Thursday, June 5, 2014

A Perspective on Gate Guarding

Some of this has been covered in past posts; but now that we have taken on a different type of security work, I thought my dear readers would find our perspective interesting. We worked, with a break or two, for about two and a half years on oil field gates. During that journey we contracted out to four different security companies (one was short term for relief of a sick guard). We have finally seen the pay somewhat level out, with most companies paying an average of $150 a day. Singles continue to struggle to find gates and work for them is sporadic, at best. The amount of work expected for the pay given remains a controversy, with periodic posts railing about the amount of traffic versus the pay. Mine (and others) argument is that you should contract out for the most money you can knowing whatever gets thrown at you is part of the job. Then there are those that hold onto the quaint notion and old time values of loyalty and perks. No matter how persuasive your argument may be, they're not budging. It continues to blow my mind when you're talking of almost doubling your pay and the fact that you're simply a contractor. I'll not argue that there is something to be said for personal attention and the care shown by some companies. In most cases, though, you are simply a commodity; something to be used or discarded as needed. No matter the company or your opinion, almost everyone reaches that "wall" where they just can't stand the job any longer. Call it gate guard burnout, if you like. That is one of the reasons the job is so much harder on singles. As has been said ad nauseam, you can expect extraordinary working conditions. Dust and wind are constant companions and I have seen temps over 110 degrees to below freezing. No matter the conditions you will be expected to work for the money you're paid. That applies to feeling ill or tired too. If you plan on taking on the challenge you need to remember these things. Your "work area" is just outside the door of your RV. Hell, if you're like a lot of us, the work area extends into the RV, where we keep a mini office with our logs, pens and spare log sheets. It is tough to find a job as a fulltimer that pays as good as gate guarding. You need to go in with as much knowledge as possible. Once hired you need to look after you physical and mental health, taking time off as needed to recharge and refresh. Hopefully thus hasn't been too redundant and will be helpful.

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