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General Advice

Deeks

New Member
Joined
May 7, 2016
Messages
2
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0
#1
Hi all,

I passed my door supervisor cert over a year ago, but due to family and health issues I had to spend time stuck in my previous job before I could move on and start a new path.

I'm due to start in a few weeks as a mobile relief officer for retail (supermarket) guarding.

I'm concerned because as I'll be covering for other guards off sick /on holiday - they'll be nobody to learn from.

Aside from going over my notes from last year - is there a handbook any of you would recommend?

Most the books I've found online are US based, so may be completely different rules...

I'd be up for shadowing too if any of you are around the Dumfries or Carlisle area?
 

Azarias

Longterm Registered User
Joined
Oct 15, 2010
Messages
115
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0
#3
Talk to your line manager in the company you are working for.

If your company does not arrange training shifts for site familiarisation. Ask for a list of the sites you will be covering and suggest that, when you are not required on shift you can shadow the officer on site.

If your line manager/ company do not tell you this is what they were going to do with you; you need to find another company and move on.

Even if companies are cheap they should give you a site induction.
 

colonel45155

Longterm Registered User
Joined
May 4, 2010
Messages
1,139
Likes
20
#4
What did your training teach you? Rhetoric question! Jesus Christ don't be putting yourself into something you don't know about. The fact that you're even asking this question on the internet is enough for me. Love the way you 'passed' your DS, I dont know anyone who didnt... I read books, lots of them, mostly they have titles like lucious lucys lesbian friends and the likes, join my book club ;) Bad start buddy.
 

PeteSandy

New Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2016
Messages
4
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0
#5
I'm from Canada, so don't know how the rules here translate to the UK.
But I guess if you're covering for someone, being on your own would make you learn things by experience. Don't you think?
Or is that just how I feel?
 

shogunronin

Full Registered User
Joined
Mar 14, 2013
Messages
55
Likes
2
#6
Most of the basic company retail package training courses are suited for security officers in the 1980's and most of their advice is redundant. Most of the managers in these top retail security companies are unskilled and pretend to have caught 2,000 shoplifters in 1 day. They also dish bad advice to new guys and then let them take the fall when it goes bad.

- Expect a lot of grey areas and management constantly watching you, waiting in the shadows to catch you out. Assume you're being watched throughout your whole shift.

- Expect your control room to be full of muppets. Always cover yourself because if you don't, they will stab you in the back to cover their own.

- You will be expected to be Superman and stop everything that goes out. If you are unsuccessful, expect them to start bad mouthing about you to your company.

- Expect to be undermanned. The chance is you will be alone and expected to stop shoplifters without ASCONE. If you do not comply, expect management to slag you off to each other and your company as soon as your back is turned.

- If you're working with other guards do not trust them. They will badmouth you to your manager at a drop of a hat.

- Always photograph your working schedule when it is put up. Otherwise management can switch it when trying to stitch you up with a shift. If you do not turn up for said shift because you didn't know about it, expect them to try and put you on a disaplinary.

- Always cover yourself in everything you do. Make sure you get keys signed out and everything you're looking after is photographed as you putting it back.

- When you are asked to do a task - take a photograph of said task being completed, otherwise expect other guards/people to moan to the management that you haven't done it.

- When you leave a lunch room, photograph the lunch room so you cannot be stitched up in messing said lunch room up.

- If you decide or ever become full time, expect to be working 90 hours a week. Don't worry about the OPT IN directive, if you do not sign it expect the managers to bully you into quitting soon after.

- If you do not finish your breaks ON THE DOT expect your security company to inform the client, tarnishing your reputation.

- Expect never to see the assignment instructions, but to be asked to sign that you read it. If you want to read the assignment instructions, you'll need to come in on your day off because there isn't any time.

- Expect working performance to mean nothing. You are just the fall guy for control and your manager when shit hits the fan.

- Expect to put your life in danger for minimum wage.

- Always inform your control room/manager of arrests and stops being completed in said month. Do not expect the client to read the DOB. If the client doesn't see you make a stop, they will assume you're not making any.

- Expect to be stacking shelves and being a ordinary worker. At this point you will need to be doing both security and being a shop assistant. If anything goes out, you will be blamed.

- Be careful about personal information you give to other people. Everything that comes out of your mouth to anyone can be referred back to management.

- Never prioritise. Get your work done systematically. If you prioritise for a security issue that is important, expect to be grilled because you didn't fill out a useless check list when you have Romanian shoplifters roaming around the store.

- Expect to be treated like crap by customers and the client.

- Never criticize even if your company are breaking health and safety regulations.

I have to admit that the dumber you are in retail/shopping centre security the longer career you will have.

You're working in an industry where you are easily replaced. You are just a number. Do not expect to make any big changes or any big contributions, this is for the manager and his personal power.

You'll need to adjust your personal work ethic scale to those around you. If you're slacking, expect to be slagged off, if you're working too hard, expect to be slagged off.

The biggest advice i can give you is go in to work, knuckle down hard, and then sign off at the end of the day. If you try to work *too hard* expect the people above you to get you kicked off the site.

Welcome to the retail security industry and have a good one!
 
Last edited:

alamarahsoldier

Longterm Registered User
Joined
Jul 3, 2012
Messages
197
Likes
4
#7
Most of the basic company retail package training courses are suited for security officers in the 1980's and most of their advice is redundant. Most of the managers in these top retail security companies are unskilled and pretend to have caught 2,000 shoplifters in 1 day. They also dish bad advice to new guys and then let them take the fall when it goes bad.

- Expect a lot of grey areas and management constantly watching you, waiting in the shadows to catch you out. Assume you're being watched throughout your whole shift.

- Expect your control room to be full of muppets. Always cover yourself because if you don't, they will stab you in the back to cover their own.

- You will be expected to be Superman and stop everything that goes out. If you are unsuccessful, expect them to start bad mouthing about you to your company.

- Expect to be undermanned. The chance is you will be alone and expected to stop shoplifters without ASCONE. If you do not comply, expect management to slag you off to each other and your company as soon as your back is turned.

- If you're working with other guards do not trust them. They will badmouth you to your manager at a drop of a hat.

- Always photograph your working schedule when it is put up. Otherwise management can switch it when trying to stitch you up with a shift. If you do not turn up for said shift because you didn't know about it, expect them to try and put you on a disaplinary.

- Always cover yourself in everything you do. Make sure you get keys signed out and everything you're looking after is photographed as you putting it back.

- When you are asked to do a task - take a photograph of said task being completed, otherwise expect other guards/people to moan to the management that you haven't done it.

- When you leave a lunch room, photograph the lunch room so you cannot be stitched up in messing said lunch room up.

- If you decide or ever become full time, expect to be working 90 hours a week. Don't worry about the OPT IN directive, if you do not sign it expect the managers to bully you into quitting soon after.

- If you do not finish your breaks ON THE DOT expect your security company to inform the client, tarnishing your reputation.

- Expect never to see the assignment instructions, but to be asked to sign that you read it. If you want to read the assignment instructions, you'll need to come in on your day off because there isn't any time.

- Expect working performance to mean nothing. You are just the fall guy for control and your manager when shit hits the fan.

- Expect to put your life in danger for minimum wage.

- Always inform your control room/manager of arrests and stops being completed in said month. Do not expect the client to read the DOB. If the client doesn't see you make a stop, they will assume you're not making any.

- Expect to be stacking shelves and being a ordinary worker. At this point you will need to be doing both security and being a shop assistant. If anything goes out, you will be blamed.

- Be careful about personal information you give to other people. Everything that comes out of your mouth to anyone can be referred back to management.

- Never prioritise. Get your work done systematically. If you prioritise for a security issue that is important, expect to be grilled because you didn't fill out a useless check list when you have Romanian shoplifters roaming around the store.

- Expect to be treated like crap by customers and the client.

- Never criticize even if your company are breaking health and safety regulations.

I have to admit that the dumber you are in retail/shopping centre security the longer career you will have.

You're working in an industry where you are easily replaced. You are just a number. Do not expect to make any big changes or any big contributions, this is for the manager and his personal power.

You'll need to adjust your personal work ethic scale to those around you. If you're slacking, expect to be slagged off, if you're working too hard, expect to be slagged off.

The biggest advice i can give you is go in to work, knuckle down hard, and then sign off at the end of the day. If you try to work *too hard* expect the people above you to get you kicked off the site.


Sounds amazing.

Welcome to the retail security industry and have a good one!


That sounds terrible. Good post though.
 

TMAC

Longterm Registered User
Joined
May 25, 2010
Messages
1,260
Likes
15
#8
Most of the basic company retail package training courses are suited for security officers in the 1980's and most of their advice is redundant. Most of the managers in these top retail security companies are unskilled and pretend to have caught 2,000 shoplifters in 1 day. They also dish bad advice to new guys and then let them take the fall when it goes bad.

- Expect a lot of grey areas and management constantly watching you, waiting in the shadows to catch you out. Assume you're being watched throughout your whole shift.

- Expect your control room to be full of muppets. Always cover yourself because if you don't, they will stab you in the back to cover their own.

- You will be expected to be Superman and stop everything that goes out. If you are unsuccessful, expect them to start bad mouthing about you to your company.

- Expect to be undermanned. The chance is you will be alone and expected to stop shoplifters without ASCONE. If you do not comply, expect management to slag you off to each other and your company as soon as your back is turned.

- If you're working with other guards do not trust them. They will badmouth you to your manager at a drop of a hat.

- Always photograph your working schedule when it is put up. Otherwise management can switch it when trying to stitch you up with a shift. If you do not turn up for said shift because you didn't know about it, expect them to try and put you on a disaplinary.

- Always cover yourself in everything you do. Make sure you get keys signed out and everything you're looking after is photographed as you putting it back.

- When you are asked to do a task - take a photograph of said task being completed, otherwise expect other guards/people to moan to the management that you haven't done it.

- When you leave a lunch room, photograph the lunch room so you cannot be stitched up in messing said lunch room up.

- If you decide or ever become full time, expect to be working 90 hours a week. Don't worry about the OPT IN directive, if you do not sign it expect the managers to bully you into quitting soon after.

- If you do not finish your breaks ON THE DOT expect your security company to inform the client, tarnishing your reputation.

- Expect never to see the assignment instructions, but to be asked to sign that you read it. If you want to read the assignment instructions, you'll need to come in on your day off because there isn't any time.

- Expect working performance to mean nothing. You are just the fall guy for control and your manager when shit hits the fan.

- Expect to put your life in danger for minimum wage.

- Always inform your control room/manager of arrests and stops being completed in said month. Do not expect the client to read the DOB. If the client doesn't see you make a stop, they will assume you're not making any.

- Expect to be stacking shelves and being a ordinary worker. At this point you will need to be doing both security and being a shop assistant. If anything goes out, you will be blamed.

- Be careful about personal information you give to other people. Everything that comes out of your mouth to anyone can be referred back to management.

- Never prioritise. Get your work done systematically. If you prioritise for a security issue that is important, expect to be grilled because you didn't fill out a useless check list when you have Romanian shoplifters roaming around the store.

- Expect to be treated like crap by customers and the client.

- Never criticize even if your company are breaking health and safety regulations.

I have to admit that the dumber you are in retail/shopping centre security the longer career you will have.

You're working in an industry where you are easily replaced. You are just a number. Do not expect to make any big changes or any big contributions, this is for the manager and his personal power.

You'll need to adjust your personal work ethic scale to those around you. If you're slacking, expect to be slagged off, if you're working too hard, expect to be slagged off.

The biggest advice i can give you is go in to work, knuckle down hard, and then sign off at the end of the day. If you try to work *too hard* expect the people above you to get you kicked off the site.

Welcome to the retail security industry and have a good one!
In a nutshell!!!!!
 

littlewoman

Longterm Registered User
Joined
Jan 2, 2008
Messages
3,031
Likes
437
#9
There's a fair chance that you won't even be covering for someone from your own company, but another company that they are subcontracting for. Your company may not even know who the main subcontractor is and not know they are subcontracting to a subcontractor. Your company may not have visited the site, spoken to the manager, assessed anything or written any procedures. Also, unless the DS course also included an SG part that covered retail, you are even more untrained than if you'd just done you DS course and were going to be a DS.

We could give any amount of advice on here about the best way to do the job and the shop manager doesn't want you to do it that way, and there is only so much you can do outside of what the manager thinks you should be doing.

I'm giving up on security after 13 years, licence up for renewal and won't be getting renewed. The industry has become a joke.
 

medicgirl

Longterm Registered User
Joined
Sep 7, 2010
Messages
301
Likes
41
#10
As always Littlewoman is right on the money. I'm a positive person and can almost always put a positive spin on a situation...but I must have used all my magic powers up!
I feel for you, It's a tough industry in a tough world, trying to carry out loss prevention when the supermarkets are waging war on every penny. Your role will be a constant compromise between being seen to be effective at loss prevention, being visibly curteous to staff and public when in all honesty you will need to work your little socks off to gain respect.
Add that to the fact that whilst everyone must start somewhere you really will be thrown in at the deep end...
I think it shows initiative that you are here trying to gain advice and that really goes in your favour.
I don't do security work anymore but if you PM me your location I'll probably be able to point you in the right direction.
The comments above mine are all valid but I genuinely do wish you every sucess and hope that this will be a rewarding career for you after what you have been through. MG
 

shogunronin

Full Registered User
Joined
Mar 14, 2013
Messages
55
Likes
2
#11
I've thought long and hard about retail security and spoke to a lot of friends in the industry. We have all come up with the solution that if you want a good working environment, you need to make stops. If you're not making stops infront of the client, you will be micro-managed and this is where the hassles are going to arise. The problems come up when the security systems of the store are at fault.

As an example - I was put into a store with no CCTV, no team mates, and the instruction of staying by the door. In this scenario there is virtually nothing you can do unless you want to randomly stop people and cause havoc.
 

colonel45155

Longterm Registered User
Joined
May 4, 2010
Messages
1,139
Likes
20
#12
there is virtually nothing you can do unless you want to randomly stop people and cause havoc.
Sounds like a plan lol - I started in loss prevention, wish I'd have thought of that. Seriously though, if you want to do your job well in 'retail' I'd suggest that you keep an eye on the staff as well as the customers, insist on checking the tills and check for ups and downs, yes ups can be a red flag too - go above and beyond, you'll get a brownie point for catching staff 'nicking' watch for people waiting for one cashier when others are free etc, just use your head and rule number one is never let anyone know you're watching, dont eyeball people. You'll be fine m8 - Watch for empty coathangers, empty boxes etc etc, dont panic, you can't catch everyone at the first time but if they do get off with it once trust me they'll be back. You'll get them next time.
 
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colonel45155

Longterm Registered User
Joined
May 4, 2010
Messages
1,139
Likes
20
#13
Jez I just noticed the date on this, okay hope all went well for him. I'm not exactly sure if a DS license is needed for Tesco, Asda etc, is it?

I actually went into my old haunt Debenhams today just for a nosy to see what the LP was like after I left, I didn't say who I was but I was impressed... Dammit lol
 
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