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14 April 2013 @ 03:02 pm
Security at work, something I don't think about unless one of the crazies is out and about.  
At work we’ve been having a lot of turnover at the front gate. For whatever reason, we are unable to hold onto anyone for more than a weekend! It isn’t a difficult job, but the hours aren’t fun (weekends, graveyard shifts) so the people that the security company has been sending to us tend to be…well…let’s just say they aren’t the cream of the crop.

One of the new hires bothers me, and he’s a typical example of the problems we’ve had filling the positon.

First off, I don’t like that he talks to me. Usually, I wave at the front gate personnel when I drive into the complex, and I don’t see them again until I leave at the end of my shift or take a lunch break. There is no socializing. So when this guy came in on Friday afternoon, at the end of his shift, to shoot the breeze, I was uncomfortable. Don’t you have a home to scurry off to? Don’t you have things you want to do? I wondered. Go on, get out of here! But I don’t know why I react so strongly to his small talk – I do tend to talk quite a bit with the guards’ supervisor, and there’s a fellow SJSU student who works weeknights and we like to complain about school with each other. But this newbie? No. I don’t wish to have a conversation with you. I have work to do.

Maybe it’s because he’s so very incompetent at his job. His supervisor said, as she trained him on Friday, that she thinks he might be illiterate. He copies license plates down in a notebook instead of filling out the forms she keeps at the desk; after an entire day of training with her, listening to her speak to residents , he still can’t pronounce the names of the streets in the complex correctly. Yesterday, he came in to ask for the phone number to the office – even though it’s posted right on his desk. Today, he popped in a few minutes after my shift started to ask for the phone number of his supervisor, whose name he could not even remember. Again, it’s posted right there on his desk – she always makes sure that her trainees have it. His instructions for answering the phone are to say, “Front Gate, [name]” but he hasn’t been able to stick to the script. He’s always answering, “Uh…security” or “Security, RHA” or “Front Gate Security” – security is a word they are specifically to avoid because they are technically traffic control officers, not security protection. His job is not hard, so the only way I can explain his difficulties is illiteracy or possibly extreme uncorrected nearsightedness.

He also tells residents the wrong thing. They’ll ask for a pass and he’ll say he can’t give it to them, or that they have to go to the office to get one. Not true on both counts. Or he’ll say they can’t get another one this week, or they can’t get more than one if they have multiple guests. Yet when it comes to the one problem resident that absolutely cannot have permits, the new guy gives him one.

The guy who follows him for the swing shift isn’t quite as bad, but their supervisor wasn’t pleased with him, either.

Luckily, I doubt I’ll ever see them after this afternoon. Their supervisor will complain to the CEO tomorrow. The CEO will call the security company and demand someone new, and the two men will be yanked from our site and sent off elsewhere.

I just hope the next couple of guys they send over will be better. But I bet they won’t. The company we contract with doesn’t have the greatest reputation – in fact, it’s one of the worst ranking security companies out there – and we pay so little that any decent employee quickly finds another position elsewhere. So we’re stuck with the subpar service until the CEO decides to find a new security company, or he gives up and just installs electronic gates like so many other associations.
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