You reach a certain point in your carreer where you have developed some specialized knowledge and skills, you’ve developed the respect of your coworkers, where you’re paid $25, $30, $35/hr and you no longer expecte to be asked to clean up dead pigeons.
The email went out telling me the plant manager had asked for exactly that… and I was too emabarassed to order my guys to do it. I put it off.
When I came back in on night shifts I went to the feeder deck to clean dead pigeons. I knew I had seen them there and I figured this was the place in the boiler building most likely to have been visited by the brass… Someone else had already done it. Since I already had my gloves and trashbag I proceded to walk higher up the structure. It wasn’t long before I started finding them. Over the next few night shifts I removed the remains of 25 pigeons.
Then I stood in front of my guys and I told them all this. And I explained that management is not going to hire a contractor to come and clean up all the pigeon corpses. And even if they did, what makes me think I’m fundamentally better than that guy.
What it really comes down to is ownership. If the dead pigeons were at your house you wouldn’t ignore them. You’d get rid of them. By stepping over them here you are saying that you don’t care about this place. That you don’t take pride in your work. And some of the messes around here aren’t as benign as pigeons, or flyash, or coal dust. Some of the messes were left by someone else who works here and doesn’t take sufficient pride in their job… trust me no matter how long you ignore it, they will NEVER come back and clean it up. It will eventually fall onto someone who cares to clean it up.
Let’s all choose to be that someone.