I would like to start off this post by not apologizing. I am not going to apologize for hurting anyone’s feelings with what I write next; for the basic reason that what I am about to write next is reality. And if you can’t face it, you should look elsewhere for guidance. I realize that this is a bit intense right off the bat, but sometimes that’s how things roll.
Over the years I have had the pleasure of working with individuals of high integrity, strong work ethic, and exceptional character. I have also had the displeasure of working with slackers, layabouts, whiners, and the occasional ne’er do well. (I will now brush off my own shoulder for the use of such descriptive words…thank you.) When you work the field of security, there are many realities that you have to learn to face – or at least should – at an early stage of your career. The main one is this:
SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO WORK WHEN YOU DON’T WANT TO WORK!
As a matter of fact, you will probably have to work EXACTLY when you have something else to do! Security is a profession in which your skill set is in demand ALL THE TIME. When most people are doing something else, you are working. Period.
First, let me clarify that I am not complaining about working wherever, whenever. It’s my job, I do it. Period. Have I missed out on fun, celebrations, vacations, and holidays due to work? Yes. Will I again? Yes. AND WHILE IT CAN BE ANNOYING, I WILL WORK. EVERY. TIME.
BECAUSE IT IS MY JOB
Anytime there is a big event (Superbowl), a holiday (Christmas, Thanksgiving), a vacation (Spring Break or 3 day weekend), or a big party (4th of July, New Year’s Eve), there is a good chance that Security will be needed to work it. Why? Because people need to be safe 24/7/365. And yet, as soon as Staffers start getting scheduled to work, the whining begins:
“Why do I have to work this year?”
“Bob always gets New Year’s off!”
“But I have a birthday party, BBQ, Bar Mitzvah to attend!”
#1 – Do you want a job or do you want convenience? Sometimes your job makes your life inconvenient. You aren’t paid to set your own schedule, someone else pays you to work THEIR SCHEDULE. Don’t like things that way? Start your own business. Actually, don’t. Because when you work for yourself, you work ALL THE TIME.
#2 – If you want time off, ask for it in advance. Way in advance. Like a month in advance. And remind your manager every week until the time you get off. Why? It’s responsible, mature, and shows initiative.
#3 – If your free time is more important than your job, especially when your job entails random hours and unpredicatble situations…you should find another job.
#4 – Sometimes in life we have to do things we don’t want to do. Sorry, that’s just the way it is. As the old saying goes, “Sometimes you eat the bear … and sometimes the bear eats you”. Sometime you have to work on your birthday. Or your wife’s birthday. Or your boss’ birthday.
#5 – Take one for the team. No one else can/will/wants to work? Maybe you step up and show the boss that you are willing to do whatever it takes to be part of the team.
Do I expect you to show up for work on time, dressed, and prepared? Yes.
Do I expect you to actually do your job when you are here? Yes.
Do I expect you to work every holiday, weekend, event, party, or birthday? No.
But don’t act like a whiny baby if you get scheduled to work, you haven’t asked for the time off, and it’s your job to keep people safe. The only thing that acting like that will guarantee is me looking to someone else for help.
Until next time….