What I Learned in Mexico

By Garrod Massey

As you may know from reading Mark’s and Evan’s blogs recently, I was part of a three-man team that traveled to Monterrey, Mexico to help out a client with field services work. Here are my observations and the life lessons I learned along the way.

Monterrey, where we worked, is the capital of the state of Nuevo Leon.  Photos by Garrod Massey. 

Monterrey, where we worked, is the capital of the state of Nuevo Leon. Photos by Garrod Massey. 

The Local Laborers Were Hard Workers
The plant we worked in was under construction, so we ended up maneuvering around the construction teams as they labored. You might walk away for a few minutes and come back to an entirely new piece of equipment being installed on “your” spot! We learned to be nimble and get out of the way.

These guys were amazing. They worked long hours in the dust, heat and noise with great attitudes. I felt my attitude improve just considering how hard their jobs were and how they worked with little complaint. We could all complain less on the job, right?

Watch Your Head!
Like I mentioned, the plant was an active construction zone, so as we pulled wires and terminated them in the enclosures, we had to keep an eye out for pipes swinging overhead, people on scissor trucks lifting equipment and other hazards. The three of us wore safety equipment such as eye protection, bright vests, steel-toed boots and hardhats. Still, the best defense sometimes was just to get out of the way.

L-R: Zach Fothergill, Evan Coulter and me!

L-R: Zach Fothergill, Evan Coulter and me!

I Appreciate the Harder Road
I’ve blogged about this before, but UCEC doesn’t take the easy road to the finish. We take steps in our panels to make sure future field teams have easy access to wires. Because we wire to terminal blocks all in one area of the panel, everything is tidily arranged and easily accessible.

The panels we worked on in Mexico were built by other shops, and they didn’t have the same standards we apply to our panels. The field terminations used very thick tray rated cable which takes up a lot more room and is difficult to work with. PLC’s were placed on the bottom of the panels, which means we had to lay on the ground on our backs or sides for hours to terminate the wires. At UCEC, we wire our PLC’s to terminal blocks on the top half of the panel, making field terminations at eye level.

Now that I’m back from Mexico, I’m appreciating UCEC’s dedication to doing it right even more. We want to make things as easy as possible for our customers. We won’t sacrifice quality, ever.

We’ve Got It Pretty Good
There’s nothing like travel to put your life into perspective. I go to work in a modern, comfortable and clean environment. My colleagues are talented and friendly. We craft excellent products the entire team can be proud of. The next time I’m tempted to gripe about something, I’ll remember how good I’ve got it. It was an unreal perspective, and I’m glad that I had the chance to experience it.

Garrod is an Operations Support Manager at UCEC.


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