Friday, April 4, 2014

Sad news today.

We lost a union sister last week in Dallas, Texas.  She was only 19 and it was her first day out in the field on her own.  The article states the customer "demanded" that the installation be finished that day, even though there were complications, most likely out of her control.  Other techs and even managers were out there to help her, but the job still wasn't finished until 1am.  She made it back to the garage safely, but on her drive home she had a fatal car crash.

This whole story is really saddening.  First of all, this girl was being intimidated by a customer who was demanding something of her that most likely was not in her control, hence the necessity to call out help from others including management.  No one, male or female, should have to take that kind of treatment from a customer.  It's just simply cruel and inhumane to treat manual workers as though they are beneath you.

Being a female working as a technician puts a LOT of extra pressure on us, because we have to "keep up with the guys".  There is nothing comparable to this for the men working in this industry.  We all have a set of standards we need to meet, but women, on top of all that, have to "prove" ourselves.  I imagine this poor girl was out at this job and was feeling that pressure tenfold, she had to prove herself to the customer, the other technicians, the managers, and the company in general.  The first day in the field is a big day, and a hard day for some.  But for her, this was basically the worst case scenario.  I can only imagine the struggles and frustrations she was going through.

The details of her crash after work are unknown, I tried to search news articles for this incident but oddly, there is no coverage of it.  When the answers do start to surface, I will not be surprised if fatigue, starvation, dehydration, and/or general exhaustion played a major role in her ability to drive home safely after work.  I have a friend going through training as we speak, and given my knowledge of the current training process, she most likely started at 8am and had only ONE job for the whole day, meaning she was at this job for 17 HOURS.  This doesn't reflect anything poorly on the training process, but it DOES reflect on how the company deals with "demanding" customers putting unnecessary pressure on the technician, and the processes for when a job ends up running after hours.  Was she able to take any of her scheduled breaks, including lunch?  Did she have access to enough water to keep her hydrated throughout the day?  If she was working outdoors, was she able to get out of the sun enough or did she have enough sun protection?  There are many unanswered questions at this time.

This is a hard hit for women in blue collar industries.  I am nervous to see what the news will makes out of this situation, it could end up coming back on her and I think that would be truly unfortunate.  Even just from this one article I could tell this was a hard working and highly determined young woman who was simply just trying to get the job done to appease the customer.  We have lost a sister, someone who was willing to go against the grain and take a job that comes with a lot of unspoken hardships and inequalities for women.  Prayers and condolences go out to her family and friends. 

Thank you, Britany, for staying strong and representing the hard working women in the blue collar, male dominated industries.  May you rest in peace.


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