Thursday, August 13, 2009

Security 101

Most of the newer apartment complexs in China are of the large gated kind, with guys in security uniforms stationed at almost every exit. On top of the all of the exits are locked and require a key card to get in and out. This has worked fine since we've been here, with the guards always opening the gate for us. With Tina they like working on their English and have gone as far as taking and carrying groceries for her all the way to the elevator. There is one back entrance that I use when heading out in the morning that doesn't have a guard, but with the key card it's no problem to get through.

That was until about a 3 weeks ago, when a small sign showed up on the back entrance and my key card didn't work anymore. Strange, and an old guy on the other side mimed "It's broken" or something like that. Okay, so now in the mornings I have to walk all the way around to the front gate - adding another 3-4 minutes to my walk over to catch the shuttle. Not a big problem...

But now it seems as they've replaced the old guards with new recruits. These new guys wander away from their posts, will just stand near the gate and not bother to buzz you through or they will chat to their colleagues and just look at you with no intent of helping. It's an extra pain when you see the guard and go to push the gate open only to walk into it because it's locked. The other morning as I approached the gate there was a woman pushing to get out but no guard to open it for her. I finally was able to swipe my card to let us both get out of the complex.

Less training? Laziness maybe? I'm thinking we are beginning to see the effects of the economic downturn here in China and they've made the switch to Cheaper guards.

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