Those Tire Tracks on my Back…
It’s been a rough couple of weeks for me. Some pretty major upgrades to the production line at my day job required working through the weekend and some off shifts, then dealing with the ongoing problems the rest of the week. It looks like we’ve finally got it smoothed out, but I’m reluctant to say that too loudly!
My job entails being in charge of all IT related systems in the plant. That means computers, databases, production scheduling, communications, data retention, production execution (we call it MES – Manufacturing Execution System), and a few other related topics. So when we do an upgrade, it’s me walking a tight rope over a steaming vat of boiling water. You’d think it would be properly planned out and an easy thing to do – and on paper it is. In reality there’s some jerk named Murphy running around screwing everything up that he can get his hands on.
The tire tracks I mentioned come from being thrown under the bus. I’d identified the ongoing problems as being related to the heart of the changes that were made – a piece of production equipment programmed and controlled by the engineers. They, in turn, talked louder and insisted it had to do with my scheduling system and lousy network. This in front of a room full of people. It’s the closest I’ve come to laying somebody out in a great many years. But I took it (fists and jaw clenched) because I didn’t have the answer, just a hunch.
Later that day, after our vendor made it back in to support us on it and I worked with him for several hours figuring it out I was vindicated. The equipment was programmed improperly and a necessary piece of communication equipment was never provided to us. With those in place things are rolling nice and smooth. That made the tire tracks on my back feel a lot better. It was like coming back from behind to win a sporting event.
And the engineers? They’ve been staying awfully quiet ever since. Go figure.
For everyone who’s ever been tossed under a bus, stay the course and fight back! Not necessarily with a shot to the jaw, but by digging in and working hard to prove you can do what you say you can. Find that inner resolve to show you can do it, whatever ‘it’ is. Sometimes it’s hard work and sometimes it takes a while to get there – I have a friend who has spent years working hard and just last weekend established herself as the world record holder in powerlifting for her weight class (132lbs, I think). I’m happy to say I’ve influenced her over the years, giving her advice and answering questions.
She’s one example of what successful people already know – dedication and discipline is the only thing that works in life. Sure, luck helps, but that will only carry you so far. Hesitation and excuses are the step that immediately precedes failure. Ironically, failure is okay as long as it isn’t followed by more excuses. Learn from it and try again. Being successful, ultimately, is how you view yourself. It’s not what other people think. In fact, once you’ve been through that process and achieved what you worked hard to do nobody can take that away from you.
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