City Beat: Watchmen, paid to sleep on the job?

Their day or should I say work, begins at 7.00pm in the evening when the rest of us are retiring or have retired to our homes. They set out on a job to serve and protect their employers’ businesses, ready to endure the long night at all cost to keep them safe.

Their day or should I say work, begins at 7.00pm in the evening when the rest of us are retiring or have retired to our homes. They set out on a job to serve and protect their employers’ businesses, ready to endure the long night at all cost to keep them safe.

This is what they seek out to do but the question is, do they actually do so? I one day left town a little late, about 10.00pm and I happened to meet some fellas who were dressed like night guards.

They were listening to music, smoking and laughing. They had put a small radio in a box creating their own digital surround, so the music was booming and they were having a party.

I started wondering if they were night watchmen or just people dressed like them. This is when an idea hit me, to leave town late every day just to uncover the trend of these guys. You will be shocked!

They pretend to be working hard when their employers are around. However, when the bosses leave, the night watchmen ignore all they were taught in training and respond to nature. These guys can sleep like there is no tomorrow.

They make makeshift beds with boxes that they tear apart and pile to make themselves comfy and then drift off into slumber land after having a good time with their fellow watchmen.

The sleeping habit is not limited to the night watchmen but to those that work during the day, too. In the past week, I have seen many a security guard dangerously dosing during the day.

I even witnessed a scenario where an employer snatched a guard’s stick while the guard was dozing off. The guard was so far off that he dozed for another ten minutes before he noticed that he didn’t have his ‘armor’.

It reminded me of a Nigerian movie titled Mr. Ibu where a man enrolled for the job of a night watchman. He tried so heard to ward off sleep that he even wedged toothpicks between his eye lids so they could not close.

But, at least he tried to stay awake as untrained as he was not like our trained ones who just opt to sleep. In case of a robbery or theft, their responses due to grogginess from the sleep would be slow. An effective guard on the other hand is supposed to be swift and sharp.

So with the day guards dozing and the night ones being reckless and sleeping the nights off, where does that leave the safety of your business?

I know someone reading this is thinking “Mine is safe, I enrolled the best security company in the country, that comes highly recommended and highly advertised!”

My dear friend, don’t be so confident: the security guards I saw were wearing those same uniforms belonging to those highly advertised security companies. As for the adverts, haven’t you heard of persuasive advertising?

So, watch out for your business might be in danger unless you have a business around UTC and Centenary building or a bank. It seems these are the only areas where you will find competent guards, all on attention, watching out for danger.

I don’t know whether in their training the guards were taught in a selective manner, treating different businesses in different ways. What would explain why they seem to provide the elite areas with effective security and not the middle class business areas?

This leaves a question for the security companies. I believe that when they recruit people to work for them, they train them. So what is it that they are not doing right? Why are some of their employees so incompetent and undisciplined in their work?

Is it that they do not carry out follow ups on these guys and so they do as they want forgetting the rules and the guidelines?

What am trying to say is that the security companies need to step up and do something about the guards. If it needs re-training, so be it.

They should find the root of the problem and uproot it so their customers can get the services for which they pay. I believe the only reason we haven’t had rampant robberies in the city is because our dear country has a good security system and the security companies are hiding their incompetence behind it.

I hope the security companies will wake up and deliver. They should ensure that their employees know where the money that feeds them comes from. In this case, they shouldn’t let the sleeping dog lie.

Contact: nmranne@yahoo.com

 

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