A sub-arctic wind followed me into the Denver City and County Building Tuesday, whipping past the two clearly frigid security guards working the metal detector into the already the drafty foyer.
I jokingly asked one guard where her gloves were as she shivered with her hand tucked into the arms of her black HSS Security sweater. "In my purse," she responded without a touch of humor.
Another security guard, his hands tucked under his folded arms, responded to the confused look on my face. "We aren't allowed to wear hats or gloves," he said. "Management says it doesn't look professional." He looked around to make sure nobody could hear him before adding: "Of course, I think having pneumonia looks unprofessional."
Making security guards freeze for the sake of appearance seemed asinine, especially during one of Denver's rare single-digit cold spells. And Tony York, senior vice president of HSS Security, the private company that runs security for the City of Denver, seemed to agree that employees fighting off mild hypothermia didn't make much sense.
York said he was unaware of such a policy against employees wearing hats or gloves, surmising that either the employees were misinformed or simply confused about the policy. He said there is no rule against security guards wearing hats or gloves and added he "will get with management down there and make sure that we are clear on everything."
Frankly, York may not have even known what the policy is -- but who really wants to start their Tuesday with a reporter asking questions about why employees working in a virtual icebox don't have gloves? Either way, it seems that the security guards freezing their fingers and ears off at the City and County Building are cool to wear gloves and hats now.
More from our News archive: "Cold weather got you down?: Reader says, 'Welcome to Colorado, you big pussies.'"
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.