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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by zm88 View Post
    I'm assuming that you meant Canada, that sucks. I'm also assuming thata there's a bunch of people equally qualified if not more then the guy with the phone issue that will maintain a working phone if you hire them.
    Yes, Canada.

    Actually we can't afford to train people to be on call since it happens so rarely that someone calls in sick like this.
    I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.

  2. #32
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    Nov 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotelSecurity View Post
    Last week I got really sick. (Still not 100%). We are not a contract security company so I don't have a long list of floaters. 1 of them was in England recording a music album. Another was in New York city. A 3rd has a baby. His wife works until 21h00. The shifts downtown start at 19h00. He is not available until 23h00. 2 others have other full time jobs & are only available on their days off. My last has a pay as you go cell phone & never has any minutes left. The problem with him is that he is bad need of work, but can never be reached.

    Even my boss has a full time other job with the company.

    Last week I was forced to make the decision to have my guy start at 23h00 instead of 19h00. This was not made easily. With the cuts that have already been made if the owner finds out that he can save 4 more hours a day he will quickly make the cuts, especially with another recession looking like it's coming

    I am going to have to have a talk with my guy who never has the cellphone munutes.
    Have you considered giving this individual a simple numeric pager? We tend to forget about this old (but cheap and well-established) technology. In fact, most security organizations can probably justify the small expense of keeping a few pagers on hand for backup communications or for a variety of other uses. Even two-way paging isn't that expensive, especially if it's only used on an occasional or emergency basis.

    In the US, you can buy a numeric pager for about $20 and pay less than $10/month for the service. Or, pay $90 for a year of service and get the pager free. For instance: http://www.mysecretaryusa.com/numserv/ Get three or four pagers for the organization and you're paying a relatively puny amount for the added comm capability.

    There are probably similar deals in Canada.
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 09-27-2011 at 10:11 AM.
    A man who will not lie to his wife has no regard for her feelings. - Anon.

    My school was so tough we had our own coroner. - Lenny Bruce

    In my neighborhood, you could walk 10 blocks in any direction and never leave the scene of a crime. - Charlie Callas

  3. #33
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    Nov 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotelSecurity View Post
    Yes, Canada.

    Actually we can't afford to train people to be on call since it happens so rarely that someone calls in sick like this.
    It doesn't really matter how often it happens, HS. There should always be at least one designated "on-call" person. So maybe I work 2nd shift Sat - Wed but I'm the designated on-call person for 2nd shift on Thursday. I rarely get called in, so I usually have my two days off, but on occasion it happens that I'm needed for the extra shift. So be it. Those are the conditions of my job and there's nothing unusual about it. Police, fire, nurses, doctors, airline pilots and a raft of other jobs involve the same conditions!!

    I really don't know why so many security managers seem to have difficulty making it clear to employees that call-backs are an unavoidable condition of the job and just being out front with this reality. By dealing with this openly you can set the expectations, and when you set the expectations you can establish the call-back schedule so that everyone knows exactly what's expected of them, and when. I could be called back if needed on this day or this shift AND I'm expected to be able to report to the job within X time of being called.

    Where we have the problems is when we don't deal with this in an orderly, out-front manner PROACTIVELY and BEFORE WE NEED PEOPLE. We just think we'll deal with it "when the time comes". After all, it only happens "now and then"!! But the point is, it DOES happen, you KNOW that it will happen, so what's your excuse for not PREPARING for it to happen? You probably don't have fires in the hotel very often, but I bet you have fire extinguishers (or an alternative)!!

    CAVEAT: Consult your wage & hour laws regarding call-back scheduling and the manner in which it is implemented. Do it wrong, and you might find yourself having to pay people for time that they're on-call. Usually, this is related to how much restriction there is on the employee's freedom of activities while they're on-call. If they're required to sit by the phone at home, you'll probably have to pay them. But, if they are free to conduct normal activities such as shopping, getting a haircut, visiting friends, going to dinner or the movie, etc. you usually won't have to pay them under most W&L laws. With communication capabilities today (from pagers to smart phones, etc.) it should not be necessary to "nail them down at home". Give them ample time to change into uniform and respond to the job site. Have them carry spare uniform/gear in their trunk if they are going to be too far away from the house to return home before responding to the site. A response time that's too short is the same thing as requiring me to sit at home.

    Also, ascertain whether you're required to pay the employee from the time he's called, or the time he reports to the job site.

    Note that an hour response time lets the employee conduct normal activities anywhere within an hour's driving RADIUS of the JOB SITE (not necessarily their home) as long as they're carrying their gear. And the circle that this radius defines would normally represent a huge area in which they are free to be doing just about whatever they'd like to do, and still respond on time if called. It's not like they're on a "short leash", but they do need to be thinking about the possibility of being called. "If I take my wife to the movie in the next town, could I take her home and still respond to the job in an hour, or could I change in the theater restroom, drive to the job and let her take the car home?"....in other words, the employee will have to use a little forethought when they're on-call. If that's too much for their brain, why did you hire them?

    (The only "normal activity" that an employee must understand that they cannot engage in while on-call is drinking or <ahem> other substances. This restriction would not trigger wage requirements.)

    Which reminds me. Another condition of the job is holdovers. If I don't learn until the last minute of the day shift that I need to call in the 2nd shift person and if the response expectation is one hour, I'm either going to have to hold someone over for an hour or fill the post myself until the call-back arrives. Again, so be it. It's part of the job!

    And when you hire people from now on, discuss these conditions with them right up front, and hire no one who gives you the impression that they're going to "work their regular hours and then screw you". Blow those applicants out the door no matter how qualified they might be otherwise because THEY WON'T BE THERE WHEN YOU NEED THEM MOST.
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 09-27-2011 at 11:41 AM.
    A man who will not lie to his wife has no regard for her feelings. - Anon.

    My school was so tough we had our own coroner. - Lenny Bruce

    In my neighborhood, you could walk 10 blocks in any direction and never leave the scene of a crime. - Charlie Callas

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Montreal borough of Verdun, Quebec, Canada
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    5,956

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    Quote Originally Posted by SecTrainer View Post
    Have you considered giving this individual a simple numeric pager? We tend to forget about this old (but cheap and well-established) technology. In fact, most security organizations can probably justify the small expense of keeping a few pagers on hand for backup communications or for a variety of other uses. Even two-way paging isn't that expensive, especially if it's only used on an occasional or emergency basis.

    In the US, you can buy a numeric pager for about $20 and pay less than $10/month for the service. Or, pay $90 for a year of service and get the pager free. For instance: http://www.mysecretaryusa.com/numserv/ Get three or four pagers for the organization and you're paying a relatively puny amount for the added comm capability.

    There are probably similar deals in Canada.
    I can hear the owner yelling from the offices & I'm at home. "What, we"ve going to pay $90 a year because an employee can't afford to pay for his own phone?"
    I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    1,836

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    Quote Originally Posted by SecTrainer View Post
    It doesn't really matter how often it happens, HS. There should always be at least one designated "on-call" person. So maybe I work 2nd shift Sat - Wed but I'm the designated on-call person for 2nd shift on Thursday. I rarely get called in, so I usually have my two days off, but on occasion it happens that I'm needed for the extra shift. So be it. Those are the conditions of my job and there's nothing unusual about it. Police, fire, nurses, doctors, airline pilots and a raft of other jobs involve the same conditions!!

    I really don't know why so many security managers seem to have difficulty making it clear to employees that call-backs are an unavoidable condition of the job and just being out front with this reality. By dealing with this openly you can set the expectations, and when you set the expectations you can establish the call-back schedule so that everyone knows exactly what's expected of them, and when. I could be called back if needed on this day or this shift AND I'm expected to be able to report to the job within X time of being called.

    Where we have the problems is when we don't deal with this in an orderly, out-front manner PROACTIVELY and BEFORE WE NEED PEOPLE. We just think we'll deal with it "when the time comes". After all, it only happens "now and then"!! But the point is, it DOES happen, you KNOW that it will happen, so what's your excuse for not PREPARING for it to happen? You probably don't have fires in the hotel very often, but I bet you have fire extinguishers (or an alternative)!!

    CAVEAT: Consult your wage & hour laws regarding call-back scheduling and the manner in which it is implemented. Do it wrong, and you might find yourself having to pay people for time that they're on-call. Usually, this is related to how much restriction there is on the employee's freedom of activities while they're on-call. If they're required to sit by the phone at home, you'll probably have to pay them. But, if they are free to conduct normal activities such as shopping, getting a haircut, visiting friends, going to dinner or the movie, etc. you usually won't have to pay them under most W&L laws. With communication capabilities today (from pagers to smart phones, etc.) it should not be necessary to "nail them down at home". Give them ample time to change into uniform and respond to the job site. Have them carry spare uniform/gear in their trunk if they are going to be too far away from the house to return home before responding to the site. A response time that's too short is the same thing as requiring me to sit at home.

    Also, ascertain whether you're required to pay the employee from the time he's called, or the time he reports to the job site.

    Note that an hour response time lets the employee conduct normal activities anywhere within an hour's driving RADIUS of the JOB SITE (not necessarily their home) as long as they're carrying their gear. And the circle that this radius defines would normally represent a huge area in which they are free to be doing just about whatever they'd like to do, and still respond on time if called. It's not like they're on a "short leash", but they do need to be thinking about the possibility of being called. "If I take my wife to the movie in the next town, could I take her home and still respond to the job in an hour, or could I change in the theater restroom, drive to the job and let her take the car home?"....in other words, the employee will have to use a little forethought when they're on-call. If that's too much for their brain, why did you hire them?

    (The only "normal activity" that an employee must understand that they cannot engage in while on-call is drinking or <ahem> other substances. This restriction would not trigger wage requirements.)

    Which reminds me. Another condition of the job is holdovers. If I don't learn until the last minute of the day shift that I need to call in the 2nd shift person and if the response expectation is one hour, I'm either going to have to hold someone over for an hour or fill the post myself until the call-back arrives. Again, so be it. It's part of the job!

    And when you hire people from now on, discuss these conditions with them right up front, and hire no one who gives you the impression that they're going to "work their regular hours and then screw you". Blow those applicants out the door no matter how qualified they might be otherwise because THEY WON'T BE THERE WHEN YOU NEED THEM MOST.
    I don't necessarily agree with this, as far as regular contract security is concerned. I haven't met many people who would agree to unconditionally cancel all of their plans on a day off in a whim that their company needs them, for $12/hr and likely with no overtime.

    I've always worked, and I currently manage, on the philosophy that it's management's duty to ensure all coverage for all assignments are correct and proper. This is why I have a reserve branch of part-time workers who are able and, oftentimes, willing to take these last minute shifts. I wouldn't dream to tell one of my part timers that they are required to essentially give up their personal time when I tell them to.

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    1

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    Security has changed my life. Right now I'm working 12-hour shifts for 7 days, then 7 days home, then again 7 days of 12-hour shifts. I'm glad that I have a fiancee who understands this and supports me in this decision. She works fulltime and although the weeks in which we both have to work can be a little hectic, I think we're doing okay. I guess security just isn't your average type of job...

  7. #37
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Smoky Mountain Tennessee
    Posts
    167

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    Quote Originally Posted by GlennCrp View Post
    Security has changed my life. Right now I'm working 12-hour shifts for 7 days, then 7 days home, then again 7 days of 12-hour shifts. I'm glad that I have a fiancee who understands this and supports me in this decision. She works fulltime and although the weeks in which we both have to work can be a little hectic, I think we're doing okay. I guess security just isn't your average type of job...
    You bring up a good point Glenn. Iv been in that situation temporaly. Its very important to have your spouse be understanding. Also I apprecite you not hijacking my thread like the others. Also id like to welcome you to the forums.

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    6,453

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    Quote Originally Posted by GlennCrp View Post
    Security has changed my life. Right now I'm working 12-hour shifts for 7 days, then 7 days home, then again 7 days of 12-hour shifts. I'm glad that I have a fiancee who understands this and supports me in this decision. She works fulltime and although the weeks in which we both have to work can be a little hectic, I think we're doing okay. I guess security just isn't your average type of job...
    Hmm...I'm a bit surprised that such a schedule passes muster with your state Wage & Hours laws although of course we don't know where you work.

    Incidentally, on that note - please stop by the Introductions forum and tell us a little about yourself.
    A man who will not lie to his wife has no regard for her feelings. - Anon.

    My school was so tough we had our own coroner. - Lenny Bruce

    In my neighborhood, you could walk 10 blocks in any direction and never leave the scene of a crime. - Charlie Callas

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland
    Posts
    146

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    Spare time and the smartest way to spend it has really grown to be a challenge in this job.

    Where to begin..

    When I started this gig, I was a single guy and constantly worked overtime along with these notorious evening shifts as well along with weekends. After meeting my wife the evening shifts started to meddle with my spare time alot, and nowadays I've started to hate evening work with a passion. I've even done a few night shifts, but luckily nobody's even mentioned night shifts to me as a regular option.

    At times it is hard trying to handle your social life with the working hours. I think that when I quit this job, then the working hours are the number one reason why I've decided to quit in the first place. Some colleagues with a family and especially little children have transferred to day shifts and especially receptionist sites.

    I think it is hard to try and balance between your social life and the job at times. You have to have a very balanced relationship and alot of understanding from your husband or wife, since long irregular working hours will put a strain on relationships for sure at some point.

    This month I'm going to be working three weekends at a row on the evening shift at this usual site of mine. That sucks big time, but the money paid for it is good enough.

    Alot of my colleagues consist of younger men that aren't really too strained by the working hours at first. As their relationship status changes over time though, most will try to get better positions or better jobs altogether.

    I can only give my utmost respect to all the guards working nights or evenings while trying to support their families, spouses and/or children on the side.

    This job sure isn't making it easy at times.

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