Work at the moment has gotten a tad stressful. The amount of work has increased (I wouldn't say doubled, but....) and in the space of two weeks two people have quit. We have new starters coming out of the woodwork, but it takes time to get them up to speed. And add to that there's the feeling that the newbies just aren't gonna last. We're talking office workers that is not meant to demean people who work in offices. It's just that working in a mining laboratory is just a tad different. coming into an environment where you get covered in water and dirt, and work in a shed where it's almost 50C. It's a 12 hour shift, and we've worked out, including the 90minutes of breaks we're allowed we are on our feet (our steel-capped boot feet) for 10 hours. It's hard work - and honestly, it's not for some people. Everyone's complaining about the workload, but everyone is too childish to mention it to anyone who can do anything about it. 'Cause, whats the point, when they probably already know how hard the job is, and they won't change it anyway?
Well my friends, there is a point to bringing to your superior's attention the problems with the workload. I am living proof. Two days ago, more work was added to what we do. Despite the fact we do shift, so the lab is manned (womanned?) 24/7, the mets seem to think we can only do the majority of their samples between the hours of 0700 - 1400 Monday to Friday. And so the day shift just got that little less doable.
But, I took the initiative and wrote an email to the Lab superindentant. I asked if instead of doing the Cons leach samples full run at 0800 (all up, an extra 18 extra samples) we could do them at 2000. I mentioned how day shift is now incredibly busy, and while night shift is still hectic you aren't fighting the day workers for equipment and space. Then I pointed out that by doing the extra samples at night, you've got a free person who was normally tied up with day-specific work. Then I added what I thought was my best sentence in my argument. "This way, we're decreasing people's stress levels, and spreading the work load out in a more efficient manner without affecting our productivity."
And the Lab Super took it on. Not only did he take it on, less than 12 hours after I made the suggestion my idea had been implented, and I was given full credit for it. He even wrote an email saying "Excellent work, Erika." A team leader greeted me last night with the exclamation "You little bewdy! You're a legend mate!!" (Her crew is one that recently lost a person, and was barely coping with the work load expected.)
Honestly, I never expected my idea to happen. I just figured that the idea was so logical, that there must have been a good reason why we couldn't do it that way in the first place. But hey, what's the worst thing that could happen if I ask? He says no, life goes on, and I can live with the knowledge that I least I tried to change things. But he changed it. Unbelieveable.
I cannot say it enough. I rock.
Another sign that the temperature is hot: Signs start showing up at work asking the question "What colour is your urine?" Complete with a colour chart showing you at what stage (what shade of yellow) you should really begin to worry about dehydration. It's freaky. But what's freakier is when you start discussing urine colour with work-mates, and noone bats and eyelid.