Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Futility of Futilities: the Security Guard's Utility (or lack thereof)

Do you ever think what it's like to be a security guard in a school? All you do all day is check ID cards. "ID, young man!" and "ID young lady!" is all these people say--around a bajillion times each day.

Suppose the unthinkable happens, and terrorists decide to blow up City College. They could waltz right past the security guards by flashing a B. G. Karalenkavo Kharkov Scientific Library card, which looks just like a City College ID card (I have such a card at home). They could also use the ID card which formerly belonged to the kid they killed as he was parking his car behind the Marshak building. The guards never look at the photo anyways--I often show mine with my finger on the picture. Or they could walk through one of the many doors which our building administration deems impervious to terrorists, because they have "EXIT ONLY" clearly printed on them.

When the security guard gets out of bed in the morning and hurriedly brushes his teeth to be on time for work, what does he think? Does he say, "Oh joy! Another day of foiling terrorist plots and saving innocent young scholars' lives"? He probably says, "Oh brother. I bet that red-haired kid is gonna have to dig in his wallet for twenty minutes for his card, while tens of unidentified students rush past. Can't that kid get his act together?" which is a really silly situation, because if he knows the kid by face, it's a probable that the red-haired trouble-maker is a registered CCNY student.

The real question concerns the security guards who don't ask for ID. In the North Academic Center we have a lot of those (which is stupid because it's the biggest building with the most doors and makes the most tempting terrorist target). What do those security guards think every morning? It's probably along the lines of "Another day of standing around and staring at nothing. Maybe today will be an interesting day, and somebody will ask me for directions." When he arrives at 9:00 a.m., how can he bear to think about the long, boring hours until 5:00 p.m.?

The only thing that makes this non-"ID young man"-shouting security guard more fit for his job than a stone is that the security guard can be blamed if terrorists ever do blow us up.


  1. You guys have security guys? That is whack. I'm never asked for my ID. Sometimes for my student ID number but never my ID...

  2. 1. Doesn't everybody have security guys?

    2. I meant student ID.

  3. 1. I'm sure we do but I never see them.

    2. I know. I'm never asked for my student ID, just sometimes to say my student ID number...

  4. if you never see the security, then who asks you for your ID number?

  5. If you want to make an appointment or check something in the financial aid office...

  6. Here's my theory why security guards do help. If terrorists wanted to, they could blow up CCNY rather easily. But it would be even easier to blow up UWM because there's no security there at all!

  7. No, Milwaukee is too cold and miserable for anyone to want to blow anything up.

  8. Dang. Ouch.

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  9. this very subject is the theme of two new movies... i guess "great" minds think alike!


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