Is It Worth the Risk to Vouch for Him?


THE QUESTION: You work the entrance gate for the secured lab areas of a large pharmaceutical company. One day, Brian, a contracted engineer, arrives with his team manager and realizes that he has forgotten to bring his clearance badge. You recognize the manager, but you have never seen Brian before today. The manager says, “It’s o.k. Mike, Brian forgot his badge, but I can vouch for him. We just need to verify some measurements which won’t take long.




A. You suggest that they reschedule their visit after they go back to their office and get Brian’s security badge.

B. There is no reason to doubt the team manager. You allow him to vouch for Brian and give them both entrance.

C. You allow the team manager to enter, and direct Brian to the lobby where he has a comfortable place to wait until the team manager is finished.

D. You call for the internal contact to come to the front and identify both contractors, and you allow both to enter once identification is confirmed.



I picked D: You call for the internal contact to come to the front and identify both contractors, and you allow both entrance once identification is confirmed.

This one was tricky because, like others have said, not sure there is enough information. Does “verifying measurements” take two people? If it doesn’t, Answer C would be perfectly acceptable. Also, how did Brian get the clearance badge in the first place? Is the internal contact who gave it to him there? If so, Answer D would work well. If the company has very strict security needs, the manager should know that Answer A is probably the response they are going to get.

I spoke to a colleague about this dilemma who had a great point: In the end, chances are there is a standard operating procedure for what to do in a situation like this. For all the security guard knows, it could be a security audit to determine whether the correct procedure is being followed.


Well what do you think? Agree? Disagree? Let me know your answer and why in the comments below.

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