December 8, 2020

Sometimes You Just Have to Kick the Darn Thing

By Paul Bieber

It was 11:30 Saturday night and the heavy, wet snow had been falling all day. There were areas of our town that had lost power. That didn’t bother me since we had a generator in the backyard that starts automatically if the power goes out. Except it didn’t.

Elaine and I waited a minute or two and nothing happened. We were just about to get in bed and the dog started barking at the darkness. We always have flashlights around and turned on a couple. After five minutes there was no generator. I don’t get around well so Elaine dressed and went out to see what was happening. She spent ten minutes pushing every button on the generator that she could but nothing happened. Elaine was getting upset and decided to come back in the house, after all it was cold and snowing. She slammed the top of the generator case down and suddenly the darn thing started up. It ran like a purring cat until noon on Sunday when we got our power back and it turned itself off automatically.

Nice story, but what the heck does it have to do with a blog for the glass industry? Everything. We all have plans for this and that. We have notebooks on what to do when something happens. Some of us even practice what to do in emergencies. Hopefully you practice first-aid drills.

And sometimes, you just have to kick the darned thing to get it going. An employee is just being lazy or not following a rule? A figurative kick-in-the-backside might just do the trick. A vendor is giving you a hard time on a delivery date? It might be the right time to kick that vendor out of your life and find one that cares about you as a customer.

I have known this all of my business life, but I’ll admit there were times I didn’t kick quick enough, hoping not to make ripples. Go ahead, kick start your generator at midnight on a snowy night and you will sleep better.

I wish my readers, your families and your co-workers health and safety.