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Shunned today at Pax East

scottydsb03scottydsb03 Registered User new member
I was very upset with how i was treated at pax today by "security". I was bum rushed by 4-5 of these enforcers tell me i had to leave due to a carriage i had a blue push car earlier and that was no problem. They told me and my sons (who's 1 and 5) would be forcibly removed if i did not comply. As they yelled at me a lady and her son walked by in a carriage and i asked why aren't they going after her to which i was scoffed at. If i offend anyone this is not my intention but how come they have a room and a space designated for every lgbt community member or gaming culture but if i bring my son in a carriage to the expo floor the PAX "security" feels they can tell me to Leave. I was told to leave today because i had a carriage. My other option was to check my carriage and carry him coming from a 20 year old kid or a 40 year old guy without kids. Carrying around a 1 year old is like carry a sack of potatoes that wants nothing to do with you at about 5 minutes he wants to get down and get cranky and heavy. Why is it that pax can find a way to have every community but me why am i shunned away and told to leave and there excuse is well its on the website no where when you buy a ticket does it say NO STROLLERS you have to go search for it i had 4-5 "security" for pax tell me i have to leave and bum rush me i wasn't doing anything or in anyone's way if i had to stop i got way out of the way. I just don't understand if i paid for my ticket and he wasn't making a fuss he was having fun. Why do i have to look like a crazy hockey mother at a desk in the middle of a lobby fighting for the right to go and enjoy a day with my son to 90% people who don't have a kid and don't understand. To make it even funnier i work with the Local Stage hands and Helped put the Con together on thursday night. Its just not fair there is plenty of space for me to walk around I did not need to be treated this way. AND before someone says well there's not a lot of room and someone could knock my son over im fully aware of the crowds at a con i think if i can survive a trip to disney i think i can handle pax


  • Robert KhooRobert Khoo Registered User, Administrator, ClubPA, Penny Arcade Staff, PAX Staff staff
    I know you don't want to hear it, but yes, strollers are not allowed on the expo hall due to safety regulations. It is very crowded in there, and it's for the safety of not only your child, but for everyone else in regard to traffic flow. You are more than welcome to bring your stroller to all other parts of the show.

    But yes, as you found, it is a rule we have had in place for a long time now:

    Some guy.
  • gibsonjegibsonje Registered User new member
    edited April 2016
    I understand that there's rules. You have to understand that sometimes they're not intuitive.

    Every single enforcer I encountered was extremely polite. Knew how to de-escalate situations. Respected me, my property, my personal space, the fact that I paid a lot to be here and they don't want to ruin my day.

    Some of the public security officers, however, were shameful. There were definitely many officers who were perfectly fine, but the bad apples are all I will remember and frankly I'm no longer comfortable with PAX East with this level of security.

    The bad apples that stick in my mind:
    - Had no respect for the citizens. Barked commands without a "Please" or "Thankyou" and responded to confusion, anxiety, stress, etc. with anger, short temperedness, and constant escalation of bad situations.

    - They had no respect for my property through bag check. Blank expressions, ripping through my stuff, then sliding my bag without looking to the next table with a half foot drop, disregarding anything fragile. It disgusted me seeing this level of disrespect.

    - They had no respect for personal space. My boyfriend and I had an incident where an officer supervisor was harassing us because he said we were violating rules. What did we do? Pause to zip up our bags after bag check! This warranted the officer pushing my boyfriend toward the door saying things like "Move!". My boyfriend got upset and insulted him and the officer followed us all the way to the door and grabbed my boyfriend yelling "What did you say?! What did you say?! "


    I attempted to file a complaint inside but the officers said they have to file them through, guess what, their supervisor! They called him in several times and he refused to come in saying he's too busy. He was busy enough to abandon his post, follow us, grab us, and harass us, but not to try to do his job and take our complaint.

    PAX Enforcers were TREMENDOUSLY helpful and directed us to the level 0 public security desk where an officer documented our complaint with pen & paper. I have no idea if this incident was actually reported anywhere beyond that point though. This officer was very polite, very sympathetic, calmed us down, told us not to let it ruin our PAX visit and that the officer in question has a history of problems like this.

    I am not comfortable with this level of security. I do not mean this as a threat. I know if I leave there's a thousand people who will take my place next year. But I just mean this as my personal feelings. This has reached a level that I'm no longer personally comfortable attending PAX East in Boston.

    I want to reiterate, ALL PAX Enforcers & BCEC employees I dealt with other than security were nothing but professional and helpful. I am so thankful that they are able to keep chaotic situations orderly while being polite, happy, cheerful, and respectful. But the bad apples of the public security team are unacceptable.

    edit: I absolutely did NOT want to post this story on a public forum but I was completely unable to find a contact method to report this. I saw this thread and it really upset me. I can totally imagine being in their shoes. I understand there's rules, but some of these officers had NO patience and expected us to be fully aware at all times or face the consequences.

    gibsonje on
  • SkullpuckSkullpuck Registered User new member
    edited June 2016
    I feel like there is more to this story but I'll try to explain to people who don't know security or have never had to deal with security at an event with thousands of people.
    Had no respect for the citizens. Barked commands without a "Please" or "Thankyou"

    To be honest, if you wait for everyone to say please or thank you your entire life you're going to be waiting awhile. Not sure what you were expecting, they are security guards at a large event with thousands of people to deal with. Extremely stressful even on the most trained individuals. And these are volunteers.
    They had no respect for my property through bag check. Blank expressions,

    So they have to express some kind of emotion in order to pass this check from you? Interesting. I doubt many other people have this requirement when dealing with event security. If you've ever been to a large event before you'd know this is par for the course. They have to deal with thousands of people, there's no time for "happy smiles" and "feel good attitudes"
    ripping through my stuff, then sliding my bag without looking to the next table with a half foot drop, disregarding anything fragile.

    I highly doubt they were "ripping through your stuff" or you would have sued someone if they actually destroyed something. If you mean they went through it fast, yeah they have to. Again, thousands of people, not much time. Also, if you didn't take anything fragile out of your bag before you gave it to them that's on you. Or, you could have informed them that there was something fragile in it. Not something difficult to achieve, you know, informing the person who is looking through your stuff that there may be something breakable. They're not mind readers.
    They had no respect for personal space. My boyfriend and I had an incident where an officer supervisor was harassing us because he said we were violating rules. What did we do? Pause to zip up our bags after bag check!

    This one I believe the least. He wouldn't have started something with you if you were just zipping up your bags. Give me a break. Then you go on to say:
    My boyfriend got upset and insulted him

    This one quote leads me to believe this wasn't the only time your boyfriend did something to provoke him. Why in the world is it ok for your boyfriend to provoke security at a large event? That's ok, but how the security guard responded wasn't? C'mon. Let's hear the whole truth.

    Skullpuck on
  • InukiInuki Registered User regular
    Skullpuck wrote: »
    I feel like there is more to this story but I'll try to explain to people who don't know security or have never had to deal with security at an event with thousands of people.

    Say what you want, Skullpuck, but my friend attended a fan convention at the Washington Convention Centre (not a PAX convention), and she was in a full armor costume. A security guard purposely tripped her and then laughed about it. Her $2000+ costume could've been badly damaged and she could've been injured as it was on cement, luckily it was just a bit scraped.

    She went to the Security supervisors to file a complaint but she said there is 0% chance they will do anything to punish the guard who tripped her, because they didn't seem to take her complaint seriously at all.

    I've dealt with security and conventions and events plenty, and I've seen good ones and I've seen bad ones. I have friends who do security too. Contrary to your claim, it is completely possible to command respect, direct traffic, at a high-pressure packed event, while still being courteous and I would argue it is part of professionalism.

    We have no way to verify gibsonje's claims because you and I were not actually there, and didn't experience it. Rather than discrediting them, maybe it's worth looking at constructive ways to get convention security to improve. This is always tricky when the security are contracted in from a private security company, or when they belong to the convention centre rather than the convention/event itself.

  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    I've worked security for a major corporation (on the floor, as a team leader, as a dispatcher), and while I have no doubt that your friend was tripped, that's not a universal security thing, that's a thing for assholes.

    The reality is certainly that the Venn Diagram between Assholes Looking To Power Trip and Security Guards does have some highly unfortunate overlap, but I've arrested people using more restraint than you're describing (and believe me, they did not want cuffs on them).

    I wasn't there, I agree that these are often complicated and stressful times for both attendees and people working the event. That doesn't excuse ill behaviour; people should report to a supervisor if they wish, and if they don't feel they're being heard they should look to go over their head to the event venue's team and/or the organizers of the event itself. Just because the security guard or team doesn't care doesn't mean that nobody does, sometimes it just takes talking to the right people up the chain.

    I entirely agree about needing to make unacceptable behaviour known. It's a sad state that some people will take an ounce of authority and make it seem like they're a deity and we're all lucky to be in their presence.

    Again, those people are generally assholes. But unless a formal complaint is made up the chain, nothing can happen. That person has presumably managed to fit into the team as they are this far. Yes, some supervisors or higher ups don't care.

    But in this day of social media buzz, it's not impossible to get word out there in a way that people will start caring.

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
  • gibsonjegibsonje Registered User new member
    This incident was really upsetting for our vacation (it was actually the day after my fiance proposed to me) so I put it entirely out of my mind. PAX responded to me as a result of m posting here and offered me free passes next year. They took it seriously and said they'd be reviewing the security footage.

    I never responded to their email/reach out to me. So it's my fault, but I never got any update. I didn't really want any update. I just wanted this out of my mind (and it is).

    Yes, I was 100% literally told I was not allowed to zip up my bag. I was told I was taking up the space for the next person to come through. When we went to kneel down to zip up, this guard took it upon himself to walk over and harass us. When my fiance asked where we're *supposed* to stop and zip our bags, he said "Inside". My fiance said "Thanks" in a sarcastic tone and he again took it upon himself to respond with a sarcastic "You're welcome".

    At that point we were holding our bags with things dangling out and just trying to walk forward. My fiance called him a jackass. Then he got on a power trip, following us, pushing my fiance saying "What did you just say?" until I intervened.

    That's the more detailed version, on months old memory at this point. Big pieces are a blur.

    I was not able to file a complaint against this guy because he was the supervisor. I did go over his head and he was reported to every party that needed to know. The incident was looked into. I imagine the results are private. I have not heard of any results on my end.

    The people who helped us file a complaint were other officers who knew the person we were complaining about and said it's not his first incident.

    This did ruin PAX for me, though, and I don't care if people believe me or not. It's in the past. I mean it sincerely when I say I'm not comfortable with the level of security I saw. I've been going yearly and it gets worse each year. The negatives outweigh the positives for me and I'll be going to other events instead.

  • treboniustrebonius Registered User new member
    It's unfortunate that PAX has to rely on security companies like these. Their Enforcers have always seemed great, but they're not trained to handle security.

    I'm sorry you had a bad experience. Hopefully your complaint will spur them to find a better security contractor.

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