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It’s that time again

This time of year is not exempt for service needs of our clients.  It is a trying time for a specialist that has a family.  Working on a holiday is commonplace in this industry and takes some fortitude on the behalf of a specialist to miss those special days with his family and convince them that he/she has to work.  There are other specialists out there that have no close family ties who are willing to work these holidays but they are few and far between.

The other side of the coin is the client that will demand that its specialists take the day off and wave coverage for these holidays.  If that is the case, it is my opinion that you (the company owner) emphasize to them that it is not necessary because you have made arrangements for the occasion.  The reason is that even if they demand that the specialists take off, you’ve at least showed them that their protection is taken serious and you are prepared under any situation.

Trust me when I say that I have been in the dilemma when a couple of my specialists wanted certain holidays off and as much as I wanted to give them the day off, we had to do some crafty slicing of hours so that everyone could spend at least some quality hours with their families and then come to work.  I had to put my family aside to keep the morale of my specialists up. 

Then there are those generous clients that want to express their appreciation for the specialists.  My guys have received money, gifts, wine and cheese from several clients over the years.  I do not prohibit them from receiving these gifts because I don’t view them as a gratuity like police departments do for their officers.  Clients get used to seeing the specialists everyday and sometimes have a professional attachment to them that they feel needs to be shown in the form of a gift.  When I worked as a specialist in the beginning of my career, we knew that a certain protectee would send down, what we called “The bump”.  Everyday the guys would show up for their shifts and would ask if the “Bump” came down the hill.  When it did, the detail leader would divide it up amongst the total specialists on the detail.  It was a good time.

The main point here is that you should never look for a gift or tip just because you’ve worked a protectee for an extended period of time, but guys do.  I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been aked if I thought a client was going to give the guys a tip or a gift.  That always initiates a “behind the woodshed” talk from me.  Stop looking for a hand out and look for the threat.

It’s that time again, so prepare yourselves accordingly.  If you are serious about your craft, be serious all year long.  Keep your head on a swivel and your hands closed.

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