September 29, 2017
A new system in use beginning this summer at the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Grimes garage is empowering employees to take charge of daily work projects to more efficiently complete the tasks at hand.
The Grimes location is one the Iowa DOT’s largest garages, currently staffed with 28 full-time employees and four temporary employees. As a large metropolitan shop, there are often two or three different crews going out each day to perform a variety of maintenance tasks., including edge rutting, bump milling, or setting sign posts.
Highway Maintenance Supervisor Jim Scott and Garage Operations Assistant Rob Thies are both strong believers in developing leaders among their team. There are three highway technicians and three equipment operator seniors who could be in charge of an operation on any given day. Scott said, “With all the things going on in our shop, Rob and I can’t be everywhere. We have great people on our team and we want to do everything we can to help them succeed and develop their skills.”
FOMO – fear of missing out. It’s human nature that we all want to be connected to one another. With the pervasiveness of cell phones, the desire to connect and fear of missing out cause many of us to engage in risky behavior behind the wheel.
There’s a flip side to that behavior. We’re so used to instant connections, that we rarely consider what the person on the receiving end of our message might be doing. Insecurities can creep in – maybe if your girlfriend doesn’t respond immediately, you might begin to wonder if she’s just not that into you.
There’s nothing quite like a hug. When you hug someone it releases oxytocin, also known as 'the cuddle hormone.' That's what makes you feel warm inside. Psychologists also say that oxytocin promotes feelings of devotion, trust, and bonding. This allows us to connect to other people.
But the time for a hug is not when you are traveling in a car. For the safety of everyone in the vehicle, the safest place for each passenger to be is in their own seat with their seatbelt or child safety seat securely fastened. Think of the click of that seat belt around your child as a special hug you can provide while moving down the road. A properly restrained person is much less likely to be injured or killed in the event of a crash. But children are especially vulnerable. Even a simple swerve to avoid an obstacle in the road can cause injury to an unbelted child.
It’s never easy to say goodbye. How much more difficult is it to cheerfully say “goodbye” to a loved one as they leave for work or school, only to have those be the last words you share. Time may seem to stand still as the future you had planned is altered in an instant.