hurtful things have been said about security guards over the years:
They’re nothing but uneducated whiteboys on a power trip! They’re lazy
bigots who couldn’t cut it as cops! All they do is sit at a desk all
day popping pills and fondling themselves gently while frowning at a
dog-eared and slightly moist copy of Maxim!
Certainly these are some pretty outrageous claims to make, but I have
to say that in my years working security I found them to be
surprisingly accurate. But let’s try and see if we can’t reveal the
true nature of security guards.

Part I: And All Shall Kneel Before the Working Poor

would argue that security guards are merely glorified hall monitors:
Generic blue collar soldiers who’ve been given a piddling amount of
faux-power and a cheap uniform in order to give the well-meaning businesses
who hire them the illusion of security. The fascinating part is how
much differently some people act once the awesome power of “being able to yell at
people for taking soft drinks into carpeted areas” has been bestowed upon them. For the sake of
brevity (and out of sheer intellectual laziness) I’ve reduced all
security guards into a couple exciting categories with asinine names.
Try and spot the security guard types you’ve met! It's like a game, except really boring.


The Gnomelike Fascist

sure most of you are familiar with something called Little Man Syndrome. If you aren't,
it’s just what happens when a short kid finally gets tired of groups of
taller boys spotting him across the lunch room, shouting “Hey Midge
Boy!” and running over to push him into a large stack of lunch trays
which tip forward and rain down upon his tiny cowering frame. The
short kid finally decides he’s going to start acting “tough” in the
hopes that normal-sized people will respect him. Of course this never
really works, as it often results in the little guy stomping around
constantly making an absurd “mad face” and punching nerds in the
shoulder while swearing and listening to bad hip-hop music.

imagine this kid all grown up and working as a security guard at an
electronics store. As a child he may have been able mildly annoy
normal-sized people, but now he’s got the ability to moderately inconvenience them, and he’s damn sure going to do it. Here are some of the ways he keeps our workplaces safe:

  • Eagerly rooting through purses of "suspicious" elderly customers
  • Waddling around after small children suspected to have placed package of AAA batteries in pocket
    Kid Thief

  • Waving other white people through front door when antitheft alarm sounds
  • Elbowing coworkers and pointing out persons suspected to be homosexuals
  • Staring intently at teenaged girls with lust in heart
    Creep Stare

  • Grumbling about foreign customers’ inability to “talk good English”
  • Sitting in parking lot after shift with windows open desperately hoping someone will notice music he's blasting

The Embittered Aspirant Cop

whatever reason, a lot of uneducated crackers and emotionally unstable
overgrown children seem to want to be police officers. Unfortunately
(for them, fortunately for the rest of us) most police departments do a
reasonably good job of filtering out mentally ill and
homicidal Klan members. But then what career is left for these redfaced youths to
pursue? Maybe the military, but that would involve some psychological
screening as well. The only logical choice that remains is security
work. And how do these noncops fill their days? By writing pointlessly
detailed daily reports filled with ridiculous cop jargon of course!
Here’s an actual sample:

1500: Reported
for Duty properly groomed. Noted that Security Officer Roger Gretch’s
security blouse was not properly tucked into dress trousers.

1505: Stood
outside with thumbs hitched in belt. Exchanged various nonverbal
greetings (such as head nodding, eye-widening, etc.) with various
individuals as they entered premises.
1613: Upon
noticing a group of what I believed to be African-American children
riding their bicycles through parking lot, let out audible sigh and
shook head, muttering something offensive under my breath and spitting on
1801: Noticed
suspicious individual cutting across parking lot. Approached suspect
cautiously with hand on flashlight holster, commanding him to halt so I
could question him. Witnessed suspect finishing burrito (or possibly
cheesarito) and dropping wrapper in parking lot. Ordered suspect to
halt and place his hands over his head. Suspect refused to comply and
walked away laughing over hill leading towards Smith’s Coffee Company. Returned
to guardhouse.
1900: Began break. Upon entering break room, assessed situation and chose empty seat close to television set.
1929: Break
over. Upon exiting, adjusted pants in futile attempt to hide erection
caused by viewing of special episode of COPS (COPS: Shots Fired).
aloud for “Good old days when mob lynching was still allowed and a man
could still go out and crack some skulls” adding “I promise you these
"urban" gangs would think twice about roaming our streets and
groping our women if we did.”

When asked by Security Officer Roger
Gretch to provide specific examples of the type of behavior I was
referring to, I Informed Security Officer Roger Gretch that he was
nothing but a coward and scribbled
furiously in a Good Housekeeping magazine I had found under the counter
and had been perusing up until that point.

2301: Nightly
relief, Security Officer Kenneth Ottinger arrived one minute and twelve
seconds late for duty. I informed him this had better not happen again
or he would be given an oral warning. He replied “I’ve got an oral
warning for you” and then proceeded to make an obscene gesture with his
cupped hand. Will make report of this to home office tomorrow. 


The Apathetic Nonachiever

I don’t mean to imply that all
security guards are hateful
little bastards. Hateful little bastards make up only 30% of
the security field. The rest are Apathetic Nonachievers. Who are these
people? Well, there are some human beings who have been crushed under
the burnished jackboot of society so hard and for so long that they no
longer care about anything at all. So what is their ideal job? I would
posit that it does not
exist. Without the ability to dream, surely there will be no dream job.

So the best these people can do is to find a career which requires
no brain power, no education, no training, and most importantly: no effort.
Of all the
jobs available, security comes closest to meeting these criteria, so it
makes sense they would flock to it in droves. So if you were to
peek around the corner and spy on the security desk, what would this
type of guard likely be doing?

  • Staring sadly out window at rain

  • Allowing people to pass without signing in
  • Gleefully injecting amphetamine into own eye
  • Muttering to self
  • Pacing back and forth like caged beast
  • Secretly watching reruns of Empty Nest on portable television in lap
    Empty Nest

  • Stumbling around in existential stupor
  • Sitting
    in darkened car in parking lot after work, gripping steering wheel
    tightly with whitening knuckles as tears stream down face

So try and remember: Before you decide to bother a security guard by
“Have a nice day”, “Have a great weekend”, or “Can you please help me
my car’s been broken into and my baby daughter is missing oh god
there's so much blood” try and look at the world through their eyes for
once. I'm not exactly sure what my point was
there, but you can rest assured that at one time I probably had one.