THE PLIGHT OF THE NIGHT WATCHMAN – by an anonymous “Askari”

Posted on February 20th, 2019
Categories: Uncategorized

Whenever the word “watchman” is mentioned, the obvious image that automatically registers in people’s minds is a miserable looking individual in uniform… a meager salary… opening and closing of a gate, in that order.

Many could easily argue that a watchman gets paid for practically doing nothing. That’s definitely not the case. A watchman sweats for a salary just like any other hard working employee. The following is a simple summary of a night watchman’s escapades:

  1. To most people in this society, night watchmen are losers – failures in life to be precise. This fact is best portrayed when it comes to matters of love. No young woman craves to commit to dear life to a supposedly penniless individual She also has to endure long cold nights alone. Its no secret that security is an extremely risky job which poses the risk of such a young woman becoming a widow long before menopause. Thus getting a girlfriend is an uphill task and finding a life partner is next to impossible.
  2. Night watchmanship is an extremely demanding job. Contrary to ancient beliefs that the main threat to the employer’s property is posed by external forces, members of staff are top of the list. Scenes of a colleague trying to take advantage of the cover of darkness to sneak things out illegally are a normal occurrence. As annoying as it is, suspicious bags and packages have to be thoroughly searched. It is in this process that a watchman ends up earning funny title like “enemy of the people” among colleagues.
  3. Chemists, health centres and hospitals are a night watchman’s best friend. If its not a case of malaria as a result of numerous mosquito bites, then its common colds or pneumonia thanks to severe weather at night. Life threatening bites from venomous arachnids and reptiles that surface in the cover of darkness to feed are also a part of that equation.
  4. No employer entertains the act of being caught unawares by an unexpected guest. It is the watchman’s job to always alert the boss of such arrivals. As a result, heartbreaking comments from impatient guests, rude gestures and insults from taxi drivers are part and parcel of a watchman’s life.
  5. A discriminatory boss is every watchman’s worst nightmare. Nothing breaks the heart of an employee more than unearthing occurrences such as being excluded in special treatments. Employees normally don’t hesitate to rub on a colleague’s face that they are secretly receiving favours, gifts, hand-outs, rewards etc from the employer. Most watchmen often find themselves on the receiving end of such discussions. It is thanks to such acts that some employees end up making conclusions that they ar superior to others.
  6. Financial promotions especially for the employees in the private sector are as rare as rainfall in the desert. Incredible situations of private employees making do with a fixed salary for as long as a decade are the order of the day. A night watchman is the ideal example of this issue. No matter how hard economy hits a nation, most employers tend to turn a blind eye to employees thus creating a false impression that its all cool.
  7. Public holidays and weekends do no exist in a watchman’s calendar. Unlike other employees who are lucky enough to receive extra monies in the event that they find themselves on duty during such days of the year, a watchman has to always pretend that he/she is not aware of what is happening. For this reason that it’s not surprising to come across fellow workers using words like “imbecile” about a watchman.
  8. Night watchmanship has the power to transform an individual. Most night watchmen are loners. Making friends is almost impossible. Their entire lives revolve around solitary and darkness. Chat mates are not easy to come by at night. Common senses and skills like speaking and taking part in ordinary conversations gradually disappear until the subject finds signs and gestures the most convenient mode of communication.

So the next time you come across a watchman staring blankly at the horizon, don’t just laugh as most people do. Instead you should consider dropping a word of encouragement to the unfortunate individual. You’ll be doing him an unforgettable favour.