Security guard sleeping
The image shown above is to be interpreted, understood, analyzed, and discussed. It is obvious someone is sleeping. Question is who is he and why should we be bothered? My shields are on! It’s an observation, not a complaint. Let me explain the context. It is the department where I teach. He is the security guard on duty (night shift), and he is sleeping at 4:30 am. What is his job? He manages the key-counter for students and faculty to issue keys for opening the labs of the department. He validates the identity of the person before issuing the key. Since he was sleeping when I arrived to issue the key, a question arose.

Is it ok for him to sleep on duty?

For the sake of argument, let’s ask a counter-question. What the hell was I doing there at 4.30 am? I usually wake up early to go to my department office. To enter the office, I have to wake up the security guard and issue the key.

How do I wake him up? Should I disturb his sleep? Should I touch him to wake him up? Should I shout out loud to wake him up? I was confused.

The angry me.
Damn it, how can a security guard sleep on duty? He should be awake for the time slot he is on the job. Imagine, if it is your office and the security guard is sleeping. How would you react?

The humanitarian me.
Agreed, the security guard should be awake. However, during the night when the frequency of faculty and students coming to issue the key is low, then is it not ok for him to sleep? Be human. Stop policing.

What is the point of all this?
As we grow up in a city, we get into the habit of consciously ignoring a lot of things. Open man-holes, undulating footpaths, jumping the red signal (seems pardonable in the night, unless the outcome of the event is an accident), begging children, we see and pass by everything and keep passing by. We ignore things that we cannot change or are difficult to change. However, at times, many of us, stand up for something, fight a system and continue fighting. But it’s tiring to keep on correcting, to the extent that one day you hear someone saying, what is the problem with you? Slowly the ignorant behaviour embeds into us and overpowers. We isolate and find our escapes.

If I argue with the security guard that why he is sleeping on duty, he might answer that everyone sleeps. Guards at ATMs sleep. Guards at housing society sleep, why are you picking up on me?. And he is right, that is true in INDIA.

So finally, what did I do? I put a number lock to my office door. My escape.

We look for overrides and workarounds.
Who wants the friction of a confrontation?
And this is how we get institutionalised. And the ‘chalta hai’ tribe grows.

I am like you, and you are like me.
We all are the same.