May 15, 2006

Home for Awhile

Well... I've been sweating bulletts over the weekend, 'cuz I got a call from the Big Boss on Friday. I left Memphis around noon (in hopes that I could arrive home early enough to have some semblance of a weekend) and I was making good time. When the phone rang, I was "miles away"... trying to plan out what would get done this week. The upshot of our conversation is that I'd messed up a hoistway door frame on the last new construction job I was on... And he was pissed about it. I was informed at that time that I would be working here in Knoxville this week, and "did I have my tools?".

The rest of the drive home was spent thinking about all the things that went wrong on that job, and the ultimate cause of the problem... and all I could come up with was "I was the Mechanic In Charge", so it was my responsibility to make it right". I called up the "Adjuster/Construction Supervisor" (Phil) who was out in Memphis last week with us and got three elevators running on auto while he was there, and told him of my plight. I basically told him that I'd Fucked Up, was prepared to make it right, and "Take my ass-chewin' like a man".

The weekend was spent chewin' on my fingernails, and trying to get caught up on my chores. Mostly it was not a lot of fun. I have a tendency to punish myself for making stupid mistakes. I'll sit around and dwell on it until I've driven myself to complete distraction, then I'll think about it some more. I examine everything... from every angle, and try to determine why I fucked up...Was it a physical thing? Too much fatigue, too many body-aches, incorrect/faulty tools, etc.? Was it a mental thing? Distracted with home-life, thinking about too many things at once, trying too hard to advance the job, etc.? Needless to say, the wheels were turning from the time the phone rang until I finally arrived at the job with the Boss.

When I got to the shop this morning, I fully expected to get "raked over the coals" a time or two (and even more later at the job), but the Chief restrained himself to heroic perportions. I think that it was due to the fact that he'd had a weekend to calm himself, but who knows? I rode all the way out to the job (35 minutes of drive) in his truck, and we discussed the finer points of everything but elevators on the way. When we were on site he calmly pointed out the errors I'd made, and we talked about how "The company had failed me?". I allowed that it was not them, but it was MY fault... I've gotten an awesome level of support from everyone that can help me in this company, it certainly isn't thier charge to ensure that I did my job correctly... and there's An End On't.

I'm slated to correct my mistake over the course of a few days this week, and I welcome the experience. I look at it as a learning experience, and an opportunity to get better at what I do. It's taken me eighteen-years in the workforce to figure out what I want to be when I "Grow Up", and I'm not about to let "Stupid" fuck up this opportunity for me. I'm an Elevator Man Goddamnit! I Love my job, and I'll do what it takes to ensure that I keep on doing it... Including admitting I was wrong.

the benefit of this whole scenario is that I get to sleep in my own bed for a week... It's a lot to bear just for that simple benefit, but it's the cross I bear... Sometimes I hate being a fuckin' grownup!

Posted by Johnny - Oh at May 15, 2006 08:18 PM | TrackBack

Being a grown up do suck... glad it's worked out smoothly, though.

By the way, picked up Richard Cheese's "Tuxicity" this eve... great album.

Posted by: That 1 Guy at May 15, 2006 11:29 PM

Ahhh Darlin'. I'm sorry you gotta deal with this. But - you're much as it sucks it just part of the whole grown up thing. But damn....

Enjoy the "upside" of the week.

Posted by: Tammi at May 16, 2006 01:47 PM

Bravo, Johnny. You make fuck-ups seem valiant & enviable...


Posted by: Tuck at May 18, 2006 08:36 AM

Like Tuck said - you're a fuck-up, but a VALIANT fuck-up :-)

Seriously, though, as long as you learn from it, it's just another part of your education, and making the mistake is NOT a reflection on your worth as a human being. I'm glad your boss could see that. There's nothing worse than working for a guy who can't tell the difference between a mistake and a character flaw.

Posted by: Harvey at May 18, 2006 11:12 AM

Preaching to the choir here. I had a huge mistake at work. It ultimately was my fault and I'm taking the full responsibility for it. But it sucks.

Posted by: Contagion at May 18, 2006 05:58 PM

One of the things taught at "Management School" here at Ford is this;

"Everyone makes mistakes. The quality we are looking for is how a potential manager reacts to the mistake. Is there an attempted cover-up? An attempt to fix it themself? A coordinated focus on fixing the problem? Blame others? These are all possibilities. We don't promote only on success - we need to see how a person reacts when things go badly."

Take that for what it is worth.

Posted by: _Jon at May 20, 2006 08:26 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?