Profile Essay

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“The Meeting” The room is silent other than the steady hum of the air conditioner. Businessmen and location supervisors all sit around a large rectangular table, waiting for the man in charge. There is a projector screen at the head of the table with an opening slide displayed. It reads “Monthly Safety meeting” in plain black text on a white background. A few of the men lean back in their chairs and relax. Two start a casual conversation. Even in the silence of the room I cannot understand them because they are mumbling so quietly. It’s an early Monday morning, and everyone is still a little drowsy from the weekend. Suddenly the big door in the back of the room whooshes open. A deep, carrying voice greets the room with a “Morning!” The men in the room all perked up and fixed their posture. The man who entered was Mike Guinn. He is the head engineer at Noble Energy. A lot of people question why the engineer will be conducting a safety meeting. Mike had worked out in the field for many years before getting to where he is now. He knows how it works, and that is why it is his job to conduct the meeting. A few of the men greet him and shake his hand. The others have been here before and they know the drill. Mike has a cup of coffee in his hand that he finishes as he approaches the projector in the front. He sets his mug on the table and looks out at the others. By now they have settled back in their chairs and relaxed a bit. Mike is a man that likes to get right down to business. He quickly turns around and grabs the remote that controls the slide and advances it. “I’d like to do this as quickly as possible.” He says. He had told me beforehand that the meeting focused on some important information, but was one of the dullest parts of his job that he has to endure. The others in the room seem to know this, as the meeting seems to be done as more of a formality than anything else. Before starting he strikes up a conversation with a man who...
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