Greg Ziccardi
Valley Voices

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August 24, 2014
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Vail Daily column: Inefficiency redefined

I’ve said this before — government at its highest level cannot operate. (And there is a period after that sentence.) Be it efficiently, profitability, accountability, achievability, creativity or public opinion-ability, then they are not capable.

We could bring up the Veterans Administration and hold those bimbos’ feet to the fire, but why bother? If we fight that battle too long, then we may ultimately win and stick the vets with Obamacare.

Lois Lerner and the IRS are a good example. She and all the criminals beneath her are so lacking in creativity, they came up with the worst excuse for a cover-up since the grassy knoll theory.

Four sons were murdered in Benghazi, but they can’t find anyone to arrest because it may hurt someone’s feelings.

I will not waste your time on such matters. I will leave that up to the mainstream media who manage to cover (up) the real issues with Pulitzer Prize undertaking.

Friends, I would rather waste your time relating a more a personal story. It’s a great example of employees that can hold on to a job in spite of themselves.

This is how it went down, and I have documentation.

On Feb. 2 in the year of our Lord 2013, I flew on United Flight 563 to a destination that had golf courses. I remember like it was yesterday — no I don’t, it was a long time ago. I do remember checking my lone piece of luggage. In it were my golf clubs, a couple of shirts, some underwear, a dark pair of khaki shorts, socks and two pairs of shoes.

The following chain of events is not of great importance but needs to be mentioned. I arrived at the destination, was picked by a buddy in a rental car, threw my bag in the trunk, got to the place we all would sleep, threw my bag at the foot of the bed and began to drink cocktails. We all woke up and I opened my golf bag for the first time in 24 hours.

The first thing I saw was a printed piece of paper that said “TSA has inspected this bag for security purposes.” The message should have continued, “We did not re-pack one Nike Golf Shoe or your right-foot Bob Marley sandal. Have a nice day”.

It’s not life-threatening to come up short on a couple of shoes, and I managed. We went to a golf store, bought another pair of soft spikes and I enjoyed three rounds of golf in spite of my blistered feet.

I flew out four days later and explained the recent airline debacle to an agent that was way happy to “refer me elsewhere.” She gave me a form to fill out and it was to be mailed to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Claims Management Division. “Sounds official enough” I thought. “The TSA went through my golf bag; they should buy me a new pair of golf shoes, right?”

I filled out the three-page form while flying back to Denver on Feb. 7, 2013, and claimed a loss of $130 (I skipped over the section for “other damage, injury or death”). I dropped it in the U.S. Postal Service box when I returned home for quick processing.

On Aug. 14, 2013, I received a letter from Mr. Robert Grimes, who is branch chief of the Claims Management Branch of the Financial Management Division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security of the Transportation Security Administration. He simply stated that he had “... received my request for a claim and it was in process.”

“Things were moving right along,” I thought.

On May 11, 2014, I was delighted to hear from Mr. Grimes again. He explained my claim had been “granted in full” but I needed to fill out more forms so as not to “seek additional payment from the TSA, its employees or any other part of the U.S. government.” I complied, of course, thinking, “These guys are smart. They’ll know if I ever try to do this again”.

Today is July 28 in the year of our Lord 2014, and it’s a special day. I am going to cash my check for $130. It arrived by mail (ground) just a few hours ago.

My plan is to buy new golf shoes as the new ones purchased in Florida 541 days ago are old now. Thank you, Mr. Grimes, for the upstanding service you and agencies like yours provide.

Greg Ziccardi can be reached at gzvail@yahoo.com.


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The VailDaily Updated Aug 24, 2014 09:09PM Published Aug 24, 2014 01:58PM Copyright 2014 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.