Making a Difference: TSA worker makes sure passengers board with a smile

DAYTON — While News Center Seven’s Molly Koweek was getting ready to board a flight, she came across a man; who made her laugh.

Reggie Harris’ job comes with misconceptions, criticism, and strings attached. But he loves what he does, and he is making people smile.

Harris worked at Dayton International Airport as a TSA worker for about a year. However, he’s been in this line of work for more than a decade.

“Come on up, young lady, follow the yellow brick road. Like Dorothy, and what’s that dog’s name, Tito?” Harris joked.

He has never met a passenger that he hasn’t tried to make smile.

“I love you too. ((two-second pause)) oh, I thought she was talking to me.”

Reggie says too many people have jobs where they “have” to go to work.

“I love doing what I do. And that’s the bottom line. I love working with TSA, come on up, young lady,” Reggie said while he was working.

He calls himself a people person and says he is blessed to have a job where he “gets” to go to work.

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Harris used to work as a corrections officer, and he said that job was something he “had” to go to work.

“I didn’t have to have customer service. No customer service whatsoever. It was a gated community, and our residents stayed for a long, long time,” he explained.

In all seriousness, Harris, his co-workers, and the TSA have a job to do.

“TSA is tough. We take our jobs serious, but why not? If someone comes here and is upset, why not make them smile for just a minute?”

Their number one priority is making sure people and their planes are safe.

Harris admits understanding and dealing with his own personal problems and challenges has helped him become a better listener and communicator.

He says it’s important to treat each person who comes by his line like a real person.

“Smiles not required, but they are encouraged. Haha, if you not smiling and have a bad day, just go back and think about that for a while, then come back.”