There’s two kinds of security guards in the world; ones getting paid to do their job, and ones that get paid to do their job but also abuse the tiny bit of authority that they’re awarded as a result of the job they’re paid to do. It’s pretty easy to tell the difference between the two.
The first kind are pretty straightforward about their situation. You might be riding or skating somewhere when the first type of security guard rolls up. Invariably, they’ll say, “Hey man, I know you’re not hurting anyone or anything, but it’s part of my job to tell you to leave.” Most of the times, they’re actually cool about it too. They’ll bullshit with you from time to time, and in most of my experiences, they’ll even offer up the place they’re supposed to be guarding after they leave or after they’re done working. I love these security guards, and they get my respect.
Then there’s the second kind. Who knows when they first tasted power and why they took it amongst themselves to abuse it, but somehow they did. It might’ve been someone that was bullied as a kid by school mates, parents or anything in life that exerted power and authority onto them. But invariably, they’ve chosen to perpetuate this abuse of power, under the guise of the security guard. I have no love for this kind, and as often as I’ve come to face them, I’ve made it my lot in life to not back down from them. And yes, they’re unfortunately more common than the first kind.
Tonight in Weehawken, I came across the second kind, riding a manual pad not far from my house. I saw him watching me for close to 10 minutes, but chose to keep riding. And sure enough, he walked up to me. He had a winter hat on that read ‘Weehawken Parks Department’ but was plain clothes aside from that. He was between 50-60 years old, and very round. He told me to stop riding “up and down” the manual pad. I immediately responded that I was riding across the manual pad, and not “up and down,” then asked what his definition of up and down was. He responded by saying that I wasn’t allowed to ride my bike where I was, so I asked him for some identification. He showed me a ten-year old NJ driver’s license and said he worked for the parks department and that I better “Get the fuck out of there.” I noticed a condom in the wallet. He got in my face and told me again to “Get the fuck out.” I told him to call the police and that I didn’t believe he had the authority to tell me to leave. He said, “Fine, get your phone out and call them.” I said that it wasn’t my job to call the police to tell me to leave somewhere I shouldn’t be with a bike. I have half a brain, why would I incriminate myself? He got in my face again, and said “I’m not calling the police and you better fucking leave.” I got right back in his face and said, “I’m not leaving unless the cops tell me to.” Frustrated, the meatball gave up, started walking away briskly and yelling that he was gonna call the police. When he was a few feet away, I yelled, “You better throw that condom away cause you’re never gonna find a women to use it on.” He continued walking away and the cops never came for the 20 more minutes I rode the manual pad.
When I did ultimately leave, I felt like I won a tiny little victory. I know that riding bikes and/or skating is a problem in most places, and I’m more than happy to comply with security guards when they treat me like a real person. But the minute security approaches me as an object to exercise power over, I’m going to fight back.
So the next time you run into the first kind of security guard, respect the fact that they’re respecting you. But when the power hungry security guard pokes his fat head in on your session, demand identification from them, ask explicit questions about why you’re being confronted by them and stand up for yourself. Don’t let the fucking bastards try to exert what little authority they think they have over you.
It’s never OK to play the bully.