October ’14 Elevator Constructor

Brothers and sisters:

We work in a trade that requires all of us to interact with others either directly or indirectly to accomplish the goal of providing the best possible outcome for our customers. For those of us working in construction, modernization or service, this means a partner (mechanic or apprentice) that we rely on to accurately communicate what is going on, be a second set of eyes for safety issues and perform tasks to move the job along to completion.

This is how we define team work.

I attended the 2014 Cleveland Building and Construction Trades softball tournament and, even though our men in blue took another early exit, it served as a real lesson in what disparate individuals can accomplish when working together. Think about what it takes to be successful in any team endeavor: First, everyone knows what their part is; second everyone knows their teammates part, third; they can make adjustments on the fly to compensate for changing conditions and last they all are focused on both the short term tasks and long term goals. These four factors really came to light when watching softball teams that had been together for a time play versus the teams that were obviously cobbled together at the last minute. There was a precision in their movements and certainty in the outcome.

So, how does this apply to the elevator trade….

When two or more people are working on a job, whether it is small or large, everyone needs to know their part, know what their partner is doing, make adjustments for changing work conditions and be focused on achieving the best outcome. This does take time working together to learn how your partner works, how to communicate with them and the best way to deal with their personality.

When a superintendent shuffles teams around the efficiency of the operation can suffer because everyone has to relearn their part. About a year ago I was teamed for the first time with a newer mechanic. Our task was to do repacks on inverted jacks, no small feat given the hurdles the engineers placed in our way. The first day was spent relearning how to do the task and learning how my new partner worked. The second went better as we both grew accustomed to the others work style until the end of the week when we just did the job and actually had time at the end of the day to relax. This was team work, plain and simple.

Trying to work with difficult partners makes an already hard job even harder. Lack of communication, different work styles and personalities are all hurdles we must overcome. I have no magic answer on the best way to deal with this issue except to remind you that to someone you may be the difficult person to work with.

How would you deal with you?

Please keep in mind that the November 14, December 12 and January 9 meetings for the nomination, election and installation of officers are mandatory required meetings for all members of Local 17. If you cannot attended or have an accepted reason for not attending you must give notice to the hall prior to the meeting. All meetings start at 6 pm at 3250 Euclid Avenue.

Apprentices must have their JATC forms up to date or risk being called in front of the board to explain why. If you are in need of additional forms, contact Tim.

Everyone is reminded that when they are on a new construction, modernization or service job that lasts more than two days, they are required to call the hall to report their location.