In IT you get to do a great many things. I love the variety. Every day is unique and different. Once I was microwaving something and when I put the object to warm up down, the plate was very hot. This was too hot to just be a mistake, so I investigated and the entire microwave was hot. Since it was a business, there was another microwave next to it and that was hot as well. Even the cupboard where they were attached was hot. Something was generating heat. It turns out that there was a toaster oven under the microwave and it had been turned on and with no food inside it got very hot and was radiating heat.
I tried to turn the toaster oven off but there was no power switch. The plug was plugged in behind the cabinet through a hole that wasn’t accessible. So I went and told the office manager what was happening. He looked and was able to unplug the toaster oven since he had the key to the cabinet. Crisis averted.
Many times people are not careful with things that are not theirs. This happened at the end of the day. It was very possible that no one would have noticed and it would have gotten hotter all night probably starting a fire. If I were the office manager I would have sent out an email and told people that the toaster oven is now taken away because of this incident. Can you imagine how frustrated you would be if you had invested in a company and it was ruined due to the carelessness of this?
My point here is that to be a good employee isn’t just doing your job, but also being aware of your environment and making sure things are safe. I could have easily dismissed the heat from the microwave and fire most certainty would have followed. Your value as an employee is not only what you can do, but what you can prevent.