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GPzMike Abroad

July 25, t+99

PHILIPPINES | Wednesday, 25 July 2012 | Views [334]

Well it's been a very intense 4 weeks or so. When Matt left I was tasked with running the show and there was just no way to cover everything. I covered an amazing amount of duties, but inevitably things did slip thru. Now that Paul Raddant has arrived we will be able to start repairing and getting back online those items that have been languishing.
The longer I stay the more incredible the place becomes. Yesterday I was riding the m/c to work and saw the cutest damned little tiny girl on the side of the dirt road in what we call the meadow which is a picturesque house along the way to our build site. She was dressed in a brite little dress and had a big umbrella open shading her from the sun. I so wanted to snap a photo but alas it was one of the very few times I've been without my camera. I take few photos, but carry the darned thing constantly. Then along comes 'one of those moments' and wouldn'tcha know it...grr.
We are suffering some moral issues with the employees right now and that's something I take very hard. I recognize I'm not vey good at being a 'half full' type of person, and I certainly have my share of faults. I can't help but wonder if, as the 'boss', those faults have a way of trickling down into the employees. Or am I being overly full of myself? These are areas I've had little navigational experience in. I know there are a few key items I can do to improve the moral: weed out the chaff, learn the names of every employee so I can engage them personally (been making headway on this one, but not fast enough dagnabbit), find some room to give some raises, begin a training and worker of the week type recognition program, institute regular employee reviews, get a weekly open forum construction meeting rolling, and (likely the weakest of the ideas) set up a comments/suggestions anonymous box.
One important thing I've learned just recently: there are serious ramifications to being a softie when you are at the top of the roster. I know some of you (Korin! lol) are rolling your eyes at that...but hear me out!
My foremen brought an issue of insubordination to me. I went into the field and had a talk with the worker and he got in line. Sounds all nice and dandy, right?
Wrong. Here's what happens as a result:
The workers see that the foremen don't have any real authority because if they are compelled to bring something to my attention (likely meaning there have been repetitive issues) all I do is just what the foremen do: I talk to the person and get them on board. So the employees know that even if they get in trouble with the foremen it'll be okay because they will get more chances with me. I'm undermining the power of the foremen and making the problem worse rather than better in the long run!
The foremen and HR came and talked with me about it and I realized the error I was making: if a personnel situation gets to the point that I need to brought in, then it should be viewed by all as a VERY serious matter. Not a casual conversation type of matter.
Okay, more later. I went out looking to buy a mountain bike yesterday and think I found one - it will be very good for my sanity here to be able to get out some tension on the trails around here...once I find them. I ran into a couple of bikers yesterday that guided me to a bike shop and they offered their number to me so that we can hook up and they can show me some trails in the area. Cowabunga, baBY!

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