Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Worth of a Gate Guard or Workamper

This subject has been hashed about ad nauseam. Several blogs have dealt with everything from work environment expectations to rate of pay and beyond. With the over abundance of oil and the subsequent slowdown have come the expected cuts in pay and decline of the RV as a guard shack/home at a ranch gate. So the subject is worth revisiting.

First, let me speak on the subject of workamping. Having tried it, I remain skeptical of anyone making it on the road workamping unless you have little debt and some sort of supplemental income. I have kept tabs on the workamping scene and it has gotten worse, especially with the advent of having to pay for your site out of the meager income you do make. The rational from some pundits is that it is an ideal job for retirees and; if you need money, you can always get a part time job. Let me say that there is no way I could do the work I was asked to do at my current age or beyond. As far as finding secondary employment, I was never able to make anything fit in with my workamping obligations.

On to gate guarding. This has always been a tough gig as the aforementioned blogs will attest. Noobs that came in without doing their fair share of investigating faced an uphill climb to success and lots gave it up. Woe to the person(s) that thought they would kick back in their camp chair and pickup some easy money. There have been and continue to be sweeping changes in the industry. I thought guard shacks would take over the industry (they may still), but I've seen some resistance building. There are a whole lot of negatives for shack work, most notably the drive back and forth and having to pay for a place to park your rig. The most striking change has been the decline in pay for gate guard work. Most of us knew it was coming, but sub $100 for a 12 hour day even surprised me. The only advice I can give you, is know what your getting into and the rate you agreed upon. A man's word is still his bond in Texas and you should abide by it. I'm one that believes you should finish the task at hand before moving on.

IMHO the day may come when this gig is not worth doing; especially in the hell that is called summer in South Texas. However; every time I think to myself that there is no way someone is going to take a job, someone jumps into the saddle. I, for one, am making preparations for a future outside of gate guarding. It just makes sense to me.

1 comment:

  1. I think you've struck a nerve with this one.