March 15, 2007



I wish that people would realize their value. Their importance in the puzzle. It just gets so frustrating to me.

My first job in the steel industry was as a temp. I worked with the shipping group to put together a computerized system for shipping and recieving. Got to know the folks in the plant pretty well. Then, I got hired on. Then promoted. But I hung on to those friendships.

The folks in the plant were rotated into other areas as teams. So the shipping guys all stayed together. At one point they were assigned to one of the inspection lines. By this time I was in Corporate sales out of the Chicago office.

One day we were having the first GREAT spring day of the year so the guys all decided to call in and go fishing. That effectively shut down the #2 Inspection Line.

It just so happened that my steel was scheduled to run on that particular line that day. It also just so happened it was a hot load needed to keep from shutting one of the Chrysler plants down. To avoid a very large monetary penalty I had to purchase (at a huge price) replacement material to ship in it's place.

The next day instead of going to the office I drove to the plant. (I had the President of the plants approval for all of this btw.) I took some donuts and went out to see The Boys. We talked, they told me about fishing and what a great time they had. I never said a word about the consequences of their decision. Instead I told them I had arranged a Field Trip for them. They were going to take the train into the city and spend the day at Corporate with Me.

I paid for the train tickets. I bought lunch. They just had to wear a tie and show up.

They did. I set up the conference room as my office for the day. Every call that came in I put on speaker. Told the caller and went on with my day to day business. And let those guys hear every single word that was spoken.

By the third call I would have sworn their faces were permanently red. I got my ass chewed up one side and down the other for missing shipments, replacement material, being late, burrs, defects - you name it.

By lunch the only words those guys could say were "I'm sorry" and "I had no idea".

I wanted them to SEE, to UNDERSTAND how important what they do is to ME. To the CUSTOMER. I needed them to realize how they fit in the puzzle that was our business.

I can see something like that comin' where I'm at now. It seems I am surrounded by people with tunnel vision. They know what THEY do and nothing else. Or else they know but don't care.

We're a small company runnin' with the big dogs. And the big dogs are eatin' our lunch. They have resources and systems beyond anything we'll ever have. But I know we can do it. We have the potential. People just need to understand how a TEAM really works.

Now, I'll admit, part of the problem is that in one area people are not "valued". I do what I can to say Thank You (took donuts to the entire warehouse group for doin' a rush job for me) and letting the powers that be know when someone goes above and beyond. But that's not enough. We as a company need to do a better job of that.

And some how, we have to get everyone on board. We have to make sure EVERYONE understands how vital their role is.

And that's true in life over all. Each of us has a role. A role that HAS to be filled. Mother, Father, Aunt, Uncle, Wife, Husband, Friend - each is a role that, if left undone or done poorly effects lives. Each of us brings a special value to that role. One that no one else can bring.

Oh, I just wish I could blink my eyes, or wiggle my nose and people would understand just how special and valuable they are. The world - and my job - would be so much sweeter for that.......

Posted by Tammi at March 15, 2007 05:29 AM | TrackBack

I so know where you are coming from. Sounds like Sales is a lot like the Quality Dept.

When people out on the floor don't perform to expectations the Quality Dept are the people who hear about it from the customer and are expected to fix it.

The people out on the floor think they have it worse then me, but they don't understand that it is I who takes the ass chewing from the customer. At one of my jobs I was allowed to take floor people with me to the customer to let them see what it's like when they screwed up and let me tell you, they finally understood.

Posted by: Quality Weenie at March 15, 2007 08:21 AM
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