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  • Ask a Security Goon

    A large number of the security goons are here on the forums. If any of you regular "humans" have questions for "security" goons please feel free to ask them!

    Suggestions:
    Q: Will a goon get mad if I bring him a beer?
    A: No! Goons love beer.

    Q: Where's Track 1?
    A: Over there, under the large "Track 1" sign.

    Q: Why are goons yelling?
    A: Because we have to move 2000 people in and out of a room in 10 minutes, we don't have time to hold your hand and be your friend. Sorry about the hurt feelings, but MOVE MOVE MOVE! :)

    Q: How do I become a security goon?
    A: You have to do Goon Tryouts - more details later.

    Q: What's the best way to meet the goons outside of the stress of defcon?
    A: Go to a regional con, or to PreDefcon at the AP.

    Kallahar
    --- The fuck? Have you ever BEEN to Defcon?

  • #2
    Re: Ask a Security Goon

    Here is the thread from last year, which is now closed..

    This thread in Defcon 20 planning is now set as a sticky.

    I have example questions:
    "What is the deal with the historical Goon Swim?"

    "Are red shirts sexy?"

    "If security goons could have all attendees know at least one thing before attending Defcon, what would it be?"

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Ask a Security Goon

      Q: How do I become a security goon?
      A: You have to do Goon Tryouts - more details later.

      Since we get this one a lot, I'm going to expand on this a bit.

      First, let's make a distinction between goon and security goon. Ok, that's done.

      If you want to be a goon, figure out which part of defcon you want to participate in (netops, swag, contest etc) and then talk to the person who runs that department. Each department has it's own way of doing things and they'll give you an idea what you need to do.

      Now if you're talking about security goons, there's good news and there's bad news. Bad news is, it's not easy to walk in off the street and be a security goon. Why is it like this? Well, for one, we work our asses off, consider that at the rio, moving from the end of the convention hallway to the back of the con is a quarter of a mile. If you walk that round trip twice, you've covered one mile. Several goons have worn various devices for measuring the distance they walked and we average out around 20 miles a day. we do that for 3-5 days depending on your assignment. So even you were to cut that in half for a margin of error, that means a security goon covers 30-50 miles on his feet over defcon. Could be as much as 100 miles. We work our asses off. We've found in the past that people will WANT to be a goon, they're all gung ho and then when they find out how much effort is required of them, they realize they've made a mistake. When you have 30 guys to cover 4 rooms, a vendor area, a contest area, a dance club, sales and various hallways and hidey holes, you're spread thin. If one guy walks or slacks off, it fucks the whole thing.

      So, we're careful about who we select. We have to be able to trust that you're going to do your job and that we can rely on you.

      Now the good news. There IS a path! Volunteer. Ask us if we need anything, ask if you can help out. You're not going to get anything out of this, you're just going to be able to help us out. Frankly, if you want to be a security goon for the benefits, you might want to re-evaluate your plan. We work for shirts. :)

      Long rambling make sense? I hope so. SEE YOU AT DEFCON **TWENTY**

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Ask a Security Goon

        Originally posted by kallahar View Post
        Q: Will a goon get mad if I bring him a beer?
        A: No! Goons love beer.
        Pro Tip #56 from CHS
        -------------------------

        Bring me Four Loko.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Ask a Security Goon

          Q: Why are goons yelling?
          A: If we talk softly, you won't hear us...

          Q: Can I show my <pick-a-body-part> to a Security Goon?
          A: Sure... you don't even need bribe cards to do it... however, for most of you dudes, the Security Goons who dig men are a minority.

          Q: Why are Goons cranky and ornery?
          A: You try telling the same people the same things for three days... and see if you can maintain a "happy" and "warm" disposition... all while drinking like a pirate in a whorehouse, walking 20miles/shift and being dehydrated...

          Q: How can I help the Security Goons?
          A: [Multipart] 1. Bring them water. Sealed bottles only. 2. READ YOUR PROGRAM. Someone went to the trouble, months in advance, to write up EVERYTHING that you need to know about where the tracks are, what talks are what, and how to survive Defcon. 3. If you have questions about the CONVENTION, see the INFO booths. 4. If you have questions about the health, safety, and welfare of yourself, your friends or random strangers, please find a Security Goon. That's our job...

          Kthnxbye.
          --- If you're a snowflake, you're gonna have a bad time.
          Have you ever BEEN to Defcon?

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Ask a Security Goon

            PRO TIP #71

            Bring some goons sugar free foods and drink... Some of us are diabetic.

            --
            dc0de
            --- If you're a snowflake, you're gonna have a bad time.
            Have you ever BEEN to Defcon?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Ask a Security Goon

              Do most Goons like Gatorade? And, if so, regular or the sugar-free G2 variety?
              "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
              - Trent Reznor

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Ask a Security Goon

                Originally posted by dc0de View Post
                A: Sure... you don't even need bribe cards to do it... however, for most of you dudes, the Security Goons who dig men are a minority.
                But we make up for it by being extra fabulous.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Ask a Security Goon

                  Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
                  Do most Goons like Gatorade? And, if so, regular or the sugar-free G2 variety?
                  Goons do consume electrolyte based drinks, individual goons have different preferences. Some of us don't want the sugar in general, but if we've been going for a while, it might help. Again, sealed containers, and a choice of flavor would be excellent.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Ask a Security Goon

                    Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
                    Do most Goons like Gatorade? And, if so, regular or the sugar-free G2 variety?
                    Personally I like the OG Orange variety. Gatorade has gone so far off the deep end with their flavor names and colors that I don't even know if they have an "Orange" anymore. They had one at one point that was called something like "Crystal Rage" that was orange flavored and clear.

                    Just give me Gatorade that's Orange in flavor and Orange in color, and I'll be happy.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Ask a Security Goon

                      It is pretty easy to spot us after a shift. We'll be the ones limping to the bar to drink our feet numb before we start to enjoy the bit of con we get to go to. If you really want to get in good with a Goon find or follow them to that bar and buy that Goon a cold frosty one then.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Ask a Security Goon

                        Originally posted by chs View Post
                        Pro Tip #56 from CHS
                        -------------------------

                        Bring me Four Loko.
                        Also, arrange to have a friend with a camera close by, because the results will be worth photographing.
                        I check my sanity with a wristwatch. What do you check yours with, a dipstick?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Ask a Security Goon

                          Woulds the odds of a guy walking in off the street becoming a security goon be any higher if he were a computer systems engineering undergrad, currently employed as security in a bar, and has experience in night clubs and sports stadium style events? Or should I direct this question at a particular individual?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Ask a Security Goon

                            Originally posted by engirugger View Post
                            Woulds the odds of a guy walking in off the street becoming a security goon be any higher if he were a computer systems engineering undergrad, currently employed as security in a bar, and has experience in night clubs and sports stadium style events? Or should I direct this question at a particular individual?
                            Not speaking for security goons, only speaking based on observation:

                            No. Trust is not established by credentials, degrees, knowledge or skill-set.

                            Flea's post on who becomes a security goon is pretty much what I've observed.

                            Trust of a person and experience with that individual to see how reliable they are, seem to be most important. Then, "chemistry," seems to be the next most important thing. A person that rage-quits, or is reactionary, or unstable, or unable to handle pressure is probably not going to fit with security, based on what I've seen. Though desired qualities may exist in a person that works security for a night club or bar, it does not get communicated to goons as accepted, "true," because someone claims it. ("Trusting the client to be truthful," is a bad way to establish a relationship: "I'm 21! Trust me; there is no need to look at my drivers license")

                            If you want an answer from an actual security goon, you'll have to wait.
                            Last edited by TheCotMan; February 20, 2012, 23:46.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Ask a Security Goon

                              Originally posted by engirugger View Post
                              Woulds the odds of a guy walking in off the street becoming a security goon be any higher if he were a computer systems engineering undergrad, currently employed as security in a bar, and has experience in night clubs and sports stadium style events? Or should I direct this question at a particular individual?
                              What thecotman said is spot on.

                              I'll elaborate just a bit. :)

                              Security goons are made up security researches, plumbers, active duty military, a former colonel, programmers, system admins, the unemployed, bouncers, etc etc etc. There really is no singular job skill that makes any of these people qualified. We walk a fine line with attendees, too much and they feel like you don't respect them, then they stop respecting us (and we do, we respect the hell out of our attendees), too little and they just stop respecting us on their own. If we lose that respect we're in trouble.

                              We don't use force to get attendees to do the things we need them to do, this leaves us with a limited toolset to get work done. Knowing the right time to plead with an attendee and the right time to yell at an attendee makes all the difference in the world. Nobody wants to be yelled at, it's a tool we have in our box however, we abuse that tool and we lose respect. We don't use that tool when it's needed, we lose control and we lose respect. fine line. A good security goon is one that can walk that fine line.

                              Sometimes that requires the skills and rock hard patience of a bouncer, sometimes it requires the authority that colonel can ooze without trying, sometimes it's something only a plumber can muster. :)

                              We're a team, we're volunteers, we do it because our team needs each other. If you think that you fit into that mold, by all means, step up to us and ask if you can help. We're not going to give you anything but our gratitude and respect and there's no promise that you'll fit in and become a goon (most people don't), you may also end up standing next to a door for 5 hours making sure people don't block it with their tired bodies leaning against the frame with no relief, but hey, THAT'S gooning. :)

                              But yeah, show up early, stay late and offer to pitch in.

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