Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Problem With Security Guards...

Head of Security of Mind Museum tried to catch up with us and apologize, but the damage had been done.
The problem with security guards is that they don't think. They just do. Which is okay, I guess, if they're guarding a prison or a concentration camp. But not when they're protecting a business establishment.

The circumstances are different.

The former is black-and-white. No ifs, no buts. Rules should be strictly followed. The latter, however, is fluid and ever-changing. A rule for one customer may not be applicable to another. That's why, for guards assigned to shops and retail stores, they should assess the situation first and then decide whether to enforce an order or not.

Sadly, a lot of security guards here in the Philippines belong to the first group--those who just do, and not think. They act like robots and it drives us private citizens crazy!

Case in point, my friends and I biked to Fort Bonifacio yesterday. We went to the Mind Museum with the hopes of having our group picture taking there. While we were assembling our bikes, a security guard approached us and said, "Bawal mag-picture taking dito, sir." (It's prohibited to take a picture here, sir) Apparently, according to him, we were obstructing the free passage of potential museum visitors (It was a Saturday and we were practically the ONLY people there).
We told him that our photo wouldn't take long and proceeded to set up. After 30 seconds, we left and went to another spot (further away from the building) for another group photo. We thought we would be left alone. But no. The security guards followed us and insisted that we could not take pictures. This was OUTSIDE the museum, mind you, and we were arguing that its a public place and we weren't obstructing any passage way.

And then things escalated. One female museum officer walked out of her office and asked us who we were. By this time, my friends were already fuming mad. The way the question was framed kasi was insulting.

I answered her, "We are Brompton Club of the Philippines." 

"What's the purpose of taking photos? commercial or personal?," she asked.

I said, "Personal. It's for the group photo of our club."

According to her, that was their only concern--that the photos were not intended for commercial purposes.

I told her if that was the only concern, then THAT should have been brought up at the very beginning, when the guards first confronted us.

But instead of THINKING, the guards just said "Bawal ang picture taking dito." (You can't take pictures).

THAT IS A MILE DIFFERENT from "If its for commercial purposes, then I'm sorry, you cannot take photos. But if its for your personal use, then by all means, shoot as you go."

A whole lot of difference!

Later that day, I had another mis-encounter with a security guard. This time at a Seven Eleven in Eco Plaza, Pasong Tamo Ext., Makati.

I parked my folding bike in front of the convenience store and the security guard told me it was prohibited. I told him I'd just grab a bottle of Gatorade and it wouldn't take me more than 2 minutes. At that point, he should've assessed the situation and thought to himself that it was just going to be a couple of minutes. No biggie. Let me slide.

But no. No such thing as 'thinking' for this guy.

As I was inside Seven Eleven (and I was there for less than 30 seconds), this security guard carried my bike and took it away with him.

Without a warning. Nothing. He just took it.

Now I don't care if bikes are prohibited in front of a business establishment. Security guards HAVE NO RIGHT TO TAKE THEM AWAY.

That to me is STEALING.
So after paying for my drink, I walked out and caught up with him. I said he had no right to take my bike. He repeated himself and said it was prohibited.

I just shook my head and took my bike away from him. No sense trying to reason with this guy. I'll just write a complaint letter to his superior on Monday. What a douche.
The guard's name was JJT Daguio. He should learn some manners.
There are rules, I know, but not all circumstances call for their strict implementation. "No eating or drinking inside" does not mean one cannot bring an unopened water bottle in the shop. "No picture taking" should not apply when a person is taking a picture outside the establishment's premises. And "No parking" should definitely not include a person leaving his bike for a few seconds just to grab something from a store.

I wish security guards wisen up and apply their intelligence when doing their job. And I wish their bosses allow them some leeway to think and make simple decisions.


  1. Sorry to hear about the incident. Hopefully things get better in time as we continue to promote cycling in the country.

    BTW, I didnt know that BCP is still an active group. I have a pending request to join the group for a month now and still no response.

  2. Hi, Jika! Thanks! Yes, we're active. Send me a PM on Facebook and I'll endorse you. We added 4 new members last Saturday!