So this morning, my wife got a flat tire. We exchanged cars, and she continued on her way to work in my pickup. I went to the tire store, they told me the hole was irreparable, so I told them to replace the front tires while I went next door for breakfast. $300 later, I went to her work to again exchange cars. I needed my truck to run an errand to Home Depot to haul some supplies home.
I found that the teacher’s lot is blocked by traffic cones, presumably to keep students from parking there. I moved ONE cone to get into the lot and exchange cars, with the intent of putting the cone back where it come from on my way out. I parked her car, and as I was getting out, I was met by the head of school security, whose first words were: “You are going to put that cone back, right?”
Me: “Well, yes. I was going to get it on my way out. I am swapping cars with my wife.”
He then went on about how much time it takes to set up the cones each day, and how I am making his job harder. Note that at no point did he seem to care that I was a person unknown to him on school campus during the day.
I was VERY polite, and I told him that I was intending on doing so. Even though I was tempted to run over 6 or 8 of those cones on the way out, I did not.
Why do security people have to be assholes? It’s like you give people a bit of authority, and they let it go directly to their heads. This is what people talk about when they talk about de-escalation. It isn’t about negotiating with knife wielding maniacs, it is about not TRYING to throw the weight of your authority around. It is about basic human decency.
There is an old saying about “An armed society is a polite society.” The truth behind that saying is caused by a balance of power. If both people involved in an interaction are on equal terms, they tend to be more polite. It is only when one feels that he has more power than they other that he feels the need to flaunt that power.
My guess here is that, if he had suspected that I was armed, he either would have been VERY nice to me, or would have run scared in order to put the school on lockdown, even though I presented no threat to him. I don’t need to push other people around in order to validate my own inadequacies.