Getting to Know: Damen, the Ruggles Security Guard
Written by Bwog Staff
Frequent visitors to Ruggles may not know Damen, but he definitely knows you. By name. In just a few short weeks, the genial security guard has learned the names and faces of every single person in Ruggles, plus regular guests and even a Bwogger’s puppy. Damen credits this feat to his fantastic photographic memory: “It’s innate really…like a snapshot photo I can just focus in on.” As a courtesy to some residents, he won’t always swipe your ID, but instead take the time to enter manually your UNI into the system.
While not memorizing people, he takes on the dictionary. “I’d like to think that I have at least 2,000 to 3,000 ‘not-everyday’ words… words that are beyond your everyday colloquialism,” Damen modestly admits. The Brooklyn native returned to NYC in 2009 after a brief stint in Philadelphia as a regional Blockbuster manager responsible for eight stores. When he recognized the media’s march toward digitalization, Damen anticipated Blockbuster’s decline, headed home to New York, and grabbed the first opportunity available to him, a job at Columbia. After careful consideration, he narrows down his favorite movies to three: Bad Boys II, Ocean’s 11, and Break Out. Classics, we agree sincerely.
The retentive cinophile is also an avid follower of politics. Damen gets most of his news from infowars.com, a website that provides information “that nobody wants to talk about.” A big fan of Ron Paul, Damen believes Paul is one of the only politicians that has “our best interests at heart.” He encourages all students to take an interest in what is going on in the world, and expressed concern that Columbia students rarely do. “Think critically about situations,” he advises, “and don’t just simply accept information- that’s the only way you can ever obtain real information.”
There isn’t much that Damen doesn’t want to talk about. With his vast knowledge of words, politics and faces he’s not only bound to add a little warmth to your day, he’s sure to remember you, too.