This afternoon, right after work, I visited the PDX concourses for the first time since my most recent flight in 2010 (my trip to San Diego ComiCon). It took some work to figure out how to use my badge to go through the employee entrances — "I have dumb questions about this," I said to someone who works in the PDX Badging Office before I did so — but! It worked and it works.
So I took a quick look around Concourses A, B, and C, on the south side of the terminal. I went there because Concourse A will go away soon due to airport renovations, and I wanted to see its current state. (I think I flew through Concourse A in that 2010 flight; I definitely flew through it earlier, at Thanksgiving 1997 when I flew a very small passenger plane from Northeast Oregon to Portland.) Concourse B is literally just three gates, then Concourse C is, of course, several times bigger. It's big and open, and it was bustling.
I said I have limited access to the parts of the airport past security. Some of those limits: I can't go there on my days off, and of course if I used my employee pass to bypass TSA and get to a flight I would get so fired. More concretely, I can only go there up to two hours before the start of my work shift and stay over there for up to two hours after my work shift. I kept track, once thinking to myself 15 minutes down, one-and-three-quarters hours to go!; this time I was there for an hour. I treated myself to early dinner at Mod Pizza, a local pizza chain with a PDX branch. (They have breakfast pizza. SPECIALLY MADE BREAKFAST PIZZA.)
Anyway. I have a new privilege at work and I appreciate that. More chances to experience an airport...