Beneficial Newsletter – November 2022
Benny Interviews Katie
We had Benny interview our longest working employee, the wonderful Mrs. Katie Corey! Everyone here at the office knows Katie, and always has the best things to say about her. She is known for her kindness and helpfulness. Here’s what Katie had to say about Beneficial Systems:
B) When did you start working for Beneficial?
K) I walked in the door on April 30th at 8:30am, 2007.
B) How did you find out about the company?
K) I moved down here from Upstate New York on a wing and a prayer and went to The Department of Employment. I put in my resume there, and they gave me different places to apply to. Beneficial Systems was one of those places. So, I applied there. Within a day they called me and asked me to come in on April 30th. I was living in Petersburg, and I had no clue where Jetersville was. I decided to come out and scope it a couple of days before I came in.
B) What was your first impression of the business and the people who worked here?
K) Very friendly. I felt welcome the minute I walked in the door. Melissa (Rogers) and H.R. (Sledd) were the ones who interviewed me. H.R. gave such a personal vibe, so, I was hoping they would hire me. I talked to a few of the girls that worked up front and they were very welcoming. All in all, just a very friendly first impression.
B) Do you have any funny stories about working with Melissa, Ron, or H.R.?
K) Yes, I do. We were getting rid of one of my old computers, they weren’t going to use it anymore. Melissa has told me to ask Gerry (Miller) what to do with it. He jokingly said to throw it in the dumpster. I didn’t realize it was a joke at the time. So, I went and threw it in the dumpster. About three days later, Melissa asked where the computer was because they needed to clear it. I didn’t say anything to her at first because I thought I could just grab it out of the dumpster. So, I went to grab it, but the truck had already come to pick up the trash. There was nothing we could do about it at that point.
B) How about any fond memories? Have you experienced any heartwarming moments here at Beneficial?
K) Oh yes, yes. One of my favorite moments was with Franny (H.R.’s wife and Melissa and Ron’s mother). She would come out and help when we first started here. She was the friendliest person you would ever meet. We did a lot in the kitchen. When we had company meetings, we would have luncheons. Because I was new here, I was one of the ones that would go and clean up afterwards. She always came in there and helped me clean up everything.
K) Another fond memory of mine is with H.R., he had a cat named Smokey. He was like his dog. The cat would follow him into the building. One time I was in the front office, and he would just come in, sit at the front window, and purr. Then he would come over and go around my legs.
B) How do you feel about Beneficial now that you’ve worked here for 15 years? What makes you love this job?
K) Teamwork. People will go above and beyond to help people out.
B) And finally, can you sum up your experience at Beneficial Systems in three words?
K) It feels like home. Oh wait, no. That’s more than three words, haha. A work family.
B) Aww. I like that.
Ron Closes Out His Year as PEI President
Ron Sledd gave his end of the year speech at the PEI Convention in Las Vegas back in October. Although he passed the torch to a fellow industry peer, his responsibilities are not quite finished. He will close out the year with a few meetings and then fill a consultant role for a period of time. We are all proud of the work he has put into this position. Co-Owner, Melissa Rogers, explains, “We are so proud of Ron! He did an amazing job. He expended a ton of energy to fulfill his role this year – but that doesn’t surprise us because he is such a giving person. The updates and refinements which he was involved in for the organization will benefit our industry. And that will continue to help more than just Beneficial. I think our parents would have really liked that part, the “helping others” aspect, of being President of PEI for the year. However, Ron benefitted, too. He’s already put to use in our office some of this year’s experiences and things he learned. I have a feeling there’s more to come. Job well done, Ron!
Teresa’s Corner— Life Hacks, Organization Tips, & Tech Short Cuts
We last talked about how all of your items need a ‘home’ and how reducing inventory can help. To further that thought on everything needing a ‘home’, how many of us build more homes to store all of our stuff? I heard of a husband that bought a shed for his wife to store her items. Before you know it, he had bought 3 sheds to store her things. Or perhaps, in your home, if you just had one ‘larger’ dresser, or one more cube shelving or one more…you get the idea. Where does it end? Perhaps, rather than building the homes, we can reduce what is already in the home, garage, shed, and storage. My husband and I recently moved and needed to put the remainder of our stuff in storage. The thought of paying for storage is
PAINFUL! We had to make a lot of hard choices. Do you want to pay every month for that box of clothes that you MIGHT fit in if you lost just 10 more pounds? Or those bar stools that you one day might use if you moved again and said house had a bar…’Every day has its own anxieties’ (a great book once said), so don’t add anxiety to your day by adding more things that you have to house and take care of. Use your precious, precious time by doing things that you love with people that you love…instead of stressing about finding more hiding places to store that last Amazon purchase. (I do love me some Amazon)
CLEANING STYLES: While learning about different organizational styles, I ran across different ‘Cleaning’ styles. This was a new thought for me. What was so interesting with this is, you no longer have to clean the way you were taught but the way that works for you and your lifestyle and schedule. Out of the list below, what is your style or rather, what would work for you better? Are you a combination of styles?
- Weekend Warrior – Completes everything in one day
- Daily Speed Cleaning – Quick speed cleaning multiple times during the day
- Zone Cleaner – One AREA per day. Ex: Monday-Bathroom; Tuesday- Bedroom
- Task Master – One TASK per day. Ex: Mon – Vacuum; Tues – Dusting; etc
For more on this, check out a great video from ‘Clutterbug’ https://youtu.be/_fGtCRvpq2M
Beneficial Participates in OSHA’s Safe and Sound Week
Safe + Sound week is a nationwide event held each August to recognize the successes of workplace health and safety programs. According to OSHA, there were over 3,000 participants this year. We asked our employees to participate because we wanted to focus our conversations on safety, why it matters, and why having a healthy workplace is so important. Each employee was asked why safety matters, what safety means, and to display pictures associated with their answers.
Our team decided that safety means working smartly, seeing the potential hazards before you begin, not working distracted, and planning your work and working your plan. Todd suggested that when on a job, a technician should STOP, THINK, and then ACT. Safety is so important to all employees but it is also important to our loved ones. Focusing on safety gives them a piece of mind, knowing we will come home safe and sound.
For more activities on safety, please visit www.osha.gov/safeandsoundweek.
Biofuels: Love Them or Hate Them, They are Here to Stay
There are many advantages and disadvantages to the use of biofuels. Some of the advantages of biofuels are that they create lower levels of pollution, they are renewable, and easy to resource. Disadvantages may include the high cost of production, industrial pollution, and changes in land use. The federal government provides an array of subsidies to increase the consumption of biofuels, such as corn ethanol. The subsidies include tax breaks, grants, loans, and loan guarantees. The government also imposes a mandate to blend biofuels into gasoline and diesel fuels.
The EPA had set a target of producing and using 36 billion gallons of biofuels by 2022, as part of the roughly 200 billion gallons of motor fuel that U.S. motor vehicles burn each year. As of 2019, drivers were using only 20 billion gallons of renewable fuels. In June of 2022, the EPA revised this number down to 20.63 billion gallons for 2022. They have not yet set the volumes for future years as of this date. There are several issues complicating the development of Renewable Fuel Standard quotas and it is certain to get worse. Due to Government incentives and requirements to produce, sell, and use biofuel, we know the amount of biofuels usage is going to continue to increase annually.
Pure biodiesel has limited direct-use applications and faces supply logistics challenges because of its physical properties and characteristics. Biodiesel is a good solvent that can degrade rubber in fuel lines, loosen or dissolve varnish and sediments in petroleum diesel fuel tanks, and pipelines. Biodiesel gels at higher temperatures than petroleum diesel, which creates problems for its use in cold temperatures. Therefore, biodiesel cannot be stored or transported utilizing normal methods.
Most articles and studies focus on policies and development of these fuels. Little is written about the problems faced by the retail fueling operations regarding storage and delivery. Comparing fossil fuel to biofuel explains why the problems exist. Fossil fuels are complex hydrocarbons while biofuels are much less complex, and can contain up to 10 times as much water as fossil fuel. We know water in a fuel tank is not a good thing.
Hydrocarbons such as diesel and biofuels are a good source of food for microorganisms. Growth of microorganisms in retail storage tanks is nothing new. Microbial growth in diesel has always been a problem, and with the addition of ethanol in gasoline we see microorganism growth as well in these tanks, contributing to contamination and corrosion. Due to the increase in biofuels and their simplicity and ability to contain more water, fuels are becoming much more susceptible to contamination, leading to an increase in filter plugging. Tank cleaning companies are reporting significant increases in severe slime build up in tanks which results in filter plugging and problems in customers vehicles. Cleaning a tank may require the use of biocides to ensure the tank has been disinfected to slow down future growth.
Another significant problem associated with the increased use of biofuels is the increased growth of acid producing bacteria. Two microorganisms, Acetobacter and Gluconacetobacter, feed on biofuels producing acetic acid resulting in Microbially Influenced Corrosion (MIC). MIC is a costly problem that impacts hydrocarbon production, processing equipment, ships, railcars, and other types of metallic infrastructure. This also includes hydrocarbon fuel infrastructure, including production, transportation, and storage systems of retail fueling operations. Microorganisms can live in both the presence of oxygen and the absence of oxygen making it difficult to stop the growth in tanks.
The key ingredient in microorganism biodegradation in fuel storage tanks is water. It is important to develop methods to reduce the addition of water to the stored fuel. Keep an eye on fuel deliveries. Develop a good spill bucket cleaning program and replace spill bucket lid gaskets annually. Monitor fuel filter replacement, cleaning tanks before serious fuel issues occur. I am sorry to report that the problem is not just here to stay but to get worse as we increase the use of biofuels.