The Security Guard has always been thought of as someone who didn’t have a good education and never had opportunities to excel in life.
Rarely do we hear of kids wanting to be Security Guards simply because it’s not a career option associated with success.
You don’t to be that cool like the Night Guard in ‘The Museum’, the movie. Your job would be to sit and take down particulars of people and vehicles, and then go home to sleep and do it over and over again.
BUT we are missing out on the life before that man or woman became The Security Guard and this post is about the story of a Security Guard whom I been meeting for the past 2 months every Thursday, and now, Mondays and Thursdays.
I did my usual routine after class and bade “Assalamualaikum” (Peace be upon you) to him as I walked to my bike and as he replied “Wa’alaikumsalam” (Peace be upon you too), we shook hands.
That was my usual routine but today, I decided that since I wasn’t in a rush, I wanted to get to know this man a bit more.
This man who stood at about 1.8m tall, slim, slender, combed hair with streaks of white hair and well-groomed couldn’t have been a Security Guard before this as just months ago, it was a different guy.
So, whilst he was cleaning his bicycle, I decided to ask, “Abang dulu kerja apa?” (What were you working as previously?) and that was the start of our 20 minute or so conversation.
He began by telling me that he used to work in Singapore Airlines as an Inflight Steward for 25 years before he started his own business which he had to close as it went bust, then he finally became a Security Guard.
Who would have known this gentleman in a Security Guard post and white uniform had visited London and Paris and the rest of the world.
I don’t think anyone had ever asked him that question.
The sparkle in his voice showed how young he was and how fresh his memory was on his 25 years of service as a Flight Steward. He described how the MRT system that we have is actually very reliable compared to what he had seen in London, before the MRT was built.
He mentioned that he had wished at that time for Singapore to be able to have a system like the London Tube, but better because the London Tube at that time was running on railtracks dating back to World War 2 and was breaking down ever so often.
Then he spoke of why he decided to be a Security Guard in a school rather than in a factory or at a hotel, as much as he could have earned more.
This was a family man who also wanted to be able to spend more time with God. His reasons were simple:
- It takes me 5-10 minutes to go to work either on foot or on bicycle. Saves me time, money and effort.
- If I have to travel back home by train after work, I will miss my prayers. Saves me time, money and lets me have more time with God and family.
He couldn’t have summarised what the importance of life was to me any better in that 20 minutes I had with him.
I don’t think he missed flying since he never wanted to take up a Security Guard post which required Shift Work.
And what’s the best part about it all?
He’s still determined to upgrade himself.
He doesn’t need to have a Supervisory Certificate, but he does have one.
At the end of the day, I couldn’t help but smile thinking back about this gentlemen who was Flight Steward, an Entrepreneur and now a Security Guard. He’s lived a rich life of experiences that money can’t buy.
Who will you talk to tomorrow?
How about you start with, The Security Guard.