Readers Blog

When security isn't safe.......!

I work for an event staff company and we work many festivals such as Summerfest.  One year I was leaving work when I noticed I had to pass through a number of detours in the parking lot.  I had no idea why till I got home and watched a rerun of the 10 o'clock news.  Apparently someone had left "something" in the parking lot and the "bomb" squad was called in.   I was appalled that I (a security team member who has a private security guard license) was NOT told about this possible threat to my and the customers safety.

   When I spoke to the head of the company sometime later about this he told me that they didn't wanna tell us workers, because we could tell someone else and create a false panic or possible riot.  I mean they trust us to search  bags for weapons and other unwanted objects, we even frisk people and yet we were not warned of this impending danger?     

   Also there is a company rule about no pepper spray being brought into the Summerfest grounds because they are "possible" weapons.  Though I honestly never heard of "a" woman or a group of women spraying a man for NO DISCERNIBLE REASON.  

   But do you know what is allowed in?   Two inch knife blades (no longer than your pinkie they say) and long chains (normally attached to wallets but should be tucked in or placed in a bag).  Do you know what else is allowed in?  CORKSCREWS.....!  That's right, corkscrews, since they are rarely "if" ever brought in, we have no hard and fast rules about it.

  However there was one person who came in with a corkscrew who was not an employee and not a part've a wine tasting contest.  I tried in vain to  reach my supervisor who was embroiled in another situation entirely.  I wasn't allowed to leave my post to go get him.  So I had to make up my own mind about whether or not it was allowed in and I decided against it being brought in.  

   Now keep in mind that it was not a family heirloom, not embossed in gold and studded with diamonds, nor inscribed as a graduation gift from bartending school, but your average run of the mill (can buy it anywhere for less then five dollars), corkscrew.

 However when I told him he'd have to take it back to his car he threw the biggest, ugliest temper tantrum to rival or equal that of any ten year old boy.  All I kept thinking was, what was he "really" planning on doing with that cork screw.  I mean potentially it can do great physical damage.  So I am more then glad I had made the decision that I did, considering my supervisor told me later that it was actually allowed into the Summer fest grounds.  

   I hardly think it fair that a young lady should be denied pepper spray amidst thousands of drunken men, a third of whom may have on them a small knife, long chain or the occasional odd corkscrew.  Needless to say I have never made any woman get rid of her pepper spray.  Not even if my supervisor or manager were standing close by and I at least needed to "look" like I was doing my job.  But if they should catch it and make her get rid of it, well that's on them.  

   One of my supervisors even told the throng of us event staff workers that not only did he make a young lady throw her pepper spray into the trash but he outright told her: "Gee, I'm sorry if you live in a bad neighborhood and need the pepper spray to defend yourself and i really hope that you don't get raped on your way home from the festival, but we can't allow the pepper spray in"........ Unbelievable and unconscionable...

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