More About Trust and Respect Issues

Today I will talk some about Trust and Respect and whatever else comes to mind.  I told you I ramble, please forgive me.

It takes a while to establish a trust system with your co-workers.  They have to get to know you and vice versa.  There will be people who you just automatically “click” with, and those you don’t.  Don’t  let your personal feelings get in the way of doing your job.  In other words, just because your foreman yelled at you last week and you are still mad about it, just do what you are supposed to do in the meantime.  And this is very important……do not under any circumstances talk bad about your foreman to any of the other people you work with, even if they do. Most of the people you work with have been on the job a long time and even though it’s just not right to be talking about the boss, THEY have “earned” the right to do so.  You haven’t…..yet.  If you want to be like them.
And you can take this piece of information to the bank or write it on the wall, one of those people who heard you talk about the boss WILL tell him. Yeah, I know it sucks, but that’s just the way it is cause that will put a little feather in that person’s imaginary hat (or they think it will anyway).  I promise you that one day when you have proven yourself to be competent and the boss yells at you again, you will have every right to get in his face.  But you don’t have to go and blab it to everyone unless you are like those people too and enjoy putting a feather in your imaginary hat.  By keeping your mouth shut and being professional, people are going to respect you much more.  If your boss yells at you just because he is having a bad day, calmly ask him if you could have a few moments to sit down and talk about what it is exactly that you did wrong to make him get so mad.  He probably won’t be able to come up with anything in particular and might even admit that he is having a bad day.  You win.

It would be an excellent idea to ask him exactly how he expects you to do a particular task.  Ask for additional training if need be.  If you show a willingness to learn, most people will be glad to help.  And you know why?  They don’t want you to potentially damage a piece of equipment or turn the wrong valve and shut the whole unit down.  That calls for a lot of work & old-timers want to sit around with their feet propped up on the desk, taking it easy and talking bad about whoever is not at work today.  AND they don’t want you to get hurt.  OMG if you get hurt or hurt someone else with something you did wrong, there will be more Mercedes and BMWs in the parking lot than you can shake a stick at.  What this means is, all the bigboys and girls from CORPORATE are going to descend upon your workplace and they will not be happy.  There will be reports and investigations and meetings.  One or more of your co-workerss is going to be in deep doo-doo because they weren’t with you helping when you hurt yourself.  Never ever tell someone “I got this” when you really don’t.  They trusted you enough to (or just wanted to stay in the control room with feet propped up on desk) believe that you actually “had it”.  Now you really do “have it” – you got hurt, people got in trouble and they could lose their job over it.  You will also have an accident report in your file.  You will have everyone watching your every little move to make sure you don’t something else wrong.  When someone gets hurt, it is just bad news all the way around.
Also, the company’s image takes a hit with the public.  Your boss takes a hit.  Never do something you are not absolutely sure about.  Just say “hey would you mind helping me with this and just watch to make sure I do it right”.  And don’t get offended if they act like it is just killing them and they say with much laziness ” I…guess…so”.  Just be polite, smile and don’t let them touch a thing.  If they act like they are going to help say “Please let ME do it so I can learn.  You just stand there and watch”.  That way they will know that you are trying and want to be able to do it alone.  Plus, even though you have dragged them out of the comfort of a cushy chair in the control room, they won’t feel quite so bad about you.  Smile a LOT it really does help.  Even if they don’t smile back (the bastards).

You can actually have fun with people like this.  More on that later.  I know you can’t wait.

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10 Things for You to Know About A New Job

This post comes only from my personal experience.  I have been the “new” person a few times and I know what the old-timers want to see happen with a new employee.  There is a big difference between a new guy and a new woman.  You know it’s true.  You have to prove yourself, but you have to use some common sense and restraint in the beginning until they get to know you.

You should know this first and foremost.  I am NOT gifted with writing abilities.  I ramble and my thoughts get mumbled but you are getting what I wrote down and that’s that.  Take it with a grain of salt or leave it.  I know what I am talking about here.

1) Trust and Respect – this will take a while, but be patient.  It will happen if you are worthy of it.

2)Safety – don’t go in with a John Wayne attitude.  The last thing they need is for you to get hurt.

3)Hierarchy – there are people that have worked there pretty much all their life and they are not going to be taking no crap from you.  Know what your place is and in a few years or maybe sooner, you CAN tell them to go where the sun don’t shine.  Hierarchy also applies to parking spaces.  Try to find a spot where no one else parks…that IS their spot and they have earned it working for this God-forsaken place a lot longer than you.  Also, watch out for the women that work there.  They have worked with these guys a while and THEY, not YOU have earned their trust and respect.  Always defer to them, even if they are a witch.  You will get your turn if you earn it.

4) Energetic – even if you are over the hill like me, if something is going on that needs attention, get out of that chair and go with them to see what is happening.  You might not have any idea what is happening, but you are not going to learn unless you show an interest.  Even if you have worked somewhere else and you have seen the same thing happen a million times, GO with them.  You might be able to give a little insight and you will move up one notch higher on the respect scale with them.

5)Team Work – you are supposed to learn your job so that you will be able to do it correctly and without help.  But sometimes you ARE going to need help and there is no shame in asking.  It makes most people feel important that they are able to help someone who asks.  Always offer to help someone even if it is just to hold a tool or shine a flashlight.  It shows you care. 

6)Private Life – oh this one is very important.  It is okay to talk about the weather or mundane topics.  But please do not discuss your most private happenings with your co-workers.  This is a bad no-no.  I have personally witnessed people who divulged information such as a teenager being on drugs or going to jail and then the gossip train is in full motion.  It is a fact of life that people LOVE to gossip and the more you tell the more you will be talked about.  Sorry it has to be this way but it’s the truth.

7)Punctuality-be to work on time.  Try your very best to not be late.  Someone is waiting on you to get there so THEY can go home.  The more times you are late, the more times your name is not spoken in a good way. Even though your hours might be 6am to 6pm,  you really need to be there at least 15 minutes ahead of time so the person who has been working all night from 6pm to 6am can tell you what has happened during the  night.  They are sleepy, they want to go.

8)Use of free time – if you absolutely have to use the cell phone, go to the restroom and call from there.  At least until they realize that you your ear is  not permanently attached to the cell phone.  Some companies forbid cell phone use.  If this is the case, I feel bad for you…I do.  But I’m pretty sure they told you that during the job interview and you accepted the job for what it is…so just do it.

9)Attitude – Try to be cheerful but don’t go overboard.  Don’t gossip whatever you do, at least until you have been for a while. I always notice when everyone else is talking bad about someone and one certain person is not.  Gossiping does nothing but spread rumors that most of the time are not true.Even if it is true, know this, some people have nothing better to do than sit around and talk about someone else all day long.  It helps them to feel better because they think they are smarter than the person being talked about.  And oh yes, YOUR every little move is being scrutinized and they are talking about you.  So give them something good to talk about by doing your job right. Say Yes Ma’am and Yes Sir until they get tired of it and tell you not to, and most times it will not be too long.

10) Problem People – Oh this is a tough one. Sadly there ARE bullies in the work place just like when you were in grade school, high school, that witchy sister-in-law and I could go on and on.  The best I can tell you is, if it is happening to you it is going to be hard to ignore it, but at first it will be pretty much necessary.  It might be that this person’s personality and your personality have a clash.  And the best way I can think of to get around that is this…..and you won’t  like what I am going to say……defer to them, but only until you have been there a while.  Always be polite, ask them how they are doing today, try to find some common ground like hobbies to talk about, be be polite even if you can’t talk to them about anything.  If you are nice and they continually are bullies, other people will notice too.  They have been on the bad end of that deal before too.  But if it continues and you have done absolutely everything you can to be nice, then sadly some action needs to be taken.  If the bully happens to be your boss and your company has a “concerns hotline” you will have to call, for your own sake.  If the bully is a co-worker and your boss is just a pushover who can’t control the person, you will have to have a talk with management in a private meeting with HR present.  It is not going to go well.  You are going to feel bad that it had to come down to this and HR is going to be concerned that your boss couldn’t handle the bully in the first place.  At best, you might get assigned to a different shift or a different area.  But know this, if you are being bullied be sure to take notes every day with specific times, dates and what was happening at the time.  I personally have never had to do this, but I do know people who have.  And if it comes down to it, and a resolution can’t be found…..think about this.  No matter how much money you are making, do you really want to live out the rest of your working days being miserable every day that you have to come to work because of this bully?  It is time to move on and find something else somewhere else.  But the best advice I can give you is…..really try your best to get along with the bully or problem person.  More than likely it is  a verbal and mental abuse thing that is going on with the bully.  If you can somehow manage to not show any emotion and just do your job, the bully will move on to the next person they can find.  I have had to work with bullies in my lifetime and it is not fun at all.  But the funny thing is, people will say that person is not the same way at home.  Just at work.  So either the bully is getting bullied at home and then taking their frustrations out on people at work, or the person is really a sick and pathetic human being. 

This is the end of my first post.  I hope you enjoy it.  I know it not the standard, run of the mill post here at WordPress.  But I have pretty much poured out my heart and I try to tell it like it is.  Until later, take care.

Crazy Old Woman