There seems to be a lot of turn-over in the corporate offices of private security firms these days. Managers and administrators in their swanky office cubicles are facing lay-offs, performance audits and other issues. Some administrators decide to leave abruptly with little to no notice. Unfortunately, the managers who leave abruptly are sometimes the ones actually doing their jobs correctly. On the other hand one incompetent district manager fool lasted thirty days. I guess he didn’t know anyone on the “inside” But that is an aside.
These periodic purges have an effect on those of us in the field. The new managers, who were brought in from outside the company generally, are intent on making a name and position for themselves and are intent on reforming as much as possible to provide themselves with accolades, laurels and bonus checks.
This desire for their own recognition trickles down to the guards in that the new manager is seeking to improve perceived performance and especially value for their clients. Clients being the owners or operators of the posts where we are contracted.
So the new nuggets are most likely to clamp down hard on any issues like problems on a post or requests for raises. As far as raises go you can pretty much forget about that even with a seasoned manager. You are more likely to experience new uniform requirements, increased frequency of post audits and inspections and (perceived) ways to cut costs and save money.
If you look at some of my other posts you may realize that guards falling asleep is not so abnormal. However, smoking dope or stealing is a sure-fire way to cause some serious problems. So, if you are a younger security guard beware. Separate your work life from your partying ways. Have your fun at home and save work for work. Stay awake by getting enough rest. And as far as stealing? Come on people, we are security. Theft is what we are trying to prevent.
When a new manager starts working, they are usually hardest on the younger guards who may already have some issues. I know I did. When I was a young guard going to school I was working a split shift: three graveyard and two swing shifts. So, I was tired pretty much all the time. Also, I thought the field manager was a fucking idiot for demanding that I cut my hair at each far too frequent post inspection. Fortunately, the site manager was a kind navy vet who was just glad I showed up on time and did not create any problems. I did end up leaving that company, however that job got me through the semester as I was able to study while I worked. Ah youth.
Another piece of advice? Get along. Some people make it really hard, I know. But, if you can manage to not make any waves, especially when you have a new manager looking to purge problematic guards, then you are definitely a leg ahead.
I believe that security guards need to be prepared for emergencies. You might think I would be writing about what is already in your post orders: emergency response. Unfortunately, you would be wrong. This post is really about how you will survive and hopefully prosper after you have responded to that emergency at your post. Once the emergency is over, what do you do? What if you are unable to get home or the roads are so bad you have to walk. Are you prepared to walk home ten miles? When you get home after that long walk do you have anything set aside for yourself and your family or roommates? Where I live, I have to worry about tornadoes and blizzards. On the west coast folks need to be concerned about earthquakes. And what about those hurricanes for the folks on the east coast? There are plenty of potential emergency situations all over the country.
If you have worked as a rover you might already be thinking about being prepared. First of all, you are constantly on call, so you may have stocked a supply of water and food in your car. You are prepared to improvise according to the situation that presents itself.
Realize that the police are really an important part of any scenario you consider. If the police are active and able to respond to emergencies, then society will not break down too badly after a cataclysm. If the ability of the police and fire departments to respond to emergencies really drops off you will experience a survival situation. For all their supposed faults, we are really blessed to have the good police we have in the U.S. When they are unable to respond, you will definitely notice their absence. As security guards, we can help the police if they ask us for help as long as we are prepared to help and in sound health.
There are really an overload of websites out there on survival and emergency preparedness. I like to read survivalblog.com and the Gentle Survivalist.
Preparation for security guards is really a matter of echelons. You should have a small kit on you at all times. In your vehicle you might wish to have a larger kit. http://secureonsitesecurity.co.uk/One that will help you survive if you need to hunker down or if you need to make that long walk or drive home. At home, you will have a larger stash: Likely stores of water and food.