First Job: Grunt for Arthur Elevator
Current Job: President and General Manager of Proseed
1. No job is beneath you.
I literally started at the bottom of the food chain cleaning the elevator pits, underneath the elevator. and cleaning out the bottoms of grain bins. Doing this, I learned that you don’t start at the top in most businesses and if you start at the bottom you can relate to most of the experiences workers have.
2. Work hard but have fun doing it.
I learned you can have fun and still work hard. We invented a fake employee at the elevator and punched him in late and out early so the guy on the night shift would go crazy trying to figure out who the new guys was.
3. Mistakes are not the end of the world. They can be fixed and learned from.
When setting up grain bins, we used a jig to make a round slab to put the grain bin on. After pouring our first three slabs of the new year we discovered that we were six inches short all the way around. I Solved the problem by putting the bin outside the slab and repoured a slab around the bin. The elevator guys had used our jig for another purpose and cut six inches off our board.
4. Measure twice and cut once.
See the above story, if we would have measured instead of assuming, we wouldn’t have had to improvise.
5. What a henway was.
Answers might vary depending on circumstances.
6. The importance of all jobs in the grand scheme of things.
If you didn’t clean out the bottom of a bin, there could be a mixture of grain that might spoil the value of a whole bin of grain. If you didn’t clean out the grain boot all the way, then rotten grain could work its way into the system and spoil whole bins of grain.
7. Team work.
When we used to bag seed wheat and seed soybeans, things would go five times faster if we had one guy putting the bags on, one guy sewing and one guy stacking.
8. Competition works as an incentive.
When we were bagging, we used to have contests to see who could stack the most pallets at one time without getting the forklift to move the pallets. We found that, generally, we got more done that way.
9. Always check to see if the driver of the truck was on or off the scale when weighing empty or full.
It was a game some guys played to see if they could get an extra bushel or two on a load. It was a good exercise in human nature.
10. Treat everybody fair and square.
If you treated everybody fairly usually you got the same in return.