Worthless Guide to Security Guards

Many 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

I 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

I’m 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.

Now 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

For 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 sidewalk.
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).
2143: Yearned 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 absolutely 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 saying “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.