And this is also about racism.
Today, for the first time in a long while, I felt like beating the crap out of someone. Correction. Not someone, but two guards. Sour and Sourer.
Sourer rubbed me the wrong way right from the get go. Even though we are both agency guards, he talked down to me and ordered me around like he’s a supervisor. Fine. I could deal with that.
Sour was slightly more bearable.
But they are both equally deserving of a thorough thrashing. That was what I thought this morning and this is what I am thinking now, so many hours later.
What did they do?
Well, for starters, they were both rather mean to one kid. In primary 3 or 4. 3rd or 4th grader to you Americans.
This little boy was waiting forlornly by the guard house for his mother, who was supposed to bring him his packed lunch. Unfortunately, for unknown reasons, the mother failed to show up. And the bell rang and he had to return to the classroom.
Now, if it were up to me, I would have done it in a different way. He was waiting for his mom, that 9 or 10 year old kid, and she failed to show up. She was supposed to bring him a packed lunch but now he had to go hungry.
I would have given him a rueful smile. Like I was saying, “Well, shit happens dude.” And then sent him on his way with kind words. Along the lines of “Maybe she’s busy at work or there’s a traffic jam. I am sure she misses you.”
Sour and Sourer proceeded to yell at him.
“GET BACK TO YOUR CLASS!”
“YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE IN CLASS! GO BACK!”
Not a word to console the hungry kid.
That was Strike One.
Later, a maid was sent to pick up a young girl. Apparently, the mother (the maid’s employer) couldn’t find her child who was supposed to be home some time ago. The maid wished to enter the school to search for her employer’s child. Perhaps to the canteen or maybe a peek into the classrooms? She was fine if they could just allow her to talk to someone in the general office.
I perked up. A child who was supposed to be home but wasn’t? That’s serious business!
We couldn’t allow an outsider to wander around the school on her own, but we had four guards on duty that day. And I wasn’t doing anything. I could have brought her into the canteen or office to speak to someone in charge.
But Sour and Sourer sprang into action instead.
First they pointed out that the maid did not have any identification on her. No surprise there. She just has the one photo I.D., her work permit, and it would cost her a hefty sum of money (plus a certain amount of red tape) to get it replaced if she lost it. She wouldn’t want to carry it around with her.
So the maid made a phone call to her employer and Sour had a phone conference with her.
I thought things were going to go well for the maid, but Sour suddenly started talking about terrorism. Maybe she was a terrorist, he suggested.
And the maid said, “I am Filipino!”
She left only to return hours later with her employer who was in a rather bad mood. The kid was finally found by the way. So no harm’s done.
But I really hated the way Sour and Sourer brought up terrorism and used that to bully a domestic worker.
That was Strike Two.
Some time later, a Filipino lady came to the school to search for her daughter.
She didn’t know where her daughter was but perhaps someone at the office might know something? But she didn’t have any photo I.D. on her.
So Sour started complaining about Filipino maids without identifications. I believe the mother corrected him twice on this point.
“I am her mother, not a maid,” she said.
Finally, the school’s Operations Manager was summoned. He was prepared to help in the search. At that point, I asked him if perhaps leeway could be given to domestic workers or mothers without their identifications. Perhaps they could just write down their details and be allowed to visit the general office to ask urgent questions about the whereabouts of their missing children?
The manager said yes. Leeway should be given.
After he left, Sourer told me to mind my own business.
“You don’t kay poh*! Not your business don’t talk so much!”
I was sorely tempted to punch him in the face. I just saw a mother who was worried about her daughter’s whereabouts and I was supposed to mind my fucking business?!
Finally the daughter was found. In one of the classrooms or wherever. Yay!
But Sour and Sourer had to spoil the mood. They made some comments about “maids” in front of both mother and daughter.
Must you humiliate a mother in front of her child? Must you bully a child like that? Do you fuckers have any idea what that could do to a child’s psyche? Seeing her mother humiliated by authority figures in front of her own eyes?
After what the manager said about being understanding, why were they doing this?!
I am still sorely tempted to punch the two motherfuckers.
Because they are the reason why people hate security guards.
I recounted the incidents as truthfully as I could manage.
But it has been a long day and I woke up really early (at 4.30 a.m.) and I didn’t have enough sleep, so…
So there could be some minor errors in my reporting of the incidents. I know tTehat the Operations Manager came out to the guard house at one point and offered to help look for a missing girl.
But right now, in my fatigued state, I can’t be 100% sure if that missing girl was the same one in the incident involving the Filipino mother mistaken as maid.
There could have been another missing girl.
I remember terrorist comment and I know the conversation between the O.M. and I took place. I also remember clearly how the Filipino mother was humiliated in front of her daughter.
I don’t know their names though, because I wasn’t in charge of the paperwork.
* Kay poh is a Singlish slang. It means busybody.
Teck Y. Loh