Monday, August 4, 2014

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

In the gate guarding world you will normally live a pretty nomadic life, changing gates and location fairly often. There are a few guards who have a found a long term place to "roost"; but they seem to be the exception. We have had our fair share of gates and; like Forrest Gump said, they were like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get. We learned over time how to get a pad expanded and leveled or to get more rock brought in. It's surprising what you can do with a little bargaining and patience. We have also had to accept a wide spot on the side of the road, bereft of any improvement at all. Currently we find ourselves making very good money, but the nearest grocery store is almost fifty miles away. Additionally our gate is located over nine miles down a dusty, teeth rattling road. Our worst gate, by far, was near a power plant. We were on the side of a dusty gravel road which was adjacent to a haul road, which was used by giant dump trucks to haul coal to the plant. The dust rarely settled and the surrounding air was thick and opaque with it, making it difficult to breath. I wore a mask (Missy feels they are too confining) and drank copious amounts of water to get through a shift. Every once in a while the power plant company would send a water truck down the road, but the relief rarely lasted. How odd that from there we ended up at one of the best gates we ever had. We were just outside of Gonzales, about a mile and a half down a smooth gravel road. We had no pad, but we were parked on a flat, smooth and treed grassy meadow-a rare thing in the gate guarding world. It almost seems that there is always a trade off. Major bucks equals a busy, dusty gate; probably miles from civilization. Which is precisely why we try to contract out for as much money as possible. I don't know how many times I have passed by a gate, just down the road from ours, where a guard was making half of what we were. We have also worked gates that we didn't think were worth the money offered. Whether you consider varied, temporary assignments as a plus or a negative, you still have to deal with it as a gate guard. The places you park your rig will vary from a grassy meadow to a mud pit that will try your soul. It won't take long for you to know when you have seen the good, the bad and the ugly. If you haven't, it's only a matter of time.

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