I was stationed at the “back door” to the Kahler Hotel where the prince was to enter the building. The hallway his highness would have to pass through was littered with additional guards. His plane landed around 3AM, the hoopla lasted till 345AM, and the transport only took 15 minutes. I was thinking his eminence would be arriving soon in that he would like to get to his hotel sooner than later.
Plenty of supplies and clothes and Saudi’s were coming through, but no prince.
Finally around 0630 I hear on the radio the prince is finally coming through. Never seeing the prince at the airport I was kind of curious to see what the first real person of “royalty” would look like. I was picturing that standard Saudi garb, white head-scarf, robe, one of them fancy head-bandanas they use.
The guy was in a wheelchair, bloated, barely conscious and looked like a bum off the street. Unshaven and obviously in need of medical attention. It was not regal.
His staff pushed him down the hallway, got him to the elevator. Once inside, my relief came so I could go to bed.
The next afternoon my alarm woke me up and I was to be stationed in the hotel. Nobody knew where exactly and given the BS musical chairs routine we suffered the night before, I’m sure it would probably change moment to moment. I arrived and sure enough, I was supposed to be stationed right in front of his majesty’s room.
Just one minor problem.
He wasn’t there.
He was enroute back to the airport.
Apparently in the 10 hours I slept plans had changed. He suddenly announced he was going to fly to to visit his brother (the actual King of Saudi Arabia). And by “suddenly” I mean 5 minutes notice. Now, instead of the security team being stationed at the hotel, he needed a team to escort him back to New York.
This presented a problem for most of the guards. Already these morons proved they couldn’t plan more than 2 days in advance. Fun as it would be to jump on the Saudi royal airplane and jet off to New York and maybe even meet the actual king of , we didn’t even know if we’d be coming back any time soon. Would it be a day or two? Three days? A week? A month? Most of the guards had other responsibilities and jobs. They couldn’t commit for an undefined amount of time.
Invariably we were able to compile a team of 7 guys, all young, either fresh out of the police academy and without day time jobs, or guys who didn’t have any wives or children and could commit to an unknown time for the assignment. This of course had to be done quickly because his idiotness was already getting put on the convoy back to the airport and would need this team on the airplane with him. But despite the chaos this lack of planning caused in the security detail, we were able to put together a team.
So off this team goes, along with the guards protecting the convoy. And with the regular rigmarole of “Saudi Airport Musical Chairs” they inevitably are ready for the team to get on the plane and fly out. The “general” then comes to our leader and says,
“Oh, we don’t need your security guards anymore.”
And turns around and gets in the plane.
My boss and the team are sitting there stunned and pissed off. All the chaos and the hubbub and now they’re not going to New York.
Ultimately though, this was fine. It wasn’t like the prince took his entire entourage with him. He left roughly 90 people back in we had to baby sit and with the surplus of guys we could now start doing more normal shifts. Plus, Rochester PD was kind enough to offer us a couple off-duty cops and a minor semblance of organization and stability was starting to form.
Enter in his majesty’s 2 wives and princess daughters.
While his highness was a pain in the ass to schedule around, his wives and daughters were in in general a “royal” pain in the ass. But, for all of the pain they would cause it, it was here the seeds were laid for my super-awesome economic epiphany.