Friday, March 16, 2012

Traffic Cop

Controlling traffic is one of those things that you wish you knew more about before you started a gate guard gig and are always striving to improve. You and your partner need to be consistent and politely firm in your expectations. Traffic needs to know where and when to stop and you need to communicate clearly what info you need. You need to be in charge of the conversation from the get go to get that information. "Training" the regulars is part and parcel of the process. You will have all kinds of trucks and well personnel that comprise the regulars list. Rather than log them out every time they come and go during the day, we have a hand signal indicating they will be returning. We make a small notation/mark on the log or on a scrap piece of paper to track them. We have a hand signal that indicates they're through for the day and we then log them out. You should get with the company man and/or the rig clerk and determine whether they have particular wishes when it comes to allowing sales reps to call. There is a certain etiquette involved on your part in this process too. Have you ever suffered through the tedium of a transaction which required your imparting certain info to someone and it seemed to drag on forever? They were probably filling out some sort of form or following a worksheet of some sorts. In gate guarding if you do this you are going to have all kinds of disgruntled customers; and a line of vehicles stretching out onto the main road. That is big time "no bueno". We keep a piece of scratch paper on hand at all times. When traffic starts to build we scrawl the "need to know" on that paper and transcribe it onto the log later. Although I'm not that "high-tech" yet, I understand some guards are using cameras to aid in this process. Traffic control does not have to be overly complicated. Putting yourself in the "shoes" of the people your processing and easing their passage will make it an easier task to perform. When you find yourself questioning the wisdom of accurately performing this task, remember a thing or two. Logging vehicles is the main purpose for your being on the gate in the first place. Just as important, your log may be used in an emergency to determine who is or isn't on the property. I have heard that some companies have actually reviewed some logs for accuracy just because of this. Finally, when we get frustrated with the process, my partner and I remind ourselves what we are getting paid to do this. It always brings a smile to my face and makes the job easier to perform.

1 comment:

  1. Our GGS Rep recently complimented us on our records. GGS had to pull one of our records on a previous well because a company wanted to verify the times one of their drivers arrived and exited our well. We always log all traffic in and out even if they will be making more trips during the day. In this case it was what the driver's company needed to prove his time. Once they make their first trip, we have their info, so we can wave them on without them having to stop but still log them in and out.
    Our next gate is on a hunting ranch that we will have to open and close the gate for traffic, so I purchased a voice recorder so we won't hold up traffic. We can record the info and log it after we get the gate closed back up.