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  • Sleeping on the job

    As I've mentioned I manage a very small department. 3 hotels with coverage 24 hours a day at 1 & 8 hours at the other 2. I even do one of the 8 hour shifts myself. We usually only have 1 person on duty at a time. It is hard to keep people on standby to cover shifts once in a while, when we never know when it is going to be. Therefore I sometimes have to keep people I would really like to get rid of simply because I have no one to replace them.

    One of my new guys broke THE RULE the other day. He went into an out of order room, fell asleep & could not be reached on his walkie-talkie for almost an hour. I believe in our industry sleeping on the job usually means automatically firing, no 2nd chance. (I could have been very serious if we were trying to reach him for an emergency).

    Even though I'm short of staff & it will mean a lot of overtime, do I fire him? (Worse of all he did not clean the room, upper management knows he slept in it).
    I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
    Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

  • #2
    Originally posted by HotelSecurity
    As I've mentioned I manage a very small department. 3 hotels with coverage 24 hours a day at 1 & 8 hours at the other 2. I even do one of the 8 hour shifts myself. We usually only have 1 person on duty at a time. It is hard to keep people on standby to cover shifts once in a while, when we never know when it is going to be. Therefore I sometimes have to keep people I would really like to get rid of simply because I have no one to replace them.

    One of my new guys broke THE RULE the other day. He went into an out of order room, fell asleep & could not be reached on his walkie-talkie for almost an hour. I believe in our industry sleeping on the job usually means automatically firing, no 2nd chance. (I could have been very serious if we were trying to reach him for an emergency).

    Even though I'm short of staff & it will mean a lot of overtime, do I fire him? (Worse of all he did not clean the room, upper management knows he slept in it).
    Your human resources manual should have the answer to this. Do you have a set procedure for discipline, including termination proceedings? And, if so, is sleeping on duty specifically grounds for immediate termination?

    If you don't, be careful how you proceed, you should be able to fairly and equally apply a policy to every disciplinary action (including termination).

    While you may not have discrimination in hiring laws (I think Canada does nationwide), you may leave yourself open to claims of "discriminatory" behavior if you don't have a clear policy.
    Some Kind of Commando Leader

    "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

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    • #3
      Security: "Works Like a Dream" (Ambien)

      I've caught a couple guards asleep at their posts. The most recent was yesterday. The guard explained that he was tired because of a health problem. I sensed sincerity in his explanation and I just let it go. Sometimes, it happens to the best of us. It's the human factor. Now if he had left his post to find a more comfortable place to sleep, I may very well have reported it.
      Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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      • #4
        So... A dispatcher that brings in a blanket and pillow, dims the lights, turns down the radio, misses a couple phone calls, and is heard snoring. Could that be a red flag?
        I believe I speak for everyone here sir, when I say, to Hell with our orders.
        -Lieutenant Commander Data
        sigpic

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Tennsix
          So... A dispatcher that brings in a blanket and pillow, dims the lights, turns down the radio, misses a couple phone calls, and is heard snoring. Could that be a red flag?
          Not at all. Our company views that as a plus and would be pleased to hire him. He sounds perfect.
          Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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          • #6
            In the state of Florida, if caught by an inspector or an LEO or someone reports you to the state you can lose your license and recieve a hefty fine. I believe it is possible to get some jail time but never heard of anyone receiving any.

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            • #7
              I remember one guy who was outraged when they moved a couch out of a lounge. He actually complained that his back was killing him from trying to sleep with two chairs pushed together. I had to get up and leave so I could go outside and laugh myself sick. His punishment? Mon-Thur 6am to 4pm with Fri,Sat and Sunday off so they could keep an eye on him. If he wore slippers to work he would have gotten a raise.
              Old age and treachery will defeat youth and enthusiasm every time-

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ycaso77
                I remember one guy who was outraged when they moved a couch out of a lounge. He actually complained that his back was killing him from trying to sleep with two chairs pushed together. I had to get up and leave so I could go outside and laugh myself sick. His punishment? Mon-Thur 6am to 4pm with Fri,Sat and Sunday off so they could keep an eye on him. If he wore slippers to work he would have gotten a raise.
                I had one guy who made a request to management without going through me. He asked for blinds for the office window. The office was located in the basement of the hotel. They would not be to block out the sun .

                Another guy who just retired used to sleep on one of the big comfy sofas in the lobby snoring so loud that the guests would see him when they came down to the lobby. At least with him the Night Auditor could yell over to him or call him on the cell phone we use & he'd wake up. My problem with this new kid the other day was that he actually went into a vacant hotel room. Did not tell anyone where he was, so we could not wake him by phone. And was in such as deep sleep did not hear us calling for 45 minutes on the walkie-talkie.

                As for someone charged criminally for sleeping on the job I believe you could be charged with Criminal Negligence if someone were to be hurt or worse because you could not be reached to help them.
                Last edited by HotelSecurity; 03-28-2006, 12:07 PM.
                I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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                • #9
                  There are those you'll see who are just groggy, or sitting at their desk, pen in hand, and bobbed off. Then there are those who intentionally sleep on the job. The only thing that makes me madder than that is when they think they are fooling you(the supervisor). First thing I get is an arrogant,"How did you get in here?" That's when they were told, in a not so nice way, to hit the bricks! One jerk asked me that, and I retorted by asking him if that's why a building at his account was broken into the other night. He shut up in a hurry!!

                  I've found that a tossed firecracker, or something dropped on the floor gets their attention better. Or quietly phone dispatch, telling them to call the guard on his radio, and have him telephone dispatch right away. They will, just to walk out and walk into ME!
                  Never make a drummer mad; we beat things for a living!

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                  • #10
                    About 15 years ago I was working as a field supervisor for a medium sized contract security company in Orange County, CA. We had an unarmed guard at a major chain hotel right across the street from Disneyland on graveyard shift.

                    I showed up to check on him at about 4:00 A.M. and I found him sound asleep in one of the plush lobby chairs with an open Bible on his lap. I know he was asleep because he was snoring. I shook him on the shoulder and called his name. He gave a little jerk, made the sign of the cross, said "Amen" and then opened his eyes and told me, "Good evening boss, I was just saying my nightly prayers."

                    Did I give him a write up? Nah, it was one of the most clever things I had seen up to that point.

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                    • #11
                      From stories I have heard...

                      At my site we have to posts, one officer works console in the lobby of our warehouse and another one works at a gate house in a truck yard. We are both on 24/7 365. In the guardhouse, aside from 3am-6am they work with 2-4 truck dispatchers. I have heard before in the past the guardhouse officer has fallen asleep and when the dispatchers arrived they didnt do anything in the way of waking him up and just went to work to have him wake up on his own.

                      I could not imagine the embarrassment.
                      "Alright guys listen up, ya'll have probably heard this before, Jackson vs. Securiplex corporation; I am a private security officer, I have no State or governmental authority. I stand as an ordinary citizen. I have no right to; detain, interrogate or otherwise interfere with your personal property-... basically all that means is I'm a cop."-Officer Ernie
                      "The Curve" 1998

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                      • #12
                        Way back in the mid 1970's I worked in the summers for Pinkerton. I was assigned to a sugar refinery. There were 3 posts within the refinery. Each post was manned by 2 people. We worked 12 hour shifts. We had to do 1 patrol an hour. One guard would patrol, one would stay in the guardhouse. We had one guard who worked full time in the day in the coroners office & 12 hours at night with us. He had it arranged with the bosses that he would do his 6 patrols in a row & would sleep the other 6 hours of his shift. It sure made my 6 hours boring waiting for my turn to do the patols.
                        I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                        Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Wackenhut Lawson
                          From stories I have heard...

                          At my site we have to posts, one officer works console in the lobby of our warehouse and another one works at a gate house in a truck yard. We are both on 24/7 365. In the guardhouse, aside from 3am-6am they work with 2-4 truck dispatchers. I have heard before in the past the guardhouse officer has fallen asleep and when the dispatchers arrived they didnt do anything in the way of waking him up and just went to work to have him wake up on his own.

                          I could not imagine the embarrassment.
                          You have to be conscious to be embarrassed.
                          I believe I speak for everyone here sir, when I say, to Hell with our orders.
                          -Lieutenant Commander Data
                          sigpic

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                          • #14
                            Tennsix

                            If you have some guardhouses near your site and you notice that the guard is asleep, hit 'em with your spotlight and siren. Let the laughs begin!
                            Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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                            • #15
                              I recall a story about an officer sleeping on duty, on the night shift. Other officers applied several layers of wet newspapers to the car windows. The newspapers kept the sunlight from coming in and the officer slept until 0900. The shifted ended at 0700.
                              I believe I speak for everyone here sir, when I say, to Hell with our orders.
                              -Lieutenant Commander Data
                              sigpic

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