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Reliability professionals face a lot of challenges in their profession and deserve a lot of credit for the positive impact they have within an organization. Your efforts provide a greater return on deployed assets by reducing risk, unscheduled downtime and cost while helping to improve capacity, quality, safety and other factors.
As much credit as reliability professionals deserve, one individual stands above them all for his influence within a company and never receives just recognition. Not everyone is aware of the impact he has on our daily lives. Who is this person, you ask? Well, let me introduce him to you. His name is “Not Me”. Do you know him?
“Not Me” is the most dedicated employee in your company. He always arrives early, leaves late, works weekends and holidays, and never complains. He sure does get around! He works in your company and lives in your home. Spouses, children, coworkers and politicians eagerly give him responsibility for the things that happen.
If you don’t believe me, just walk around and ask people who were responsible for something. “Who created that safety issue by leaving the fork truck running when not in use and with the forks raised at eye level?” “Who left a tripping hazard in that walk way so someone could get injured?” “Who traversed that walk way, noticed the tripping hazard and yet did nothing about it so an injury could be prevented?” “Who noticed a coworker not wearing proper PPE and said nothing to prevent them from being injured?” “Who broke that toy, cracked that window at home and put the dent in your new expensive car?” “Not Me” is ready to take full responsibility for each of those actions and many others.
Who is responsible for the improper design and installation on that critical machine that has resulted in a lot of unnecessary downtime and cost for your company? Who is responsible for ensuring that maintenance workers repairing that machine are properly trained, have proper tools, are given adequate time, and are provided parts and a well written job plan? “Not Me” is responsible for it all.
Stop giving “Not Me” credit that he does not deserve for the things that are done. Remember, that by giving him so much credit we prevent ourselves, others and our company from learning and improving. We should start taking responsibility for our actions and ask others to do the same. Ask “Not Me” to find a different job and role in your company and life.

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by Trent Phillips CRL CMRP - Novelis