Do Secret Service agents get bored? by @jasonwells00USA
Answer by Jason Wells:
There is a scene from the film “The Count of Monte Cristo” where two men are imprisoned in the notorious Chateau D’if and are talking about their captivity. The younger man, Edmund Dantes, tells his friend: “I have seventy-two thousand, five-hundred, nineteen stones in my walls. I’ve counted them many times.”
Dante’s friend, the much, much older Abbe Faria, responds “But have you named them yet?”
That’s sort of what being a Secret Service agent is like most of the time. Yes, agents get very, very bored.
I have stood in hallways counting the pinhole dots in ceiling tiles. I have had staring contests with pieces of artwork hanging in hotel lobbies… and won…. I have memorized the labels on every fire extinguisher, soda machine, and Exit sign (not much to memorize there). The symmetry of a hall doesn’t really have meaning until you stand in it and stare it down for ten straight hours.
Did you know that hotels turn off their air conditioning in their hallways in the middle of the night? Most people don’t notice because they’re asleep in their rooms. It becomes much more obvious when you’re wearing a suit and carrying about 40 pounds of equipment on your belt.
It’s expected that agents keep a vigilant watch and maintain a strict protective environment all the time, and most agents are able to do this. But even the most observant and dedicated person needs stimulation. And usually the protection life doesn’t offer much to satisfy the need. So yes, agents get bored.
And the follow up question: How do agents deal with boredom? They suck it up. They start counting stones, and then they start naming them.
Secret Service Agents standing post after ten hours