My Life as a Smurf

A BEGINNING

My Life as a Smurf.

The people come and go, this way and that; all passing through my panoramic view of the world. My job is forced voyeurism, non-participant always expectant. I sit within hearing of this world’s footfalls of the pedestrian traffic, the clicking heels on the marble amidst the rustle of clothing in friction. I am yet isolated to their nervous smiles from the women as they notice me and the stares of the men who happen to look in my direction. They don’t want me here but are secretly grateful I am.      

     Almost no one talks to me except for civilities sake or for directions to classes, study rooms, bathrooms and elevators. Most simply offer a polite nod, a forced smile or some stupid attempt to show off that they don’t fear me. They fear what I represent. Observing this they skirt my area, not knowing what to say. I let them slip by not knowing how to reply to what they would say. They are almost always surprised to see this sign of acceptance and intelligence as I am dumbfounded by their lack thereof.”

 

                                                                                                Michael van Dudekof

                                                                                                Library Security


There are 2 lives  for security smurfs- I mean guards.
1.  Outside Smurf. This is graveyard shifting at its worst. Let me paint this picture for you.  The Lieutenant or the Police Chief in their infinite wisdom hatched this genius plan. Let's hire  a bunch of fairly reliable people to come into work at 11pm. Meet  in the Briefing  room for 30 minutes then be given a wad of keys, allen keys and assorted instruments for unlocking doors, then get sent out  to various areas around a given (and  thus unnamed University campus) and lock them in a  building where  they must occupy their time for  say  6 and half hours- staying out of trouble and sight preferably until they are to start unlocking doors around 5am. They will then work for around 1 1/2 hours unlocking main doors to all the buildings in their zone. Walking around in the dark and twilight armed only with a wad of  keys and such, a "brick" (or rather a 900mhz radio from 1972 about the size on a long  piece of  clay weighing in about the same as that peice of ceramic and about as reliable)  and their wits. No nightstick, no flashlight above a  pen  light, no pepper spray, no mace, and no gun (definitely no guns). About 20  minutes before 7am, the outside smurfs  are expected to make their way back to the station to  turn in the wad of keys and such and clock out for the day. Thus we cover the life of the Outside Smurf or Unarmed Security Guard.

2. Inside Smurf.  This guard has multiple shifts he or  in the  extremely rare case she can  work. The Inside Smurf is  assigned to a designated spot on the Campus. We report to the Station but generally don't go to roll call. In fact, most  outside  smurfs don't even realize we inside smurfs exist. Now I will have to quit referring  to us as smurfs since  I probably passed the legal limits  on smurfing for this post. There  are the  Library Guards, about 6 of us total 2 for day and 2 for evening and 1 for graveyard. Then  there is the UC (university central) Guard. The President's house is the president is not in residence Guard or as the library guards refer to him, "the Pitpig." He actually is a floating guard who  gets assigned around to watching various properties owned by  the university. He only landed the  President's house which is in one of the more influential  neighborhoods in the  city I am not  naming for fear that the Smurf masters will hunt me down, because the Universities last 4 president's reject the  Southern Manor appeal of the President's house  and wanted something non-antebellum instead. The University Museum has its  own guards but as far as I know they aren't smurfs and get paid more than us and dress differently. In short we don't  associate with  them.