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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Safety is our primary goal.

For most of the history of the company nobody felt the need for more than one security guard.  He sat by the front door, behind a big desk, with a raised counter that barely concealed a bank of monitors hooked to cameras scattered throughout, and around the exterior of, the building.  In fact, many people with some responsibility for the budget felt that the only reason there was a security guard at all was to justify the purchase and installation of all those cameras.

It seemed like a valid point, occasionally he dozed but most times he had a small television nestled in the midst of the monitors and watched daytime television.  It was not unusual to enter the building and find the giant, muscular man, billy club, and tear gas spray attached firmly to his black leather, police style duty belt, crying over the latest tragedy on one of the soap operas to which he had become addicted.  It was a little touching, a little sad, and a little troubling, and many people would avoid using the front door between the hours of 11:00 and 2:30.  Those became known as the "weeping hours."  We thought about taking away his night stick, for his own safety, but didn't really want to cause any more distress.

That all changed on that awful day in October.  We made the mistake of hiring an intern without completely vetting him.  He was only going to be there for five or six months, and was mostly in charge of assembling the vital supplies, necessary, and crucial to the execution of a successful business meeting.  Legal pads, and pens for doodling, and writing notes, donuts, bagels, pastries, and coffee for consumption, and pitchers of iced water, with slices of lemon for... well nobody is sure why those are there, but they do look lovely.

Had anybody looked more closely we might have discovered the interns ties to a notorious band of software pirates, agents of industrial espionage, and corporate raiders.  It was kind of disappointing, and you can believe there are several new questions on the application!  

One day, while Bob, the security guard was sobbing into a beach towel, bemoaning the fate of Susan, who lost her baby, her husband and her prized roses in one ten minute segment, between a commercial for bleach, and an advertisement for hair color guaranteed to rid a person of gray, adding a more youthful appearance, and provided a richer and more fulfilling life.  Jill, from the secretarial pool, stopped to console him, holding him and patting his back.  She noticed something odd on a couple of the monitors.

Bob leapt into action, shut off the soap opera, patted the handle of his billy club, and pepper spray, put on his uniform hat, and called the police, who arrested all of the intruders, and the intern, shook Bob's hand and gave him a commendation for quick action, and a clear telephone voice and left.

We are so grateful Bob was there.  We gave him a raise, a new chair, a box of tissues, and took away two of the security monitors so he would have room for a bigger television.