Reflections on 33 years. From guard to professional

by todaystrainingblog

At approx. 1430 on June 4, 1983 I was given the great news that I had been hired into the security field as a guard. I was given my assignment and then had to get another one, because my car wasn’t up to the punishment of driving 80 miles per day round trip for $2.65 per hour. But I have to say it was a relief that I could now support my family with a regular job instead of working sporadically for a temp agency.

That was my beginning with Wells Fargo Guard Services with the soon to be terminated and dishonest Branch Manager, who was fired for handling contract payments ‘under the table’. Since than I like to think I’ve grown and become a professional. I’ve been hated by officers I managed, clients (actually removed by a few) & employees, in some cases loathed. But just as easily liked and respected by many more than disliked. All for the same reasons.

Now after 13 years of being blind I can’t do the myriad of things I could do back then and enjoyed. Things such as interacting with the officers on a daily basis, training them both rookies and veterans, writing post orders & manuals, traveling the city, meeting with clients, & solving all sorts of problems for everyone.

But I still like the field and the people in it. I disagree with them sometimes but… And I do change my mind on certain issues at times as well but that means I can grow and see different viewpoints instead of being too stubborn and locked into just one way of doing things. Which if you’ve read enough of my posts; you know I loathe the status quo.

I’ve learned a lot of hard lessons along the way. One which still haunts me and people close to me yet, is my distrust of most people and their motives. This was started by the Vice President/Regional Manager for Wells Fargo Guard Services. It continued with my assignment at Johnson Controls when security was handed over to safety & hygiene, whose manager had no clue, & was one of those who despised me, for trying to expand our role. And with a few so-called friends who made my lower back really sore…

My best job was with First Response, Inc. of Mission Kansas. Scot Carmony, RIP Scott, & Jeff Taylor, now President of Rockwell Security in Overland Park, KS. let me do what I was best at. Supervision of the field officers, training the new ones, writing, solving problems, & working with clients and officers. And then of course there was Mindy Mitzner who was the Office Manager and still a close friend.

Now being blind, I do get a few requests for assistance, but nothing full-time or paying. As most of you know, I have been writing, and have published 2 books since going blind and contribute to the safety & security of the blind community in Arizona with my column in the National Federation of the Blind Arizona Chapter newsletter, basic home& travel security tips.

The only issue I have, after 13 years, with being blind is not being able to work and help my wife. It’s been hard on her and I would like to get the chance to work again here in the Phoenix area. But not many, if any, security companies have an opening for a blind security professional in their offices. And of course having moved here and not knowing anyone in the field or area when I did, the unpredictable factor as a newbie.

But it is fortunate that Phoenix was a liberating experience in that facet. I have yet to meet anyone here that was the equal of some of my officers & managers back in Kansas City and their deceitfulness & dishonesty. Everyone in the security community, and a few others, have been nothing but helpful.

It’s been a good ride so far and maybe I’ll be around for another 33 years just to be a thorn in y’all’s side. Possibly I can work for the next 33 years being that thorn, it just doesn’t pay all that well or should I say gud?


Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 33 years in the security field. Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many, where you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.

               I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear