The Joystick Driver

Any and every security driver who has been out working for a while has been through this, and some go through it every single day. A very frustrating ordeal that could jeopardize the whole protection program and any transportation movement in a moment’s notice. This causes a lack of focus, disruptive lack of planning ahead, frustration, and damage to dynamic teamwork. It undermines the whole effort of trying to escort/transport a principal from A to B safely. I am talking about having a Close Protection Officer (CPO) on the right seat next to you – trying to micromanage every aspect of your driving – like he could control all of your actions and movements with a joystick-like a video game. 

This is a concerning matter that we all know exists, we all deal with it, more often than not, but it concerns something few do anything about. It is just one of those things you have to cope with. Just as you might have a troublesome super-picky client – you will have to deal with CPOs who behave like this. Where does this behaviour come from? I can’t say with 100% certainty, it might relate to their training, their lack of trust of you until you have proven yourself, and the fact that they hate not being in control of the wheel while in transit. But, primarily,  I guess it is a matter of ‘ trust is good – control is better ‘ kind of situation.  

This might sound like a small thing to handle, but it is not. It is a situation where the driver is being forced to pay more attention to the constant flow of instruction and correction he or she needs to focus on, pay attention to, and adhere to. Just to keep the CPO happy and not getting a bad report from the head office later. Even though the one to blame here is the CPO, and nobody else. This type of situation causes a lack of focus on the surroundings, the traffic, the flow of the traffic, and so on. Everything we as drivers have in our backbone to make sure is under control and the ride will become a smooth ride with as few stops as possible.  

Many of us, if not the majority of us hate not being behind the wheel when out there: we are our own best driver. It is natural, but when it comes to Security Driving and being part of a protection program for a principal we can’t have this. It is just not acceptable. It makes every movement more vulnerable. We put our principal at risk by creating risks when our job is to minimize his or her exposure to risk down to zero, if possible. 

There are many ways to handle situations like this. At A2B-SECURE we make sure we have a sit down with the client (often via a Director of Security) we address this matter from the start. We make sure that we get dynamic teamwork going where we trust each other doing each one’s job without interference. If it is a client we regularly work for we normally invite them to our track, and we take them out in the traffic too.  We make sure they send their CPOs and we send the drivers the CPOs will work with. Since this issue mainly concerns an initial lack of trust – we let them all have fun at the track for a day. More often than not the CPOs do not have the experience and skills as our drivers do, and show on the track. This establishes a situation where it does not matter how good you say you are – show me. A more humble team will continue to work together under more professional circumstances.  

Roland J. Vargoega,  

CEO at A2B-SECURE 

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