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Be Like Bonnie: What a Great UST Operator Looks Like - UST Training

May 6, 2019

Bonnie is the store manager at a mini-mart gas station in a small town in rural Washington. She took our Class A/B UST operator training course about four years ago and I remember her well because after she got certified she promptly called our office with a bunch of questions. We spoke at length and I helped answer what I thought were a number of very thoughtful and tactical questions. She’s called a few times since then and we’ve talked though a number of her concerns. But I haven’t heard from her in a while.

A few days ago I happened to be driving by Bonnie’s store while headed to another class and thought I’d drop in to say hi and see how things were going. We’d never met in person. As I parked I noticed it’s an older site with single-walled tanks and a tank pad that indicates it’s had a few generations of work done to it.

I didn’t have a way to alert her I was stopping by so I just walked in the door and asked for Bonnie, not sure if she even still worked there. “Hey Bonnie; it’s that Ben Thomas guy” shouted a co-worker into the back room. Bonnie emerges; she’s a bit guarded, and mostly all business, but seems glad I’d just shown up. We chat and I ask if I can see how things are going. As she shows me around the site, what immediately strikes me about Bonnie is how committed she is to UST compliance. Tank gauge fully functioning. Check. No alarms. Check. Daily ATG slips in perfect chronological order. Check. Voltage rectifier has power and readings are recorded every month. Check. Spill response sign in window. Check. Large 3-ring compliance binder at her desk. Check.

What also strikes me about Bonnie is her concern that she isn’t “doing it right.” Which is funny because it took me about two minutes to see that Bonnie is actually a rock star operator. I explained a few new rules that were due in 2020 that she was not aware of (“I wish they’d explain this stuff better”, she told me) but overall Bonnie is totally on it.

I told her I wanted to start a campaign called “Be like Bonnie” and she waved her hand dismissively as if it I was crazy. But it’s true. Bonnie is organized, smart, inquisitive and wants to stay on top of UST compliance. And the best part: Bonnie doesn’t know what a great operator she is.

Be like Bonnie.






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