This morning, I was included on an email forward (that there is office jargon) from my boss regarding a seminar that would take place in the afternoon on a topic of interest — web design for the legal industry. There was also the added enticement of a pre-seminar free lunch — two of my favorite words, is that specific order. So, I signed up.
As the noon hour approached, a group of representatives from the marketing department (including me) trekked a few blocks across center city Philadelphia to the building that houses the local CBS television affiliate where the seminar would be presented. In addition to television, the building is also the headquarters for several radio stations, including a very popular, all-news station.
As we approached the building, we saw other people arriving. Judging by their attire and how they carried themselves, they were marketers employed by various other law firms. (We legal marketers can spot each other a mile away. Like Masons.) We formed an approximate single file queue and slowly passed through the glass vestibule into the small lobby, all under the direction of a friendly, smiling woman who seemed to be pulling double duty as a security guard and receptionist. As they entered, everyone was instructed to sign a log sheet, then proceed a few steps to the elevator. The line moved at a snail's pace, as some visitors filled in their place of business, although it was neither requested nor required. I looked around and something struck me as odd. In these post-9/11 years of heightened security, fear and profiling, I was surprised to see that the building — the home of two prominent entities of the Philadelphia media — was not outfitted with a metal detector. Call me "cautious" (Okay! You're cautious!). Call me "suspicious" (Okay! You're suspicious!). But, face it — we live in an time of regular school shootings, hostage situations, and people getting stabbed over a parking space. Bags are searched before entrance is granted to a theme park. For goodness sake, they just installed metal detectors at Citizens Bank Park this week to screen potentially violent Phillies fans. (I look forward to the full-body scans that should be implemented once the Eagles season starts.) Yet, here we are with the only obstacle keeping a revenge-seeking nutjob from a publicly-visible newscaster is the smiley lady at the front door — and I could probably take her. The other thing that surprised me was, when I pointed out my concern to my colleagues, they seemed to be indifferent.
Maybe I'm being unrealistic. Maybe all those people you see on the news every night are being unrealistic, too.
Lunch was good, though.