* The above image is from Quid Pro Quills.
So, I am already back from my job interview. It’s 1.35 a.m. in Singapore right now so technically, I am talking about the interview I attended yesterday.
It went well but, on the other hand, it didn’t.
It went well because I got the job the moment I walked in. I was told to fill in an employee form and that’s that.
They even offered me a salary that’s higher than I had expected.
So why, did I say, it didn’t go well when seen from another angle?
That’s because I was so nervous during the interview that I just signed everywhere they told me to, without reading carefully.
Well… That wouldn’t be as dangerous as some of you might think. The security agencies here use the same format for their employee forms and contracts. More or less.
There’s more. It was only after I left the office when I discovered that I never did receive my copy of the employment contract. Nowadays, most agencies do hand a copy of the employment contract to their employees. Maybe it’s not the practice of this particular agency? I checked their background on the internet, and according to their webpage, they were established back in 1970s. That might explain their way of doing things. Some of the agencies I worked for between 1999 and 2003 never did give me copies of my employment contract either.
But because I don’t have a copy of the contract and because I don’t recall signing anything that says how much I should be paid, I am worried.
Still, I did manage to wrangle a promise (verbal) from the manager to pay me weekly advances. $200 per week. Payable every Tuesday. So we will know next Tuesday if they are honorable and honest.
The job seems easy and will allow me to write on the job so I will gamble a bit.
I am also a little excited. Like what if they go back on their word and refuse to pay me my weekly advance? Wouldn’t that give me the opportunity to “promote” the agency on the internet? Guards Gone Wild! is basically a whistle-blower’s account of the the security industry. It’s unpublished because it has been rejected by the publishers in Singapore but if something like an agency scamming my pay comes to light, that might give me the chance to turn around and tell those publishers:
“See? I did say more people need to know about the scams going on in this industry. That way, less people will get cheated.”
And my book gains a new chapter.
Loh Teck Yong
Many security guards work twelve-hour night shifts, in eerily quiet buildings and sometimes quite remote areas, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that urban legends and spooky tales have sprung up among our community. This Halloween, if you want to give yourself a good scare with some stories from beyond the grave, chat up a security guard.
Or you can keep on reading.
Because people kept asking me for ghost stories after they found out that I had worked the night shift at various notorious buildings in Singapore, I decided to include some in my yet-to-be-published book, Guards Gone Wild!. As a sort of fan service. So, there they are. Three chapters containing stories of close run-ins with the spine-chilling aspect of security work.
“At this particular school, one of the unbendable rules pertained to the treatment of ‘night students’, the unquiet spirits of students past. According to reliable eyewitnesses, they showed up from time to time, still neatly attired in uniforms of yesteryear, prowling the corridors during the hours of darkness.
‘Ignore them,’ my fellow guard warned. Especially when they tried to grab your attention with friendly greetings. Maybe a ‘hello’, sung from one of the upper floors or a wave of a hand if you were caught looking in the right direction.”
– Excerpt from Haunted School.
But strangely enough, even while my colleague had his fair share of spooky encounters and even while the weekend part-timers were harassed, I myself was never bothered by the ‘night students’. The Haunted School chapter tells the story of two unfortunate weekend part-timers who saw “someone”, a man wearing a white shirt who looked suspiciously like a student, pull off an impossible disappearing act and were so freaked out that they promptly resigned from their job. Read the rest of this entry
Well, today I got back to work after taking a long break to work on my manuscript.
I have to say… I still can’t get used to 12-hour shift work! And I don’t think I ever will.
At least when I was doing factory work, we were rewarded with a 4-day break after working 3 consecutive 12-hour shifts. And a 3-day break after 4 consecutive 12-hour shifts.
Security guards in Singapore work six 12-hour shifts in a week. a 72-hour work week. Read the rest of this entry