Mall Cop Diary
In(s)ane Ramblings Of A Mall Cop

Gatekeeping is no time for babysitting

The turnover rate in the security industry is high, so it doesn’t particularly surprise me when I show up at the mall today and see another new face. The third one since last month in fact.

What surprised me was his fresh approach.

For starters, amidst the usual chorus of morning complaints and rants, his simple and reasonable “good morning” rang out louder than the mall closing chime. A few of the mall veterans turned to look at his novelty amongst us and went back to their chatter once it became clear the new guy wasn’t going to do anything interesting. Well, anything more interesting than using “good morning” as a form of greeting in the company of neurotic security guards.

As the supervisor introduced him as my new partner, I gingerly took his proffered hand and shook it. After I checked it for hand buzzers and other assorted trickery of course. A good mall cop is a suspicious one.

The day passed by without incident until closing time, when the Mall Commission down in the dingy office once more elected me to be gatekeeper. My new partner decided to tag along to learn the ropes. It turned out to be a bad idea.

As I dealt with the sizable horde of besiegers, most of them snapping excuses at me and some of them using their bodies as battering rams, I found it impossible to gate-keep AND answer his questions about mall regulations at the same time. Twice, I said “No” while he said “Yes” to the sociopaths who were trying to sneak in. After 5 minutes of mixed signals added to the usual mall mayhem, I couldn’t take it anymore and told him to leave the Gate to me. Surprisingly, he refused and cited his promise to “learn the ropes”. Gods, he showed more enthusiasm than I did when I just started out as a rookie mall cop.

Then and there, I tagged him as “Oddball” in my head.

I had one last trump card to play. I asked him, as more of the besiegers streamed past us, if he knew that he wouldn’t get paid for overtime if no one asked him to do it. That got raised eyebrows from him. And he left right away. Ok, not so odd after all.

I got my gatekeeping back on track after I shooed off a trio of teenage mall rats who needed to “buy this important cake” for their granny. For those who consider me to be a sick bastard for denying an old lady the joy of cake, check out the chapter on the pathological lying behavior exhibited by the shopping horde in my upcoming book.

By: A Mall Cop

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