saying hi to security guards

Ok so I’m pretty bad at a few things in this ol’ world of ours, um, and one of those things is genuinely saying hello or good-morning (whathaveyou) to the security guards that sit in the lobby of my work-building. I still do say these things usually, (hi, hello, how are you, take care, good night, have a good one, etc) but when I say these things, they, it all just comes out wrong, you know, and I can tell they can tell I’m not really into the whole thing. Bottom line: I get a skeptical face, I think.

But the reason I bring this up: ok, so today I return from lunch, there’s a long line of swipers getting back to the office, and as the guy in front of me swipes his card at the security gate, he has this whole rapport with the security guard.: “1975 Pontiac Thunderbird. Red or Black?” he asks gruffly, and the guard thinks for a second, then blurts out, “Both!” they both laugh heartily, and I’m thinking, “Wow they really have a relationship, I’m so jealous,” blah blah blah. But then after we pass the guard I hear some other guy asking the Thunderbird guy, “What was that about?” and the Thunderbird guy’s like: “Oh it’s just this thing we do together.”

You see what I mean sort of: it’s a “thing” they do, it’s kind of fake, I mean, basically I think I’m just not really into doing “things” with people. I like having genuine conversations when I can (what does that mean?), but routines for the sake of routines I’m not good at: my poker face when it comes to these sorts of quasi-stranger interactions is pretty poor, I won’t lie. But I’m working on it. Who can resist saying ‘mornin to Big Sal anyway? (pictured below)




Filed under etiquette, office, security

3 responses to “saying hi to security guards

  1. ShiraM

    wow. not that i don’t usually agree with / relate to so much of you write Mr. Kirsch but this one really hit home for me. I was just thinking about this very thing today. Like other people seem to do it so easily. And I don’t, I just don’t talk to strangers easily. Especially ones I have to pass every day awkwardly. And I’m always wondering – is it a natural inability of mine, or is it that I’m just so genuine I can’t muster the enthusiasm, or is it something I can work on, cultivate? Wow. I do not know. I think I’m pretty friendly in my regular life. But I definitely can’t chat it up with security guards.

    i feel so much better now thanks.

  2. Mr. Kirsch,
    Interacting with Security is simple and the problem with most people is that they have this feel of being above security officers/guards. Truth is most security professionals are above them. Just because he’s sitting in the entrance of a building or the lobby of a bank doesn’t actually mean thats who he is as a person or all there is to his life.
    I’ve had guys work for me over the years that had PHD’s, or guys who woked fo me while going to grad school. Occassionally I’ll get retired Police officers or Military Intel guys, they just want something to do to keep from being bored.
    The funny thing about the public is that they really have no idea what security does within our society.
    If you wan to start a conversation with an officer be yourself and trust me they’ll respond to you. If you’re a person who likes to know what’s going on in your building or office, become friends with the officers they know more than anyone else about who’s working late, who’s having marital problems, who’s about to get promoted or even fired. Want to know who in your building is having an affair? Just ask, trust me they see and hear everything.
    By the way, for people just like yourself there’s a book being released in June called, “Observe & Report.” Its loaded with true stories from inside the job of security. You’ll be surprised by what security guards think of the people that work in buildings such as the place you work.
    Hope I helped a bit. Good luck.

  3. Pingback: that-guilty-feeling « heymattkirsch

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