Admitting that you haven’t done something is usually no one else’s fault but your own. In fact, most people have so many things on their “to do” list that even Hollywood made a movie based on the premise that a “bucket list” is the only solution.
It’s a lighthearted look at dealing with a serious problem, but as actors Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman made very clear in their 2007 “The Bucket List” movie, making a list of things to do before it’s too late is the only way to get things done.
“The Bucket List” was a comical way of looking at what have since become accepted words in conversation, because the reality is, they have prompted people to think out loud about what they are determined to do sooner, than never.
For example: learning to drive a standard-transmission vehicle (most people don’t know how); change a tire (most people don’t know where the spare is): tow and back up a trailer; ride a motorcycle; hit a golf ball more than 200 yards; climb a mountain, or conversely, go underground. I could go on, but it’s the last item that I want to talk about.
What about going underground? I know that’s a little disjointed from the items I just mentioned above, but I recently overheard a senior mine executive tell a group of his peers at a cocktail reception that he has added “going down into a mine” to his bucket list.
As you can imagine, I was quite surprised to hear such an admission (of never having gone underground, considering his position); but then again, I guess I shouldn’t have been that surprised, because I’m sure there are plenty of others in his position that haven’t seen or smelled the dark and damp side of their own mines either.
And why should they? They have “people” to do that! Right?
And that’s a problem, because it’s those “people” who are the very reason each and every mine executive should add “underground” to their “bucket list.” Granted, many may be too old and fragile to go down a few thousand feet in a high-speed elevator or even a bucket, but it may be now or never, as the situations in “The Bucket List” movie cleverly portrayed.
Showing interest and support by head office is worth almost as much to field personnel as a safe work environment, or even a paycheque at the end of the shift. In fact, I’ve overheard miners say so (in as many words) after the “suit” has cleaned up and left the “visitor” overalls behind.
“What a cool person” is probably the best endorsement any executive can get and I think it’s every manager’s responsibility to portray that image. I know that it’s often difficult to break away from the office and become a “buddy” to the employees at the mine, but it’s certainly something that should happen more often than it is in many cases now.
As Corporate Social Responsibility becomes an increasingly important ingredient in making a successful mining operation, regardless of where it is in the world, I think CSR should start at home first, whereby each and every mining executive should focus on their “people” at the top of the pail because an overflowing bucket is such a waste!