I was glad to see that Andy (www.myoldrv.com) again raised the alarm warning gate guards about the lack of gates down here. He has a much wider circulation than I do, so hopefully the word will get around. I have been beating the drum for months now; especially after our field superintendent put the fear of God in me a while back. Budget concerns, the election, a very unstable market, etc. are all conspiring to put a damper on things down here. Now I am not given to preaching; but a lot of what veterans have long said is proving true. Most anyone that can get past the background checks and get licensed can get on a gate-eventually. It’s after you are released (if you last that long), that the rubber meets the road. This is when you’ll find out if you’re employer wants to keep you around or not. That’s the flip side of the surplus of guards right now. Companies can afford to be picky and hire the best candidates. They can also afford to let you go. As has been said ad nauseam, are you polite, professional and situationally aware on your gate? Do you hit the door when the alarm sounds, regardless of the time or conditions? There is little if any seniority in the gate guard world. Good performance is rewarded with continued gate assignments. You will find great reward if you simply do a good job, ingratiate yourself with the rig hands and support folks and become familiar with the “movers and shakers” with your exploration company. I have no doubt that our continued employment is in no small part due to the company men continually requesting us to be assigned to their gate. One final tip and word to the wise. Limit your calls to your service people and/or company supervisors. Make sure you truly have a problem you can’t resolve and whether waking them up in the middle of the night is justified. Very little upsets a guard company more than this.
(I had no internet when this was written on 10/21)