Remember the last time you wanted to access the campus but you couldn’t because of some ‘freak’ at the gate insisting you can’t enter without a school ID. Clearly you have used that gate for the last year or two and the guards who have been there all through can’t let you in.
You lose temper and walk past them furiously, expecting them to leave you alone but before you take two steps one guard grabs your hand and pulls you with some latent force you didn’t know he/she possessed.
Now the other guard shifts his attention too and they both descend on you with words of condemnation, accusing you of insulting them, their jobs and even their mothers.
Gate guards are given the responsibility to ensure the safety of an institution by preventing entry of unauthorized people and illegal stuff. However, their job is not as simple as it might sound. It involves human resource management which is very hectic since they encounter thousands of different people on a daily basis.
Considering their state of work which involves sitting or standing all day and night at the gate concerned about students’ safety and security, I begin to understand why they are sometimes stubborn. These are adults given clear instructions and asked to adhere to them religiously or else.
In addition to their poor working conditions, underpayment adds stress to their lives. So when you walk through that gate and unwillingly show your school ID assuming you have better things to do than to show some respect for these guards, think again.
The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated. These are the words of William James one of America’s greatest thinkers that ever lived. Mind you, he didn’t speak of the ‘wish’, or ‘desire’ to be appreciated. He said, the ‘craving’ to be appreciated.
Guards are humans, and they crave to be appreciated. They long for us to realize that they have placed their lives in the forefront to ensure that we are safe. Remember during times of terror they risk their lives to guide people to safety and if possible they hold perpetrators until the police arrive. So why do we find it hard to show these guards some respect?
Guards are in charge at the gates, so when you defy their authority, you spark their spirit to fight back. Because of this deep craving, they will endeavor to show you they are in charge. You try to raise your hand on them and they will pounce on you with the frustrations they have accumulated.
For being humans, they do make mistakes, so I wouldn’t entirely try to justify their behavior. Sometimes they overlook facts and become unreasonable since they are blinded by the strict instructions from above.
For instance, you have just walked out a minute earlier to buy some fruits, you come back, they ask for your ID and you’re like, ‘Yoh man, I’ve just walked past you a second ago, you f***ing smiled at me!’ Why do they do that anyway? Surely, it’s beyond my understanding so I won’t try to stand by their actions.
Nevertheless, I learned how to make things easier for myself and this is how; I humble myself, greet them and with a lovely smile and meek face, I politely say, “Sir/Madam, I have just passed by a minute ago to buy some fruits and unfortunately I didn’t carry my student ID. I’m sorry I will ensure I have it next time”. Abracadabra, they make way, it’s like they’ve laid an imaginary red carpet.
When you show people respect, they will treat you back in the same manner. Respect gives a positive feeling of regard. It empowers and makes the recipient proud. It gives honor to them and to the work they do.
You will walk through that gate almost daily till you graduate and so don’t even assume you will avoid these guards during that period. The best way to make life easier while on campus is to show them the respect they deserve. Satisfy their craving for appreciation and surely things will just be wonderful.
These guards might even assist you at times of need while in school. You never know the world is round and karma is a b****. I hope you see my point anyhow. Treat guards with respect, they mean a lot to us.