2.04.2005

Security

So this is weird. I think our security guard at work is autistic. Before I knew that I just thought he was really weird. He asks everyone when their birthday is and then tells them the corresponding celebrity birthdays. Or he randomly walks up and says, "Today is the famous boxer Oscar de la Hoya's birthday." Other times he interjects irrelevant or marginally relevant comments into other people's conversations. He also suffers from voice immodulation. Anyway, I am fully aware that autism does not prevent people from making meaningful contributions to society. I'm just not convinced that security is the best option for this guy. He crys if you tell him he is not doing what he is supposed to be doing, for lord's sake.

Today he was almost distraught because he couldn't find the chalk to mark tires in the parking lot. He asked me three times in rapid succession where we keep the chalk, and each time I told him I had never seen any at the reference desk (where he was poking around.) He kept saying "Ralph had it yesterday. Where is it?" like I was holding out on him or something. Finally I said, "I'm sure he did, but what I'm telling you is that I have never seen where they keep it." He just looked at me blankly. A little later, I remembered that we don't monitor parking time on the weekends, and told him that. Again with the blank look. Then he said, "I saw a bag under here." And he got down on all fours and proceeded to dig around under the desk. "Oh, no. It's not in there." He is extremely focused, apparently. He just could not give up the idea that he needed to go mark those tires.
The thing is, being a security guard requires intuition and adaptability. We occassionally have situations where we really need a security guard to evict people or break up fights. I'm just not sure how this guy would be able to handle that type of situation. I don't think he could. We would have to do it, and then he would cry when he got fired for letting us get hurt.

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