30 October, 2013

Unexpected Revelation

Yesterday was kind of a roller-coaster. I ended up leaving work early because I hadn't slept well the night before and my brain was going in 18 different directions that had nothing to do with staring at a computer monitor and scheduling training.

The biggest part of the day I'm not quite ready to share.  I'm wrapping my brain around some things, processing, and trying to put a positive spin on it.

Looking back, the unexpected highlight of my day was carpooling to a (pointless) meeting with my area's safety manager.  I was really tired to the point of acknowledging that I was talking without using my brain, and yet he kept the conversation rolling both to and from the meeting... and maybe made some faces at me during the meeting.

On the way back to our end of the world, I was totally nerding out about my safety & health class.  I complained about OSHA and bad employers and bad Congressmen.  And when I shut up long enough to let him get out 5 words I realized the guy actually knows his stuff way more that I assumed he did and cares - GENUINELY CARES - about the people he's responsible for.  He knows how bad it sucks for everyone involved when things go really wrong and is doing what he can to keep his people safe...even if it means shoveling elephant poop!

I've sat in enough (pointless) meetings to know that the general managerial perspective on employee safety is making sure everything is OSHA-compliant.  They are more concerned about covering their own - and the company's - asses than in actually being proactive and protecting their employees.  My job exists so that if something goes wrong (and it has), the people over and around me can point to a few sheets of paper and say, "not our fault...blame the injured or dead guy."

I'm glad that my people are also his people.  Though I'm sure I'm more personally invested in "my guys" than he is, I know he's more invested in them than some safety managers for other departments are.  And at the end of the day, the more people who care about my guys, the better for all of us.

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