Last week, I stepped out of my normal routine and attended an in-person class with FEMA on Continuity of Operations. This led me to relying on my GPS and its traffic feature to avoid rush hour congestion during the adjusted travel times. I found myself stuck on Decatur St. in New Orleans. I mean stuck—down to one lane of cars, people on bikes buzzing by, and nobody moving.

Now, this may be a regular occurrence for many, but being a small town kid, I adjust my hours and route to avoid traffic rush hours. Having no intentions of being late for my class, I waited patiently for about 5 minutes, took a look around and identified that no one was moving forward during the green lights. So, I got out of the car and took a stroll up to the light. I then waved the next few drivers through the light. Getting back into my car, I drove through the intersection only to be stopped again. I then noticed the construction crew that had shut down the entire road. They had blocked up one lane originally, but were now taking rush hour to unload a crane and blocked the entire road access.

Like any good American, I first called 911 and told them that a safety hazard existed due to the blocked intersection and hoped they would be fined. I then proceeded as the new, self-appointed traffic monitor the remainder of the way down Decatur—ignoring the lights and releasing the flow of traffic. I was 15 minutes early to class.


Ok, I know there are many ways you could look at this story. What a jerk, calling 911! You broke the law, you’re impatient; or way to take charge, to “make it happen,” the list can go on.

When a company shuts down because of an unplanned obstacle, it loses money. It may cause a safety concern, cost employees their anticipated paychecks, or lose business from unsatisfied customers. Veterans have been trained and are accustomed to crisis situations, working in changing environments, and are comfortable with overcoming obstacles. My motivation that morning was to be on time for work/class. That’s the thing about Veterans. If it’s within our power to be on time, on budget and on task, then we will be. It’s easy to sit and do nothing and accept being late or to be excused by the all too common, traffic excuse. But really, don’t you want someone on your team who has learned to overcome the traffic excuse to be working for you?

Finally, that leads me to a final point. As Veterans, we expect the same dedication from others. Many Veterans visit Veterans Health Administration daily and leave satisfied, happy and well taken care of. When there is an area for improvement, a Veteran will often speak up and voice that concern. That is why we need the Best of the Best providers serving our Veterans.

If you have a heart for Veterans, and are at the top of your game, then APPLY today or contact a recruiter nearest you.

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Published on Mar. 20, 2014

Estimated reading time is 2.6 min.

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