Three cheers for Roy Tripp! Though he doesn't have any patents to his name, he has been a major force in the electric motor business for 38 years. Many of you have benefited from his work, even though you never heard of him.
Roy works on the factory floor at Baldor as a member of the "Balancing Team." He runs a machine that straightens out shafts if they're slightly out of alignment after machining. Long past the age of retirement, he brings the passion and energy of a person much younger to his job. He takes pride in what he does and feels a personal responsibility to and for his company, customers, and job that is admirable.
Which is why I cheer him here. Roy's dedication is an example of the best in manufacturing.
I've been personally seething, as maybe you have, over the last few months about the obscene salaries some corporate CEOs have been paid ($62 million for one, $200 million for another) and the outrageous compensation some professional athletes get. When you compare those salaries to that of the average engineer (see the salary survey in the July 8, 2002 issue), you begin to wonder where our priorities are. Really, how much do any of those over-paid CEOs and athletes ever do to improve our quality of life? What do they personally invent and build?
And can they match Roy Tripp in passion and dedication to something other than themselves? Probably not.
Work, in any profession, should be something more than putting in your time or creating wealth for yourselves and others. Sure, we all should make more money, and no one except the independently wealthy should be expected to work for job satisfaction alone. Salary is certainly a measure of respect.
But it's not nearly the measure that dedication and a strong work ethic are.
So here's to Roy Tripp and the many others like him in manufacturing companies throughout the U.S., professionals who put their hearts and souls into their work.