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A good boss

I was working on a job at a nuclear power plant that required a lot of support from laborers.  The job was to remove a 1000-hp motor from a basement in a reactor building, hoist it up several floors, clean it up, mount it on a shipping platform, and wrap it in giant industrial Saran wrap to keep from spreading radioactive dust and grime.  The clean-up and wrapping is grunt work, guaranteed 100 percent glamor-free.

While waiting on the crane operators and mechanics to get the motor hoisted and set, I struck up a conversation with one of the laborers.  At some point the subject turned to his boss whereupon the guy gushed forth with all kinds of gratitude and affection for his boss.  I was thinking, This is America, guy.  Aren’t you culturally obligated to loathe your boss and deride him as a fool?

But the guy went on and on, telling me all the things his boss had done to help him learn the job, get adjusted, had even done some personal favors for him and so on.  He genuinely respected and admired the man he was working for and said so.  And when the motor was set, he went and worked his tail off to get it ready to ship.

This demonstrates so much of what bigshot corporate America has forgotten to do.  There are virtues here, manly loyalty that runs in both directions, a work ethic that takes even the grunt work seriously, an older man’s compassion that was wiser than a hand-out, respect that’s been earned the right way — by being respectable.  And this all motivated a young man to throw himself heartily into his work without having to be pushed or threatened.  You can’t put a cash value on virtues like those.  The worth of the whole company couldn’t buy them.

And moral excellence doesn’t come as standard equipment on every human.  It has to be taught by good moms and dads, godly grandparents, preachers, and teachers.  It has to be lived out by Christians disguised as laborers, foremen, cops, business owners, and the neighbors who live down the street.  And it all has to be brought to life by the Gospel and the grace of the Spirit of God.

I should mention that I attended church with that foreman.  What a pleasant thing to catch up to a brother who’s going about the business of Christian living and doing it very well indeed.  The motor we were moving is the gray one behind me.  At the neutron factory we get to wear cool bunny suits like this one.


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