Taking Initiative

I was conducting a compliance inspection one hot afternoon to a multi-family residential complex in South Florida. These inspections are to assess the current condition of the property, “as-is”, to ensure that the residents of the property live in a place that is decent, sanitary and in good repair. No on the spot repairs are allowed; as I like to call it “it is what it is” and management was aware of this. I was accompanied by the property manager and maintenance people to gain access to the site perimeter, building areas and a sample of the units. Despite knowing the protocol of these inspections, there was one young maintenance guy who was always eager to fix whatever problem I called out. No matter how insignificant the problem was, the young man jumped on the spot to fix it even though it was explained to him that his efforts did not matter, that the deficiency was cited anyway. In every time he said that didn’t matter for him, that it was one less thing he has to do later. It made sense to me what he said; taking the initiative to get the job done now than later and we continued the inspection with the young fellow fixing things behind us. We finished the inspection late afternoon and we were heading back to the office. This property outlines a conservation area where thick vegetation and a pond covered a vast area that we had to walk across to get to the office. Everybody was wrapped in conversation, asking questions about the inspection and didn’t pay attention to the grounds we were walking by. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye I spotted something on the ground. I immediately halted the group and we spotted what it looked like a snake on the ground. As we got closer the snake was identified as a water moccasin, one of Florida’s most venomous snakes. The snake was feet from us, slithering away but close to buildings and people. We froze there for a minute and before anyone could say something out came the relentless young man with a shovel and disregarding his own safety whack the snake killing it after several hits. To everyone’s amazement, this young man took the initiative before anyone and killed a snake that could have gone closer to a residential building and threaten the safety of its residents, especially children. I was impressed by this young man, going beyond self and his duties. It’s a shame I never got his name but I know the property manager commended his effort for a job well done. I am sure I will see him around next time I visit this property in the near future.