How do I get out of LDAR?
How many times have you asked yourself this question?
We joke about it all the time. That time you left to go do something else, but then you were somehow persuaded to return to LDAR. We say it using our best Michael Corleone impression “Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in”. We laugh about how when we got our degree, we had big plans but, who knew we’d end up in such a niche industry. We joke with the new guy – “get out while you can”. No one ever said, “I wanna be an LDAR technician when I grow up” or “after graduation, I’d like to be the industry expert in consent decree audits” ...yet here we are.
When we started Bloc Environmental, we fully had intentions of getting away from LDAR. In fact, I said to my partners, “I will go with you guys because I think we can make this work, but I really don’t want to do LDAR”. I was so “over it” with the deadlines and regulations and difficult clients and low margins and no budget for safety and... well, you get it. I was done. We all experience our own frustrations with this industry, so I am sure others can relate to this.
I recently met a gentleman who was newish to LDAR. He was being introduced to new people and he used the term incestuous, like many people do, to describe how so many of the people at the conference we were attending had worked together at other LDAR companies. He kept hearing “this person used to work there, but now they’re here” and so on. It made me giggle as I started thinking about how true it was. So many of my friends and colleagues, myself included, are with different companies than we were just a few years ago, we have to look at the logo on our shirts just to remember who we work with now.
This made me think about how it almost feels like a family or high school reunion when we all see each other at industry events. There’s lots of laughter and hugs, a little gossip and eye rolling and plenty of competitive banter. We know each other. We accept each other, flaws and all. We know the guy that got drunk last year and did this dumb thing or that hilarious thing, and we love them even more for it. We know who we can call for a compliance question and while we’re at it, we make sure and check on their family.
We have recently had a few of our own go through life altering experiences. Some positive and some so tragic, I tear up thinking about them as I type this. The most amazing thing happens when one of our LDAR family members goes through this kind of event – WE RALLY!
We celebrate their successes, the birth of their children, the high school championships of their teen-agers, the marriages and so on! We send congratulations and well-wishes. And when they experience loss and sadness, WE RALLY. We surround them with love and support and prayers and kindness. We send food and cards and give hugs and pats on the back and send texts and emails to let them know that we are here.
The logo on their shirt doesn’t matter, because when one of our own is in need, we don’t care about labels, WE SIMPLY RALLY.
How do I get out of LDAR? GET OUT OF LDAR? Why would I want to leave a family like this? How could I walk away from my people? The people who laugh at my silly and cry with my sadness. The people who know my successes and my lessons learned over the last several years of my career. The people who cheer for my success, even though they are my competitors in the industry. How can I get out of LDAR when LDAR is inside of me?
So, if you’re looking to get out of LDAR, get out while you can... we’ll be here when you come back... we’ll greet you with open arms.
- Bridgett Morales
VP & Managing Partner