During the time, I worked as a security guard on the Gold Coast, I experienced schoolies twice.
With the schoolies crowd, we had to be fairly compromising and give some leeway; we couldn’t physically engage with kids, no matter what they’d done. Even when we had to call the police, their attitude was “They’re just kids, having fun”, so we had to be nice.
What I found with the schoolies was that they were sneakier than the adult crowds, they liked to play a kind of hid-and-seek. If, for example, it was time for me to ask them to leave and lock the gate to a swimming pool at a particular resort, they’d try to sneak in a different way.
I know that it would appear that security guards face their potentially greatest danger from substance-affected patrons of bars, but the greatest fright I had during my short career was nothing of the kind.
There were some works being carried out at Ipswich where a swamp was being drained. It was a very quiet job, and I wondered why the company bothered having security services, but they were cautious about the possibility of their pumps being vandalised at night, or of kids jumping into the swamp, so they felt the need to engage us.
As I circled the site, I would get out of the car and walk about the pumps and check that things were normal. One night, as I got out of the vehicle, I came across the first snake I ever saw – a big one! I had never seen a snake in Jordan, my home country. I leapt back into the vehicle as fast as I could, and from that time, carried out all of my inspections from inside the safety of the cab.
I had one bizarre incident happen while I was carrying out routine duties at resorts around Surfers Paradise.
My task was to travel between the resorts and to do the lock up at each one. I had to make sure the pool area was clear, lock it up, and lock up the barbecue area at each resort, which was mostly a quiet, mundane job. I had to move on from resort to resort, making certain that lockdown happened.
At one of the resorts I encountered a cranky man with his two children in the pool. I explained the job I had to do and politely asked him to leave.
He refused to leave, asserting that, “I’m a resident here!” He said that they would finish when they finished and that I could just not tell anyone.
The situation with him made things tough; I had to move on and couldn’t leave the pool gate open.
He became very abusive and I could tell by the way he was looking at me that he was racist. I know that look. I managed to lock him out as he was about to challenge me.
He was yelling and belting on the pool gate, so I called the duty manager.
She opened the gate for him and he charged at me. While he had been trying to reach me, he was yelling things like, “F…… wog, ““F…… Indian!” I’m a 6’6’ Jordanian. Do I look Indian?
I felt sorry for his kids. They looked frightened and were trying to calm their dad down.
I had to leave and go to the next resort.
I would have liked to avoid going there the next night, but I went, backed up by othere guards. The manager explained to me that the guest had medical issues.
At some places where reception closed at 8.00 or 9.00 pm, I might provide security for late arrivals. I would give the guests their keys, escort them to their rooms, make sure that they could navigate the TV channels and check that they were OK. If something needed to be fixed that I couldn’t handle, I would simply pass it on.
There were four or five men from New Zealand booking in late one night, when one of them had a heart attack. I had to call an ambulance; two of us tried to put him in the ambulance but he was a very big guy. It took four of us.
Though being a security guard could be boring at times, it wasn’t always predictable. An unexpected situation could come out of nowhere.
Majid (not his real name) is a Jordanian national living and studying in Australia and working as a security guard in Sydney.