In almost every part of the world I have been, there is an immediate interest into who you are and what you are doing when someone learns you are a bodyguard. Any bit of time in this field will be accompanied with the experience of being asked these questions. As with most things, it is best to be proactive; develop responses to these stupid questions to avoid being caught off guard and getting frustrated.
“Who are you following?”
The question is so flawed, I usually don’t even know where to begin. If they don’t know already, perhaps you should keep it that way. The frustrating part of this question is the assumption that all you are doing is ‘following’ somebody. OpSec is always a concern, so consider the risk vs reward in disclosing any information. Maturity and responsibility are the biggest factors of this consideration. The 22 year old doorman will probably tweet about it as soon as you walk away and the the security director is much less likely to call TMZ and sell your itinerary.
“Where is your gun?”
This also includes the assumption that you are always armed in addition to the fact that your gun is all you are good for. Again, consider your audience thoroughly and it is best to end the conversation at this point of this is the kind of questions you are getting.
“So you can fight huh?”
This will undoubtedly urge you to start using a nonverbal method of communication to confirm that you can, in fact, cause harm. Similar to the questions above, you should seriously consider a polite way to end the conversation. I’ve had drinks flipped out of my hand as a challenge during similar lines of questioning, so tread lightly, you never know what a curt response will result in.
“How much do you make?”
Hopefully, it is enough to encourage your patience to withstand this line of questions. People don’t know where to draw the line and how to curb their enthusiasm when it comes to a mystic profession such as this, so try to maintain your patience.
As a general rule, a diplomatic response is going to be the better option in most cases. There is no point to riling up an individual who lacks in common sense and has already demonstrated a lack in restraint. A quote from Gen Mattis comes to mind, “Be kind, be courteous, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.”
The most frustrating part of being asked stupid questions is being forcibly distracted from what you are doing. That being said, avoid the frustration by having answers to these questions already developed, and do your best to stay ‘gray,’ to be ‘close enough to protect, but far enough to not be introduced.’
Stay gray. – JML
Joseph M LaSorsa is a senior partner managing and conducting: Protective Operations Training Courses, Executive Protection & Bodyguard Services, Risk Management Consultations & Seminars, Workplace Violence Prevention Seminars & Intervention Services, Security Consultations & Seminars, Private Investigations and Technical Surveillance Counter-Measures with LaSorsa & Associates – an International Protection, Investigations & Consulting Firm.