Thursday, February 19, 2009

Phat times for TWIC workers

News that a Transportation Worker Identification Credential enrollment office in Mobile, AL, was closing its doors for Fat Tuesday raised a few eyebrows in our morning news budget meeting today.

Everyone associates Mardi Gras with New Orleans. Mobile, apparently, is even more serious about their pre-Ash Wednesday revelry.

The idea of TWIC workers enjoying the last moments before Ash Wednesday isn’t very funny to drivers who budget work and personal time in order to travel and enroll, and later travel and pick up their TWIC.

The TWIC program’s fees, multiple required appointments, delays and other factors have cost many truck drivers a minimum of hundreds of dollars.

Some drivers have had to travel hundreds of miles because of the TWIC program’s strict requirement that applications and pickups be at one location, and a power outage in the fall caused the government to lose computer records and enrollment information for many enrollees.

The Mobile TWIC office’s closing isn’t too big a deal for Uncle Sam and Lockheed Martin, the contractor handling TWIC. They estimate 100 port workers or truckers enroll at the office each day – a drop in the bucket compared with the 1.5 million workers required to have a TWIC card nationally.

During uncertain times, however, closing up shop for Fat Tuesday makes those truckers and Americans holding our economy together scratch their heads.

So make sure and tune in for the news footage of those costumed crazies on Tuesday. If they’re showing Mobile, you may see your tax dollars among the confetti, beads and untold drinks raised in the air.

10 comments:

  1. How, exactly, do you figure tax dollars are being spent during the Fat Tuesday celebrations? Many state and local governments are going to 4 day weeks to save money, so closing the office for a day will actually save money for the state or city (whichever is footing the bill). You couldn't get downtown to go to the office anyway with all the crowds and parades that day, and anyone who would be going to the Mobile office should know better than to plan on getting anything accomplished on Fat Tuesday, anyway. Mobile has been celebrating Mardi Gras far longer than New Orleans - the celebration goes back to the 1600's, and it's a pretty big deal for Mobilians. You wouldn't have done an article like this if New Orleans was closing their office for the day.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Having had my TWIC Card for quite some time, I can't believe that this chapter of "Security Theatre" is accomplishing anything other than making Lockeed Martin a healthy profit.
    Here in Charleston, SC the drop dead date was December 1st and here we are well into February and they don't have any card readers.
    One would have to wonder about security, how will they know if my TWIC card is real?
    Remember, TWIC's are for kids! Ha!

    ReplyDelete
  3. The Mobile office is a cluster everyday, not just Fat Tuesday. Both times that I went I had an appointment and was seen 2 hours after my appointment time. Totally uncalled for. As far as Fat Tuesday goes, The office is located in an area that would be extremely hard to get to during the parades.

    ReplyDelete
  4. TWIC IS A RIPOFF CREATED TO MAKE MONEY OFF THE DRIVERS THAT HAVE TO WORK THE PORTS, SAME AS THE BACKGROUND CHECK FOR HAZ-MAT, WHICH BY THE WAY SHOULD BE ALL THAT IS NEEDED TO ACQUIRE TWIC CREDENTIALS, I'M TIRED OF THE WAY ALL THESE NEW AGENCIES POP UP AND REQUIRE THE WORKING MAN TO PAY THE BILL TO KEEP HIS JOB BECAUSE OF 9/11. PUT ADDITIONAL CHARGES ON THE IMPORT SHIPPING COMPANIES TO PAY FOR THE EXTRA SECURITY MEASURES NECESSARY TO ENSURE OUR SAFETY IN THE PORTS. QUIT TAKING FROM THE POCKET OF THE AMERICAN WORKMEN THAT SUPPORT THIS COUNTRY.

    ReplyDelete
  5. If the people want "In God We Trust" off the money and the 10 Commandments off of government buildings, then the government employees should not be allowed to close their office for any religous holiday. Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Kwanza, Ramadan, Channuka are all just another day. They should have to work those days. You can't have it both ways.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Innert's just a new tax for the military industrial complex,bend over and humm the star spangled
    banner...

    ReplyDelete
  7. I was pleased with the fact that I was seen 15 minutes after my appointment time in Mobile. I was also pleased that it only took TWIC about 10 days to process my security check and process my card. What pisses me off is my application was updated online to a "In Transit" status, "please give 5 days before scheduling a pick up appointment". That was on Feb 12th. Here it is, Feb 25th, no change in status. I can however see where the problem may lie. The Mobile site is a room,(I swear it looked like bed sheets separating cubicles), with shelves stacked with crates of paperwork and cards. They seemed to be lacking organization. A cluster is right, these people need to get their crap together and get me my damn card so I can go to work. I am currently unemployed and waiting on them......As far as Mardi Gras goes, I'm just glad its over for another year, people can get back to work, kids can get back to school (mine were out for 2 days), and life can get back to being somewhat normal again....

    ReplyDelete
  8. Well TWIC is kinda like the short bus. It does good work and means well, but always in the way of its self. I was one of the first 100K to enroll in Houston, TX. It took them 6 months to get my card. At the present time i have had it in my possession for 4 months now and the computer system still shows in production. Now it gets better, I received a phone call and email on friday informing me that my "REPLACEMENT" card was ready for pickup....... LOL

    ReplyDelete
  9. mardi gras my big ol but, damn bunch of grown people acting like uncivilized idiots, innocent people getting killed for nothing, shameful and disgraceful behavior, trashy streets left by a trashy bunch of people, of any socalled celebration this one should be called STUPIDITY IN LOUISIANA WEEK, i like a good party but that is ridiculous, just glad it aint in my hometown

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sure; make it harder, more involved, more likely to get screwed up AND charge us up front for the service (well at least for the PROMISE of service) and then DON'T DELIVER. After all, isn't that what government is for?

    ReplyDelete

Leave a comment here.