Certain facts do not bode well for folks looking to make this gate guarding thing a winter vocation. For one thing a lot of the guard companies try to make keeping their year round folks working a priority. That may rub some folks wrong, but it is a fact. We have also previously covered the financial impact of the final fiscal quarter(s) of the year plus the annual hunting season. More disturbing to me; and something each of us can help with, is the trend towards eliminating gate guards all together. I am not going to try to tell you what to do or how to comport yourself as a gate guard. What I will tell you is that when the bean counters are looking to try to cut expenses we are a target. Trust me, anything not directly tied to production is a target when the discussion of cuts comes up. The folks that go through our gates rarely know what company we represent. They just see another impediment to there getting to the workplace. So what can a little old gate guard do to help things along? I can only speak for myself; but the first thing I do on every job is try to get in contact with the powers to be. That would be the company men and my primary target, the field superintendent over the job. I try to make his priorities mine and acquiesce to his desires as much as possible. The good thing about establishing dialog early is it allows the principles to work out any area of conflict. You would be surprised at what a person as important as a superintendent wants. Simple things like don't allow traffic to back up onto the county road and remind folks of the speed limit. I again will not try to tell you as a guard what to do when traffic backs up, but trust me when I say we keep it moving. If you're older and your memory is suffering, keep a notepad and pen with you at all times. Scribble now and make a neat log later I say. Also try to memorize the plates and names of your regulars-or keep a list of them. That's good exercise for the addled brain I previously mentioned and; not only will things flow better, it will be appreciated. Another disturbing thing that has come to light from my discussions with company men and superintendents is that they all almost universally would rather not have to deal with gate guards. So the next time you consider chasing someone down or raising the intensity of a discussion; take a moment to collect your thoughts and consider the ramifications. There is a way to conduct yourself in a manner that will garner you respect and make you a valued member of the team.