Friday, May 30, 2008


Years ago when I entered into the workforce post-Graduation, I couldn’t wait to start contributing to the American Dream (back then I was naïve and bought into the myth). I walked in willingly ready to be integrated into corporate culture happy to add co-workers into an expanded network of friends and as I met my supervisors and cohorts, my mind opened for this new information needed to efficiently do my job. So I sat. And sat. And sat often for hours and sometimes days until finally someone came along and dropped a pile of work in front of me and said, “These are due by the end of the day”, and then walked away.

As I sat there in my cubical staring at a pile of files I wondered with a blank expression and idle thoughts saying, “What am I suppose to do with all this?” I looked around at the other workers and thought I’d be proactive enough to ask for a little help. To my surprise, my under excited co-workers knew as much as I did. We all pretty much were flying wild in a random roulette of corporate bureaucracy. No one knew what they were doing and those that did, did not want to help or share. Here, in my mind, was the center of all backstabbing and hording, the very experience exercised in this particular Game was not taught in Business Classes in college. Needless to say, I became very disillusioned and thus the seeds to be in a better position, to move up or even out, coupled with a mean spirit to be "pro-active" taught me that there are differences in the Working World. I also knew this as well, Training and or Coaching was not and most likely will not be the norm. As a young man, I experienced this and as an old man it has been a consistent statement to the reality of the American Workforce. In mine and other experiences, Businesses expect its newly hired workforce to be pre-Trained in the labor requirements expected of them. Training means dollars spend and or loss. To do training means productivity loss. Training opens up the potential of free thought, criticism, question that will create footprints back to the source of Answers, it founds the knowing of the Whole Picture as oppose to the upper managerial Big Picture and to be honest, most people just don’t have the aptitude for training.

Training is only meant to define a worker as the “cog” in the machine and not to explain the nature of the inventor, so when a person comes into many American labor professions, it is highly desired that that person has enough “common sense” and or the ability to learn as they go it not only makes the hire desirable but preferable. Good judgment, the ability to follow instructions, a dorsal state-of-mind, a lateral sense of promotion and needed to work without conflict or challenge. In this environment “pro-active” decision-making breaks down the system and calls too much attention to honesty, transparency and accountability.

Why the intense scolding of the American Labor force? As recent at two months ago I penned the article, “Dropping More Than The Ball” where I detailed how a crane literally snapped and crushed an entire building in New York City killing seven (7) people. It was a tragic event, it brought about National attention. It set a “new” standard for construction and accountability for the Developers. People were jailed, politicians were removed from office, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg made promises to add more funds to hire inspectors and then as most people who sit on couches, they tried to forget. Several weeks later, a Construction Worker fell to his death. We all took pause but didn’t really get involved. Then as I wake for more morning coffee I hear on the News, CRANE FALLS AND CRASHES INTO BUILDING.

I turned to look at where my DVR remote was thinking I had dropped it and turned on something I had pre-recorded. I mean I thought I dropped it and it began to play back the disaster of March 15, 2008 but then I thought to myself, “Self, you didn’t record that.” So I go back to the television and BEHOLD another crane takes out another building killing two (2). What was the saving grace that saved the lives of many more people living in the building was the time of the crash; 8:00 am, and the direction the crane fell in. Regardless of the event, ANOTHER CRANE had fallen on innocent people and now the demand to know what has going on would not be swept under the carpet. For New Yorker’s, THE SKY WAS FALLING ….. AGAIN.

While the media rushes to find that exclusive bit of information on what caused the crane to fall by asking the typical questions like, “who saw what”, “who did or didn’t do what”, “is anyone still alive or dead”, “why didn’t the GOVERNMENT do something about this” … my thoughts were on that I know was to be true, “were the people working trained properly in doing what they were suppose to do?” Much like the last Crane accident, the answer is NO. All the parties involved were not trained in the proper use and execution of their responsibilities. Corners were cut, people looked the other way, people were pushed through and promoted into areas not earned, there were lost of “that wasn’t MY responsibility and certain people were passed by who were responsible to the detriment of life and property. Some were contractors made into inexperienced CONSTRUCTION WORKERS and others passed themselves off as labors because they were able to “follow instructions” without question. All in all, these were all people pushing people into the sky to live above the clouds for those that can afford to live above the ants of the World.

Developers are pushing the limits and the people of New York are paying the price. Back in the 1990’s I worked Midtown during the re-vamping of 42nd Street when a crane fell from the current Conde Nast building while it was being build at a WARP SPEED. There was lost of life and property then and I began to be very wary of any construction site built in New York. Fast-forward almost 10 years later and the tensions for living and or walking near or under a Construction site with a Crane is a REAL FEAR for many people. Developers with their pressures to produce Tall Buildings without a single bound are cutting corners, greasing pockets, making political deals and I would even go as far as suggest having “illegal” connections to undercut costs on labor and product has pushed the limits to a point where their actions are exposed to the WHOLE WORLD.

Not long ago, Michael Bloomberg’s multi billion-dollar company, BLOOMBERG, had a series of construction accidents where people died and equipment fell from up high so one would think he of all people would make incidences like this HIGH PRIORITY.

People are outraged. The rush to push people higher and higher into the sky is an early wake up call for all New Yorkers. Personally, I have reservations and caution to how solid these newer buildings are. If the city can't have enough certified, responsible inspectors and officials to see to it that building are constructed to the highest levels and standards, how can a person give up trust to KNOW that the finished product is safe enough to reside within? We now know that in these Developer's care there is NO proper supervision. We also know that in this case, the Developer is a known abuser of the laws that govern safe construction. As my early coming into the workforce has taught me, I always knew that the lack of accountability, for training and any serious demands on labor’s highest levels of professional knowledge would be the countries undoing. From Construction to the American Presidency, the lack of accountable knowledge is tarnishing America’s competitive worth, prestige, property and life all is a single act. This accident is a pure example of how America does business and the World is watching and taking note. Beating deadlines and getting that bonus check is more important than doing it RIGHT with the Right Trained People and in REAL TIME.

1 comment:

jjbrock said...

Poet I was the same way wondering what was going on. I too thought that the news was showing the early accident. Then to find out that it's a different accident. So this is proof that the early problem has not been address. How many people will be hurt before something is done? Maybe it will be fix when Russel Simmons gets into office.