* The above image is taken from HuffPost.
Earlier today, I overheard a conversation between 2 young boys at the park.
It went something like this.
Boy A: xxx is really too much! I am sorry to say we are no longer friends!
Boy B: But… xxx’s our friend for so many years already. You also know what he’s like…
Boy A: I don’t care! There’s no need for us to be friends with some people!
Well, obviously, nobody would name their child after a porn site. I just used “xxx” to protect the identity of the child who’s about to lose two of his friends. Anyway, this conversation set me thinking. I thought hard about my youth, the younger Teck Yong who didn’t give a damn and could easily befriend strangers or sever existing relationships on a whim.
Back then, I felt young and adventurous. The world was a more exciting place and it looked like opportunities lurked everywhere. Drinking at a pub in London might get me a couple of good friends. Walking into a bookshop at San Francisco might let me meet the girl of my dreams. And they were interesting people, the cosmopolitans in London and San Francisco. We spoke the same language and shared the same political ideals and it’s so easy to meet many of them outside of Singapore.
So because I had both the energy and time to go on plenty of adventures, it became easier to meet all sorts of interesting people. And because it was easy to meet new friends on a regular basis, it also became easier for me to forget old friends. Read the rest of this entry
* The above image is taken from School of Management Sciences, Varanasi.
Once upon a time, if you needed to get some information about a particular subject, you had to either go to a book store or library.
Back then, I thought the retail staff who worked at bookstores were really cool. I remember this one time when I wanted to learn more about ninjutsu, the deadly art practised by the shadowy assassins known as ninja. That was during the latter half of the 80s, after the airing of the first American Ninja movie.
Because Google wasn’t around yet, I had to take a bus to get to the Times bookstore in my neighbourhood. The entire operation took more than an hour. I had to get down to the bus stop, wait for the bus, take the bus, pound the pavement and, after resting a bit to recover from the tropical heat, search for the the bookstore at the shopping center.
And when I finally reached the counter… Read the rest of this entry
So this morning, the regular day guard didn’t come. Because today’s his one off day per week. So the agency had to send in a replacement, right?
And so the manager thought it would be perfectly alright to call in a night guard who’s been working the night shift on the other side of the island. So that means this dude is pulling a 24-hour shift even as I am writing this blog post.
And obviously, since he had a night shift to complete and he’s on the other side of the island, he came in late. I was supposed to be relieved at 7 a.m. but the night guard came in at 8.30 a.m.
When I called the manager to ask about the day guard’s replacement, he told me, in a jovial tone, to claim O.T.
Why the f**k should I claim O.T.? I am already working 12-hour shifts for 72 hours per week! I need LESS hours, not more!
Anyway, when the day guard’s replacement came in at 8.30 a.m., I told him, “I am going to come in at 8.30 p.m. tonight because I don’t do overtime.”
The day guard’s replacement actually got indignant when I told him that. He tried to explain why he’s late.
“I was at Tuas! I need time to get here…”
“I am the only one who can do this!”
Yeah, I KNOW. I know how long it takes to travel from Tuas to our workplace. BUT if you knew that as well, then you shouldn’t have agreed to come in to replace the day guard! Why would you want to inconvenience someone else just so you can earn more money for yourself?
Have you ever considered that there are people who don’t want to wait an hour and a half for you to arrive? Have you ever considered how dangerous it is to ride your motorcycle on the road after completing a 24-hour shift?
HAVE YOU SPARED A THOUGHT FOR OTHERS?
However, I told him that I wasn’t angry with him. I was angry, and rightfully so, with the manager for arranging this. The manager already knew the day guard takes every Sunday off, so he should have arranged for a proper relief guard to come in every Sunday! And not make some overly enthusiastic guy work 24-hour shifts!
The manager* and the 24-hour guard both need to think hard about how they are inconveniencing others and endangering lives. Mark my words, and mark it well! Security guards have died in the past due to overwork, and they will continue to do so if this industry continues to turn a blind eye to 24-hour guards.
Loh Teck Yong
* I have always called him the manager, but the regular day guard told him his actual title is Senior Operations Executive. Oh well, whatever.
A few days ago, I made a blog post about my agency. I said that they might be breaking 2 out of 3 promises they had made when I first signed up with them.
Things have been a bit hectic recently so I haven’t found the time to post updates. But tonight is my only off day this week, so I have some spare time.
Here’s an account of what happened on 14/11/17 (Tuesday).
When I reached the train station near my work site, I went to an ATM machine to check my bank balance. And I found an extra 200 dollars in my bank account! Okay, that means they kept their promise to pay me a weekly advance every Tuesday.
And when I reached the work site, the day guard told me the manager had came down earlier with my uniform. Good. They finally managed to keep their promise to provide me with 2 pieces of uniform.
So far so good. I hope this good behaviour keeps up.
Some of you might think that I am being too skeptical, but I have seen too much of the ugliness of men in my line of work. Too many security guards have been abused or scammed by their employers, so there is no way I can trust an agency blindly.
Especially one that still HASN’T given me a copy of my contract.
Loh Teck Yong