Thanks Red Beard

Over the last couple of weeks, I have felt like I was back at Belfor again. Running a large project with many different moving pieces all while trying to control costs, manage subs, and train new project managers takes me back to my days on the road with that mega company. I wrote many posts from a lot of different places, and logged my travels from Chile to Virginia. And while this job may not be 1000 miles from home, keeping the ship on course is right in my wheel house. And I am very much at in my comfort zone.

Several years ago, while in Clarksville, Tennessee, I was privileged to work with a terrific team on a project at a sewage treatment plant. Belfor personnel from all over the country jumped into a nasty job feet first. And we were assisted by a labor company, who supplied the manpower to get the monstrous job done on time and under budget.

The supervisor for that company, Blanca, stayed on site with us for months. One day we were sitting around the office, and she told me that her first few days she found me to be intimidating. I was floored, and ever wrote a post about it. Someone commented that I was overwhelming, but not intimidating, while others told me I was not intimidating at all. It was one of those moments on a project that I will never forget.

My team at the Dollar Store is equal that of the poop factory in 2010. I have solid project managers working for me, a staff of people who are committed to getting the project done on time, and even had someone give me another of those unforgettable moments today.

I have a lot of respect for Jeremiah Jacobsen. A veteran of the gulf war who served his country well, he is the guy at work that keeps everyone smiling. From his quirky "what if" questions he asks his team mates to make the day go faster to his wry sense of humor that plays in nearly any situation, he is a pleasure to have on the job. He is the resident medic, a master martial artist, and will regale you with stories about hunting, or zombies, or whatever is in his brain that day. And today, what was in Jeremiah's brain caught me very much off guard.

"You know, you are the best boss I have ever had."

I was floored.  You see, he is leaving the company after this project to pursue his education. And his parting statement to me is something I will never forget. This man, who has seen things I could not possibly imagine and had strong leadership his entire adult life, said that to me. I did not know what to say. I thanked him, and said I am nothing without my team. He just gave me that Jeremiah grin and we both went on about our day.

I have been blessed to have worked with some great teams. From Tennessee to Minnesota, Virginia to Seattle, or California to Ohio, they have helped me be a better project manager and receive numerous letters of commendation and accolades over the years. But nothing will ever compare to that simple statement from a guy who has always had my respect. It is one of the highlights of my career so far.

Day # 577. Had a little trouble with the laborers at the end of the day. Where is Blanca when I need her? Still good to be me!





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