Sunday, August 03, 2008

Sleeping guards...

Anytime a new guard is deployed on our compound and I’m around, the guard ‘in charge’ will tell the newcomer: “no sleeping here”. Well, I can tell you, I think that I have caught all of the guards we’ve ever had sleeping on the job at least once. And to be honest, I can understand why. They work 12 hour shifts, sometimes 6-7 nights in a row, go home during the day to very noisy compounds, many have day jobs to make more money to take care of their family, some go to school, and basically they get paid very little. However, when working as a security guard, you really can’t sleep. At least not both guards at the same time.

A week ago, on a Friday night, I went out to see if the front door to the house was locked and in the process found both guards sleeping; one in a chair, the other on the ground. Sleeping on the ground while on duty is a bit unusual; sleeping in the chair I had seen many times. Anyway, it ends up that one guard was sick. “Run Belly”. He had abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Poor guy; he really did not look too great. He was told to call in (by radio) to their office to ask to be replaced.

Two hours later; at about 11:30pm, he was still sprawled out on the ground. Seeing as I am a doctor I figured not only did I need this guard replaced but I needed to make sure it was okay to send him home rather than too a hospital. Well, he obviously had stomach cramps, but there were no signs of an acute abdomen (thinking appendicitis), no fever, etc. So, at about midnight, there I was trying to get a replacement guard and mixing up 2 Liters of ORS for our sick guard. I ended up having to call one of the higher ranked security guards out of bed to get him to call the office. Finally at 12:30 am the replacement guard came and our sick guard went home.

Before heading off to bed at 1245, the last thing I heard our guard tell the new guard was “no sleeping here”. I had to chuckle, hearing this from the mouth of the guard who had been caught sleeping in his chair only 3 hours earlier. Of course, he had told me he was only resting his eyes...


Anonymous said...

Oh the joys of living and working in Africa, and every time you think you have seen it all, someone comnes up and we are all surprised once again.
Thank you for the part you play to bring a difference - to make a difference in the lives of those you touch!

Anonymous said...

Sleeping guards reminds me that people won't change, but we need to change. It's just amazing.

Doug said...

I stumbled on your blog, and I can definitely help your company with your security guard issue. Guards falling asleep while on duty is certainly a security issue that many businesses deal with. Fortunately for these businesses, Oversight Inc. has created a very inexpensive and simple way to ensure your security guards are making their rounds and not sleeping on the job. Our approach is web-based, and creates online reports so you can check on your guards' tours, from any computer, anywhere, anytime. Please check out our website at for more information or you can contact me, Monique, at or 864-335-8533.

~ Act Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. micah 6:8 ~