VAASPHALT.ORG 07 I have often said that my father lived to work, because as I grew up, I always saw him working. At the age of 14, my father helped me to get my first job, which was mowing grass at Oak Hill Academy, where he worked. He started work at 7 a.m., while I didn’t start until 8. Work was about 30 minutes from home, but Dad left every morning at 5 a.m. sharp. I had to be in the truck waiting if I wanted to work. I would sleep in the truck until I could clock in. I asked Dad why he left so early every day and he said, “You never know what troubles might happen on the way to work, a flat tire, truck breakdown, etc., and I don’t want to be late.” His reasoning didn’t make sense to me as a teenager. Sleep and time were important! But in his world, work was important. That is how he provided for our family. As I got older, I started to understand his reasoning but also realized we have differences in our rationale. My parents instilled in me the value and importance of doing something right the first time. But for me, work was a way to enhance life. My father lived to work but I work to live. Thinking back on my childhood, I am sure I had it much easier than my parents. As a result of the generation gap, we have differing priorities. Through the generations, priorities are constantly changing. In the workplace, it is easy to see the different generations. The baby-boomers often think the younger generation is lazy because they want to get their work finished and head home. There’s a running joke at our office reserved for someone who is leaving the office at 5 in the evening. Someone will always ask, “Are you just working a half a day today?” While it is all in jest, it does bring to light the difference in work beliefs. Someone working long hours does not necessarily make them a hard worker, just like short hours does not mean someone is lazy. It is all about being effective in the time we work to produce a quality product. We need to understand that all people are different and have different skill sets. A good example of differing skill sets among the generations is that my parents each have tablets that they use for various tasks. Most days, they need technological assistance. In contrast, my 9-year-old grandson walks into their house and his first question is, “What is your wi-fi password?” While my parents are smart, successful people, they did not have the opportunity to grow up with computers, iPads, cell phones, etc. Chris Blevins, PE, Vice President, W-L Construction & Paving, Inc. CHAIRMAN’S PERSPECTIVE It Takes Multiple Generations The same thing goes in our industry as the technology is constantly evolving. We have many new initiatives which help the industry such as Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment, e-ticketing, Paver Mounted Thermal Profiling (PMTP), etc. Often, the most seasoned operators struggle with new technology while it is second nature to the millennials. Our challenge is to have those on our crew collaborate to get the best product. We need the experience of the veteran operator and the proficiency of the millennials to create the very best product. At the end of the day, all generations are proud of a job well done. I will leave you with this quote from Farshad Asl: “True Leadership is having multiple generations working together successfully and passionately to create significance.” Our challenge is to have those on our crew collaborate to get the best product. We need the experience of the veteran operator and the proficiency of the millennials to create the very best product. Chris and Jennifer at Dallas Cowboys home field.