Last night was my last night at security. Probably ever. I know - I'm sad too.
The end began a few months ago, when I realized that, as much as I still loved writing all night and getting paid for it, there were a couple things working against my much-prolonged tenure in security:
A) They recently instituted a new policy of graveyard shift security guards having to do a 45-minute floor check each night, involving checking to make sure doors are locked and people aren't passed out in bathrooms. Granted, usually I just go upstairs and take a nap (sometimes in a bathroom, ironically), but this is just one more minor annoyance keeping me from spending all 8 hours writing. Deliver papers for 20 minutes AND do a floor check? I'm not a machine here, people.
B) You know how staying up until sunrise usually signals some kind of an achievement, as in "Man, I was working on that term paper until the sun came up!" or, "Dude, we partied until dawn!" I did a quick estimate the other week and figured I've stayed up until dawn roughly 400 times now. It's lost its novelty. It's safe to say that I am SO over seeing the sun come up.
C) I make as much in one hour of tutoring as I do in an entire night of doing security.
The final stroke came about a month ago when, in a conversation with friends, I spouted off a bit of specific detail about terrorism prevention measures. When the group stopped talking and asked me how I knew something like that, I assured them not to worry - I had almost four years of experience in the security field. I knew then that it was time to quit.
It was a sentimental goodbye. The janitorial supervisor Emilio wouldn't look me in the eye as he supervised my pretending to check his cleaning crew's bags on their way out (I've never actually searched anyone's bag, by the way - that's just demeaning to both them and me). My 6am-7am partner asked me to teach a couple more English SAT words before I left. Even the guy who relieves me showed up early for the first time in history. I couldn't think of anything better to do with my last night of security than start a MySpace profile (on which my profession is listed as "Retired Security Guard,"), and start writing a novel about my 48-state roadtrip. So really a typical last night.
I'll really miss it. Highlights from four years at three different security posts include the time I broke up a fight between three Asian people and a white lady, and the time I was made security guard of the month. And that's it. Because that's what graveyard security is all about, getting paid and not having any stories to tell about it.