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Re: Least favorite non-geek(s) at my job:

by crashtest (Curate)
on Jul 02, 2008 at 22:41 UTC ( #695226=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Least favorite non-geek(s) at my job:

I voted security guard. Here's my anecdote:

One morning, I am on my way in to work and just as I reach the door I realize I left my badge (which opens the door) in my car. The car is a four-minute walk away. As I am cursing to myself, our a.m. security guard walks around the corner.

This guard...

  1. ... has seen me every weekday for roughly two years.
  2. ... has been working at my building about half as long as I have been working there.

I ask her to let me in. She refuses.

This happened a little under a year ago. I have not spoken a word of greeting or otherwise to her since. My consolation is that if you perform your job like a robot, it won't be long until a robot replaces you.

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Re^2: Least favorite non-geek(s) at my job:
by radiantmatrix (Parson) on Jul 03, 2008 at 15:41 UTC

    Sorry to bust your rant, but as a security geek, I can tell you that security guard did exactly the right thing.

    The guard's job is not to make sure they know everyone who enters the building, it's their job to help prevent unauthorized (not un-authenticated) access. She had no way of knowing for sure that you still work there.

    There are plenty of stories of guards who did the "nice thing" and let someone in, only to discover later that person had been terminated and had come back to mess with hardware or cause other damage. I've even had to clean up after some of those messes.

    Instead of snubbing her, you should be thanking her for doing her job.

    Ramblings and references
    “A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.” Herm Albright
    I haven't found a problem yet that can't be solved by a well-placed trebuchet

      Ha! Spoken like a true engineer. You'll see in my OP I did not fault her for doing her job, I am faulting her for doing her job like a robot. She is doing exactly the right thing. Since she is so predictable, I can probably write a Perl script that emulates her to a T.

      There is more context than I have inclination to provide, including the fact that my work is not all that sensitive, that the area in general is not that secure, and that my capacity to do damage is governed by my access to company servers and network, not physical access to the office building. All items that a human being can take into account, and a list of rules cannot.

      I think in general it bothers me because I see this fascination in America with rules, process and automation, to the detriment of human relations and using your brain. People jump at the opportunity to shirk responsibility and decision-making.


Re^2: Least favorite non-geek(s) at my job:
by talexb (Canon) on Jul 04, 2008 at 18:51 UTC

    I'd have to agree with brother radiantmatrix here -- the security guard's job is to guard. She did her job, so I'm guessing it's more like a customer service issue.

    You didn't say what happened after that, but I would hope she followed up with "Did you forget your pass?" and start the procedure to get someone authorized to vouch for you and let you in, and/or set you up with a temporary pass after confirming that you are authorized to enter this secure area.

    Or you could have smiled and said, "You know what -- I'll just go back to my car and get my pass." She might even have let you in at that point. Or not.

    Alex / talexb / Toronto

    "Groklaw is the open-source mentality applied to legal research" ~ Linus Torvalds

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