Coworkers, friends, and family alike honored the retirement of Overnight Security Guard Joseph Saeed yesterday in the Cohen Faculty Dining Hall.
Saeed has been working at the school for the past ten years and was previously an overnight security guard at the College of Mount Saint Vincent. Before working in security, he started as an associate engineer in Pakistan until he was 23 years old, and he lived in Australia for a couple of years, before working for airlines in California and then moving to New York.
When Director of Public Safety Michael McCaw came to work at the school ten years ago, he was told that the school had an overnight job shift open, he said. “Saeed was my first recommendation for the position, and we have worked together at the school ever since,” McCaw said.
Security guard Bill O’Sullivan holds fond memories of Saeed, he said. “I saw Saeed on Saturday mornings, when his shift ended, and he always gave me all the right information necessary for me to work my shift successfully,” O’Sullivan said.
Saeed’s shift, from 7pm to 9am, was extremely important to the safety of the school. He was in charge of keeping the school’s 17 acres safe and secure during the night, O’Sullivan said.
Saeed was the right person to trust with a night shift job, Assistant Director of Public Safety Peter Clancy said. “He always takes notes about specific details that are super important, like suspicious characters on campus, and he is very diligent with assignments,” he said.
Some other responsibilities Saeed held included opening up the school’s classrooms every morning and closing down the school after evening events, McCaw said.
“Saeed always worked six days per week, even if he didn’t feel well or on top of working overtime to cover others’ shifts,” McCaw said. “He has always been available to assist and has never let me down,” he said.
Aside from being a hard worker, Saeed was also known as a happy presence on campus. When Clancy arrived in the morning on the school’s campus, Saeed would have a big good morning greeting for him and reported that everything was “safe, secure, under control, clean, dry, and well lit,” he said.
“Then, he would snap to attention and give me a British style salute. I would chase after him and give him a big bear hug. I’m going to miss him,” Clancy said.
Mahtab Syed, who has been working for the school for nine and a half years, has known Saeed for 25 years, he said. Since they came from the same town in Islamabad, they have been extremely close, he said.
Syed considers Saeed to be an older brother, he said. “Saeed was always helping me when I moved to the United States, because Saeed came here before me. When I first immigrated, he helped me get jobs as well as helping me adjust to life in America,” he said.
Sayeed shared a similar sense of kinship with Syed. “I will miss the members of the school community the most, especially my best friend Mahtab Syed,” he said.
Syed hopes to see Sayeed at the school after Saeed’s retirement, he said. “Hopefully, he will come back for a couple hours several days a week to help out, and that would be a great time for the rest of us,” he said.
After retiring, Saeed plans to take care of some family business, he said. He also hopes to spend some time traveling in Singapore and London, he said.
“Joseph Saeed is one of the kindest gentlemen that I have met in my life,” McCaw said. “I will sorely miss my colleague and friend,” he said.