A Lesson From The Factory Floor – For All Of Us

Sometimes We Simply Have To Stop

technology-2147368_1280The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination.

-Carl Rogers-


Can I tell you a story?

The company was experiencing defective products making their way through production to packaging and onto palletizing.  These defects were a constant problem and the company was losing time and money in re-working something that should have been caught right away.

Managment’s answer was to empower the line workers to stop the equipment when they noticed the defects coming past them on their way to packaging.  Despite the pep talk, and apparent empowerment, the defects kept coming, and no one would mash the red button that would stop the line and the process of manufacturing.

After some time, management realized that the little red button on the equipment was the most feared object in the plant by the average line worker.  The line workers felt that the red button and its use were above their pay grade.  This button was serious business with serious consequences should it be used to stop a large piece of expensive equipment.  Who am I to stop the march of progressive manufacturing?

It was then that management took the time to have everyone on the line “practice” stopping the line with the button that lay smack dab in the middle of no-mans-land. The result was that the line workers lost the fear they once had in pressing the red button to stop the line. Pressing the red button, thereby stopping the line, was no longer merely the domain of those in charge, but a way for anyone to stop defects dead in their tracks without fear.

Sometimes we live with certain “defects” in our own life because we’re afraid to hit the stop button.  We’re afraid of what that will feel like, afraid of what others will say or feel if we smash the button that will bring life to a halt so that we can correct the defects.  Instead, we live with those defects, day in and day out, year after year until one day we wake up and wonder why we’re feeling miserable, unfulfilled, lost, or rejected.

I agree that hitting the red stop button on life will have consequences, just like stopping a multi-million dollar production line, but sometimes it’s the only way to gather ourselves so that we can continue to be productive and enjoy the best life that we all deserve.


Tino Hernandez

Copyright © 2017 Tino Hernandez – MetroFactor.net

The advice given here is not intended to replace that of your counselors, doctors, or clergy.  Sometimes you need to have a real conversation with those willing and able to assist you to overcome the situations that have arisen in your life.