I Need to Know Right Away if You Come Across Anything that Smacks of Harassment - Page Two

[ This entry continues from » Page One (23.Oct.2017). ]

» Reactor Refueling Outage

Refueling outages are balls-to-the-wall 24 hours a day, 7 days a week .. for months at a time. Everybody is working 12-hour days, 6 days a week.

San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS)

It's a controlled chaos where nobody wants to look like they dont have their shit together. Anticipation and quick responses definitely play a part.

You cover your bases. You set your people up for success and you keep your bosses out of trouble .. by managing them.

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••• today's entry continues here below •••

» Let Me Work On That

We went back into my secret office .. which was really just an empty room with a shitload of cable-trays running through it.

Nobody ever went into that room .. because there was no reason to .. which is why I used it as a convenient place to talk privately.

When she told me what had happened between her and this dude, I said, "Okay .. let me work on that. I'll get back to you."

I could immediately sense the challenge of such a thing. And I could see that this is something we definitely dont want to fuck up.

I didnt know how to approach it. I never had to deal with such a thing before. I had never faced such a problem.

Should I go talk to this guy myself? Should I talk to his boss? The general foreman? Instead, I went to my peer-level interface .. who was this guy's boss's boss.

My peer-level interface is house. He runs everything inside the plant in our department. (A few hundred people.)

He makes most of the key decisions .. on how we do shit. On how we do business. On how we run the ship. The mothership.

» I'll Talk to Him Myself

I told him the problem and asked, "Should I talk to his boss?"

He said "No, I'll talk to him myself." [ the problem-guy himself ]

See .. bosses want this kind of thing handled, and they want it handled right away. They are even willing to handle it themselves .. no matter how busy they might happen to be.

I certainly felt that way myself and my house counterpart likewise seemed to feel the same.

» Managing Appearances

This is the guy who once said to me, "In addition to doing our jobs and not fucking up, we also need to manage appearances."

San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station | Southern California

So this guy understands optics. (Certainly in a way that Hillary does not. Or Scott Pruitt.) He understands that appearance is often reality.

I felt good when he told me that he was going to handle it himself. When your boss's boss comes and talks to you .. you get the message.

» Clearly Not-Cool Shit to Say

I am not going to tell you the intimate gory details of this thing .. because they are embarrassing .. in a number of ways.

But this guy had said things to her that he should definitely not have said. He was being a dick to her.

This was not something that you had to think about .. or where you wondered if it were really wrong. No, sir. This was clearly fucked up.

I felt bad for her .. that she had to hear someone talk to her in such a way.

When I told my house counterpart, he dropped his head. It embarrasses you that you choose this guy for a supervisory position.

What I am saying here is that .. as a boss, you feel responsible for the actions of the people who you promote to supervisory positions.

» The Plastic Yellow Ice-Scrapper Snapped in My Hand

I went to this plant from Indian Point in New York because I got tired of scraping ice off of my windshield at 5:15 AM .. in the pitch-black darkness .. long before the sun comes up ..

.. with the sound of wind howling through the trees in the woods across the street .. while I was standing in fresh snow up to my ankles .. in the middle of January.

On one such morning the 99-cent plastic yellow window scraper snapped in my hand. It had rained the night before and then the temperatures dropped overnight.

The whole car was covered with a thin sheet of ice. And then there was a dusting of an inch or two of fresh, light powder on top of that. Cold on top of cold.

When the plastic yellow scraper snapped in my hand, I sort of snapped myself. When I got to work, I called the home office and asked, "You guys got anything where the weather is warm?"

They said, "We got San Onofre."

I said "Where's that?"

» It Sits on a Famous Surf Spot Mentioned in a Beach Boys Song

They said, "It's on the West coast .. about halfway between LA and San Diego. It's nice there. The plant sits on a famous surf spot mentioned in a Beach Boys song."

"Ooh," I said. "That does sound nice. I might have to learn how to surf."

Surfer dude at San Onofre

There is a surf break at San Onofre named » Old Man's. There is a reason why Old Man's is named Old Man's.

» Holy Shit .. I'm Surfing

Old Man's is where I caught my very first wave. I was kind of surprised .. to tell you the truth.

I was like, "Holy shit .. I'm surfing."

It's a lot harder to do than these young kids make it look .. the ones who grew up with a surfboard.

I had this Hawaiian dude who I worked with teaching me. He was very patient with me. I remember him saying, "Try not to swallow so much water." (He was talking about seawater here.)

White Porsche 911 Targa with a longboard in passenger seat parked in San Clemente

This guy was also at the party that I mentioned earlier. He came early and helped me get things ready (.. a whole pig turning slowly on a spit connected to a small electric motor).

There is a Zen aspect to surfing that definitely appeals to me. A real surfer needs to get out in the water everyday .. in order to be okay.

They said, "And we definitely need people there. We can get you in there no problem. But it's not staffing for another few months. So sit tight and we'll give you a call when we start sending in people. I'll go ahead submit your resume."

» A Feel for My Skill-Set

They made me a boss here after a year. At first, you are just a part-time boss, part-time worker-bee. Then, as your prove yourself, they gradually give you more and more responsibility.

The move to full-time boss for the outages is a big step. It is actually a bigger step than the original step up to part-time boss.

So I spent about six years at this plant in some degree of 'bossy'-type of position .. more and more as time progressed.

The last few years there I had a thing going on. I had worked out the kinks in my position. I had proven myself countless times. I routinely exceeded expectations .. tho not too much to attract attention.

I tried hard to stay out of politics and cliques in the professional environment. But in practice, this is very difficult. If not impossible. Particularly after you become a boss. Then you naturally become familiar with key players on a personal level.

You get sucked in .. slowly but inevitably. Yet I still struggled against the inevitable.

But what if you are confronted with a situation that pits morals and ethics against power and authority? What if you are forced to decide between the two? One or the other.

This type of choice is not unfamiliar to most people. I bet that Aaron Weiss knows exactly what I am talking about here.

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This page contains a single entry by Rad published on October 23, 2017 10:23 PM.

I Need to Know Right Away if You Come Across Anything that Smacks of Harassment - Page One was the previous entry in this blog.

I Need to Know Right Away if You Come Across Anything that Smacks of Harassment - Page Three is the next entry in this blog.

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