Thursday, May 31, 2007

Move in day

There is a big jewelry show being held here this week. The show doesn't open until tomorrow but some of the jewels are being delivered out to the floor now for preliminary setup. They are using those flat wheeled carts, like we use in Home Depot to move the bags of manure. But these carts are piled high (head high) with white plastic bags the size of trash bags enclosing boxes. A row of six carts just went past, each with two armed guards pushing them. There seems to be a continuous flow of these carts out to the floor filled then empty back to the four rooms being used as vaults, kind of like a train of ants moving a pile of bread crumbs.

Sorry D, can't seem to distract these guys and take one of the carts out to my car. I probably wouldn't get too far anyway; when I came in this morning there were quite a few police cars parked around the building, and a lot more people with guns all over the place.

So I sit here at my computer in our little office down in the basement and hear the carts go down the hall right outside our door. Noisy carts, with wheels squeeking and making thunking noises. Noisy people, lots of them right outside there. A line of guards in chairs along the wall watching everything. I walked past the four meeting rooms being used as vaults and see the white tyvec bags piled all the way to the ceiling in each one. Inside the bags are metal boxes with lots of locks on them, about a meter long by half by half, and pretty heavy from the way the guys in the rooms heft them onto the empty carts. There is a big pile of empty bags growing by each door. Each time one of the carts goes by I think 'another million dollars, another million dollars, another . . '. I don't know what's in the bags or how much each one would cost, but there are probably fifty people wearing guns out in that hallway now, which probably indicates something, but mostly tells me that I really better not try to push one of those carts away. Again, sorry D.

This is what the loading dock looked like this morning.

Lots of trucks still being unloaded, and armoured car down there among them. The rest of the trucks are in line to turn the corner and go down to the loading docks, they are delivering the daily requirements to run a place this size. And get ready for 60,000 or so people that will be there on Friday as attendees and people with booths.

This is what it looked like around the corner, back at the employee entrance.

The convention center employee (sorry, team member) entrance is on the right, the line of doors are emergency exits from the halls, the big hotel next door is on the left, the truck line goes down under the center where the two come together - loading docks down there. There are always food and beverage trucks delivering the things consumed in all of the restaurants. This week even more because of all of the extra non-hotel guests here for the convention. Imagine planning on how to feed an additional 60,000+ people for the five show days, plus extra days for setup and takedown. And another two police cars parked here in line too. You can also see the new tower construction in the center. When I walk down here each morning it kind of seems like walking between the big buildings in NYC.

Inside they were not encouraging photos, so I palmed my camera and took this shot as I walked by. sorry it's a little blurry and crooked.

This is one of the carts piled with the bags that contain the metal boxes with all the locks on them. All of the people in the photo were armed, the one guys standing and half hidden is an in uniform metro police officer. The guy in black to the right was with the security company that pushed all of the carts around. There are four big rooms to the right just piled to the ceiling with these bags and boxes. I think that companies attending the shows were given the boxes months ago, they filled them and bagged them and then armoured cars picked them up from whereever and brought them here, to be kept safe and today delivered to the individual booths. The really expensive stuff will be locked up each night, but the 'average' stuff, what you would normally find in your local jewelry store, will be left in the display cases. After all, you only need a big safe if nobody is around. With all the doors locked and all the armed guards around I think stuff left in our hall will be a lot safer than stuff locked in safes in all the shopping malls in America.

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