Monday, January 20, 2014

Workplace Etiquette

We started as gate guards with Gate Guard Services. It is a good company and a great place to find out if gate guarding is the job for you. Soon after our arrival in the oil patch we started hearing rumors that there were companies paying much more money. Eventually the money was too hard to resist and we decided to move on. As a contractor there are a lot of blurred lines when it comes to chain of command and who actually is your supervisor. You are essentially a commodity to be used by a company where and when they need you. Conversely, you sit idle if not needed. The fact that Gate Guard Services was embroiled in a law suit, the crux of which was whether a gate guard should be considered an employee and paid accordingly, also muddied things up. A lot of folks were doing a dance, not wanting to be observed in activities that could be construed as giving a gate guard anything that resembled supervision. Having worked at "big corporate" all my life, I figured the proper thing to do would be to give Gate Guard Services as much notice as possible. Apparently you can give notice to your service person based on the response from whom I considered to be my manager. Despite my offer to remain on the gate if he couldn't find a replacement, he said as contractors we could go where and when we wanted. As far as he was concerned we'd be back in a couple of weeks anyway. Whatever the unwritten word is in the world of gate guarding (or contracting) I am going to attempt to leave on good terms and give as much notice as possible. The old adage that you shouldn't burn your bridges behind you applies in almost every endeavor in life.

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