Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The right tool

I have owned two houses in my life.  We bought the first one in 1976 and sold that one and bought our current home 10 years later.  In both houses we have had a filter on our water line because of sediment.  They work very well but occasionally the filter needs to be changed when it starts to clog up. 
I have struggled to remove the housing of the filter more times than I can remember.  It seems that over time it gets tighter and tighter.  I have even broken a filter or two trying to do so.

Today, I found myself at it again.  I could not loosen the housing and even my hammer would not do the trick.

Today, I did something different.

I took a trip to our local Lowes store and spoke to the plumbing expert.  He sold me a universal housing wrench, I came home, and the filter was off in minutes without any problems.

Who'd a thought!

This brings up two important principles.
We all need help at times.
The right tool makes the job easy.

Being on the union's organizing and negotiations team has been a good lesson for me.
After we organized, the organizing committee faced a decision.  Should we call for elections of officers or wait until we had a contract?  We decided to wait, and I believe in hindsight that it was the right decision.  As we negotiated we came to know each others personalities and strengths better and people started filling particular roles, based on their talents and interest.  We ended up with the right people doing the right job, and, like my new wrench, it made things easier. 

Our next step in our young union's life is to approve a constitution and bylaws, then hold election of officers, and then train delegates (stewards). I expect that to all happen in the next 2-3 months. I think it's important that we all remember that no one alone is responsible for making this happen, we all need help. If we get the right people with the right talents and interest in the right role, we will be well on our way.

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