“You can be tough on someone, but there’s no reason not to be kind…”

It was an interesting week, between the pain and love from the previous post; to the counseling and discipline in this one. There are more lessons on seeing people as people, rather than cogs in the machinery of the plant. All in the space of two days.

Anger, Love, and Anger

One of the higher strung individuals managed to anger one of the most level-headed guys I know. I went to both separately, to listen, explain, and counsel.

From anger to love, one of our new contract workers was telling me that he and his girlfriend were talking about getting engaged. I chuckled to myself since they had just started dating, remembering that I wanted to marry Casey after dating her for three months.

Fortunately, she was wiser. That didn’t happen till about two years later. Smiling, I told him to slow down a little.

Earlier in the week, a packer miscounted the product in his boxes. After a discussion about it, we caught him taking the same shortcut to keep up. Another temporary was also performing poorly. This led to a final discussion with them, and promises to do better.

Then there was an explosion. Voices raised in confrontation while I stood by as a witness. An order was disobeyed, and the two parties argued about it. On one of them’s part, I suspected it was the principle I taught last week: hurting people hurt other people.

After the guilty party was sent home, I was asked if I thought he was wrong. I responded that he was right in his reasoning, but wrong in his execution. It’s something I’ve been guilty of myself. All that pent up emotion he had simmering inside before had just found an outlet.

I could empathize, but was reminded of something I heard on a podcast. “You can be tough on someone, but there’s no reason not to be kind while doing it.

I’ve been thinking about how that works ever since.

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