Listening / Money / Professionalism / Relationships / Work Ethic

For Kuya Guard

I get out of the house whenever I can. Being cooped up at home can drive someone crazy at times. My building security guard is always there to accommodate me and the rest of its tenants. He helps me with my bags, opens the gate (not that I need any of that, nor require him to carry or open anything for me).

Before I left the house to go for a walk, I struck a conversation with him. He was quite open and candid to my probing. He talked on and on for a good 10 minutes, given that he had such an eager listener.

He is a young father. At 25 years old, he now has a daughter with his 24 year old girlfriend. Elaine is now 1 and a half years old. “She’s already walking” he beams.

He mentions to me that he might only stay with our building till January 2014 only. I ask him why and he mentions the night shifts are taking a toll on his body. The lack of sleep gives him shakes. I have witnessed him actuallly sleeping on the job a couple of times before and most of the time, I don’t wake him anymore because I’ve also seen how hard he works. Being a security guard is a hazardous job in itself.

Since both are working, he tells me that he might send his little girl to live with his wife’s parents in the province because no one can take care of her here in Manila.

My building has had its share of revolving security guards, and this particular person I’ve always liked. He has always been helpful and respectful towards me, my family, and the rest of the tenants. He seemed competent, smart and most of all, he was a simple hardworking guy with simple needs.

His story just struck a chord in me. I felt sad for his circumstances. Deep in my heart, I wish I could help him: give him a job, a referral, whatever! But as it was (employment-wise) I was already in dire waters myself, but that’s another story.

He said that he has done construction and mechanic work , a bit of sales, repairs and other jobs that required physical labor.

I took a long hard look at myself. Who am I to complain? Things may not be perfect at work now but some people have it worse, much worse than me.

God bless his heart. He was willing to do all sorts of odd jobs (some even detrimental to his health and safety) just to put food on the table and care for his young family. My heart just ached. What can I do for this guy and his family? I want to help him somehow, but instead all I could do was buy him a burger 😦

Sometimes, I get so caught up in my own little world that I fail to notice the honest and hardworking people in my neighborhood. Regardless of background, everyone wants to enjoy the fruits of their labor but in this situation, what if there was not enough “paying” labor to go about?

Give a person fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.

People need more opportunities. I wish I could be that person, to give individuals like him, a dignified, decent and safe occupation wherein he could enjoy the company of his wife and daughter after a hard day’s work. But what can I do?

If you know anyone who maybe needing the services of an all around security guard, preferably with free housing where he could bring in his family, please let me know. Thank you.

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