It’s like sheep in the cattle line..

I mentioned this once before as a major pet peeve of mine.  Why is it so hard for people to figure out how the security line works at the airport?

Again, I'm completely sympathetic if you haven't flown in the past say, 5 years.  But if you have, you should know by now that shoes come off, laptops out, all metal removed, and the whole 3-1-1 thing for traveling with liquids.

To keep from flipping my lid when waiting in line, I've started ranking other travelers on a numeric scale based on their level of efficiency and awareness.  If you're a traveler, I urge you to create your own, or use mine (below) as a baseline.  (And to be fair, I only apply these rankings to those travelers who look like they should have a clue as to what they're doing - not the 80-year old man who's never seen a jet plane before.)

Ranks go from 1-5 (5 being the best you can be):

Rank At the Front of the Line.. What I'm Thinking..
1 You just walk through the metal detector.  No waiting to be waived through, with your bag in hand, on your cell phone.  You complain about the speed of the line (and the TSA agents) while you're trying to get your act together. You deserve to be pulled out of line, frisked, and then lectured on the rules of travel long enough that you miss your flight.  You simply have no idea what you're doing.
2 You toss your bag on the conveyer belt, and walk through the metal detector, on your cell phone.  You wonder why you have to go back through and are annoyed that you need to hang up the phone. You're so caught up in your more-important-than-anyone-else's day that you can't be bothered to take our your laptop or remember your phone is made of metal.  Obviously the rules don't apply to you.  Back of the line!
3 You get everything out and in a bin, except for maybe your watch.. Maybe you don't remove your shoes (because at one point they wouldn't set of the metal detectors - you have to do it now, no matter what). Well, you goofed, but but at least you're not rude about it.  You simply forgot.  A couple of people will roll their eyes at you and sigh heavily, but you're soon forgotten once in the terminal.
4 You know how the process works, so you do everything you're supposed to (plastic bag, shoes, laptop, jacket, etc.) when you get to the front. I have nothing really to complain about.  You know the rules of the road and you kept to the status quo of moving through security.  Good job!  Next time if you're ever late for a flight, you can have a spot in line right behind me. 😉
5 Exactly like #4, except you have everything ready to go before you reach the front of the line.  Drop your stuff in a bin and you're on your way. Not only are you knowledgeable, but you're courteous as well.  By having everything ready to go ahead of time, you waste absolutely no time whatsoever.  You can go in front of me if you're running late.

If nothing else, this helps pass the time when traveling the country.  And if this helps just one person (ideally in front of me next time) move up in their personal rankings, then all this typing is worth it.

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