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First message in 2012
operator4change wrote in octranspo
It has been a while since I’ve surfaced or written anything. I needed a break from it all. I wanted to step back and understand everything before writing again. My mission statement was received by many people and each reaction was different and interesting. That being said, I would like to take the opportunity to wish each and every one of you a Happy New Year. Being a new year, gives each of us the opportunity change, try new things and make a difference. I for one intend on 2012 to be a better year and I hope that I can make a difference.
In this most recent booking, I have switched to relief work. I hadn’t done reliefs since my oldest son was a toddler. There are several reasons why my family decided we should try this new schedule. So far it has been a very positive change for us. Obviously this is not for everyone and all family situations are unique and need their respective necessities addressed. I have noticed that the atmosphere and camaraderie at night is significantly different than those that are present during the daytime. There are several reasons for this, which much I understand. What I find noteworthy however is that being witness to good teamwork, communication and manners helps create a better workplace.
Things absolutely have to change at our workplace. We are ALL well to aware of that. The problem, as I see it, is that there are too many agendas, too many individuals, too many personalities and way too much resentment. I sincerely believe the only way to enact change for good or bad is to somehow get everyone on the same page. The only way to empower our UNION membership is to get on the same page, to communicate and to make our members a valuable asset.
I realize that some of my sentiments are not well received, I understand that and I understand many of the reasons for that, but the reality is that I want many of the same things that each of you want. I want the ability to be well paid for the professional services I offer. I want to be able to enjoy quality time with my family and those that I love. I want a safe, harassment free and enjoyable workplace to be provided to me. I want the ability to protect and care for my spouse and children through insurance, benefits and competitive salary. I want to feel as though what I do is valued and important. I want to be able to do my job and follow policies and procedures without feeling the threat of suspensions or worse – media harassment. I want to be able to have a schedule that, when on time, it is safe and within possibility. I want to be able to have the dignity of using facilities at the end of a trip without being harassed or rushed unrealistically. I am personally competitive, I always have been, so most of all I want to be the best Bus Driver in the system. I aim for this and encourage everyone to adopt the same goal. In the end, we as a TEAM can only benefit from such a mentality. As I have said, if we could somehow all be on the same page, then our VOICE would hold far more water and we would then have the ability to effect change.
This next point is the one that will make me unpopular. On the first read, most will likely be enraged, but please read it a few times and give it a chance. Try just to understand it and allow it to be a possibility. I apologize to those that disagree; I sincerely think it may help.
When I say we need to all be on the same page, that includes management and even council. It is evident by years of resentment and bickering that we as a membership will not be able to force management to effect these changes. The line has been in the sand for a long time and sides are clearly divided. Something has to give and my suggestion is that we the membership give a little. If we were to get on board *categorically with management’s plans and strategies then we as a service OC TRANSPO would at the very least be one. Being one entity, on the same page and performing the “system” in place by management would either make things run smoother or it would be a bust. The only true way to know if it works – is to try it. This doesn’t demand much. It is really just doing what you do now, but with a smile, a little extra effort. Follow the schedules *to the letter. Don’t do overtime, just work what you are scheduled or PERMITTED to schedule. Do not trash talk the company, the managers, the councillors’ or the system. Just run it the way they manage it and do it with a customer service mentality just as they have asked us to do. SAME PAGE – the changes will have to come. Eventually the customer service mentality will tilt the public opinion scales in our favour. Eventually we will become people that our community will want to have around and we will no longer be the scourge, media magnet stain on the City that we are portrayed to be in our local media. As it stands now, we are both on one side of a fence, with pent up resentment and frustration and throwing useless stones at each other and as a company, a service and public necessity we are getting absolutely nowhere!
Years ago when I started, the senior men told me how bad this job was. How it had taken such terrible turns and that it was not a good workplace. I remember saying to myself that these old fools have no idea what the “real world” is out there right now. They have no idea how hard I was working for $12/hr prior to getting this job. Roughly ten years have passed and I can’t help but notice many of my peers still rip the company the same way and warn junior employees of the hardships ahead. I can’t help but wonder, with the large interest in the job, are we not becoming the same bitter old fools and not realizing some the hardships others face in the workforce today? Perhaps it is time we appreciate what we have and strive to improve our value in order to protect it and to be part of what improves it.
The following is an analogy that I liken to our situation:
I look at our membership as a hockey team. We are a mixed group with lots of veteran players some middle of the pack guys and plenty of new rookies. None of these groups have the same interests and none of them have the same needs. The veterans are just finishing up their time, they have little to no interest in change and just want to make sure that when they hang 'em up their pension and benefits will see them and their families through. The middle guys – they still think they have a shot at the bigtime, they want to be important, and they want to see the TEAM get better. They want the public to perceive them well and they want to enjoy the rest of their career and possibly enjoy perks along the way. The rookies want to see change, they want to make this a better team but realize that the team isn’t so bad really. There are a lot of great qualities on the team and if only the Vets and Middle guys would compromise a little then possibly this TEAM could achieve great success.
Management is management and coaching, the vets and middle guys are really jaded at the endless bag skates and drills run by our coach. We are tired of the SAME system not working and we are sick of the negative attention from the fans and media. Some of us are still willing to put in the work but somehow we need to see “what’s in it for us” examples. The willingness and ability to put trust in the direction from above is gone. The rookies believe, for the most part, the middle guys are a mixed bunch and the Vets have had their ice time cut along with their value being questioned and they aren’t willing to compromise. Trust in the coaching is at an all time low and the few if any think that the current direction can fix the problem.
HOWEVER the reality is that we all want the same thing. The coaching and management want to be the ones that bring this City the Quality Service and Transportation that it deserves and demands. This current group want to be the ones that achieve this – and whether we are willing to admit it or not – they want to do it with THIS TEAM. At some point we have to get on the same page and buy into the plan. We have to all work hard and give that little extra. Then and only then will the Coaches trust us and trust our insight. Only then will the changes and suggestions we offer have the chance to become reality.

I have many doubts about the current management and their system but I have come to terms with the reality that I can’t do anything about it alone. I need all of my brothers and sisters to be on board with change and I truly believe that we have to give in order to get. If we as a membership helped the current management team achieve huge success in the public – I have little doubt that we would be rewarded for our efforts. Simply being able to be proud and appreciated is reward enough for me but for those that need more – it is worth a try. We need to change for each other, our future and for our families.

Thank you and Happy New Year.

Operator4change@gmail.com @op4change Azte.Byud@yahoo.com Azte Byud on Face book