Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Endorsed Items

Our Top 10 products in use EVERY day while boondocking or gate guarding.


All ads other than Amazon have been removed. Thank you for using my Amazon links like the one above for your online shopping.



The Karmic Skinny

If you have gotten an email from me in the past 2 years, you might have noticed the signature line right below my name.  It read:

“The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.” – Thomas Jefferson

OR

“The right to be left alone is indeed the beginning of all freedoms.” – U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas

Way back when -- Our first gate guard assignment

Sounds good huh? But rhetoric rings hollow unless there is will behind the words to back it up.  For good or bad the spotlight swung directly on some of us gate guards the past 2 weeks and forced us to make some tough decisions.

It all started with our employer, Gate Guard Services, sending out a very blunt non disclosure agreement with the current paycheck.  Since Gate Guard Services is the largest gate guard employer in the biz,  that NDA set alot of my people on their ear  — Miss K and I included.   The last line in the NDA said anyone violating the NDA was subject to dismissal.

We had some tough decisions to make.  We liked Gate Guard Services  – always had through almost 2 years of  near constant work.    But this non disclosure agreement was so broad in its’ censorship of information that I was having some HUGE problems accepting it as written.  It even said (as I read it)  that non-work related emails were not permitted while onsite.  Since we were always onsite I found that to be an absurd restriction and patently unenforceable.

Granted, some of the blogs were overly forthcoming when it came to sharing information with the WWW world.   Miss K and I on the other hand, preferred to keep details and specifics to ourselves.  We value our privacy and it has always been good business to show your employer some respect and not throw details of their business out there for all to see.  I reviewed dozens of our blog entries and, and for the most part, they followed the intent of the NDA.   So the decision was made to sacrifice the oil field gate guard forum as a measure of cooperation.  This blog would stand whole with no censorship or deletion of gate guard related posts.   Both of us knew we were putting our jobs on the line but saw no other recourse.  It was time to put the big boy pants on;  pure and simple.

2 hours  after this blog post  I got a phone call from GGS  and they said we had been released off this gate where we had been almost 5 months.  Well, I guess I asked for that one.  Even though I assumed the reason was because we had defied the NDA,  I decided to check it out further.  Normal procedure when you are released, in our experience is that the Company Man or an Oil Company rep comes down and tells you the assignment is over.  Then we call our company and tell them we are released.  So I made some phone calls and discovered the NDA had nothing to do with it. The Oil Company did it as a cost saving measure since traffic had fallen off sharply over the last week.   Gate Guard Services backed up that by offering us another assignment over by Tilden  as soon as we  could get over that way.  I told them I would call them back in the morning.

Miss K, ever the logical one,  said before we jumped on that Tilden assignment we should explore other options.  Karma was at work here obviously.  To be released from an assignment with GGS  so quickly after a blog post written in definite defiance of new policy; yet the release was unrelated to the NDA was unusual to say the least.  Miss K said it had to mean something and I agreed.  We started working the phones and had a new employer by shortly after supper — with a substantial raise in pay.

I called Gate Guard Services the next morning and told them we had accepted an assignment with a different company.  As independent contractors, you have to remember that successful completion of an assignment makes you a free agent until you accept your next assignment.   Now this is the important part — in the normal course of accepting a new assignment with a different company, I would have given Gate Guard Services one last shot with their best offer/best assignment before I called the new company and took their offer.  On Saturday morning,  GGS did in fact come back with an attractive offer that WE WOULD HAVE TAKEN had we not already accepted the assignment with the new company.  The reason we did not give GGS the opportunity to counter offer was because of that damned NDA.   It tipped the scales and influenced our decision to that degree.

Before you go thinking Miss Kathy and I are down on Gate Guard Services  – we are NOT.  Every manager we have worked for has been honest and sincere and came through on 98% of their promises.   I trusted them for the most part.  The service techs have been hard working and conscientious and they have the best field equipment in the business.  Even though their pay scale is lagging now toward the lower end, they have always paid on time and as promised.  On the last phone call with our manager, he asked me to give him a call of it did not work out with that new company.  We parted with no hard feelings.

However,  Gate Guard Services Corporate Non Disclosure Agreement is an ill-conceived abomination.  It is smotheringly restrictive in scope and will always be perceived as heavy handed.  At the same time, some of the aspects are so broadly encompassing they could never stand under closer scrutiny.   The mood of the country now is of distrust and disgust with the ways of those in power that control our miserable little lives. Gate Guard Services jumped right in their with the best of the thugs when they pushed this brutal NDA down our throats.  I could have thought of a dozen better ways to achieve the same end result without alienating and pissing off those good folks sitting out in the boonies doing their jobs this morning.  GGS,  y’all need to clue up and try to regain some of the respect you threw away last week.

So all the nosie rosies 🙂 out there are going to want to know who Miss K and I went to work for, right?     Well,  that ain’t going to happen for awhile.  I will tell you they have crap for equipment,  maintenance sucks and sometimes they answer the phone and sometimes they don’t but the pay is good.  We know that going in.  I can deal with that.  They also have few rules and I do not anticipate them getting all top heavy with bureaucratic bullshit and silly restrictions any time in the near future.   I can deal with that as well.

BTW,  The Oil Field Gate Guard Forum will remain open for business as usual.

End Note: Shelter Me by Tab Benoit from the Legacy – The Best of Tab Benoit

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.2/10 (12 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +9 (from 9 votes)
The Karmic Skinny, 9.2 out of 10 based on 12 ratings
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...






5 comments to The Karmic Skinny

  • Karma, whatever. I’m very glad things have worked out for the best and admire your stand against the NDA.

    Looking forward to continued great posts and information on your forum!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  • Terry Walden

    “GGS did in fact come back with an attractive offer that WE WOULD HAVE TAKEN had we not already accepted the assignment with the new company.”

    I am not saying you are not worth getting a good deal from GGS as you are definitely top notch gate guards and a valuable couple to them. But, is making a special offer to you normal procedure to keeping gate guards? Shouldn’t all be compensated equally as defined in their hiring agreement which is based on the number of drilling rigs within your gate?

    Just asking, as I am also researching other companies for when we return. Congratulations on you new assignment and good luck.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
    • Andrew

      Hi Terry

      Sometimes the managers just don’t tell you everything they know. I did not say “special offer” as he did not increase the gate pay just for us. The gate paid $XXX dimply because it was in a remote area of West Texas and the contract they had negotiated allowed them to offer above the base pay.

      Conversely, we have also been offered assignments that paid less than the base pay simply because they were very easy or they were only 12 hr gates.

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
      • Terry Walden

        Thanks for the explanation. I wish there would be more 12 hour gates. I mentioned to the manager at W……, Tx that my wife had to leave the first week of last June and that I would stay on through July if they could find me a gate I could do by myself. Evidently there was nothing available at the time as they sent a couple to replace us so I could leave when my wife had to go.

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  • I helped several of the company’s gate guards. I bought groceries, water, soda, bread and fuel and gave them a pan to cook with. Answered questions and then Andy helped the other gg’s fix their generator and a/c. That is why we think karma stepped in for us and we got a raise.
    Good works for everyone. Paying it forward. Thus, we were rewarded w/o ever asking for any help.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Leave a Reply to Miss Kathy

 

 

 

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>