Management and Labor – Is there common Ground? 0

The IBEW sign usually says “Boycott so and so”. I generally don’t pay attention to their sign, we don’t have much common ground. I grew up management, not labor. Yet this morning’s message made me stop and look. After reading it, I found myself in full agreement with the IBEW

Coming from a Right-to-Work state over 20 years ago, my first encounter with labor unions was during the construction of a new building. As part of the management team that would occupy and use the building after its completion, I was on-site during the entire building process.  While the building did open on time, many differences of opinion threatened to delay the project.

The one I found most interesting had to do with the installation of the alarm system. Each individual fire door had its own contact point. The contacts had a battery backup. The electricians complained that the local alarm company, which was not represented by a union, should not be allowed to connect the batteries because it was “electricity” and electricity was their job.

The issue was finally resolved and the alarm company completed the job themselves. I admit I did find an opportunity to let the BA know my thoughts on the matter. The next day my pager battery went dead. Remember when pagers were a high-tech business tool? I brought my pager and a new battery to the BA and asked him to change it for me, as it was “electricity”.

Ok, so I shouldn’t have done that, it wasn’t professional. But as Forest Gump once said, “stupid is as stupid does”.

So why would I stop and take a picture of the IBEW’s sign? Because some things are just bigger than individual differences. Our country was founded on these differences and the right to express them freely. And our men and women in uniform defend that right on a daily basis. To them we both say “thank you”.

The IBEW’s sign made me see past the small to the big picture. It made me see that we have common ground.

Memorial Day Thoughts 4

I went to a funeral yesterday for a friend I’ve known for almost 20 years. I first met him when his son and mine were on the same soccer team. Later,  he listed a rental property for me when he was in real estate. Most recently, his wife  worked for the same company I do. In many small ways, I shared his life.

Monday is Memorial day. I count among my friends many Veterans, including my father who was a first Lieutenant in the US Army. During this holiday weekend, I plan to thank every person in uniform I see, to share a small moment of their life.

As we remember the dead, let us also honor the living, sharing the small things with others.