Life Lesson number 3.
I went the next 13 years after Chicago to seven years in Newport News VA where I was press room manager, Press and Packaging Manager and then Production Manager. Four years where I was Packaging Manager at the Orlando, Sentinel. Then two years outside of the industry at a company called Landoll's in Ashland, Ohio. That will be a post on its own some day. But the lesson I am about to impart was fine tuned in Southern California at a company know as California Community News. We had a big inserting operation for the Los Angeles Times and four single width presses we printed the Times Community Newspapers on. The company grew rapidly, in 2002 we more than doubled the size of the company and added over 200 new employees. I started doing crew meetings with these crews that were a mixture of seasoned employees and brand new people. And I was always eager to hear what employees wanted to talk about but knew that I had to have some kind of agenda to warm the room up so they were comfortable speaking. So I came up with a list of examples of what employees can do and what they shouldn't do if they wanted to work at CCN. The meeting followed a list like the one than follows.
· Five things we expect from you to be successful at the company.
o Attendance (Your part of a team, everyone needs to be on time, most of the time)
o Absenteeism (Use your sicks if you need them. But we we were born in the dark, but not . last night! We see patterns in sick calls, don't be one of them.)
o Job Knowledge (Be able to do your job reasonably well)
o Safety (You be 100% safe, we will provide a 100% safe work environment)
o Teamwork (Talk about your favorite sports team as long as you can be professional . about it, otherwise, avoid talking about things that upset you at work)
o You are a grown up, you have learned from hundreds of people how to act.
o Supervisor is a historian, you create the record.
o Speed limit on Interstate Freeway. (you know how fast you can legally drive and what . happens when you don't follow limits. Well, we have speed limits at work too, drive safely . and you won't get in trouble)
o We won’t ever yell at you.
o Only three answers possible to your question. (Yes, no or I will find out)
o We will always treat you fairly, but don’t be confused by not liking something.
o I am just a mirror, I reflect back what you present to me.
o It is important for your supervisor to understand you, But don’t forget that you need to
understand your supervisor.
o Work is like a bank account. (You make deposits every day by showing up and doing your
job. (That builds credit in your job bank. So if after a couple of years you have a string of . late arrivals, you have earned the chance to straighten that out with your prior time of . being on time.)
o We built the plant, pay the bills, etc… Just show up!
This always resulted in a good dialog with employees and laid out the rules of the company in a somewhat humorous way.