Last weekend while returning home from the movies, I drove past a security guard sitting on a stool in front of a jewellery store and I thought that life can be so unfair.
Here is a man in the dead of night, without a gun, guarding a store that has millions of dollars worth of jewellery inside, but with what he gets paid to protect this store and its valuable property, he would not be able to buy a single decent item there unless he went hungry for a month or two.
Then I thought about what his woman, if he has one, could be doing at that time of night and decided then and there that being a security guard has got to be one of the most thankless jobs.
There are many people who work the night shift. I once worked a 4 p.m.- 12 midnight shift at the Holiday Inn in Montego Bay, though not as a security guard. But consider this, for some reason, guards do 12-hour shifts so if he goes onto a night shift somewhere that starts at eight, he is not getting off until eight the next morning.
Now that sucks, and here's why. Nobody who 'bleaches' or spends the entire night awake knows how tough it can be on the body.
Just look at the physical appearance of some of those people who do nothing but spend their nights out and about at clubs and parties every weekend, or some of those celebrities who do that every night. Some of them, who are in their 20s look twice and three times their natural age. If you didn't know that this was a deliberate thing on their part you would probably guess that up to that point in their lives they had lived very hard. Actress Lindsay Lohan, for example, looks as old as her mom.
The other thing is that guards just sit or stand around for all this time doing nothing except trying to fight off sleep, which in itself is a very arduous task.
Everybody knows that the body has its own clock and no matter how much you sleep in the days, your body starts to shut down after a certain hour at night. That is, of course, unless you're like me who is a stranger to an eight-hour night of sleep. But if you're normal when sleep calls it is the most stressful thing trying to keep it at bay.
If you sit down, before long your head will be bobbing like a buoy on a rough sea, and your eyes will be rolling over in your head like a drunken sailor even as you try to keep your eyelids from snapping shut. So, I imagine for guards it must be do distressing battling with sleep every night.
But for me, the most distressing thing about working the night shift as a guard is that if his woman is not faithful his life stands to get pretty ugly.
You see if the guy has a normal 9-5 job his woman will have to find creative ways to get her extra groove on. But as a guard on the night shift, she can have her man on the side over, cook him a late dinner, get freaky around the house with him and have him sleep over. She then wakes in the morning and makes him breakfast before they leave for work together. All this while the guard is trying hard to stay awake as the sun comes up and condensation starts to settle on his uniform.
Before long 'Uncle Larry' is tucking the guard's kids in at night and then keeping mommy warm. Soon our guard finds himself out the door looking for a new home and a new woman. He became a stranger in his own house and it won't take him a lot to figure out what went wrong.
So, the way I see it, a guard on the graveyard shift has to find a way to preserve his health, his life, plus his assignment all at the same time, and for that he gets very little in return. Now, isn't that a thankless task?
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