24 January 2011

Dancing to the wrong beat

everybody dance now...
photo: Gin Soak
The building in which I work has a large and impressive foyer: marble-floored and marble-walled, a triple-height ceiling and a display of subtly expensive flowers that wouldn't look out of place at a Royal Wedding.

Guarding the electronic gates are stationed three or four blank-faced security guards. Grey suited, ear-plugged and miked up, they stare impassively, but not disinterestedly, at the comings and goings of staff and visitors.

Each morning as we approach the barriers we are required to hold out our photo-ID for inspection before swiping, the guards' brief glance a precaution against cards borrowed.. or stolen.

Blank-faced and impassive all, that is, save one guard who finds a pleasure in his job that escapes the others. He's worked for the bank for about two months but still he grins and he beams.  Each tiredly-proffered card is acknowledged with a point, a confidential smile, sometimes even a wink.  A heavy bag draws a sigh of commiseration and a helpful hand through the barrier; nervous and uncertain interviewees are greeted and directed reassuringly.  While his colleagues stand, still and unmoving against the wall, he paces back and forth, and dances from side to side, spinning on polished heels as flow of desk-bound executives parts around him. Twice I have seen a little skip of enthusiasm. He's a genuine character, familiar to all of us, a fixture who always draws a smile.

But in our sober and serious, politically besieged investment bank he doesn't hit quite the right note; doesn't speak with the right voice. I don't expect he will last very much longer.


Bill Quango MP said...

I remember a security guard who used to suddenly announce he had seen something in the street and was off to investigate.

Turned it was women. And he wanted to investigate their phone numbers.

M4GD said...

And so you think, he’ll be toast?! Sad. He may be ‘Dancing to the wrong beat’ but at the end it is his beat!

“The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

And that inverted Bowl we call The Sky,
Whereunder crawling coop't we live and die,
Lift not thy hands to It for help - for It
Rolls impotently on as Thou or I.”

From FitzGerald's The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

Welcome back!

Botogol said...

you know - I haven't seen him all week. I hope that the rising discomfort that impelled me to write about him last weekend didn't cause his bosses to take action at exactly the same time.

M4GD said...

Are you sure he was sacked? ...perhaps he is accompanying someone to Davos this week or vacationing on a tropical island!:-)
Will he return or is he forever gone?
Keep us posted Mr. Botogol!