Quote Originally Posted by Jaeger View Post
It does not always have to be the bad guys making you feel bad there, but rather the staff on the site may make the shift really annoying for you due to bad treatment. Unfortunately during my short stints into retail security the staff of certain stores were just as annoying to deal with as were the addicts, hobos and the like. In reception sites the people working for the client can be real annoyances as well, which sometimes makes you wonder why exactly are you there to "protect" people who are just as annoying and unkind towards you as the guys you have to evict or take into custody.
Having worked most of my security career in relatively busy, action-wise, sites and currently working in a crowd control account, I'd like to say that more often than not poor staff can be more of an active hindrance and a source of trouble rather than the bad guys.

Being very much of a "keep calm and carry on" type myself as well as having the brawn to survive encounters with combative subjects (so far, they've all been handed the silver medal) I often find that I can easily put away those things when I go home from work, but it's annoying to come in every day if the client staff is essentially uncooperative and irritable and cooperation with them doesn't really work out. The staff in all the stores in my current account are all overwhelmingly good folks and I haven't had any problems with them whatsoever, but I've also had the misfortune of certain past accounts with problems with the client staff.

Not saying "hi" and generally not treating security as if they were coworkers is annoying, but not an active impediment. Bigger problems are the client staff trying to assign extra work, trying to get security to do evictions or to search suspicious clients (we're only allowed to search in the event of an arrest, and outside of arrests only when the person agrees to it) without legal powers to do so or even the other was around with client employees having somewhat differing interpretations as to what security should do.

Couple of retail examples: The store manager tells me to catch shoplifters, and whenever he isn't around the lower management keeps trying to tell me to pre-emt, ie. stand around the store instead of conducting camera surveillance. I tried to explain them to a point of frustration that standing around doesn't pre-empt, but instead just encourages them to steal stuff in a place where security doesn't see them, and that they'll likely cause a ruckus if I just walk behind people all the time. This applies especially in case of certain ethnic minorities who are very quick to pull the race card in such a situation.

In a somewhat quieter retail account I got complaints over physical appearance (the manager going on about the importance of customer service and how a 200cm bald guy with a beard scares everyone away from the store) and had an interesting debate over carrying pepper spray on my duty belt. The staff's interpretation was that it doesn't look "customer service-like", and they'd have to empty the store due to contamination if I ever used it (stream, so very unlikely), while I'd explained that it's for work safety. I only did that shift there anyways because I was covering for someone who called in sick.

This was with my former employer, where I'd told my service supervisor and shift planner that I do not go into any site with credible risk of violence and equipment restrictions, something which I made a personal policy after almost getting stabbed once while only carrying a straight baton and handcuffs at a retail site. The almost-getting-stabbed incident occurred when I was waiting for my supervisor to write me the endorsement paper needed for a pepper spray license.

Also, there was a third retail account (again, covering for someone calling in sick) where I got crap for management for refusing the important core security task of moving around shopping carts from the parking hall to the store lobby. After one shift the service supervisor called and said they'd made a complaint about me and I wouldn't work there in the future (didn't mind), though I didn't actually get a warning since the supervisor said he understood my point of view and saw how I'd be likely to react that way anyhow.