I have come across an interesting phenomenon (interesting to me, that is). First, context, for those of you who do not live in Gauteng, South Africa:
Gauteng is known for its crime - pretty much anyone who lives here has either experienced a violent crime personally or knows somebody who has. As such, many of us live in so-called 'security complexes', which are basically made up of a bunch of apartments surrounded by a high wall (usually with electric fencing on top), with a guarded gate at the front and 24-hour patrolling security. This is considered perfectly normal.
I live in one such complex in northern Johannesburg - one of the many typical try-hard Tuscan wannabees with an exotic name that populates the Jo'burg landscape. Up until recently, we had a set of very dopey guards at the place. One of them was named Albert. I found this quite a coincidence, as the beautiful security estate where my parents live* in Pretoria also employs a guard named Albert. Both are friendly and like to chat at the gate as residents go in and out and both are considered the spokesperson by the rest of the security chaps.
A few weeks back, our dopey guards were replaced with a bunch of much smarter-looking uniforms from a different company. Upon introducing myself to the leader of the pack, I discovered that he too is named Albert! Weird, right?
Then, the other day, I visited a friend in her security complex. Guess what? Yes... you have picked up on the pattern - the head guard who met me at the gate was wearing a name badge that read: ALBERT.
I figured there might be something in the name, so I googled it. According to trusty Wikipedia, it means 'noble-bright' - a perfect description of what you'd want in a security guard.
Is it some sort of noble conspiracy - to place an Albert at every complex to serve and protect? Probably not, but you've got to admit that it's still weird that there are so many of them.
Are you an Albert? If so, are you a security guard? Or do you know of one called Abert? I'd love to know.
*a security estate is much the same as a security complex, except usually bigger and with houses and gardens instead of apartments.