The headline in the newspaper read: “How a lone security guard helped wrangle 11 suspects”.
If you have been in and out of employment situations, security guard is one of the things that comes up as an option. I heard about a former colleague who was trying to get out of the business who was moonlighting as a security guard. The bar is not that high. You have to be bonded, and to not have a criminal record. You also have to be willing to put yourself in harm’s way (potentially) for minimum wage, or close to. You might some day have to deal with someone armed and dangerous.
The news article referred to a faithful security guard who came to attention during the assassination of Haiti President Jovenel Moïse in July 2021. He was a Haitian national whose day job was to guard the Taiwanese embassy. His lone actions resulted in the successful capture of eleven assassins.
To quote the article:
“A group of men burst into Mr. Moïse’s private home around 1 a.m. Wednesday. Mr. Moïse was shot 12 times and had one eye punctured. In the hours after the killing, police surrounded some suspects in the shrubbery around the neighbourhood and tracked down others to a house where they were staying. But many of the gunmen eluded capture all day.
Shortly before 9:45 p.m. that evening, the lone security guard was on duty at the Taiwanese embassy, roughly two kilometres from Mr. Moïse’s home, when 11 of the suspects arrived. The security guard, who was armed with a shotgun, decided he could not fend off the commandos alone. He took cover in a vehicle as the men burst into the compound. Because of the vehicle’s tinted windows, the gunmen did not see him.
Using his mobile phone, the guard called his superiors, who alerted the police and Taiwanese diplomats. The guard was able to continue relaying reports from his hidden position as the commandos swarmed around. At 11:40 p.m., they broke into the chancellery and set up shop inside. At 1 a.m., police surrounded the building and threw tear gas inside but were unsuccessful in flushing the gunmen out. The standoff continued overnight and through the next day.
Police captured the compound at 3:25 p.m. Thursday and arrested the men without resistance. The security guard, a Haitian national, was finally able to emerge from the vehicle around this time.”
One guy doing his job, pulled that off. He contrasts with the assassins. Some of them were also security guards. Ironically, the hit “job” came up in the want ads… job title: assassin. You had to be willing to kill for money. The hit squad was made up of 28 mercenaries who presumably also found out about the arrangement on the internet and were willing to thrown their hat into the ring. It’s amazing what you can find on the internet these days.
You have a contrast here: a security guard who did his job well, and some security guards who were willing to trade up the job title to assassin if the price was right.
It makes me think of the former head of security at a large company I worked at with over two thousand people accessing a large building. Security was quite tight. You had to have a pass to buzz the doors open. Security people stood in the entryways eyeballing you as you came in. This could be somewhat unnerving except for one guy. Maz had a former career in the petroleum industry in a volatile country that he had fled. He presumably had skills, but ended up working security in Canada. Maz differentiated himself from all the other security people by how he took his job seriously. He didn’t bother people, but he made a game of trying to memorize the names of every employee who entered the premises. You could not help but notice him. When you entered the building he was there greeting everyone at the door. “Good morning Bill, hi Shelley, good morning Antoine, how are you? Good morning Andrea..” Everyone of course likes to hear their name, and they like to be remembered.
And so it is that Maz was unusual, and became somewhat famous. He rose up to head of security, a position he held until retirement. I remember discussing his situation. He said that not working in his former field of expertise was a disappointment, but he had to decide when he got the job, to be a good security guard or a bad security guard. He took his job seriously. He was the quintessential faithful servant. When he retired the entire building mourned his departure.
Many people look down on jobs, based on title and salary. They forget that in every single job description there is another category. Faithful. It reminds me of the parable in the Bible of the servants who were given talents into their care, and left to squander or make good on the Lord’s business. The parable ends with the Lord affirming those who took their job seriously. Their lone qualification, faithfulness to the assigned task. The parable is found in Matthew chapter 25, and it ends with the Lord of the manor saying to the faithful servants, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant…”.
There are many ways to shine and stand out in a job. Some grandstand, others throw their colleagues under the bus. Some hog the limelight but refuse to do what they consider to be boring or mundane. They only want the glory jobs. They don’t want to be bothered by details.
But sometimes the details are the thing, and being faithful, the most important detail of all.