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The pros and cons of long term details

The upside of any detail is that you are working and making money.  The great thing about long-term details is that you have steady work and a sense of financial security throughout the detail.  Working a long-term detail for every specialist is a beautiful thing and I have not met any specialist that does not aspire to be on one.  From a company perspective long term details give you exposure amongst the principal’s colleagues that are often nt seen on short term details.  This exposure often leads to additional business relationships and clients.  A happy client is a paying client.

But, there are downsides to working long-term details.  The first that comes to mind is that the majority of the specialists that I have come across do not make wise financial decisions during this financial profitable time.  Specialist tend to get over zealous with buying weapons and unnecessary gear.  Stop the madness.  I remember my first full-time detail where the gatehouse was choked full of gear magazines and specialist would time their order by the paycheck.  I am in no way trying to tell anyone how to spend your money but there comes a time when you have to know that any and every detail will come to an end.  If  a detail size is reduced in numbers and you happen to be on the low end of the totem pole and have to be released, now you’re sitting at home rubbing your weapons and looking at a closet full of tactical gear with no idea when you’ll use it again.

The days of the 5.11 gear on a corporate detail are coming to a pause the same way that ugly photographers vest did.  Discretion is starting to out rule tact-cool.  Fancy high speed BDU trousers on a casual day for a detail is becoming passe.  Save your money and get some cheaper docker’s khaki trousers.  The amount of money wasted by specialists racing to get the newest gear is mind blowing.  I know it is a business for the merchants but you have to come to grips with “want” versus “need” and financial sensibility.  I’d forgo buying four 5.11 outfits and buy one good suit.  That’s smart, but it’s not as cool as a brand new pair of rip stop BDU’s.  Yea, I get it, your priorities are askew.

The other issue with long term details is complacency.  There is no one, and I mean no one that can honestly say that at any given moment during a long term detail, that you don’t drift off from the NOW and take a trip down la-la lane.  We have all sat back and envisioned being somewhere else other than pushing the intercom of the call box and saying, “Yes may I help you” 200 times a day.  That will crush the best specialists over time and you start losing your edge until you catch yourself falling for the boredom.  On the other hand the guys that are on the close-in shift become “patternized” after doing the same daily agenda of taking the principal from home to work and back.  Under those repeated circumstances an off the record stop at McDonald’s is as exciting a your first trip to Disneyland.

Long term details are like chum to the Catfish network.  In many areas in the country the predatory aspects of unethical people exudes itself.  The word of long term details always travels the pipeline of specialists and Catfish.  You will receive calls from people you have never heard of offering their elite services.  More often they will reach the guys on the ground and establish some common bond before they move in for the kill.  Beware of this on long term details.  I have been victim of this, so I speak from personal experience.

As a company owner you can not sit back and watch the cash flow and forget the casualties of long term details and their effects on your people.  I will visit my long-term details, help out and make sure that all is well.  The boss popping up on a detail is a refreshing unintended jolt for specialists on the detail.  For the desk jockeys who don’t do this, I am encouraging you to get out there and get your nails dirty as well.  This is a morale builder as well as an opportunity to see your team at work.  Do not let negative effects of a long-term detail catch you and your team off guard.  Your reputation is at stake every second of every day.  If you value that, get up and be seen.  The last, and maybe most important factor to this is that the principal should see you periodically.  An absent company owner portrays a lack of concern.  All of my clients and principals know me by first name and will call me directly with any questions or requests.  If they feel that someone on your detail is the final decision maker, you have lost your footing on client relationship.

These are just some of the pros and cons of long term details.  We all strive for them but are we all properly equipped to handle them?

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