Thursday, June 11, 2009

It's Hard to Get Good Help

Our night guard, Harouna, was scheduled to begin two weeks of holidays this past week. Employees in Burkina are entitled to 30 days of holiday each year, two weeks of which must be taken in one chunk. The challenge is always to find a reliable replacement. You'd think this would be easy in a country where nearly everyone is looking for a way to get some money! But it's not. One reason is that we need someone that is reliable, not just any old person off the street.

So we asked our current guards if they had any recommendations. Harouna said that he knew someone who had done guard work before at a local school. This turned out to be an older man who was looking for a way to earn some money in his retirement years. So we gave him a try. He worked one night. On the second night, we'd gone out to find something to eat due to one of those famous long power cuts at our place, and arrived home to find Harouna opening the gate when we drove up!

According to a note we found stuck in our door, Benjamin, our day guard, who normally finishes at 6 p.m., had waited until 8 p.m. for the replacement guard to show up. When he didn't, Benjamin called Harouna, who, though officially on holidays, finally came to relieve him so that he could go home to his family and supper. Turns out that the replacement guard got sick on the day after he did his first night shift for us. But he didn't bother to send anyone to inform us. And he never showed up since. Scratch one replacement guard.

As of this writing, Harouna is still doing night shift, and we're still looking for a replacement. As if we don't have enough on our minds with the heat, humidity, and constant power cuts!

1 comment:

Laura Dun said...

Hope you find someone soon!