I started my new job today. It was fun. I arrived at the allotted time and was sent up to the office of my new line manager. She's very nice and so we had a little chat by way of introduction and induction rolled into one. I have to say that it was the shortest induction I've ever had, they certainly expect you to hit the ground running. Everything was going well until she started to talk about security...
"I'll get you issued with a swipe card so that you can access the lift and the gate at the bottom of the stairs," she said, "you'll get your photo id by the end of the week."
"Ok" I nodded.
"Now there are a couple of little things for you to remember. If someone should try to get into the lift with you, make sure they are wearing a photo id. If not politely explain that you can't let them in as you don't know them."
"It's very important that you don't allow anyone unauthorised anywhere in the building other than the reception area. That's their area. I mean you don't want to find yourself in the lift with a rapist or someone pulling a gun on you."
"WHAT"? The colour was quickly draining from my face as I stammered, "nobody mentioned guns, no I'd remember if they had mentioned guns, and rapists, I mean I think I would have made a mental note of rapist," I was beginning to ramble.
"Well dear, you are working with... shall I say the 'underclass' of society, these people don't think twice about carrying guns and knives, and they don't think twice about using them."
"Yes, yes I know, but why on earth don't you employ security guards, what's wrong with a couple of meaty blokes on the door checking that no one is carrying anything they shouldn't? It sounds perfectly reasonable to me." I was definitely rambling.
"Oh no, no dear," she replied shaking her head, "we need to make them feel 'safe', they need to know that they are welcomed here." She said earnestly. For heaven's sake, she actually meant it!
"Right," I mumbled. "I understand, I'll smile respectfully and make them feel welcome."
"That's the ticket dear, I'm glad you understand." She beamed
Too flaming right I understand, these people can terrorise society, live outside the normal constraints and morals, but still we have to respect their right to be treated in the same way that any 'regular' member of society would want to be treated. Never mind that they don't understand or wish to comply with the usual 'rules'. But of course I do have to remember that I should be safe in the knowledge that I am armed in the face of guns, knives, and other offensive weapons, not to mention rapists and child molesters... I am of course armed with my trusty swipe card. No need for my black belt in judo then, phew!!
23rd May - Addendum
Today I had to complete my emergency contact details.
Ques 4. Is there anything else that you wish to be taken into account should you become ill, have an accident or be taken hostage whilst at work?
Yes... I would like a change of underwear a.s.a.p. should I be taken hostage!!!!
I bet you want to know what the heck my new job is now don't you. Sorry I'm honestly not allowed to tell. Nor will I be talking about specifics of events / clients. However, work colleagues might be another matter ;o)