Skip to main content

Security Guards: Low on Intelligence

One way in which security guards can be of help
(image source: Africom's Flickr stream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/africom/)
Lately, I have had no less than 2 run ins with various security guards, in which an opportunity to provide intelligence turned out to be a pointer on its startling absence. In the same period, I have had a run in with only one matatu conductor, but circumstances were a bit different here. So do we conclude that matatu conductors are brighter than security guards, be they from KK tasked with the American embassy, or any other guard?

Do not get me wrong on security guards, or watchmen, or "solja" as sometimes we prefer to call them. These guys are still of great importance when it comes to finding out where the hell on Parklands Road that Centre Point is. At such times, Google Maps tends to think that being on Parklands Roads, you must be looking for some Centre in Germany.

While your watchman might have an idea on what is down the road, these guys are usually clueless as to what is where in the building that they are employed to guard manage.


Take this KK high level manager at the Hotel Intercontinental ,on a recent Tuesday. I was there for some cocktail event where the ICT board was hosting some Indian investors. Actually, the cocktail was just a cover, as I was supposed to interview no less than two of the investors before the clock struck 9 pm.

The Intercontinental usually has this board that shows ongoing events, and the venue inside the hotel. The event I was looking for was not on the board, and so I consulted the nearest hotel staff, who unfortunately  turned out to be the KK security guard, or rather a supervisor of the other guards posted in the hotels.

The bald headed KK guard told me to consult the board, to which I replied that I had already done , fruitlessly. The guard's eyes then widened as he eyed me , head to toe and back. I was not in a suit, my shoes were dusty and I had a backpack, well worn from lugging around a heavy Compaq Laptop amongst other electronics.

The guard instructed me to call the ICT board. I only had Kaburo's phone number, and she was not aware of the finer logistics of the event as she was planning some other event on the same evening. I told the guard that that was of no help either.

The guard then summarised that he had identified a gatecrasher and instructed me to remain on the spot as he confirmed whether there was such an event. The guard dashed off in the direction of the kitchen area, reappeared a while later and disappeared in the direction of the business centre.

After several appearances and reappearances of the fellow, I asked him if I could just confirm where the event was, the guard replied no. He asked if I had ever been at the Intercontinental before. I had been there many times before and we had even hosted some recent event in one of the rooms. I was surprised when he asked for dates which I had been there, not that I could remember exact dates.

I had been standing there for more than five minutes, and I was losing my temper. I finally told the guy that I was going in to find out where the event was. He said I couldn't. I asked what he was going to do to me if I did, "grab me by my worn shirt and throw me out?" . I knew that the guy would be careful about making a physical scuffle in front of high profile (and white) guests.

He followed and tried calling after me as I made true the threat to find out by myself. I approached the first hotel employee I found, who happened to know that the event was taking place at the pool deck, mind you that the guy had been at the spot all the time that the KK guard was "looking" for the event.

A senior KK employee, tasked with overall security of the event, has no idea of what events are going on in the hotel. He operates with a mentality that the board lists all the events that the hotel is running. The same employee identifies threats as those young guys who approach him to ask questions - all gate crashers will ask him a question or two, and gotcha, he will have them.

I do not blame him, intelligent people are difficult to hire, their salaries are competitive , they are easily poached and they tend to be unpredictable.

The solution is to hire some muscular guy and instruct them on how to identify threats and how to handle them. Guards are usually in the strictest of instructions, not to deviate form the rules. Unfortunately, criminals are known not to have any set of rules to follow.

You can only rely on a guard to some point, unless you are ready to pay for the intelligence.

Comments

Unknown said…
wuldnt agree less

Popular posts from this blog

Beers in Kenya: A sober opinion

Note: This is a dated post and has since been mostly passed by events. SAB Miller beers including Castle and Peroni are no longer widely available in Kenya after their exist. Sirville Brewery was bought out by Brew Bistro before being permanently shut in a tax dispute. Kenya is a land of milk, honey, beaches and taxes. I have penned, or is typed, a newer post here

I have had a short beer swigging stint in my life. It has however been long enough for me to share my opinion of Kenyan beer. Interestingly, over the course of sharing such opinions with other drunkards connoisseurs,  I have found that we all have different views as to what beer is the best, which one makes you too drunk, or which one gives one free, extra hangover for every hangover you get from it.
For starters, like everyone else, I discovered that beer isn’t as sweet as it looks like in those adverts that show golden barley swaying in breezes, happy men smiling and toasting chilled, foaming glasses of beer as a deep voi…

Why do people vote for Cruel Leaders?

Why do Kenyans, or any other electorate for that matter, vote for cruel politicians or so-called leaders?
The common argument is that the voters are ignorant, or were “misled” or had “no option”. But this is not true.

People know who and what they are voting for. People intentionally vote for cruel politicians especially when the voters form part of a majority - clan, tribe, race, nation, class or other majority.
It is not that they do not know the politicians are cruel. They simply assume that the cruelty will be experienced by others - the minority - and will never be experienced by them. They deal with the conscience by arguing that those experiencing cruelty must have done something wrong to deserve it.

The bitter story of the downfall of Mumias Sugar company

Have you heard the bitter story of Mumias Sugar?

Regarded by many as Kenya's most successful sugar miller, Mumias Sugar Company was a disaster waiting to happen.

Many pointed out how Mumias Sugar Company was a fortress in the wreck that is Kenya's sugar industry, only unaware that it was just a matter of time. As the old wise men said, "Ukiona cha mwenzako cha nyolewa, tia chako maji".

The proverb means that if you see your neighbour's head getting shaved, your head will soon be undergoing the same - you'd therefore better wet your head for a smoother shave, otherwise you will be forced to undergo a painful, dry, shave.

But what ails Kenya's sugar industry?

The Kenya sugar industry is under legal siege. The typical Kenyan issue of coming up with laws to tackle a problem is evident here.

Many of Kenya's sugar factories are owned by the government, and have slowly declined under mismanagement and corruption. The appointing of political cronies and trib…

The Bible. Why you should read your Bible.

After reading what The Candid Tin man had to say about the Bible on his blog, I felt a disappointed man. In my opinion, the candid Tin man had committed the same errors of omission and commission that have plagued the Bible for centuries.

In the beginning, the Roman Catholic church was the dominant church worldwide, and the bible existed in Latin language which common folk like me and you did not understand. Latin was a dead language used by the priests of the roman Catholic church and perhaps a few scholars.

The Roman Catholic church aimed at controlling the public's opinion , as the church still does today, and especially their opinion of what was God's word. Therefore, back then, if you needed to understand God's word, you had to consult the Roman Catholic Priests to read the Bible for youa nd then tell you what it said. How well they did this and their intentions remained questionable, with accusations directed at the Roman Catholic Church for mistranslating The Bible…

The Idle Life of a Regular Kenyatta University Student.

My education life was quite an active one, till I completed the 8.4. part of 8.4.4. I went to good primary schools, with tuition in class 6-8 and boarding in class 7 & 8. My life in primary was quite full, esp with tuition in class 7 & 8.I passed KCPE and was admitted to a good National School in Nairobi. My High School life was divided into 3 months holiday and 9 months schooling per year, except for 4th form where i spend I had a 1 month holiday between January and November. I was therefore well occupied for the first 12 years of my education.

After sitting for my Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education(KCSE) in November 2004, I had to wait for results till March 2005. I was well above the B+ university cut off. Previously in early 2004, we had chosen universities and courses we would like to attend by filling the Joint Admissions Board forms. After the results were out in early 2005, we had to wait till August 2005 for the 2004 KCSE lot to change their university and cours…