Real People Series - Profiles
Amelia is a screening officer at Vancouver International Airport with 12 years of experience. She is a singer and songwriter and a transgender woman who performs under the stage name Saygal.
Riyaz has been a screening officer in Calgary for 11 years. He’s a faith leader and peace activist, and he speaks four languages. His great passion – at work and outside of it – is helping people.
Edmonton screening officer Gerome compares his job to his other love: basketball. They both involve communication, a desire to perform, and the willingness to work hard as a team.
Sandra, a screening officer in Winnipeg, has been on the job for 19 years – she was working at the time of the Sept. 11 attacks. She’s a cancer survivor who is devoted to her two rescue dogs.
Shaquille is a screening officer at Toronto Pearson International Airport, an avid gamer and a mechanic. Seeing smiles on passengers’ faces makes him feel like he’s done a good job.
Steve says you should never keep going to a job you don’t like – and he’s been a screening officer in Ottawa for 30 years. Outside of work, he’s happiest spending time with his wife and two children.
Jenna is a screening officer in Montreal and a DJ and electronic-music producer as well. She sees her role as a screening officer as bringing safety and peace of mind to the travelling public.
Jackie has been a screening officer in Halifax for 6 ½ years and bakes amazing cakes in her spare time. To her, the most rewarding part of being a screening officer is the positive feedback she receives from passengers.
Vancouver screening officer Francesca can speak three languages, and she’s also a fashion designer. Being a screening officer is like designing clothes, she says, because both tasks require a lot of technical knowledge and attention to detail that generally go unnoticed.
Olumayowa, who has been a screening officer in Calgary for three years, studies early childhood education in his spare time and plans to take over the family daycare when his mother retires. He’s also a professional singer – “R&B and jazz is my calling.”
Edmonton screening officer Aurele thinks work-life balance is important, and says that being a screening officer is “a good family job.” And he would know – he met his wife at an airport 17 years ago.
“I like helping people,” says Grant, an outdoorsman, great-grandfather and a screening officer with seven years of experience in Winnipeg. He loves his job because he believes it makes a difference in people’s lives.
Giselle is a screening officer in Toronto and also a travel enthusiast, and she thinks that’s a perfect combination. She says her job is important because it allows people to get where they’re going securely – whether for business or for pleasure.
“I’m very proud to be a Canadian citizen and an Aboriginal,” says Ottawa screening officer Lauralee. She comes from Iqaluit, and is studying to be a holistic nutritionist so she can work to improve diets in Canada’s North.
Montreal screening officer Roberto enjoys going to the gym and watching horror movies. He once found an envelope at the checkpoint with 14,000 euros, and returned it to the passenger who’d lost it before his flight departed. Roberto tells us the passenger was “very, very, very happy.”
Screening officer Denise in Halifax is a proud hockey mom who cooks as a way to relax. She wants people to leave the checkpoint knowing that “I did my job the best that I could, so they can be at ease as they’re waiting for their flight.”
Vancouver screening officer Rocio is also a makeup artist, and she says that both jobs draw on her love of working with people. At the checkpoint, that translates into a desire to help. “I want them to feel happy … and to wish to fly again.”
Aygul is a Russian interpreter and translator, as well as a screening officer in Calgary. She evaluates her success every day based on how many people she’s helped. “Have I been able to change somebody’s mood for the better? That’s my goal.”
Aaron from Edmonton has been a screening officer for nine years. He’s also an athlete, and he brings that sense of teamwork to the checkpoint. “You want to support your co-worker, and the same goes for team sports as well.”
Raad, a screening officer in Winnipeg, is a proud Canadian who views his job as a chance to give back to the country. He loves fishing, but not ice fishing. “Sorry, it’s too cold.”
Jagdish has been a screening officer for 31 years, and she was working at Toronto-Pearson Airport the morning of the Sept. 11 attacks. “We were all shocked. Then we were all numb,” she says. But those events reminded her why her job is important. “We make sure passengers reach their destination safe and sound.”
Ottawa screening officer and training specialist Kristen says the job is rewarding because she can see the effect of her work “in a security sense.” She dances in her spare time as a way to de-stress, and because she loves it.
“What you give, you’ll get back.” These are the words that guide Jennifer in her work as a screening officer in Montreal. Her favourite memory from work is a simple moment of helping an elderly passenger carry her bags through the airport.
Uzma is a bridal hair stylist and a travel enthusiast, and has been a screening officer in Vancouver for 10 years. She thinks her job is important “because screening officers are reminders that when I’m flying, I am secure, my family is secure, my friends are secure, and I can go through with a sense of relief.”
Angeline has been a screening officer in Calgary for three years. She is proud of the time she helped a deaf passenger through screening using her basic knowledge of sign language. “I’m not perfect [at sign language], but I can help.”
Montanna, a screening officer in Edmonton, had difficulty speaking when she was growing up, and she says the job has helped her. “Working as a screening officer has helped my self-confidence build-up, I’m less shy.”
Winnipeg screening officer Parrish is a volunteer Santa Claus in his free time. It’s a role he inherited from his father, and his daughter now helps him as an elf. As a former member of the military, he sees his volunteer work, and his job, as a continuation of his desire to serve.
Toronto screening officer Amanda is a proud mom and a passionate amateur athlete. Her favourite work memory is from the time she met a former U.S. vice-president at the checkpoint and he thanked her for doing her job.
Matt is a screening officer and training specialist in Ottawa, as well as an obstacle-course racer and self-described nerd. He hopes this will be the year he introduces his two young sons to Comiccon (a comic-book convention).
Lesly, a screening officer and checkpoint supervisor in Montreal, is proud of his work and proud of his coworkers. “It takes a person with knowledge, a sense of duty and integrity. lt takes someone who is focused on customer service.”
Lucy has been a screening officer in Halifax for 20 years, and worked through two major aviation tragedies. They were difficult, but made her see the importance of her job, “to keep people safe and get them to their destinations.”
Calgary screening officer Tehseer speaks four languages, and he’s also an actor, director and stand-up comedian in his spare time. He says that being a performer and being a screening officer are connected: they both require good communication.
Kitty from Edmonton has been a screening officer for eight years. She also enjoys drawing, painting and clay modelling, and says these hobbies have taught her patience – a skill she uses every day on the job.
Johnny, a screening officer in Toronto, is proud of the work he does, but more importantly, so is his dad. He says his father is “always bragging” that his son has a job helping people and keeping them safe. “It makes me more proud, knowing that I'm doing this and … it's having an impact on my family at the same time.”
Ottawa screening officer Curlyn is also an avid cook, specializing in dishes from her home country, Grenada. She loves the feeling of satisfaction she gets on the job when she’s helped someone. “It’s rewarding being a screening officer when you see the passenger smile after they leave the checkpoint.”
Lamya, a screening officer and supervisor in Montreal, says her job and her family keep her quite busy, but she tries to squeeze in humanitarian work whenever she finds the time. “Whenever I have a chance, even if I have very few resources to do so, I try to help as much as I can.”
Rachel has been a screening officer in Halifax for 16 years. Her favourite work memory is from when she was able to reunite a traveller with the jackknife he had surrendered at the checkpoint. The knife was a family heirloom, so his entire family was present to thank her for returning it.
Vancouver screening officer Mukta is a devoted mother and a keen badminton player who says that the sport, like her job, requires constant alertness and activity. She became a screening officer “because I wanted to work in a multicultural, professional team environment and add value to society.”
Along with being a hairstylist and avid cyclist, Ranjit is a screening officer and training specialist in Winnipeg. His favourite part of the job is giving help to the travellers who need it. “Where they may have seemed lost or confused, they have now gone to their gate comfortably. There’s satisfaction in that.”