Sunday, February 10, 2008

Management Think

Remember when that creep Timothy McVey blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City? For a while there everyone assumed it was foreign terrorists that had done it

At that time I worked at an oil company in a large building in downtown Dallas. It was a cool building in that it had lots of underground parking. The building was 25 stories tall and the parking went 6 stories underground. To get into the parking garage you had a badge that you slid into the reader that was just inside and the little wooden arm would lift up out of your way.

If you forgot your badge there was a call button and a speaker. You push the button and the old guard up in the lobby would ask your name and department, look you up to make sure you were legit then raise the arm and let you in.

Being a large building, at 8:00 am there was always a solid stream of cars heading into the parking structure. Conversely at 5:00 PM there was always a solid stream of cars heading out so they had built concrete medians to channel the traffic and keep it separated.

So, a few days after the Oklahoma City tragedy I had forgotten my badge. I pushed the call button and the guard told me over the speaker that if you did not have your badge you could not get into parking anymore. I would have to either go home to get my badge or park somewhere else.


There are about 50 cars behind me bumper to bumper lined up all the way back to the main road. There are concrete medians on both sides of me- Just where in the hell am I supposed go? So I put my truck in reverse, waited until the guy behind me saw my backup lights, figured it out and put his car in reverse, wait for the guy behind him to notice his lights, etc. This is NOT going to work. Now people are starting to honk at me since I am the moron holding things up!

I drive a pick up and I grew up on a farm. Why do I suddenly care about a little concrete median? I backed up just a little to get an angle then I went up and over the curb beside the little padded arm and went down to my normal parking spot right around the little arm.

When I got to the lobby I asked the old guard what the hell that was all about!?

He says that since we are an oil company and in light of the OK City bombing the decision was made to tighten security and not let anyone without a badge into the parking area under the building.

My mouth fell open in shock at the DEPTHS of stupidity that little decision required. So I asked to see his boss.

When he came out of his office and we reviewed my little adventure in the bowels of the building and I said to him with sarcasm mode fully engaged, "So, let me see if I have this straight, Akmed and Mohammad had to go back to their Ayatollah and report that even though they were in a huge U-Haul truck filled to the gills with eight freaking TONS of explosives and even though they had a couple of AK-47 machine guns on the seat between them that they failed in their holy mission to bring down the great Satan oil company because Ernie, the retired Wal-Mart greeter who now passed as “Security” would not raise the flimsy little wooden arm and let them into the parking lot. Is that about right?"
"Uh… yeah."
"What, you think they are worried about getting the deposit back if they scratch the truck going through that flimsy little wooden arm?"
"Well, it does sound stupid when you say it."


Crazymamaof6 said...

wow! that is interesting. and that is hilarious. good thing you set them straight. and funny you went over the median.

Dizzy Ms. Lizzy said...

I was working in Downtown Springfield at the State Board of Ed when the OK City bombing happened. People really got crazy stupid right after that happened! We didn't have any underground parking, but we did have a few spaces and some driving lanes, and Security would give you fits if you stopped for any reason, even if just to drop someone off!

It was a strange time . . .

Mags said...

...Nice. That's all I can say.

Melek said...

will you come with me to the airport next time and tell them how stupid it is to make me take off my belt and flip flops? and that my mascara and extreme repair hand lotion isn't going to blow up the plane? i love how REactive the airlines are about stuff. next thing you know someone is going to come on board with an ink pen that turns into a gun, and then for the next 10 years, nobody can bring writing utensils aboard....

Sauntering Soul said...

I have quite a bit of family in OK City and one of my uncles was supposed to be in the building the day it was blown up. Thankfully, someone changed the location of a meeting to another building at the last minute. But my family knew a few people who died that day.

Your story is hysterical! One time I had to deal with security in the last building I worked in, there was an old man at the front desk. He was looking at dirty magazines the entire time I was standing there waiting for his manager. He could see the reflection of his manager coming around a corner and then he threw the magazine up under the desk. He could care less if a female tenant saw him ogling naked women. At that point, I knew once and for all that my security was definitely in my own hands.

Tanya said...

I do think that our idea of "security" is rather flawed.

Anonymous said...

Now here's the true question -- what exactly did security say when you stopped your vehicle (okay... not a big pickup truck anymore) to take a photo of the parking garage!!! Now they SHOULD be after your heiny after that kind of crime!!!

Anyways, my favourite at the airport is still how they confiscate nail clippers. (Like that Far Side joke with the guy holding a pair of nail clippers up in the aisle of a plane shouting "nobody move... this is a hold up!"

Mama Drama Jenny, the Bloggess said...

People are idiots.

But they are entertaining.

Kat said...

Yeah I think like that as well and love that you spoke your mind. Most people have a very limited horizon and think they did something very smart by introducing a new "esecurity feature". Eejits!

Rob said...

CrazyMomma- That reminds me- I took a lady co-worker from that oil company to lunch one time after this adventure when I had again forgotten my badge. I warned her, “I forgot my badge I am going over the curb…” then I did and she FREAKED! She was almost babbling! She kept saying in a frantic voice “I can’t believe you did that!” over and over. It’s just a curb, I replied, it has no magical powers. She was not buying it, she was still freaking! Pffft- City girls! LOL

Ms. Lizzy- At least that makes SENSE on some level. Overdone but at least logical!

Mags- Well, I could have been nicer but then it would be a boring(er) story!

Melek- Oh if they would only listen to me! And you are dead right about the pen! Remember though, those stupid rules are not the airlines doing anymore, that is the gub’ment in action! Remember my Government "Camera Phone”? That is only half joke! :)

Sauntering- Wow, that is very weird looking at girly magazines in public! Well, the good news was that if you ever needed help all you had to do was pull your shirt off and he would be THERE. Well, come to think of it that works on any hetero man.

Tanya- You are so right. I still can not fly my Cessna into any airport within 30 miles of Washington DC. It is now the "forbidden zone" to personal aircraft. Twice now they have *evacuated* the capital buildings because planes that weigh less than a Volkswagen Beetle had strayed into the area. However, airliners still go in and out of Dulles every day within miles of the capital. Now, Memory quiz! What kind of planes where used on 911? Uh, Hello?

Erika- Well, Ernie the security guard did try to chase me down but my mighty 70 horsepower electric motor left he and his walker in my dust!

Hey, remember when we went flying and wanted to take a picture of your house from the air and Air Traffic Control warned us about “loitering” around the power plant on the opposite side of the lake from your house?

Bloggess- You are so wise! May I study at your feet and learn your ways?

Kat- Oooooooo! A new way to say one of my favorite words! Thanks!

Dizzy Ms. Lizzy said...

Rob, as Ron White says, "You can't fix stupid." *grin*

Robin said...

I would only be able to imagine jumping the curb, the guards where I worked were armed and bored enough to shoot.

OHmommy said...

Hmmm, management thinking. I would love to sit in on one of those meetings. Someone must decide and everyone just agrees. LOL.

I worked in a school with an intercom/camera system on every door. Yet the doors to the gym were always wide open. Management.

Crazymamaof6 said...

yeah. speaking of over the curb, when i drove my parents Van or truck or even neighbors SUV, i used to drive over the cement blog divider things in the high school parking lot instead of waiting in line to get out. then i'd wave and flirt with whatever guy i had to to let me out ahead of them. yeah outta there in no time at all. no blubbering for me. as long as i am the driver anyway.

Beth said...

god, I love the way you think!!! That is only comman sense and it amazes me, how many people DON"T have it!

Rob said...

Ms. Lizzy- No you can’t but it does seem to reproduce surprisingly well!

Robin- I guess you don’t live far enough South to know the trick. See, you buddy up to the guards first and you them yours and they show you theirs (guns of course) Then they won’t shoot ya.

OhMommy- Actually, lots of times people do tell them it’s a bad idea they just don’t listen and do it anyway.

CrazyMomma- Yeah, I suppose a gal afraid of going over curbs would not deserve the name “CrazyMomma”

Beth- Wow! You just made my day!

Bianca Reagan said...

I would have preferred you used names like "Timothy" and "Terry" in your example, considering they were the white Christians actually responsible for the bombing in Oklahoma, as opposed to the ethnically-profiled "Akmed and Mohammad". Other than that, you make a funny and valid point about the flimsy barrier.

Rob said...

Bianca- Like I said in the story, at the time this happened everyone *believed* it was Muslin radicals that had done it. The truth only came out later. I told the story as it happened that day when we all believed something that turned out to be wrong.

Perhaps more importantly, the people who made the decision I was mocking made that decision on the basis that the crime was at the hands of radical Muslims. They would not have been worried about Timothy and terry blowing up our particular building. Since we did business in several middle-eastern countries that is the precise threat they were concerned about. So that is precisely the threat I mocked.

Bianca Reagan said...

Oooh. That makes sense when you explain it like that. :)