Home » Gate Guarding » Where Everybody Knows Your Name (Plate)

Where Everybody Knows Your Name (Plate)

Possibly the very best thing about  the 80’s sitcom, Cheers was the theme song.

Where Everybody Knows Your Name set the tone for the entire show. There’s something so compelling about the melody and especially the lyrics that sweetens the atmosphere of that little bar in Boston.

Sometimes you wanna go
Where Everybody Knows Your Name
And they’re always glad you came
You wanna be where you can see
Our troubles are all the same
You wanna be Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Wow!  A place where everybody knows your name, AND they’re still glad you came!

It’s honoring to be called by your name. Particularly if it really is your name. I called Brian (we have 4) Ryan (we have 3) for 2 weeks before I realized I had the wrong name. I’m at a slight disadvantage working nights since most of the time the guys I see are sitting in a truck in the dark. I can hardly make out the outlines of the guys in the back seat. Still, names are important and I’m working on it.

I had an epiphany last week while taking Henry VIII to Luling. By the way, he is Henry the VIII, not Henry the XIII as I previously posted. I seriously need a roman numeral refresher.

Anyway, as I was driving, I realized that I’ve become a plate reader. How peculiar… I didn’t even know there was such a thing. Mind readers, tea leaf readers, body language readers, proof readers, but plate readers?

I’ve never been particularly interested in the year and make and model of vehicles.

I don’t know what people drive. I know what people feel.

Or at least that’s how I used to be, until I started gate guarding. Now when I see trucks, particularly white trucks, at the Super S, or on county road 534, I automatically look at the plates to see if I know the driver. It’s a bizarre thing!

The daily tasks for a gate guard are simple: keep the area around you looking nice, greet everyone warmly and complete your log sheets. These seem to be the basics; the details vary depending on your company, your Company Man and your own personal style.

Our Gate Guard form is divided into 8 columns:









In my former life as a counselor and a trainer, I used to read faces. Now I read license plates. If someone leaves before I get all their information recorded, it’s their plate I repeat to myself, not their name. I’m sure every gate guard has their own system. I have a small notebook with the names and license plate numbers of all the regular and semi regular men and women that pass through our gate. It’s pretty reliable unless someone gets a different truck.

Yesterday, I was talking to a fellow who’s here now and then. I recognized his face but couldn’t remember his name. I had to ask and apologized for not remembering. I was embarrassed, but he quickly explained that there was a good reason why I didn’t recognize him. It wasn’t a memory lapse at all. He told me it was because of his wheels.

You knew my other wheels, he said. These are my new wheels. I got me a Ford.

I asked what he’d been driving before, remembering a Camry or two.

He said A Chevy.

Oh, I say, of course, the Chevy!

Yes ma’am.


Yes ma’am.

I have to be honest, unless I’m staring at the emblem I don’t know a white Ford from a white Chevy from a white Dodge. I didn’t recognize him because he wasn’t AVO 947 anymore but the wheel explanation was so satisfying to him, I just let it go.

I’m trying hard to get better with names again. It’s polite. It’s honoring and it sounds so much nicer than saying CHA GAS or IAN 8O8 or DRILBITT (my favorite plate) checked out at 3am.

Be glad there’s one place in the world
Where Everybody Knows Your Name
And they’re always glad you came
You wanna go where people know
People are all the same
You wanna go Where Everybody Knows Your Name

5 thoughts on “Where Everybody Knows Your Name (Plate)

    • Tom… so that’s the name that goes with saltfevr! I saw that you subscribed to Fork a month or so ago. (When you only have 12 subscribers you notice things like that!) Thanks for taking the time to read this every day. You’ll be pleased to know I’m setting a new goal of 500 words or less (which I’ll probably still exceed from time to time). Some of my posts read like novelettes! Can you tell I used to get paid to talk? Good grief! I’m working on it. I especially wanted to thank you tonight for the excellent video. I’ve already watched it twice. I’m going to re-post it in tomorrow’s post. I’m afraid people won’t see it in the comments. Thanks again!

  1. I have to admit that I don’t like numbers but I love trucks! I could tell when DRLBITT was coming as soon as he started for the gate just by the sound… special muffler pack, I think. Anyway, I do find I look at the plates, but I also depend on the type of truck. My first truck was a Willies Jeep. Never got over that…

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