Dad as a security guard

After dad lost his job, it took almost a year for him to find new work. He never went back to the trucking industry, as he was getting to the age where he was passed over for younger guys with stronger muscles. He didn’t have any formal job training before he became a Teamster. I know he was a bellhop for awhile in New York City.

So like it is for many Americans right now, it was tough for dad to find another job. He was middle-aged, with only a high school diploma and unskilled in any kind of trade. It was a huge blow to his ego, because while dad may not have been the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, he was always a hard worker who provided for his family. He had always been able to find stable jobs with the Teamsters but they pushed him into an early retirement.

Dad floundered over the next several months. He was a worker and now he had no work. He also didn’t have a great deal of hobbies, other than reading. And one can only read so much. I’m sure he went into a depression, as many long-term unemployed people experience.

I’m not sure how the security guard position came up. It was at a trucking company called Rolling Thunder. He may have heard about the job through a former co-worker. At any rate, he got the job. He was unarmed, but was given an official uniform, which he was proud to wear. His job was to let the trucks and other vehicles in and out of the facility. He spent most of his time in the “guard shack,” a small structure that allowed him to sit and listen to the radio, and eat his lunch in between duties.

I’m guessing it was a pretty lonely job, but he was well liked by the truckers who would shoot the breeze with him. He could also take smoke breaks whenever he wanted, and he did get some exercise by walking his rounds. The pay wasn’t much but it helped pay some bills and most importantly, made dad feel like he had a purpose in life again. At the time, I was embarrassed to say my dad was a security guard, because the position is often looked down upon. But now, I realize how important the job was to my dad, and how much it meant for him to provide for his family again. He was a good man.

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5 Comments

Filed under Memories

5 responses to “Dad as a security guard

  1. Hello Joy,

    This is a wonderful way to remember your Dad.

    I wrote this song about Alzheimer’s and would like to share it with you. I am making a short film/video called An Alzheimer’s Love Story with the song to help increase awareness and support for Alzheimer’s.

    http://hidingfromtherain.com/song.html

    All the best,
    Richard

  2. Thank you Richard for your kind comment and sharing your song. It is very moving. Please keep me posted on your film/video project.

    Best wishes,
    Joy

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  5. Nice reading! The story is very inspiring especially for those individual who want to become a security guard. It is a very noble job and needs lots of courage,physical fitness and willingness.

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