Stick To The Policies!

, , , , | Working | April 1, 2021

Working in “quality” is a pretty thankless task; you are often seen as the bad guy. But the job is really about protecting the company from costly mistakes arriving at the customer. Many people don’t see how many problems come from simple mistakes or the costs involved.

As I’m walking through the factory, one of the guys tries to hide something.

Me: “Come on, man. What are you hiding from me?”

Worker: “Nothing.”

Me: “Nothing? ‘Nothing’ looks an awful lot like a glue bottle.”

Worker: “Oh, this? Yeah, I was just going to throw it away.”

This is a massive lie; it’s halfway through the day and he must have been using it.

Me: “This is a week out of date! Get rid of it now, please.”

Worker: “Sure, sure. Thanks.”

I have a hunch — just an idea — and a few days later on lunch break, I wander down to the same bench. I find another bottle of out-of-date glue. I stick around to wait for the worker to come back.

Me: “Listen. I’m not being difficult and I’m not being awkward. This glue is only good for twelve hours. Make a new batch every morning; it’s the policy for a reason!”

Worker: “Okay, okay. I won’t forget again.”

He seemed to have gotten it, but I let his boss know and he promised to check on him. I took a week off holiday and had several emails from the customer, some from their senior management. Turns out there was a massive s***storm while I was away; parts had literally been falling apart, and worse, some of them had been loaded on shipping containers going halfway around the world.

People were rushing to get on flights, new parts had to be rushed through, and our top management had to rush over to put on a good face to explain themselves.

You don’t need to guess which station was assembling those parts! All because he couldn’t be bothered.

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