Run in with a security guard…….

Not sure why this entered my mind but awhile back my family and I were at a local mall and I had a run in with a security guard. My diabetic son was playing in the play area and came over, sat down and said he felt like his sugar was low. We checked his sugar and it was 53 – which is very low. I ran over to a soda machine to get a sugar-laden drink, put my money in and pressed the selection. Guess what….. I needed another quarter. I ran back over and my wife gave me a quarter and I quickly retrieved the soda. I ran back to my son, opened the bottle and handed it to him to drink. A security guard walked up and said sternly, “No food or drink is allowed in the play area!” I responded, “I am trying to get his blood sugar up.” The guard replied louder, “Look, no food or drink allowed now move it!!”

To say I was irritated would be like saying the sun is just a little hot.

I yelled at the guard that my son was having a medical emergency and he was not moving until his blood sugar was up. He got irritated with me and told me I had better calm down. I told him he had better back off as he started approaching me. My wife stepped in between us and told him that he was sick and needed the soda. The “mall cop” mentioned something about I should have explained myself better.


I was stressed out. When my son was 4 actually went blind for almost an hour due to his blood sugar getting too low and had to be rushed to the hospital. I saw the guard as an obstacle to caring for my son. The confrontation came close to turning physical. I probably should have handled things a bit calmer and turned to him and said “Can you please help me?”. I really would have thought when I told him about my son’s blood sugar and said there was a medical emergency he would have asked if we needed help.

I think what got me thinking about this was the subject of “power” – or rather the abuse of it. I am sure I am not alone seeing abuse of power and authority. I see it at my work when pencil pushing big-wigs demand changes they neither understand nor comprehend the end results. They do it to feel powerful and important. A cashier at Wal-Mart telling a little kid not to play with a knob next to the cash register. The kids not hurting anything. A grocery store manager coming up and saying – “Sir – your only allowed to use 20 coupons per day. I have seen you go through the line already.” Come on man! You need to be worried about the goth kid in produce eating all the strawberries. 

Don’t even get me started with the government.

Alright, I guess that is it. I need to go check my son’s sugar.


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  1. Probably didn’t need to yell at the guy but otherwise it seems fine. Tell him that the kid is diabetic and it is an emergency. The kid is going to sit and drinking a coke till he feels better and that if he doesn’t like it he can call a real cop.

  2. Situations like this are super challenging for me as well because I find that many people get lost in hiding behind the “rules” rather than what is “right” for the situation. There is a lack of critical thinking infused with compassion that I wish more people chose on a daily basis. It is why so many people who practice various religions get lost in the “rules” and lose sight of what is “right” in their hearts.

  3. You hit the nail on the head–it’s all about power to a lot of people. I am in charge and you will respect that. You ever watch South Park? It all reminds me of Eric Cartman saying, “You will respect my AUTHORITY.”
    And, you’re right, once the comment was made of your son’s blood sugar, the guy should have asked could he help or get you some help.
    Thanks for the great site.

  4. i have had the same problem i had one these wannabe cops end up costing me my job because of his f—ed up atttude

  5. Something that alot of people dont know, Security guards do not have any power. They are civilians with a worthless, powerless badge on there chest. Im a security guard. I DO NOT work in a Mall thank God but if this ever happens again just turn your back to them and continue to assist your son. He can yell at you all day long. If he is stupid enough to call the police to get you escorted off the property then so be it. Your son will be safe. If you ignore him and he puts his hands on you thats assault, And you will be looking at a wonderful pile of cash to help you as a prepper.
    Stay Frosty

  6. I know exactly what you are saying. I have been railing against bullies with badges for ages and it is just getting worse. The most prominent issue is the rash of cops shooting innocent dogs either by mistake or without provocation. It is horrible. Something needs to be done. Sadly tho, particularly in bad times – the bully mentality are the types that gravitate to positions of ‘authority’.

  7. Lay down on my couch and tell me about your relationship with your parents. OK, bad joke.

    Hindsight is always 20-20, we all tend to deal with situations based on a number of factors present at the time – our individual stress level being a significant issue. Could you have handled it better? Maybe. Could the Mall Minion have handled it better? Probably. In similar circumstances would either of you have acted differently? Probably not.

    I personally would have put the well being of any of my kids (though the oldest may have required a few minutes of contemplation) above some well intentioned rules.

    Perhaps a simple statement such as, “this is a medical emergency, either assist me, stay out of my way, or decide if you want to be concious or unconcious when I insert your head up your anal orifice”, might suffice next time.

    Just make certain your kid doesn’t ever believe such a confrontation is his fault. Sometimes adults (even parents) are jerks and there’s nothing he can do about it.

  8. Rourke,

    It’s all about power and control (p&c) and getting the sheeple to obey. Those p&c types are trained to demand that the sheeple obey, not trained to help. This is not 100% true of all the law enforcement types…some of them do have a crisis of conscience and come out of their trance even for a little while.

  9. In human interactions the advantage goes to the person who can keep his/her head. The biggest threat you face can always be made worse by your own mistakes.

    Also an interesting dynamic is that male/male interactions and female/female interactions have a built in bias that is hard to overcome. Sure you will all agree about the male/male interaction but in fact from my observations the female/female one is even worse just not “usually” physical.

    The trick I use, maybe because I’m paranoid, is that when faced with a problem in public I try to act as though I am being filmed. This is an offshoot of my advice to my children to always act as though their grandmother was watching. Whenever some situation seems to be getting out of hand I look for the bigger conspiracy or that I am being set up. I force myself to say “sir” and be polite, choose my words carefully etc. Not meek and certainly not macho but trying to act exactly as a intelligent polite person would act. This tends to calm situations, reassures authority figures and disarms thugs and drunks.

  10. This is such a true story, Its a everyday thing for all of us. From the mall cop to the store manager. I have seen it all in my 65 years, Right done to the county cop telling me to calm down and not talk so loud. Note … I talk load all the time and when one of my kids need help or what ever I guess I get even louder. But after reading this story about the son with low blood sugar hit home. Reminded me of one time I was choking and needed something wet like a cup of water. My wife ran over the the cashier and ask for a cup of water in a cafe because her husband ( which was me was choking ) The cashier turned and ask her what size would you like. My wife looked at her and said large. Any size what ever you have. Then she said would you like a bottle, Oh yes my wife said. hurry my husband is choking. Then the cashier handed her a bottle of water and at the same time with setting it down ask her for $2.25 to cover the cost of the bottle of water. My wife very upset by this time took the water out of the cashiers hand and hurried over to me. By that time I was almost ok again. but I took a drink of the water , which was really welcomed by me. The next thing I did was looked up to see a mall cop who was there because now my wife was a shoplifter. Wow the power plays which took place in less tha 5 minutes. All because I did not want to die at the mall. We paid the bill for the water and we were walked to the door . As I just read in the story above ..Folks let the power they have get out of control, Not seeing what the true story is or whats happening around them. If your a cashier or a mall cop or just anyone who has this type control, Stop and look 1st, See whats going on around you. Your there to help not hurt. Thanks

  11. John, this is a very normal, natural reaction for a parent.

    I’ve felt my normally long fuse quickly flare up when any one comes between my child and their happiness or well being.

  12. Rourke – I totally agree with you on the abuse of power – both local and regional. There’s really two issues here:
    1. Abuse by authority such as police, govt, etc. and growing at an alarming rate and
    2. Other Abuse – people you described that seek power for the sake of conveying strength or overpowering someone else.
    Both are wrong of course and I think you handled the situation as best as you could at the moment. It’s easy to get blood pressure elevated with all the stressors of current events.

    One thing that occurred to me was, if your son is diabetic and suffers from these type of situations, it’s probably best that you’re better prepared with supplies on hand instead of relying on the soda machine or similar. Maybe it’s not all that serious mostly, but just the same, one day you may be somewhere or in a situation where you couldn’t find what was needed, for whatever reason. And, I know you’re a lot smarter than that friend!

    Take care –
    Rick in TX

  13. whats the old say??……absolute power corrupts absolutely. give a jerk a little authority and they think they know it all and can do whatever they want. hope all is well with your son and congrats on having a strong wife. LOL

  14. John, You know my situation and so many people don’t understand the implications of being a diabetic. I have had some people just look at me while I am having a “Low” and just pass right on by with out even asking me if I am OK. I passed out at the mall one time and a security guard came over to where I was sitting all slumped down in the chair and as I came to he had the gall to tell me there was no sleeping allowed in the mall. I said to him “Are you an idiot I am having a medical emergency and needed something to bring my blood sugar up” he told me that if I was having an emergency that I needed to let customer service know and they would call me an ambulance. I asked him if I looked like I could walk down to the other end of the mall and let them know. Some people are real morons and have no compassion at all.

  15. Good for you sir; We had a county officer chase our ambulance to the hospital, we had a heart attack patient in full arrest- so no, we are not stopping.
    The officer charged the driver with reckless driving/fleeing, as we used the spot light to hit the over head signs to alert drivers we were coming up behind them. We could not believe it. Long story short,I contacted the State Police and they removed the County officer from the ER.
    It is a lot worse now than it was 15 years ago. You did good, RangerRick

  16. I used to run into stuff like this all the time in grocery stores, little man complex and sometimes at my job. My job I didn’t take it and I sure won’t allow a grown man to scream at one of his teenage check out girls or boys. I’ve stopped it before and I’ll do it again.

  17. When you said you had a medical emergency he should have offered help, but like you said it’s all about who’s in control and who has the most power.

  18. Well………
    I gotta say that I disagree with a lot of the comments. Now let me explain.

    All of the comments posted above assume that the security guard has an IQ above room temperature.

    I am not saying that this is “security guard” specific, rather I find it far more COMMON than finding someone with an IQ above their belt size.

    I expect that the encounter described involved a situation for which the security guard was not trained nor had experience. He reverted to what he knew….his standing orders….”no food in play area.”

    As a Prepper, or just someone with an IQ larger than their hat size, YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO BE COMMON! Almost by definition, you have already identified that there are potential problems in the world that you alone are taking responsibility for (your and/or family safety, etc) beyond what is normal or common. COMMON people prepare for disaster by trying to remember to turn off the iron and unplug the Christmas Tree lights. UNCOMMON people (Preppers) prepare for disaster by buying water (etc) long before the news report says there’s a storm coming.

    While there were comments above that hinted at “it could have been worse,” I don’t think that many realize how much worse it could have gotten (especially the comment from Duffy about his “shoplifting” wife).

    Are there any Preppers here that, AT A MINIMUM, have an EDC knife (or three)? How about anyone who EDC with a CCW?

    The situation(s) above could have been MUCH worse. Duffy’s wife who may have had a legal CCW (in many states) now instead of shoplifting it becomes armed robbery when the police respond to the call. Again, do not rely on “COMMON sense” to save you being able to explain that you were simply trying to prevent your husband/kid from dying. There are far too many cases where ignorant/power hungry/stupid/anti-gun/woke-up-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-bed officers have arrested individuals doing what should be reasonable and explainable to what we hope would be a normal person.

    The description from Rourke looked to be about a half-second away from possibly becoming physical (or verbally threatening/intimidation…..also a crime). And what might have become a simple “shove” for room, now becomes “crazy-man-with-a-gun” assaulting a security guard who was simply doing his job for the 10 O’clock news (EVEN IF the CCW was never seen/referred to/ or known about until police arrived and Rourke informed the officer that he had a CCW.

    How do we protect ourselves?

    1. Stay Frosty! Do not get hot & angry, get cold! Don’t yell. If anything, lower your voice and speak slowly and with authority. Practice your “Command Voice.” YOU must be the OVERLY rational one.

    2. Speak simply. Use SMALL words. Repeat them. If you still see cluelessness in their eyes, use different simple words.

    3. Don’t assume that they understand you OR are there to help you! In Rourke’s case, he deals with diabetes daily. To someone who doesn’t, they may not know why a kid (with diabetes) needs to raise his blood sugar (the ignorance of the masses never fails to amaze me…..daily!).

    4. Speak specifically. Do NOT say, “Go get help!” Instead say, “You! In the red shirt, call 911!” People with no training/experience SHUT DOWN mentally. Help the poor dears and tell them specifically what to do. Have a spurting artery? Don’t tell someone, “that wound needs pressure.” Instead tell them, “Put your hand there and press down. Don’t lift up until I tell you.”

    5. Lastly, please remember…..
    People are DUMB! And people under stress are MORONIC! Help them out. They may not know it is an emergency until you tell them. How many people in NY stood in the streets to watch the towers burn? Not helping. Not evacuating (even after the first came down).

    GUARD – “No food or drink is allowed in the play area!”
    ROURKE – “I need a minute. I may have a medical emergency with my child. Can you please stand by in case I need help.”
    Then when time permits and the child is drinking the soda…
    ROURKE – “He has diabetes and his sugar level dropped DANGEROUSLY (scary words are good too). I don’t want to move him until I can re-test his sugar level. It should only take a few minutes. Thank you for helping (even though he hasn’t done anything other than bother you).”

    You have acknowledged him (and his authority) and stopped him cold. You explained that it likely would not take long and that it is a possible emergency. You have told him what you need him to do (just stand there). You then (after dealing with the child), re-acknowledged him (remember #5) and briefly explained what has happened and what you plan next (re-testing). Lastly, you have thanked him for his (un-needed) assistance and likely caused him to become helpful and not confrontational and possibly have educated him for the next sick child (remember training and/or experience reduces panic).

    Yes, it went okay.
    Yes, it could have been worse.
    Yes, it could have been better.
    Just as we take the responsibility for our individual safety (and not rely on others….police, fire, etc), we need to do so in a manner that does not jeopardize our freedom due to the stupidity of the moronic masses of sheeple.

    For all the people who were offended by my comments regarding the (lack) of intelligence and common sense of the masses….I was not referring to you. Apparently you got it.
    For all the people who were not offended by my comments regarding the (lack) of intelligence of the masses, you fall into one of two groups….. Either you agree, in which case, you too have got it and you don’t need to worry about it…….
    or you’re still trying to figure out if I was referring to you, in which case, “you’re doing a wonderful job. Thank you for your help.”

  19. Short version of above…….

    It does you no good knowing that you were right, when you’re peering from behind bars and facing a judge in the morning! : )

  20. John….you are not to blame. Having been an LEO for way too many years, I have seen “Mall Cops” and I have seen very professional Security Officers. NOTE: I say Officers. The Pros are in tune with he needs and their surroundings, providing a serive that most people would not want to do. The “others”…well you saw a great example of them. Enjoy your site, GOD Bless and BE SAFE

  21. Great post. From the lowest store cashier to pencil-pushing ‘big-wigs’. Authority, perceived or actual is often abused. I work for the local school district. Workers from the lowest janitor or cafeteria worker, to the Superintendents, make known whatever authority they feel they have-in a negative way. Ecclesiastes 8:9 “Man has dominated man to his injury”

  22. I’m diabetic, and we carry a few glucose tablets in a small bottle when we’re out n about. You can pick them up at any good pharmacy. My favorite is raspberry.

  23. Hindsight is 20/20. First, get your son (and other family members with debilitating diseases) a MEDIC ALERT bracelet and have him wear it 24/7 and he doesn’t take it off for any reason. It’s a ‘get out of jail free’ tag that is legally recognized and an Affirmative Defense should things get touchy with LEOs.

    Learn from this lesson and ‘war-game’ scenarios & responses. How would this have escalated if you were both armed at the time? Only the S.G. armed? The S.G. had a partner that was making things worse? One solution, doesn’t always work, but buys some E&E or cool down time- produce a cell phone and record the incident as it happens, or act like you are and uploading to some social media; if a second phone/person is available- call 911, stating ‘Medical Emergency’ S.G.s blocking aid, along with their names/descriptions, etc. Now trained & sworn LEOs are involved for real.

    Yes there is a huge difference in personal tolerances when its your wife or kids that are ‘down’. Learn and practice responses as there are areas that S.G.s have almost the same powers as real LEOs.

    My $0.02 worth.

  24. Your story reminds me of the poem IF by Rudyard Kipling (I use this poem often in frustrating situations) “If you can keep your head when all about are losing theirs and blaming it on you….”
    I never shop at Malls for many reasons. I hope you contacted the Mall office-this person should have been given a First aid course and a dose of common sense and courtesy.

  25. John, most drug stores sell Glucose tablets ( flavored orange, raspberry etc.) . My husband is diabetic and we use this when needed. They work quickly but soda probably works faster. Arlene

  26. As a former security director at a very large mall I would have had a shit fit if my guard had done that. You need to complain. The security officers are trained to handle them emergency’s. The real estate company that owns the mall needs to know this. Their biggest worries are liability and how much it will cost in bad media. I hope your son is well. As a diabetic myself I to treat a full sugar coke as medicine.

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