Jose Bowled Us Over…

| September 4, 2009 | 0 Comments

 

Update…

Last week Samantha and I spent four days in California learning about the temporary staffing business. This is a vital component in PeopleLution’s effort to jump start a Florida ex-offender re-entry company.

Continental Labor and Staffing Resources, Bakersfield based, invited us to “grill away” at their leadership team. From operations to accounting, we began examining the big picture processes behind a successful temp organization (hey, you can’t absorb years of experience in a few short days).

To a person they were smart, witty, faith-based, and transparent with their information. We were having a marvelous learning experience…

…and then we saw Jose address a group of temp workers going out on their first assignment…

Again, Jose bowled us over.

Jose is Continental’s Safety Director. Yeah, I know. Typical safety lectures to temp workers usually go like this, “Lift with your legs. Wear your helmet. Tie your boots. Don’t drive over your supervisor with your tow motor, etc.”

But Jose didn’t do the stock talk.

He talked about them. He let them know how he had sat in their chair a few years ago, a temp worker looking for survival. He pierced their heart by telling them something they already knew – that they were important to someone…

…and “that someone” needed them home that night…

…that regardless of their circumstances in life, no paycheck was worth what a workplace injury could cost them.

…and that the blue-collar work they were doing was not mindless drivel but worthy of pursuit.

He made them care about their own safety, and if supervisors degraded them because they were just temporary help, call Jose. He’ll get there and straighten them out!

In less than 45 minutes Jose gave those workers hope, a reason to think safety on the job, and convinced them that everyone at Continental cared. Compassion is a way of life, not empty words.

In the end there were a few tears showing, and, I’m sure, a few hidden. Jose received an emotional applause from a crowd that wouldn’t generally give you the time of day.

It was an act of trust to be seen to be believed.

As Sam and I continue to map out the Florida start-up re-entry company, we will take to heart the self-reliant lesson we were reminded of in Bakersfield…

Thank you Continental. Thank you Jose.

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