, “Banks?” I assumed this was some sort of ‘agent speak' so I did not respond. However still staring at her monitor she once again uttered, “Banks?” I said, “I’m sorry I don’t understand what you are asking me?” Still buried in her monitor she gruffly barked “Banks, your name, Eric David Banks.” then slammed the Drivers License onto the counter. I held up the Georgia State Drivers License with a photo of Eric David Banks, a 52 year old African American male next to my face, raised an eyebrow and said “REALLY?” Agent One tore the ID from my hand, tapped #2 and announced “She says this isn’t her”. Agent Two gave me the once over, scouring the ID for any similarities that MAY connect me to Eric David Banks, but unfortunately she had to agree that I was NOT a black man and disappeared once again below the counter in search of an ID that would be a closer representation of my countenance.

My NY ID was located and I did get onto the flight – however I do wonder about poor Eric David Banks and if he ever returned to Georgia without his ID.

No comments: