Linda here from Performance Management & Training. I spent a few days recently with the field crews of Tampa Operations for field day, and let me begin by saying I have never worked with such a fun and entertaining group! At first, they scratched their heads wondering who volunteered me to come out. I told them I volunteered myself; I wanted to get connected and understand what happens outside of my office. In addition, I wanted to bring the experience back to the classroom in my trainings. Everyone was very helpful and eager to show me what they do.
I began my visit laying down a section of sidewalk on Busch Blvd with the Concrete Crew. I learned the ratio of mix/sand/water (24/18/2.5 to be exact) for each batch poured. That afternoon, I went out to Plant City on Highway 60 and assisted the Ditch Cleaning Crew. The gradall is one intimidating piece of equipment! Safety is very important out there for our staff, as well as the citizens on our road. I was able to see one of our pits where dirt is deposited from one location and used elsewhere (we recycle).
On my next visit, I spent some time with the Sign Crew. I toured the warehouse where supplies are kept, and some of those signs are taller than me! I actually built a few signs, so be on the lookout for them at a right of way near you! I went back out in the afternoon with the Shoulder Crew and helped level out the dirt that is used to fix the ruts at the edge of the road. We moved a lot, so I learned the difference in MOT standards versus being stationary for an extended period of time (with the Ditch Crew). Let’s just say people don’t pay much attention to the “Crew Working” signs or the speed limit.
On my last visit, I went with the Litter Crew to the Courtney Campbell Causeway. I helped clean up litter and palm fronds amongst other debris on the road. I went out on a Thursday, and let’s just say I would have had a different experience if it were Monday!
Last but not least, I left my mark on Fowler Avenue as I helped fix an asphalt patch across from University Mall.
My field day experiences were full of knowledge and laughter. They even pranked me! (see image). How would I tell my new boss I received a ticket?
The biggest thing I took away from the experience was that we have some of the hardest working individuals around. Field crews, I have a new found respect for what your job entails. Thank you for your contribution to our district and the upkeep of our roads!