Jack Versus The Rent-a-cop

My life is a series of adventures. No, really I mean it. It is a wonderful thing to be able to have so many different adventures. Even the most mundane experience can be turned into a thrilling I can't believe this is happening to me sort of thing.

Today's adventure is called Jack versus the Rent-a-cop. Where I come from the term Rent-a-cop isn't one of endearment. It is a knock against the security guard. Perhaps that is a bit unfair, but then again I have run into far too many who take themselves way too serious.

This particular episode finds our dashing hero visiting some people at a gated community. As the title of the post suggest this particular locale uses a security booth which is staffed by a rent-a-cop whose job it is to screen the visitors. I would think that at times it must get pretty dull for them. Every day you check people in and out. I suppose that if it was my job I might get caught up in some sort of silly fantasy about me solving the mystery of where Osama has been hiding.

Anyway, on this particular day I had an interesting exchange with the community's beloved rent-a-cop. Here is how it went.

Jack: Hi. I am here to see Mr. and Mrs. Randolph.
R.A.C: What's your name?

Jack: I am Jack B.
R.A.C: Hi Jack. Your paperwork is at the back gate.

Jack: I am sorry, what paperwork are you talking about?
R.A.C: The paperwork you signed when you started working here.

Jack: I don't work here.
R.A.C: Sure you do. I recognize your truck.

Jack: I am sorry. You've confused me with someone else.
R.A.C: No. I am quite positive I have not.

Jack: No really. I don't work here. Please call Mr. and Mrs. Randolph and they'll confirm.
R.A.C: It would be much easier if you just went to the back gate.

Jack: It really wouldn't. They're home is on the first block. Going to the back gate is completely out of the way and more importantly, I don't work here.
R.A.C: Didn't they tell you to take your badge with you? If you had it I would just wave you in.

Jack: I don't have a badge because I don't work here.
R.A.C: If you went to the back gate they'd give me one.

Jack: But I don't work here.
R.A.C: Sir. You are holding up the gate. There is a long line of cars behind you. They are going to be cursing at me.

Jack: They're not the only people. Please, please call Mr. and Mrs. Randolph. They live at 1060 West Addison. Their telephone number is -867-5309.
R.A.C: Sir, you are holding up the line. I am going to have to ask you to move.

Jack: It is not my fault or my problem that there is a line. Buzz me in and the line will start moving.
R.A.C: Sir, I told you to move your car into the middle or go to the back gate.

Jack: And I told you to call Mr. and Mrs. Randolph. Wait, I'll call them on my cellphone and have them call you.
R.A.C: If you don't move I am going to call the police.

Jack: What do you expect that will do.
R.A.C: They'll arrest you.

Jack: Arrest me for what? For speaking with a fool. I am tired of this. You are completely incompetent. What is the name of your supervisor!
R.A.C: I am not telling you.

Jack: And I am not moving.
R.A.C: You see this uniform. It means that I am authorized to handle situations.

Jack: No it means that McDonalds let you go because you can't handle making a Big Mac. This is beyond the pale.
R.A.C: Has anyone told you that manners go a long way.

Jack: Has anyone told you that the customer is always right.
R.A.C: Are you going to move.

Jack: Are we playing twenty questions. Ok, here is one. What is about 55 years old, is in dire need of therapy and resembles Larry from the Three Stooges.
R.A.C: That is it. I am calling the police!

Jack: Please do. I'll be happy to show them my badge.
R.A.C: You have a badge? Why didn't you show me. I would have just waved you in.

I'd like to say that Officer Fife wasn't this difficult. I'd like to say that I didn't waste fifteen minutes of my life on him because I could really use them for something far more productive. Sadly none of those things are true.

I can say with complete confidence that for the first six or seven minutes I was exceptionally calm and polite. Eventually that gave way to irritation and my demeanor changed a bit.

If there is any saving grace it was when my friends the Randolphs shared a few stories about Officer Fife and his incredible customer service. They must be so happy to pay a HOA fee for such fine service.


The Babka Nosher said...

How cool that your friends, the Randolphs, have the same phone number as Jenny...

Kol Ra'ash Gadol said...

If it makes you feel any better, did you know that most security services staff themselves with significant numbers of... (wait for it...)


Although, IMO, I'd rather have gotten the ex-convict than the blithering idiot.

have popcorn will lurk said...

So what did you show him to make him think you had a badge?

Ever heard of a Rent-a-Kippa? They get stocked up this time of year!

I found a RAK from the Jewish funeral home in a bin at Michael's (the craft store) once. LOL. I swiped it and took it home. My son still wears it every so often. Next funeral I go to (may everyone live and be well), I'll take it with me...

Jack Steiner said...


It it cool, isn't it. ;)


So would I.

So what did you show him to make him think you had a badge?

That is classified.

Jewish Deaf Motorcycling Dad said...

We have rent-a-cop security in my office building. After 9/11, one person spoke up at a security meeting and asked if our RAC's should carry guns. I mentally started working on my resume until the head buiding security person (the one who works for our company, not the agency providing the RAC's) determined that having them be armed would serve no purpose. *whew* Still, they finger those whistles with a devious look in their eyes at times...

There was also a story recently about how one RAC at a local hospital got mad because the other RAC called him a retard. He took out his gun and started shooting. Yep, I'm sure the patients feel safe and secure!

orieyenta said...

You offered to show him your badge? Is that like showing my "Jewish ID card" to prove that I'm Jewish?

Jack Steiner said...

There was also a story recently about how one RAC at a local hospital got mad because the other RAC called him a retard. He took out his gun and started shooting.

Stories like that warm the cockles of my heart. Oy.


It is probably pretty similar.

Jewish Deaf Motorcycling Dad said...

Here's one description of the shooting for your heart's cockles. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/20/AR2007062000738_pf.html

Jack Steiner said...




Trouble is something that I seem to excel in.

benning said...

Poor Officer Fife! Must be tough going through life not really understanding anything tougher than a comic book or an order for the large fries.

My folks live in that kind of ommunity and they've been fortunate to have some fairly savv retirees manning the gate. Friendly old dudes, too.

Jack Steiner said...


Most RACs are pleasant and easy to deal with. Problem is like everything else with people. You get some rotten apples to go along with the bunch.

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