The Pandemic Proves Security Service’s Prime

While security guard service is being reduced in various areas and verticals, in other places security services are being viewed as more vital than before.

Last week I was at Food Lovers Market to get some fresh veggies. For me greeting people is very important because it says “I see you, I respect you“. I say my “hi” at the entrance of the supermarket, yes even with my mask on, the security guard at the door was quite suprised by this because social distancing resulted in social disconnection from showing kindness and respect, when last did you laugh with a stranger in public? Okay that’s a discussion for another day.

Today I was fortunate enough to have a chat with a security personnel and this is his story:

Sithembiso Khumalo was working as a security guard at Maponya Mall, Soweto until one day around May, when his employers assigned him a new job, conducting temperature checks for shoppers entering the mall.
Khumalo was given a mask, goggles, and gloves

but what we did not get was sufficient training, Khumalo said they basically handed us the equipment and a printout of a PowerPoint presentation.

On the first day, he learned how to use the thermometer gun, stood at the front of a line while shopper after shopper gets inside the mall and started taking temperatures at the door if their temperature was higher than 38 degrees Celsius he was supposed to send them home. It all felt like a lot of responsibility.

I had to basically become a medical tech, but I am highly unqualified to do this, he said.

Throughout the first months of conducting temperature checks for shoppers Khumalo said he was concerned about lack of training he was provided, especially when things did not work as planned.

He said that at times he had to take the temperature of shoppers who were not wearing marks, so to protect himself, he asked them to turn around and pointed the thermometer gun to the back of their heads and what do I do if someone shows a high fever? What if they refuse to listen to me? What questions should I be asking? I had plenty of questions.

I am content that the president has reinforced the regulation of every person wearing a mask in public spaces now, and it seems like everyone has accepted the new normal and gets the order of the day, concluded Khumalo.