I work as the project manager and service coordinator for a company that services Overhead Crane Equipment. We service and install everything from the hoist on your shipping dock to the massive installations at mine sites on the Minnesota Iron Range.
A part of being in this industry is having the proper training and certifications, and for people working on mine sites one of the key certs is the MSHA training, or Mine Safety and Health Administration.
You can take those courses online, but they are rated by hours of training, and part of the online deal is you have to sit in a chair in front of the computer with a webcam on you, so the instructor can verify visually that you are really there, paying attention 100% of the time.
In my office, I am the guy that sits in a chair and coordinates everything on the web or over the phone. Working with vendors, customers, service techs and invoicing all day long. I don’t go visit customers or work on the job site anymore, and when Minnesota winter rolls in, I’m damn happy about it. Snow is for snowmobiling, not replacing a hoist cable 50′ in the air on a bucket lift.
The two sales guys who work out of the office, however, DO visit those sites, and being cheap bastards who want as much of a commission as possible and resent the service tech labor hours taking their slice off, they try to do as much work themselves as they can. Even if that means being a ground guide for safety. They DO need MSHA training.
Our annual training program is due at the end of the month, and for the last month we’ve been told we had to login and get it done, on our own time of course, from home.
Guess who has the entire suite of MSHA training in his online basket? This guy.
Guess who DOESN’T have that training in their lists? Yeah, those other guys.
And guess who has been gloating about only having five eensy, weensy little classes to do, and has nevertheless been bitching constantly about having to do them on their own time?
Yeah, those guys.
I’ve been staring at, conservative estimate, over 19 hours of online training, fixed sitting in your chair watching videos without fast-forwarding options, while those guys have maybe four hours tops. And they’ve been bitching, AND gloating at my misfortune.
For a month.
Ah, but this morning. This wonderful, happy, frabjous day!
Our department manager, who works out of another city (and yes that is as glorious as it sounds) is in town for the monthly managers meeting for all the branches.
And my manager stopped in to give me a fresh Toby’s pecan caramel roll, and to see how it was going.
He brought up the training, reminding me that is has to get done by November 1st. Then he asked where my most gloating coworker was today.
“Oh, he said he was going to be taking the day at home to work on completing the training.”
“you do what you have to do. And John, if you have to do it on overtime, well, I’m not going to bitch about it.”
“Well you know, that’s fine but it’s hard to find a solid block of time to do it, what with all of that MSHA training added in among the normal office ergonomics and bloodborne pathogen stuff. That’s going to be over 20 hours, and you know I can’t be gone from work that long, so it’s going to have to be weekends.”
“Oh wow, you have MSHA on your training list, John? Oh, you don’t really need that. I’ll get that taken off your list, you should only have like five things.”
“Really? Oh, maybe my list got switched with Tim, then. He was saying just the other day how his list only had five items on it, and you know he spends all his time visiting mine sites.”
“Oh, thanks for letting me know, I’ll get that fixed and get that MSHA training on his list where it belongs.”
Oh my, yes.
Yes, it is going to be a most frabjous day.
I’m a very conscientous person, though.
I made sure to call Tim’s cell phone, and I left him a message to let him know that all of those courses would be added onto his required training list, so he didn’t have to worry about it anymore.
And I made sure to explain exactly how that came about.
Somewhere out there, very soon now, I expect the universe to echo to the cries of “JOOOOOOOOOOOHHHNNN!!!!!!!!”
That caramel roll is going to taste very sweet, indeed.