CAREER Smart

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Here as of late, I have been finding myself quite frustrated, to say the least, with work that has not been completed. Everything from painting walls to setting concrete has fallen into this category of incomplete work. Due to time constraints of my own, there has been a need to hire contractors to do many tasks that I would have done on my own. During this process of hiring businesses to complete tasks I haven’t been able to find time to complete, there has been a common theme of incomplete work. 

In our line of work in the trucking industry, we are hired to transport a load in a safe and timely manner. The requirements are for us to pick up a load on time and deliver on time without any damage to the commodity being transported. In addition to the basics, we’re required to follow all of the rules and laws that govern us in the transportation sector. 

How hard is it to just do your job completely? Finishing a job has seemingly fallen out of style from what I have experienced over the past couple of years. An example is painters who do not tape up edges or clean up where they had dripped paint onto the floor. Then when the painters thought they were finished in their mind, the cleaning of their brushes was done outside at the water faucet. Of course, the painters left their mark by splashing paint on the siding of the house while cleaning their brushes out. 

Concrete work has not fared any better as I have had two examples to see a trend. First was a next to zero ground prep followed by concrete being splashed all over the side of the house and some even being splashed on my neighbor's house. I know that some of this is going to happen but it seems reasonable to think it would be cleaned up afterward without asking. The next problem found with the concrete work was that the reinforcing wire mesh was left at the bottom of the concrete which is not the way it’s supposed to be.

The second example is with the driveway at my house. My sewer lines run under the driveway, and on this brand new house, the sewer began to back up. Turns out the lawn sprinkler people drilled a hole thru the sewer line and did not fix the damage to the line. The damage caused to the sewer line by the lawn sprinkler contractor caused the sewage to back up overtime at the damaged area of the pipe. 

When the plumbers came in to assess the damage, they had to have the concrete driveway broken up to repair the offending pipe that caused the sewage back up. The concrete people came in and used concrete saws and a jackhammer. Breaking up concrete is a messy job for sure, however, it seems reasonable to expect everything to be cleaned up and left in the same shape as it was when they started the job.  

Here is how the job was left, concrete was sprayed over the landscape lighting, garage door, and the shrubbery. As if this was not enough, the crew cleaned their tools by the water faucet on the side of the house and left all of the excess concrete on the ground to kill the grass. The lawn sprinkler people put back the sprinkler tops but they did not care to point the sprayers to our lawn. They were left spraying in odd directions.

Here is how I see this relating to the trucking industry. When we are making a delivery, we should be on time with undamaged freight. We should not damage the landscape by driving over curbs or bushes. We should pick up our security load seals off the ground after cutting them instead of leaving them on the ground to possibly damage anyone's truck or trailer tires. And we should not run into anyone else's equipment. 

Making a delivery or a pick-up while keeping the processes mentioned in the preceding paragraph seem like a simple endeavor to accomplish in my mind. Evidently, I’m wrong in feeling that the mission of making a delivery as previously mentioned is simple as for some reason my trailer has been run into several times by other drivers while it’s dropped at the dock. Next on this list of frustration is how drivers will drop their bolt seal after cutting it off. These bolt seals can puncture a tire beyond repair so why would we leave them on the ground?    

I guess my frustration is really stemming from a lack of work ethic in many cases today. What has caused the deterioration of work ethics in doing a job with pride? Am I just from a different generation where how you did your job was your signature? 

The changes start with each one of us and I continue to do my job with pride.

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Henry Albert

Henry Albert is the owner of Albert Transport, Inc., based in Statesville, NC. Before participating in the "Slice of Life" program, Albert drove a 2001 Freightliner Century Class S/Tâ„¢, and will use his Cascadia for general freight and a dry van trailer. Albert, who has been a trucker since 1983, was recognized by Overdrive as its 2007 Trucker of the Year.

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