Friday, June 6, 2008

Hall Monitors For Hire

Between radio jobs (those of which decided I was no longer a desired commodity) I've looked into some interesting sources of income. In Dallas when delivering pizza six days a week, 14 hours a day became a little old I searched for other opportunities.

Dallas Morning News:

The one that sticks in my mind is the ad I answered in the Dallas Morning News for "Security Guards Wanted". Decent pay was offered with hours which would allow me to have a second job without a problem. I had to at least check into it. Following a quick phone call I was scheduled to join a group of others interested in the job to hear more details. Upon first look most of those who attended this meeting along with me I wouldn't have allowed to guard my mailbox let alone my business. You could tell the majority just needed a quick income because they had nothing else or refused to do anything else. Others had families to support and needed a second job.

Our instructor...hmm..imagine Aunt Jemima being REALLY ticked off. No wholesome attitude here. She had a menacing look and a stare that would make you confess every sin you've ever committed or even thought about committing. She didn't take any crap either.

Aunt Jemima:

A couple of those in attendance thought they could break her, get her to laugh or joke around. Sort of like the substitute teacher who wants to play hardass in order to gain your respect. But wouldn't have it; the jokes and smart comments wouldn't penetrate her steel-like facade.

After getting the lowdown of what they were expecting we were told those who seemed worthy of their time would get a call back. I barely said a word and all I had done was fill out a small questionnaire. They could apparently tell the good from the bad & ugly by your address. Hey, if it works...maybe they should sell the idea to our legislators!

I was lucky enough to be contacted for a week's worth of classroom review of duties and regulations - its amazing to know all it takes to be a security guard is to complete five, one hour review sessions. This consisted of leafing through the recently photocopied manual with commentary from a ticked off & unhappy Aunt Jemima look-a-like with badge.

We were also relegated to watching their training videos.'ve seen these. Current employees forced (at gunpoint I think) to read a script of things they would never say on the job in a monotone, robotic voice in front of another co-worker with a camcorder. I know some the information passed on to us was necessary, but telling us our only weapon to scare off would be intruders or juvenile delinquents who were up to no good was a notepad and pencil isn't what I wanted to hear.

Leave It To Beaver:

As displayed by our training videos the world still revolved like it did in episodes of Leave It To Beaver. These people were supposed to stop what they were doing and drop their weapons of choice by my mear presence. Better yet they were dismayed that I was writing down their names, God Forbid! How could they go on! What I was supposed to do with this list of names was unclear. Was I supposed to submit them to management to get the culprits barred from the mall? "NO...I have to have my Orange Julius!", is the phrase I imagined would come from those being "punished".

During that week our instructor did loosen up a bit, but just enough to show she was human and not the cyborg we thought she was. Though I was taking part in the You Can Be A Security Guard Too! classes I was also looking for possible work elsewhere because I just wasn't exactly sold on the idea of being a rent-a-cop armed with a pen & pencil set.


On the last day of classes we were given uniforms. Funny, we did this by going into the changing room closet that contained various sizes of security guard-like dress shirts, slacks and shoes. When I say security guard-like I mean they were all black in color. With my uniform ready to go I was given my assignment. On Monday I was to arrive at this office building with my notepad & writing utensil and guard the structure through the evening and early morning hours. I wasn't too enthused about it, but it was work.

Fortunately one of my other job searches had turned up another restaurant gig which paid a bit more (And was a bit less frightening). So on that weekend I informed the security company of my premature departure from law enforcement via voicemail on their business answering machine. I never heard anything back from them so I'm guessing my assignment was covered. I'm sure they were plenty others waiting to fill my shoes.

I've never had another urge, or situation to push me in, to dig into the security or law enforcement. I figured I'd leave that to those who weren't built like a sapling. Being six-foot-three, 180 pounds with stick figure arms & legs is scaring only to those who think you have an eating disorder.

So radio has been an adventure and I'm sure when I leave the business I'll miss a lot of it. Then again, I'm sure there is plenty I'll be happy to put behind me...for a long, long time.

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