We take classes and study in lecture rooms or in the library every day. However, we don’t manage these facilities ourselves. There are people who do this for us. They maintain the lecture rooms and check all the facilities. They work hard so we can study in comfort. These people do their jobs with little thanks from us, and we should keep them in mind as we go about our studies.
KT telecop's story
KT telecop is the security company that is responsible for the security of YU and the safety of students. There are nine KT telecop staff members at YU, and they are divided into teams of three. These teams work day and night shifts and are responsible to work two holidays a year. One worker supervises the CCTV system and takes calls in the situation room. The other two workers patrol campus by car and motorcycle. When a call comes in, the worker in the situation room issues orders to the ones on patrol. KT telecop workers are supposed to respond to incidents within five minutes, so they go to incident sites as quickly as they can.
We decided to follow Jung-Hyun Jo, Hee-Chul Choi, and Da-Sol Sim. They are one of the three person teams, and they usually cover the day shift. The night shift hands over the duty stations at 8:30. Jung-Hyun works monitors the CCTVs in the situation room and issues orders to Hee-Chul and Da-Sol. He is in charge of general administration because all inquiry calls and incident calls come to the situation room. He has worked for 7 years and is an old-timer in this company. He said that when he start working at YU, it was hard to work. Because KT telecop is an outsourcing company contracted by Yeungnam University, so they have had some problems in relationships with the staff of YU and students.
Students who want to stay in lecture rooms after 11 in the evening have to go through formality of getting approval. Students often feel inconvenienced about this formality because they are not made aware of it at first. However, now students understand this rule better and the security company gets along better with all of the departments of Yeungnam University.
Da-Sol is 25 years old, and the youngest staff member. However, he has been with the company for long, and he is skilled at his work. He checks the electronic locks and sensors in all the buildings. Checking all the equipment one by one is difficult, but the equipment is maintained exhaustively because it is vital to security. He is not a talkative person, but he kindly greets the staffs of YU and cleaning women.
He had ever stopped a bicycle thief. He witnessed a person doing something suspicious and handed the thief over to the police. KT telecop is responsible for security, but they don’t have the right to arrest people, so they must hand over suspects to the police.
During patrol, workers frequently take orders from the situation room. On days when not much is happening work is relaxed. However, there are days when work is so busy they are not able to take a break. Some days they don’t even have time for lunch. However, most incidents are trivial problems like lecture rooms not being unlocked in time for classes. Hee-Chul is both a KT telecop worker and a college student. He quit university a several years ago because he hope to find employment. However, now he is attending college again. He is majoring in computer technology and is studying in his spare time. The reason he started studying again is he wants to become the best engineer in his company. Because of this, he has a lot of self-esteem regarding his job.
He also helps strangers find their way during his patrols. Because he patrols every day he is well aware of how to get around the area. He recalls one of his most memorable incidents when he had to extinguish a fire at the College of Human Ecology and Kinesiology. In the summer of 2010, there was a fire in the building of Human Ecology and Kinesiology. He came upon the fire during one of his patrols. Hardly any students reacted, but Hee-Chul coped with the situation until the fire department arrived. Due to his quick action the fire didn’t spread and was easily controlled.
All KT telecop staff receive training in first aid. Therefore in case of emergency, students should call 119 and next call KT telecop because they can manage the situation until emergency services arrive. KT telecop has an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) in their patrol cars, so KT telecop workers can administer first aid to people who suffer heart attacks. Day duty is finished by turning on the lights where the CCTVs are installed. The reason why the lights must be turned on is the CCTVs cannot see after dark. At six in the evening, patrol workers return to the situation room and turn over to night duty workers.
The cleaning woman, Nam-Sun's day
Nam-Sun Han is a cleaning woman in the General Lecture Hall of Yeungnam University. She has worked at YU for seven years. There are five cleaning women in the General Lecture Hall, and they are each responsible for one floor. Their working hours are from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nam-Sun leaves home at five thirty in the morning to come to university.
Their work begins at seven in the morning, but everyone arrives at the staff lounge by six thirty. They have a simple breakfast or drink coffee before work. When they arrive it is still dark out, but the staff lounge is noisy from chatter and laughter. When seven o’clock arrives, they go to their work areas. Nam-Sun goes to the third floor, which is her area of responsibility. The first thing she does is empty all the trash cans. When the semester is started, it takes a long time because every single trash can is overflowing. After emptying the trash cans, she cleans up the lecture rooms that are scheduled for lectures. She picks up the garbage and mops the floor in the big lecture room.
Most garbage is snack wrappers and paper. Students tear paper into pieces, so it is difficult for her to pick it all up. She said that students are mostly kind and greet her kindly. She feels that courteous students are kind and remind her of her children. There are also ill-mannered students sometimes, but she thinks most students are kind.
After she cleans the lecture room, she cleans the men's rooms on the third floor. It is hard work, but she seems quite effortless. She said when students use the toilets, if it were clean, students feel good and that makes her feel good too. Time passes quickly after cleaning the floors and the restrooms. She takes a short rest after the work.
There is the staff lounge on the 1st floor. This is a small place where 2 or 3 people can lie down and have warm friendly conversations together. Nam-Sun thinks the working environment is good in the staff lounge. She goes to the 3rd floor after a short rest of about half an hour. She wipes down the desks and window frames of the lecture room. When she wipes the window frame, the hardest work is to remove hanging garbage that is left there. Students put paper or garbage in window frame, and it is not easy to remove.
Then she wipes down about one hundred desks in the lecture room. Sometimes desks need to be wiped down with acetone because students scribble on them. It is work hard, so she is out of breath. I asked if it was difficult and she said, "Of course it’s difficult, but I never hate this work." She said that I like this work, so I'm working and happy every day.
Staff members eat packed lunches together because the university does not provide their meals. After lunch, it is the duty of each department to take collected garbage to the incineration plant. Today is Nam-Sun's turn. The truck delivers the trash bag, and they collect trash from every corner of the university.
Paper is divided into separate white paper and colored paper. Pages from spiral notebooks tear out and separate from the spirals. Plastic bottles must be drained and separated. The quantity of trash is so great that two large trucks are filled during the school year. After this duty, she checks the state of cleanliness in her area of responsibility. At three o'clock she leaves the office.
Nam-Sun is satisfied with her job. In spite her small salary of about 800,000 won a month, she thinks her pay is commensurate to her work. Most of all, she is satisfied with her working environment because of the staff lounge. The student union also presents the concerns of the irregular labor's union to the university, and they provide a great deal of assistance. Her greatest anxiety is a fear of dismissal. Nam-Sun is 66 and is old compared to other staff members. She feels that she is still able to work, and she wants to continue to work because she is not a burden to her son and daughters. The problem is that the university is trying to phase out older employees. Her co-workers say that she has great courage that has allowed her to raise four children by herself and continue to work better than many staff members who are much younger than her. However, the university has standards regarding the maximum allowable age of employees.
We do not always think to give thanks to KT telecop workers and cleaning women. Some students go away they don't throw out the trash. They thought someone clean up the trash. Of course, someone clean them. They do the work because it is their job, but they do it gladly and their efforts contribute to our convenience. If not for these workers, trash cans would overflow and the security of the school would suffer. Our lives aren’t so difficult that we can’t lend a helping hand. If we simply take care of our own trash, the cleaning women will have to bend over less. If we pay attention to emergency bells, KT telecop workers would not have to respond to so many calls. Above all, if we give them a warm greeting and sincere thanks, it will make their jobs just a little bit more enjoyable.