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An Alarming Lack Of Alarming

| Working | May 30, 2017

(I work the night-shift at a gated community for mentally and physically disabled adults. Each of the 24 residents have their own apartments and it’s my job to ensure those who need night time care receive it, as well as to finish up some night time duties for the day staff. It’s a solo job, but I don’t mind it. We have recently installed an alarm system to the place after a break-in in the staff’s office where some money was taken. One night, I accidently trigger the alarm to one of the buildings because I need to get some paper for the copy machine. After turning it off, I call the security system head office to inform them that everything is all right.)

Operator: “[Security Company].”

Me: “Hi, this is [My Name] from [Complex]. I’m just calling to let you all know that the alarm just now was a false one. I accidentally triggered it.”

Operator: “All right. We’ll inform the police not to send a car.”

(At that moment I’m surprised that she just accepted my answer so easily without any checking.)

Me: “Really? Wow… Can I ask you something? Do you have my name on some sort of approved list of people or something?”

Operator: “No, [My Name].”

Me: “Huh? Not for anything but how do you know I’m really who I say I am?”

Operator: “You called us. You have our number.”

Me: “Yeah, but only because it’s on the alarm itself. Shouldn’t there be a password or something for me to say to prove I work here?”

Operator: “You know… that’s not a bad idea.”

(I told her I’d let my boss know to set one up as I didn’t feel it was all right for me to make one up on the spot. Turned out I was the only person both at the security company and at my work who thought that was a good idea and a good thing, too. A month later some guy tried to pretend he was the night shift while he was trying to steal a computer from the office.)

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