I worked for two years as a security guard on the Gold Coast to earn money while I was studying.
At times the work was routine involving such tasks as night patrol at the Gold Coast Hospital and visiting all Gold Coast City Council sites. At the libraries, the work involved accompanying staff to ask patrons to leave and escorting staff to their cars.
My job even included locking the gates at cemeteries and at the sewage pump area.
My time sheets had a list of the sites I was to visit, and regardless of traffic, it was understood that I must make it to each site on time. Sometimes I needed to start work half an hour earlier. Then I would plan for the route I had to follow. Once I had followed the routine for a week it became easy.
Most of the security guards were new and most them were students. Some listened properly during the training but others didn’t because they thought it would be easy. They were just in a rush to get a job.
The work could sometimes be dangerous and full of drama. I had a friend who was punched by a big Kiwi who broke his jaw so that his upper and lower teeth wouldn’t meet. We were self-employed and he didn’t have work cover. He was just an international student, and it cost him a fortune.
There is a real need to be proactive and to anticipate, because it can take time to have back-up arrive.
I worked at different sites at different events, and those involving alcohol were always messy. We had to have an RSA certificate and watch carefully. I found it best to prevent myself becoming engaged in any way with the revellers and to try to look very professional.
One of our duties was to stop people drinking if they were becoming too intoxicated. I always found it best to ask for back-up first because there was always the chance of being assaulted by a group. We carried radios and were all very well connected to each other.
One such event was Melbourne Cup day at the Gold Coast Turf Club. I worked there for 3 Melbourne Cups, and I could have been badly injured.
On one occasion, there was a Scotsman who was a very big drinker at the bar who was demanding another drink from the barman. The barman politely told him that he couldn’t serve him and looked at me. The Scot yelled, “Just do it!” and the barman called me.
The first thing I did was to radio for back-up because the man was angry, intoxicated and escalation of the situation was very likely to happen because he had a group of mates with him.
I stepped between the man and the bar and told him that he wasn’t allowed to drink now. He yelled at me to “F… off!” and at the barman to do what he wanted and the whole group of his friends rushed at us.
Other guards were there just as the group came rushing in. The guards twisted their arms and dropped them down to the ground and called for police. Three were kicked out of the event and the others were handcuffed and taken away by police. I don’t know what the outcome was for them.
So, my job as a security guard could vary markedly, from the routine, dull and mundane jobs to other situations, invariably involving alcohol, which were potentially quite dangerous.
Majid (not his real name) is a Jordanian national living and studying in Australia and working as a security guard in Sydney.