Tuesday, August 30, 2011

View From The Bridge 8/31/2011

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

The next line of that song is, “Good old-fashioned rule days.” The days, weeks, and months are flying by so quickly that I did not realize that school was starting last Wednesday. I live near the Fort Benton Elementary School. I love waking up in the morning and hearing the youngsters on the playground. I missed it during the summer. Occasionally there would be some youngsters on the playground but they certainly did not make any noise. Welcome back students.

I visited the Elementary School this morning (Monday,) and was introduced to the new principal, Jory Thompson. He came to Fort Benton with his wife Marie on August 11th from Kalispell. They purchased a home and so they are here to stay with a daughter in MT Tech and two children in the Elementary School.

He explained the bus situation and now I have the picture clearly. The busses unload and load the same as they always did on Franklin St. It is the parents who pick-up who park and wait on 14th St. It was a problem to have both the busses and the parents parked on Franklin. The youngsters to be picked up can now walk through the playground to reach their parents. There is no longer the danger of them trying to get across the street to their parents vehicles. That was a very good move to ensure safety. Mr. Thompson said that it is working very well.

So at last, we have reached the time to ask and answer, “Are you ready for some football.” I am ready for the Longhorns and on Friday, September 2nd I am sure the Varsity Team will be ready for Chinook. See you there. GO LONGHORNS. P.S. You cannot get a better hamburger anywhere.

Middle School Boys Football will be played on September 2nd. The Middle School Girls Volleyball, the High School Volleyball, and the Middle School Tennis have already started. Large schedules at available at the First Security Bank to keep on your frig. Support your school athletics with your attendance. The players are encouraged by those in the stands. It builds community spirit for those kids who do their best.

I owe an apology to “Ragin’ Cajun” of Great Falls and Andrea Rutledge of Big Sandy for putting Charlie Good in first place in last weeks “View.” I was going to check with those in the know, but as always, I was in a hurry to get my article in by required time.

At the contest, by the time the judges made their decisions, there was quite a crowd gathered. It was difficult to hear and I was involved with conversations on sides, front, and back of me. I was not paying complete attention and all I remember is Charlie’s name being called.

What I am wondering is that no one called me on my error. You would be helping me a great deal, if you would correct me. I often am not completely correct and admit to it.

So now, congratulations to “Ragin” Cajun” (whoever you are,) for first place and Andrea for second place. I hope that you had as great a time as we did at the contest. All the folks around me are looking forward to next year. There will be a next year. GO CHOUTEAU COUNTY FAIR.

I stopped in the shop to visit with Vi Cameron, the new energetic entrepreneur of the Thrift Store. She had decided to call the store after her mother, Sadie. It is a very memorable sentiment.

Vi is still sorting, arranging, and rearranging. She told me a humorous story about going through the inventory and finding items that she thinks will never sell. The day I visited, she sold a “Cement Brick Maker” to a woman buyer. I wonder if the woman will ever use it or like myself, think I am going to use it.

Vi has a beautiful size 8 wedding dress that she had dry cleaned and it is ready for the ceremony. Get to Sadie’s quickly before it is gone.

Drop in and visit Vi and give her support. I found several treasures there and one was a birthday present. The recipient said that it was the best present he had ever received. I do not want to mention names so if you want to know, “the rest of the story,” ask me the next time you see me.

In case you have not been in touch with this series, I am passing on generations at a glance that was introduced to a well-attended Travel Montana class presented in Fort Benton last spring.

We have learned that there are four generations, their descriptions, quick stats, and general characteristics. In this issue, we will go to the workplace. The Traditionalists are loyal to their employers and expect loyalty in return. They have effective and warm interpersonal skills. Their work ethic equals timeliness, putting in the hours working hard. They accept “command and control” management style as norm.

The Baby Boomers are driven; work comes first. They are loyal to the function or profession. Their work ethic equals working long hours, hard, and being seen doing it. They believe in champion and evaluate others on their work ethic. Believing in teamwork is important and they are good at building relationships.

The X Generation put personal life first and rejects the super-motivated Boomer work ethic while being independent. Their work ethic equals getting the job done quickly. They value talent, ability over longevity, and working within their own definition of “team.” They look to invest loyalty in a person NOT a company. They rebel against micro managing and seek loose supervision by objectives.

The Millennials look for meaningful and fun work. They are loyal to people they work and play with and communication is direct and instant. They are multi-taskers and technology is a natural part of daily living. They want to learn and grow but want rewards NOW. (I have also heard them called the NOW generation.) However, they need more hand holding.

Next week will end “Through the Years” with To Communicate and Engage. (Do you find that lack of communication is a huge problem these days?) Perhaps there is an answer in next week’s column.

I received a phone call this week from Kelly who lives in Great Falls and is a subscriber to The River Press. Our story is a long one as to how we met; however, I will tell you that it was through the Great Falls International Airport. Kelly was on Gate duty when I called for information about a plane schedule. It was late in the evening and all the airlines had closed down. The operator connected me with the Gate and Kelly was very helpful in checking to see if the vehicle of my friend was still in the parking lot. She went the extra mile to help me.

I have no recollection of taking a box of candy to her but after 18 years, she called to say thank you. She had thought about a note for a long time, however, it is funny how time slips away. She reads the “View” every week and decided at last to give me a jingle. It was a real surprise, Kelly made my day, and most importantly the fact that she subscribes to The River Press. I know that she will be surprised to see her name in print and I wanted to tell her that one person can make a difference.

It is remarkable how many people I have talked to lately who are having problems remembering names and just about everything else. It does not matter whether they are young, middle aged, or seniors. You can remember people you hardly know and cannot remember your best friend’s name.

Randy and I have been in the process for years of writing a book titled, “What We Would Do as Co-Presidents.” Our first rule would be “Everyone must wear a nametag.” Would you uphold that brilliant piece of legislation?

Its chokecherry time and a great time of year to make a trip to the mountains. Be careful what roads you travel because there isn’t much cell service. You can find helpful neighbors but they are few and far between. If you have any adventures that are worth telling…let me know. Good stories are always worth listening to or writing about.