Friday, October 10, 2014

How Things Work (or how they should)

Along with being contractors, we both act as recruiters for our security company. I'm a little more active than Missy who is a little leery of recommending a "dud" to someone. To me that is part of the challenge, vetting someone based on e-mails and a conversation or two. We don't do this for pay; we both just have a deep belief in giving back and paying it forward. Also, as I've said in the past, the help I received from Andy when we were looking for work was invaluable and literally saved us from the abyss of financial ruin. That will make you grateful, let me tell you. (Andy publishes the blog and also has a online forum.)
If you've pursued gate guarding as a job you are aware of how difficult it can be to communicate with the security companies. There are a few that have an office and staff, but even those get swamped by the number of calls they receive. The crappy economy and poor pay for most workamping jobs combine to provide a steady stream of folks looking to try this gig. The lengths that people sometimes have to go to get employed as a security contractor are legendary. This results in a very active social community on the interweb, where folks can get the inside scoop on job availability by networking. Yes; the "good old boy" network that your dad used and you probably looked down upon is alive and well in the virtual world. Like everything else in this new frontier, things like boundaries and etiquette are still being worked out. To me, common sense and social norms should apply, regardless of the medium you're using. Unfortunately that just isn't true and I have written about it, especially the rudeness that pervades the digital communication world. Anyway, I digress, sorry.
Over the years that we've been contracting as gate guards Missy and I have worked extremely hard to establish a solid reputation. There are a lot of comings and goings in the gate guard world for a variety of reasons. It's not the kind of job that appeals to everyone. It takes a special person/couple to endure the conditions that we put up with on a daily basis. The very nature of contracting doesn't always engender a lot of loyalty, especially when the face of the company is either a sales rep or service person. Independence and initiative are highly regarded and rewarded by security companies. As the years have gone by and our reputation has grown, I have fostered many contacts in the oil field security world. Unlike the rest of the world; and just like the Old West, your word still carries weight in the oil patch. Fail to show up or perform as an 80 per center and you'll not be here long. I take pride in the fact that I can get the phone answered when most would be lucky to get voice mail.
The other day I answered a plaintive cry for help on one of the forums. Seems this couple had been through the hiring process and were getting antsy waiting on a gate. Like a lot of folks who come down here, their money was running out and they needed to get to work. I established contact and told them that I would put the word out. I made a call or two and passed the info on to them. They said that they had poor phone reception and that they'd call if something didn't happen in a day or two. What? Didn't you just tell me you were tired of sitting and waiting? I told them at the very least they should call the company I had put them in touch with. I had also gotten in touch with another highly desirable (and hard to get a hold of) company and informed them. No reply was forthcoming and a short message remained unanswered. I know I put myself out there, but I don't take these things lightly. Some decorum should be observed, like at least returning calls. I admit I like a little "sugar" now and then, but thanks isn't a requirement. Short story long; I will continue to gladly help folks out there. However, if you expect me to make the call, you better be serious. A little decorum would be nice too.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Mark, you know . . . common courtesy seems to almost feel like a lost art form these days. Unfortunate, but true.