I went into the warehouse the today, because I had to talk to the operations manager…and I was a little bored to be honest, and kind of just wanted to walk around, and as soon as I passed the designated ‘safe area’, I notice that there were many people not wearing their safety vests.
You know the ones I mean, the fluro vests that are required in warehouses to make sure that forklifts actually see where you are, and don’t accidentally run you over.
As a company that has met all the requirements and reached the highest trust levels within the country we’re operating in, we need to have these kind of safety requirements. Plus, either way, its just common sense.
Getting your workers to wear safety vests, and protected steel capped boots etc is a way to protect your workers, keep them from injuring themselves, insure that efficiency is maintained…and stopping lawsuits etc…which of course will hurt your business.
Even if you’re a visitor, you’re meant to have a safety vest on. …again, it just makes sense.
So I was a little surprised a week ago when I walked into the warehouse to find that 1 of our workers looked like he didn’t have it on. And when I asked about it, was told.. ‘oh yeah, he has it on, but he has his coat over the top of it’
Well what fucking good is that? The point is that you can see it. If you cover it up with your jacket because you’re cold, then you can’t see the safety vest any more, can you?
So why don’t you put it over your jacket?
This, by the way, is in the Netherlands, not China anymore.
For those who have lived in China, or at least have read my other articles, it should be apparent that these kind of idiotic conclusions can be forgiven to some extent, because a lot of Chinese people just don’t think of the WHY; they literally do things because they are TOLD to do them, not because they’ve rationally come to the conclusion of why they should be doing something. Again as hopefully I’ve pointed out, this stems from their education system, government and to a small extent their culture.
Yet, this is the Netherlands!
So it just goes to show that its not just China that people come to idiotic conclusions.
So, back to the original story… today I went into the warehouse to see that whilst all of our warehouse staff had their safety vests on, our sister company, who shares our warehouse on some bullshit agreement, only had 1 employee out of 4 that had theirs on.
Then I realised that there was some guy working in the warehouse that I’d never seen before, and when I asked who it was, as member of our sister company calmly told me ‘oh, he’s one of our clients’
With me left thinking….’well, that doesn’t explain why the fuck he’s working in the warehouse, nor why he hasn’t got any of the safety clothing on.’
[Staff need to be cleared for safety reasons to work in a warehouse, you can’t just have anyone walk in and do it, government regulations…and again common sense]
With all these things, you don’t want to start your 1st conversation with someone for the day by just shouting at them for their idiocy.
So I calmly replied…. ‘has your side not got enough safety vests or something?’
Obviously implying that they should be wearing the fucking safety vests.
The worker was joined by a truck driver who now both tried to explain to me that sometimes workers would take the vests home.
As if that was a perfectly reasonably explanation.
Me: ‘why? … why would they take them home?’
After looking at their confused faces that clearly stated ‘why not?’
I continued, ‘they don’t have any reason to take them home, and there are hooks provided, its not like they don’t have anywhere to put them.. and they have little reason to steal them…because they’re worth less that 2 euros….so why would they do that?’
All I got back was.. ‘well you know, it still happens, sometimes people just forget’
By the way that this company’s workers act within the warehouse… yes I can imagine they forget, and whats more, I can imagine that they might purposefully take them hope for whatever bullshit reason too, because they’re constantly parking pallets in cordoned off walk-way areas. And constantly don’t give 2 shits.
Anyway, then I asked their operations manager the same questions. But took a slightly different approach.
Thought, ‘fuck it, let’s just buy the vests we need for this other company, and be done with it’
The reasoning being that if there are always enough vests, then the other side can’t come up with bullshit reasons that there’s not enough, so they can’t wear them.
So asked this guy, plain and simple ‘ how many fluro vests do you need, because we need people to wear the vests in the warehouse, and it seems your side doesn’t have enough’
Very polite, right?
Whilst also implying somewhat that I know their side is taking them home, and that I was the one resolving their bullshit mistakes.
‘Oh I’ve ordered some 2 weeks ago, you don’t need to order any’
‘Well I think I do, because they should have been here by now; I’ve directed my warehouse manager to pick some up and by Monday he’ll have them, we just need to know how many?’
‘and by the way’,
I continued, knowing full well he was lying about ordering them because they don’t take 2 weeks to arrive,
‘why does your side never have enough?’
He vomited the same bullshit excuse, about people ‘accidentally’ taking them home….
And when I replied quite exasperated ‘But …why?… it doesn’t really make much sense, its so simple to take off a vest..’
He sarcastically retorted ‘ What, do you want me to put GPS devices in them so I can track where they are at all times??’
To which I was momentarily stunned, because I was thinking… wait… does he think he’s being smart?
Like, was that a smart retort for him？ Does he think that I’m requesting something that is overly difficult from his staff?
‘What?, no… …wait do you think this is difficult?’ (to ask staff not to take vests home)
but what I thought was…
… maybe you shouldn’t be hiring staff that are willing to steal safety vests that are worth less than 2 euros, …what kind of security risk does that present when we have a warehouse full of hundreds of thousands of dollars of merchandise?; or that are so negligent that they can’t remember to take off their safety vest – what does that mean for how they’re going to properly handle themselves in the warehouse for other things?
This was the peaceful reaction. Next time, I’m just going to be going up to whatever dickhead is doing something stupid, thrusting a safety vest towards them and saying ‘wear it , or you’re out!’
And how is it not obvious that people don’t understand that they can’t let whoever they want just walk into the warehouse?
Ah fuck it. I seriously thought that in the Netherlands I wouldn’t have to deal with this level of idiocy… but I guess I was wrong.