I was happy the day Keith switched from graveyard to the morning shift at our building’s security desk. The previous security officer who covered the morning desk had a way of making me feel uncomfortable and I often dreaded passing through the lobby. The day Keith’s quiet and trusting presence arrived was truly a relief. Until my current job, I had never worked in a building that required around the clock security. When I first started I immediately thought, “Oh, it’s like Die Hard!” I thought of Die Hard first because our building is big and fancy and we have a beautiful tree in the lobby at Christmas. Ok, it’s not as fancy as the Die Hard building but you get the picture.

I would imagine Keith has worked in much fancier buildings over his thirty years on and off as a security officer. He worked Downtown at a few of the large banks for a number of years there. He says he has always worked the graveyard shift and loves doing it. I was surprised by this but I could tell he really did like it. Working graveyard has simply worked well for Keith over the years. For the last thirteen years he has spent his afternoons working at an after-school program for grade school children. Keith absolutely lit up when he talked about the kids. He said it’s been great to see them grow over the years and watch many of them make it off to college. He originally didn’t want to take the morning shift at our building because it would cut into his hours at the school but he was generous enough to cover it and I know the rest of us are glad he did.

Keith says that he really loves our building because everyone here is so nice. This apparently is not always the case. He says that often security is overlooked and people can be less than kind, but our building has been different. He says he very is grateful to be in such a friendly spot. Although one might think a security officer’s duty is to simply watch the building, it is much more than that. Keith is very busy orchestrating the comings and goings of everyone in this building. During the time Keith and I were chatting he was called away every few minutes to attend to something. Everyone depends on Keith to get to where they need to go: delivery people, vendors, meeting attendees and myself! Most of our floors are locked so you need to pass through Keith to get to where you are going. I can’t tell you how many times he has had to escort me to my floor because I forgot my key card. I know Keith handles much more than I am even mentioning and I know that this place would simply be a mess if not for what he does every day.

Keith doesn’t always say a lot but his kind and generous spirit shines through everything he does. For a girl just trying to make it in the big city having someone you trust guarding the gates of the tower you spend most of your time in makes a huge difference.