Your head light fluid is low.

So, I'm a heavy equipment operator.   The company I work for heat treats and threads pipe for oil drilling rigs across North America.   It's physically demanding, and comes with all the stress that most new production plants come with.   I work outside, where I'm exposed to the elements.   I've almost got hit by lightning, worked through tornado warnings, and lately my coworkers and I have been faced with the added danger of moving tens of thousands of pounds of slippery pipe, in a pot hole riddled, snow covered mud pit we like to call The Yard.   One of the fork lifts we use is one of only 3 in all of Canada, that has a mass capacity of well over 100,000lbs (with a 5ft load center).   To get an idea, that's like picking up 45 heavy duty pick up trucks with ease. 
It's both the best and worst job I've ever had, but I can't think of much I'd rather be employed as.  I also feel very fortunate to be one of the lucky 200 to be hired at the only significant manufacturing / trades establishments to open shop here in decades.  It's the only real industrial type recovery from the recession my area has seen, and I'm glad to be a part of it.  With that being said, I'd like to give a shout out to Alex from the lab! 
 My supervisor thought I'd get a kick out of the email Alex sent upper management yesterday, so he let me read it.   According to the email,  Alex was asked to visually inspect some of the pipe we had in the yard that had apparently failed.  He needed to determine whether or not we should run the pipe for a second time, or deem it scrap.  A simple, but somewhat annoying task, that he would reluctantly accomplish in the summer, but not after he saw this week's weather forecast.  Because they're calling for minus double digits before the wind chill, he has submitted a formal work refusal, stating that it's unsafe to be out in the cold for any extended period of time.  He refuses to work without the comfort of a wind guard.  Such a guard would cost the company thousands of dollars in installation, either that or an untold amount for all of the pipe that they could potentially rectify and sell.   Initially, I thought this was hilarious.  That laughter soon turned to anger as I thought about how ignorant and entitled Alex thinks he is.   It's like when I had to bring a 200lb test sample from the saw to the lab.  The only way to get it through the door was to hand-bomb it.  I picked up one end, another yard guy the other, all while the two guys from the saw straight up refused to do it.  I must say it felt good though, letting them watch me; a 110lb little girl carry something 2 grown men deemed too heavy.  
I don't think most of the people inside the plant realize that there are people out side.  The yard is the heart of the company, we are the only department the plant cannot go without.  Each of the departments can go down for maintenance or whatever, and we keep the plant running by feeding pipe into the remaining processes.  We make their down time possible.  Without us, the flow would be broken and the entire plant would shut down, losing millions a day.  Speaking of flow, we are required to adapt to an ever increasing production rate and thus pay load.  Our counter parts at the Rail crew (sister company that works on site) has 6 people to load one rail car at a time.  We have 5 people to keep up with the entire plant, and load rail cars when we're on afternoons and midnights.  Despite this reality, we are the only people there that are not evaluated for a annual raises.  Since it's inception, the yard has continuously maintained the lowest "days without a loss time accident" average.   One operator is on stress/sick leave due to work related stress resulting in a massive heart attack.  One guy broke his ankle, underestimating the depth of a pot hole that any inside worker would consider a major tripping hazard.  4 people have left work in the last 6 months in need of stitches to the face.  2 people have seriously injured their back.  One of them is currently off work with a doctor's note, the other is also on compensation awaiting a back surgery that will require extensive physiotherapy in order to learn to walk again.   Myself, I feel fortunate to only be recovering from a minor case of pneumonia, and suffering what I thought was a kink in my neck that has lasted some 2 weeks now. 
I still love my job, and am fortunate to have it.  However it makes living among society much more difficult when I read email's like Alex's.  Something tells me Princess Alex will get his stack of mattresses - sans pea, in the form of a wind shield.  I also have the inclination that I'll be one of the people out there, in the unsafe cold, setting it up for him.  I hope he watches me do it, and I hope he gains an understanding of the age old phrase "Somebody's gotta do it".   But I doubt it.  
Maybe karma does exist, and one day an auto mechanic will scam Alex into replacing the head light fluid in his car.  
Uploaded 01/24/2013
  • 0 Favorites
  • Flag
  • Stumble
  • Pin It