These Are Tense Times… Very Tense

, , , , , , , | Working | July 23, 2021

I’m a security guard in my office with the door closed. As is standard for this sort of job, there are windows all around, so anyone can see in and I can see out. I’ve just had a new employee show up and she is currently waiting in the hallway outside of my office for her supervisor to show up and show her around. We’re both wearing masks, as is required here due to the ongoing health crisis.

Well, I end up sneezing and I sneeze LOUD. I do cover it in my arm and all that, and I go to clean up with sanitizer out of habit. The next thing I know, the new employee has burst through the door into my office and started shrieking at me about how I’m going to give her “the rona”. I’m pretty dumbfounded by this and just sit there and stare at her while she’s basically throwing a tantrum, yelling things like how dare I put her at risk (by sneezing in a closed room well away from her whilst wearing a mask) and how she’s going to get me fired for endangering people. 

Karma happens then, as her supervisor finally shows up shortly after and apparently watches for a bit. Once she has seen enough, the supervisor approaches.

Supervisor: “Excuse me. Are you [Employee]?”

Employee: “Yeah!”

Supervisor: “And today’s your first day?”

Employee: “Uh-huh!”

Supervisor: “Wrong. I’m going to go file the termination paperwork in a little bit. Right now I’m seeing that you’re off the property immediately!

And just like that, she was marched off the grounds. I’m glad that we didn’t have to deal with that particular bit of crazy for long. I can’t imagine how bad things would have been if she had exploded at someone like that on the factory floor.

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Time Management Is Hard

, , , , | Working | July 21, 2021

Normally, production will make the parts and then give them to me to sign off on. Far too many times, I’ve had parts that take two days to check and only get them a day before they are needed.

When our managers look for who is to blame, they say that the parts are with me, and I look bad. Even if I explain, the damage is done and I end up running around trying to clear the parts as fast as I can without making a massive mistake.

Not this time, though. I’ve been coming in early before production gets there and checking what I can on the parts before they release them. It’s been working well, and I manage to get most of it done without them even knowing.

As the deadline looms, production is late (again) and I’m getting ready to receive the parts. The production manager brings them to me.

Production Manager: “Now, these are really important to [Customer]. Please get on with checking these as we don’t want you delaying things like last time.”

I bite my tongue.

Me: “Don’t worry, this shouldn’t take long.”

I notice that something doesn’t look right with a bit that I couldn’t check earlier.

Me: “Hang on. Yeah, this is wrong. Look, this is way out. You should just take it back and redo it.”

Production Manager: “What? Let me see.”

I showed him the part and the drawing and let him check himself. He could tell it is way out of spec. It had to go back to production for two more days, making it late. I made sure to let our bosses know that I was actually way ahead and who was holding us up. The production manager didn’t say a word.

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Clearly, They Take His Leadership VERY Seriously

, , , , | Working | CREDIT: Minotaurtoo | July 16, 2021

Our plant manager was paid production bonuses, and in his infinite wisdom (greed), he told his superiors that we could get out more production than two plants our size could get out reasonably. With the aging equipment that he refused to replace or repair, we were getting seriously behind and now needed to run twenty-four-seven just to stay as behind as we already were.

Our handbooks stated quite clearly that Sunday work was strictly voluntary and was to be “requested” by the supervisor by Thursday at lunch. Attendance on Sundays was abysmal at best since many of us had families and other important things in our life.

[Plant Manager] decided this wouldn’t do and called a plant-wide meeting on one particular Thursday right before lunch.

Plant Manager: “It has come to my attention that many of you are abusing the Sunday voluntary workday status, so I am changing this effective immediately.”

He didn’t have that authority.

Plant Manager: “So, if any of you choose not to come in on Sunday, don’t bother coming back on Monday! Understand?!”

Me: “Are you serious?”

Plant Manager: “YES!”

Me: *With a crap-eating grin* “Okay.”

Three others and I got together and decided to give him what he wanted. We didn’t come in on Sunday or Monday. By Monday morning, around 7:00 am, my phone was blowing up with texts and missed calls. Finally, I answered.

Plant Manager: “Where the h*** are you?!”

Me: *Politely* “Enjoying my day off. Thanks again”

Plant Manager: *Yelling* “What do you mean, ‘day off’? You are supposed to be here!”

Me: “No, you told us that if we didn’t come to work on Sunday not to come in on Monday, and frankly, I thought it was very nice of you to give an extra day off like that.”

Realizing he was trapped, [Plant Manager] changed his tone slightly.

Plant Manager: “Well, that’s not what I meant and you know it. Now get in here as soon as you can.”

Me: *Nicely* “Nope, you can’t back out now. Next time say what you mean. Have a nice day, see you tomorrow.”

Then, I hung up and turned off my phone. After a few other incidents like this, the company finally fired [Plant Manager] and now has a much better plant manager. It’s a great place to work now.

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They Don’t Just Make Up Procedures For Fun

, , , , , | Working | July 12, 2021

I’ve spent countless hours writing simple instructions with pictures to make the jobs in the factory really clear. All the tools are numbered and the processes have been tried and proven to work. It’s a lot of work but has shown to decrease scrap and issues at the customer’s end.

It’s maddening to find people who just refuse to follow them or think they know better, especially as I talk them through each sheet and why we do it.

I’m updating a few of the instructions on the factory floor, and I am just waiting for [Employee] to finish so I can swap his instructions and take him through the changes, but I notice that something is off.

Me: “Hang on. Where’s the scraper?”

Employee: “The what?”

Me: “The scraper tool, about this big, you use it between parts?”

Employee: “We don’t use anything like that on this operation.”

Me: “You do! Look!

I point to the big picture of the scraper in the instructions and then to a hook marked “scraper.”

Me: “And look, there is a space for it to hang up.”

Employee: “Oh, yeah. We stopped using it because it was taking too long.”

Me: “You don’t get to make that decision. This is the process and you should be following it.”

Employee: “I don’t see the point. We haven’t been using it for months and nothing bad has happened, so what’s the point?”

Me: “Firstly, we don’t just wait until there is a massive f***-up to see if things are good ideas or not, and secondly, the reason we use the scraper is that if we don’t, in a few months time when they are installed, they might not fit. You have put hundreds of parts at risk.”

I stormed off, angry. I  could hear [Employee] calling me names and such, but I tuned him out. I let the manager know and he actually went white. He’d just sent a whole lorry out, and at the time, we were trying to bid for more work from the customer. Having a load of issues now could jeopardise the business, not to mention the extra money and man-hours putting all this right.

[Employee] was read the riot act, banned from overtime, and moved into the warehouse to sort the returns he’d put at risk until it was all sorted.

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This Is How You Become The Subject Of A Health And Safety Poster

, , , , , , , | Working | July 1, 2021

We work with heavy machinery, some of it pretty hazardous. The whole shop floor requires safety boots and chemical-resistant overalls, and some areas also need earplugs and safety glasses.

The company has decided that, because people walk between these areas and a sister site recently had a bad eye accident, the whole site will now require safety glasses.

I don’t think it’s a big deal — it’s clearly for our safety — so I wear mine without complaint. 

Some people, however, have taken massive issue with it and routinely don’t wear them or wear them on top of their head.

It has gotten so bad that anyone who “forgets” their glasses at home more than once has to go home unpaid. Anyone who refuses to wear them gets written up. Repeat offenders get escalated through the discipline process.

Most people comply. Of those that don’t, most only get told off once, but one guy constantly complains, constantly takes his glasses off when he isn’t being watched, and ridicules everyone for wearing them.

One day, [Coworker] gets caught again wearing his glasses on top of his head, this time with his head inside the machine he is cleaning, where there’s a massive risk of getting something blown into an eye.

He storms back out of the office and throws his safety glasses across the workshop. The manager sees this and follows him out, shouting after him. [Coworker] shouts back, pausing only to wipe something from the side of his eye.

But he does it with greasy hands not washed since he cleaned the machine. He gets tiny splinters of metal in his eye. Everyone thinks he is joking, but when he starts to scream in pain, they get him to hospital to pick out the metal.

I don’t think he got written up for not wearing his glasses, but I think he learnt his lesson either way.

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