Friday, August 31, 2018

I've Got A (Newish) Podcast.

Yes, I'm still alive. No, this blog isn't. But if you want my irreverent take on today's hot topics, checkout my new podcast, The AverageBro Show, on your favorite podcasting platform.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Hired as a Security Guard: What Gear Will You Need to Buy?

If you’re starting a job as a security guard or police officer, you may wonder, “What kind of equipment will I be issued, and what will I need to buy?”

There’s no simple answer to this question, as no two precincts or security companies are alike. When choosing your gear, try to determine if there are any special circumstances that will arise at your job. Will you be working at night? Is the location dangerous? Will you be outside in the cold? Does it rain frequently? Answering these kinds of questions will help you create a list of gear that will help you do a better job.

This list of important gear that will help you get started with your new career in law enforcement or security:

Tactical Pants - You’ll need a durable pair of pants with a lot of pockets for carrying weapons, equipment, and a multitude of accessories. A stylish pair of 5.11 tactical pants is just what you need to be ready for any active situation while maintaining a professional appearance.

Boots - You’ll need high-quality boots for the many hours you’ll be standing and walking. Your feet will certainly thank you. A sturdy pair of boots will also protect your feet from glass, rusty nails, needles, and during physical altercations.

Poncho - If your job requires you to spend time outside, an emergency poncho will be a lifesaver on rainy days. They roll up small and are easy to tuck away when not in use.

Coat, Hat & Gloves - It’s important to dress appropriately in cold weather. If your climate is particularly cold, you might consider a heated vest which runs on a rechargeable battery pack. Make sure your gloves allow for finger mobility and dexterity. Choose a hat that doesn’t block your line of sight or hinder your vision.

Handgun - Depending on your job, carrying a handgun may be allowed or even necessary. Always verify compliance with local laws and complete all training and certification requirements.

Baton - A baton is a popular self-defense tool often issued by law enforcement and security organizations. Be sure to purchase this item if you are not issued one by your employer.

Stun Gun - A taser is an effective non-lethal weapon perfect for self-defense and conflict de-escalation.

Pepper Spray - This spray will incapacitate any assailant, even if they are under the influence of drugs. Pepper spray causes pain, nausea, and excessive coughing for about an hour, sometimes longer.

Flashlight - Everyone in security or law enforcement needs a powerful flashlight, and this item is commonly issued to new employees. Even if you aren’t working at night, there will be plenty of dark rooms and corners where having a strong light will come in handy. You’ll have a better chance of identifying a lurking threat. If necessary, a large flashlight can be used as a self-defense weapon as well.

Cellphone - Having a cell phone will prove invaluable. Though you will likely be issued a two-way radio, carrying a phone will assist you in many ways. Depending on the available reception, a phone may be your primary method for communicating with your coworkers. It will also provide a quick way to reach emergency services such as the police, medical responders, and the fire department. The camera in a smartphone allows you to take photos and record video, which is an added security bonus.

Body Camera - A great way to protect yourself from lawsuits and complaints is to wear a body camera. By recording events as they happen, you can back up your claims with proof and provide evidence when a crime occurs.

When we go to work, it’s important that we have the tools needed to do our jobs well. Security and law enforcement professions are no exception, and having the right equipment is essential. However, not all of your gear will be issued by your employer, even if you work for a large organization. Certain items will need to be purchased separately.

The best thing you can do is research your job duties and working conditions, then create a list of the gear you will need. Try to find out ahead of time what gear will be issued, and then plan your purchases accordingly.

How to Keep from Bring Work Stress Home with You

Home is where the heart is. And if you have a stressful job, it is also where the stress is vented. There is a certain amount of stress associated with a day at the office, whatever your office happens to be. Your job is to do a particular task that solves a problem for the company. In that sense, you are drowning in problems for 8 hours a day.

The stress is not just the problems that have to be solved, but the responsibility you take on. If you don’t get your job done, some critical thing is left undone. If that spill isn’t mopped up in a timely manner, someone might slip and fall. That will cause injury to an innocent person, and cost the company compensation for that broken arm and leg.

Every job is important enough for a number of higher ups to have approved paying someone to do it. The fact that they chose you as opposed to someone else means that you have a personal responsibility to get the job done well. That is a lot of pressure put on you by the job, and by yourself. Here are a few ways to keep from bringing that pressure home:

Wash it Off at the Office

One of the consequences of pressure is sweat, sometimes, excessive sweat. That sticky, grimy, wetness in your shirt and socks is a physical manifestation of all the stress you have accumulated throughout the day.

If your company has a shower, use it before you leave the office. Change into a fresh shirt and clean socks so that you don’t take that stress with you on the subway and into your home to overwhelm your family.

You can also deal with sweaty pits and sweaty feet at the source. You can use antiperspirant towelette or sprays to cut down on the sweat. You can also use moisture wicking undershirts and socks to keep sweat from absorbing into your clothes.

If there is no shower, you can still stop by the restroom and wash off before you leave the office. It is not only about removing offensive odors. It is about freeing yourself from a rather annoying physical reminder of just how stressful your day was. You have the option to go home without that physical reminder.

Fall in Love with Your Job All over Again

There must have been a time when you were in love with your job. It is easy to forget that time when every day is a grind. It is also a chore when others around you seem to be disgruntled. The job becomes something you endure and survive. Consider the following:

You do not have the worst job in the world.
• Billions of people on the planet would happily take your place.
• Your job is important enough for someone to pay you to do it.
• Your family is proud of you for doing that job every day and making a life for them.

You can’t change the job. But you can change yourself and your orientation toward that job. When you do, you will come home with less frustration from the job, and more pride from doing the job.

Commit to Family Time

The tempting thing to do is come home and crash for a few hours after work, or lock yourself away from everyone while trying to mentally recover on your own. But all that does is create a feedback loop with you reliving all the worst moments of your workday.

One way to deal with that feedback loop is to never let it start in the first place. Instead of walling yourself off from the people who love you, spend time with the kids. Devote an hour before bed watching TV with the family. It doesn’t matter if you like the show. Your strength and renewal comes from family, not self-absorption.

Not everyone has the luxury of turning their beloved hobbies into a sustainable income. Sometimes work is just a grind for a paycheck. But you can keep that stress at the office by washing away the physical manifestations of stress, falling in love with your job all over again, and committing to family time after work instead of locking yourself away.