Casual laborers we say…..?

2013-04-16 10.34.52 From my dictionary; casual = informal, careless, untailored….etc, depending on what dictionary you have, the word casual takes on several meanings, but what you will realize is that the common major meaning is, “not formal”.

Today I spent about 20minutes watching the foremen at the site….they were casting concrete on a section of the building and it’s like a light bulb went off in my brain….these people we refer to as ‘casual’ laborers are the very people who determine the real success of our projects; that delivery boy at the office, that driver, that mail man, that maid, that porter as they are sometimes referred to as…those are the people that build our businesses!

Taking construction as my ‘case study’ because that is what I am well familiar with…this where it all begins….

*The client gets an idea, “I’d like to build a house this big, with these many rooms, and it should look like a bit of heaven, pearly gates and all…”

*In comes the architect who designs exactly what the client wants…..providing artistic impressions, models and whatever….and yes, on paper, (or computer) the house is ‘there’ and it does look like a bit of heaven…

*In comes the Quantity surveyor, who then determines the financial damage …*read: the cost of the project*…based on the architect’s designs, the QS does his measurements and comes up with a figure for the client

*The client then gets a Project Manager, who is given the responsibility to oversee the project… to supervise the whole team and ensure that everyone plays their part, and well….

Most of the time, all the above are people seated somewhere in an air conditioned office, with a rotating chair, extremely high pay, allowances and bonuses….but then there is the ‘casual’ laborer, the foreman / mason / carpenter / electrician / plumber….without his input, the only thing Mr. Client will have is a 3D model of his ‘heaven’ on a computer….These are the people who literally “build the building”…one block, one wheelbarrow, one nail at a time…with their bare hands.

I have watched this project from day 1….and I’ve seen it grow, like a seed that germinates into a full blown plant; and on so many levels, I have come to appreciate the role of these people that we refer to as casual laborers…if, God forbid, they ever decided not to work for an entire week, I can say, we’d have a crisis; so yes, in my judgement, they determine the project success and project management success… *yes, those are two different things…but you’d have to pay consultation fee for me to tell you the difference* 🙂

All businesses have these kinds of people, the ones who do the real hands-on job; so the next time you think about belittling one, stop for a moment and think where you or your business would be without them…then maybe you will consider treating them with a little more respect.


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