Today, September 29, 2011 at around 7:00 p.m., I had to deliver some important mail to my step-daughter
at Sullivan & Cromwell in their large building just off Water Street.
I arrived outside the building and waited in a public place near the Vietnam Memorial.
I was standing some distance from the building but in full view of the security desk.
It is my understanding that building security works for
Security at the desk STARED at me non-stop for ten full minutes as if I were some kind of security risk.
A roving security guard passed right by me and smiled and then entered the building and approached the security desk.
The man at the desk POINTED at me to the other guard.
By that time my step-daughter had arrived.
I entered the building and asked the security to give me his name so I can lodge a formal complaint.
Even though he was WEARING a name tag it was too small to read and he would not show it to me. He explained that he DOES NOT NEED to give me his name. He called his supervisor who claims that his name is Charles Holliday (Halliday) but he wore no identification so I cannot be certain.
I asked him why the guard is staring at me and pointing at me. Just because I am elderly and wearing a baseball cap and not a $1000 suit and tie does not mean that I am a security risk.
The supervisor was rude to me and said his time was being wasted.
My point is that:
1.) The building has an expensive and elaborate camera system SO if I seemed suspicious they should simply alert whoever monitors the cameras.
2.) IF I were some kind of criminal or derelict I would not be standing in front of the building in full view of the security desk holding mail, a pen, and a cell phone.
3.) Does the man at the security desk really have NOTHING better to do than to stare at an elderly man with a cane and a cell phone.
4.) Once it escalated to the point of my approaching the desk and lodging a complaint the would it not make sense to be diplomatic, apologize, voluntarily give me their names and their employer and then PERHAPS I would not go so far as to blog about this.
I grew up in the era of the 1950s when people of color were stereotyped and profiled simply because of their appearance.
Certainly if security or police feel that someone is suspicious they should be more diplomatic than to stare and point.
Employees should not be required to wear illegible name badges if the are going to refuse to identify themselves to people who have a complaint.
I was waiting in a public garden and memorial site which is frequented all day long by many well dressed business people who smoke and listen to their ipods.
I shall compose a more detailed letter to express my outrage and I shall copy the management of Cromwell and Sullivan as well as the head of Mulligan Management who I believe hires and trains the security people at the building which may be 100 Water Street.
I feel the supervisor handled the situation poorly.
1.) SINCE I was requesting THEIR identification they could have PROVIDED it to me and in turn asked me for MY identification since it is not unusual for Building Security in NYC to request identification and then they would have a valuable piece of information should it turn out that I am some sort of security risk.
2.) I would not be surprised if the Mulligan Security Management Company does not have a proper handbook of Company Policies and Procedures and/or does not exert themselves to guarantee that each employee has studied that handbook and understands what is expected of them.
Everyone who works at security is required to pass an exam and possess a current license. I wonder if all the security employees are in compliance with that law.
Every security employee should wear a badge which is LEGIBLE clearly showing their name and the Company name of the employer.
Forms should be available upon request for anyone to submit a complaint or a suggestion for improvement.
COMMON sense should make anyone realize that if they are working in security and they see someone suspicious the last thing in the WORLD they should do is stare and point.
In the world the I grew up in, the customer and the public is always right and even when they are wrong it is politically correct to humor them so as to avoid a grievance escalating to this level.
Every employee of ANY Company is a representative and spokesperson for that Company and when their conduct makes a negative impression then they tarnish the reputation of their employer.