31 August 2007

Been a long time...

Well, not that long since I posted something, but a long time since I've actually written anything that was worth reading (again, word up to the 3 people who read this. Hi dad!). I've been doing some thinking. Thinking about work. Thinking about riding. And well, just thinking in general. The biggest reason I haven't written anything in awhile is not because I don't have a lot to say, nope. It's been because either I've been riding my bike on a consistent basis, and just don't find the time to write anything, or I have been slaving away at the old workplace. This week, it's been the slaving thing going on. Well, not so much slaving, but I feel like I might have to de-stress somewhat after this week at work. It's been, well, one of those weeks. Oh yes, one of those weeks indeed.

I happen to be responsible for a certain customer based in Japan who is now the #2 automaker in the world. Their name starts with a "T" and they make some damn fine automobiles. This isn't the main problem. The main problem is that the place that I work at supplies said "T" company with parts, in Japan. Not that this is a bad thing, but it's a bad thing for me. Why you might ask? Well, mostly because the Japanese guys reject lots of stuff, most of which aren't bad car parts, not in the least. Get this, last week, I had them reject a bunch of parts, and shut down their assembly line for about 20 minutes because the parts had cardboard dust on a non mating surface of the parts. Yes, you heard me right. Cardboard dust on a non-functional part of the shaft that we build for them. 20 minutes of shut down of their assembly line (estimate about $15k/minute of shutdown), and that's this week's "big" issue if you will. Yeah, silly right? Indeed, except that when things like this happen, and they happen more often than I would like, it gets very high visibility, and the top dogs in the company come barking. And since said top dogs sit upstairs from me these days, well, they come barking quick. Ah, it's good to be in the quality department when things go wrong, and people want your head.

Issues with my customers I can handle. What I can't handle is management at my place of employment being micro-managing pricks. Yeah, I said it, pricks. My boss for example, cannot leave things alone, and let me, and my fellow engineers do our work. He has to stick his nose into our business, and try to tell us what to do for the most mundane things. Things that we've been doing for years on end most of us, myself for 12 years now. I had to finally tell him today, in my most sarcastic voice that I could manage, when we were alone, that this indeed is NOT my first rodeo, and I sort of know what I'm doing, and if he remembered correctly, I taught him the things that we did and do at work when he first started working for the company. Yes, I helped train this asshole. Maybe this is why he sucks so bad at, well, life, but I digress. I take responsibility for someone being an ass sniffing Douchey McDouchebag. I spend more time in a day now, responding to his questions than I do actually doing work, and of course attending his infinite meetings about inane subjects that fall from his grasp very easily.

Check it out, here was my schedule this morning.

6:45AM: Arrive at work, this is the only time or one of the only times that I can get anything done without being bugged.
7:30-8:00AM: Team meeting with 3rd shift. This happens every single day, and if I don't attend, I get into trouble.
8:00-8:30AM: Meeting about "T" company issues, turns into a complaining session for my un-holy boss and his boss.
8:30-9:00AM: Team meeting with 1st shift and production planners.
9:00-10:00AM: Mid year review meeting with said boss. Bear in mind, it's almost the end of the year.
10:00-11:00AM: Meeting about safe launch improvement. Safe launch is a process that all of our new parts go through.
11:00-12:30PM: New program meeting on Ford D3 (Freestyle / Taurus). Piece of shit. Don't buy one, ever.
12:30-1:00PM: Lunch and some light reading to catch up current events via the tubes of the internets.
1:00-2:00PM: New program meeting for "T" company.
1:15-2:00PM: Ford Business Unit meeting. ANOTHER team meeting with the guys I sit with everyday.
1:30-2:30PM: Corrective action meeting for "T" company issues we've been having (notice the overlaps above)
2:30-2:35PM: Poop break.
2:45-3:45PM: "T" company Business Unit Meeting (ANOTHER team meeting).
3:45PM: Technically, my day is over, having arrived at 6:45 in the AM I've now been at work for 9 hours.
3:45-4:00PM: Free time to do some work, you know, what I get paid to do.
4:00-4:30PM: Team meeting with 1st shift production personnel (how many team meetings is this in one day??).
4:30PM: Dart out the door before my boss can talk more. And boy, does he LOVE to talk.

And of course throughout the day, there are sprinkled different phone calls that I need to run out and check with people on, different issues that come up, and things like that. Then if I miss one of the above meetings, the boss calls and bitches me out for that. The above represents a typical day for the most part. This was actually a "light" day for meetings if you can believe that. No longer can I get any work done, because most of the day I'm in meetings about the work I'm supposed to be getting done, and as mentioned before, if I miss a meeting, I get in trouble for that, regardless if there might be something more important going on in the meantime. In checking out my schedule from today, I was able to get 1 whole hour of actual work done for the day. And my boss wonders why things aren't getting done? I showed him the schedule and said, "Look, if I miss a meeting you get mad, and call me, and if I go to meetings I can't get shit done, so what the fuck do you want me to do?". I did seriously say that. I'm actually pretty near the end of the rope.

Here's the other thing. I get bitched out from other people as well, not just my boss. I constantly get questioned about my work ethic (even though I've been busting my ass not only this year, but last year, and the year before as well), and in subtle little ways if I "know" what I'm doing. I am pretty close to telling these cockmunchers at this point time to go and fuck themselves. Why? I'm sick of being questioned about the things I'm doing, and the job that I'm doing, and honestly, if I am as bad at it as you think that I am, fire me already. Get rid of me. And one last thing I'm going to complain about and then I'll be done with it for now, is that I have a ton of people saying, "How can I help you? Can I help you write this and that up for you?" I answer yes, yes indeed, there are plenty of things you can help me with, and then I assign things to different folks. I'm not too proud to ask for help when it's being offered. The thing is, it gets offered, when there are certain people in the room (like the BIG boss, the Director of Quality), but have I seen one actual shred of work from these guys who have offered to help? Hell to the no! Then who gets blamed for when said work isn't done? Yes, me.

One last story from work, and really, I'll stop. I have a co-worker, Tammy, who is a very hard worker. She is married, has 3 kids, and more than enough to do outside of work. She is a material planner for production, and responsible for getting parts shipped to our customers basically. The other day, we were short on some components to make some parts we needed for Ford. She eventually got the parts, but by the time she got the parts, the truck was late. We needed to expedite parts out to get to the customer ASAP. She sets up an expedite truck, and what happens? The truck can't make. So now she has to set up an expedited plane. Turns out, a plane can't get into Raleigh to fly out the parts in time. Turns out, a plane can't get out of Roxboro's tiny airport to fly parts out in time. Where can a plane get out of in time? Rocky Mount, NC. If you look at a map, you'll see Rocky Mount is about 3 hours from where I work in Roxboro, NC. She has to set up another truck. This truck comes in, picks up, and takes off. Things are looking good now, at 12:30 in the wee hours of the morning. She goes home, and finally goes to sleep, not seeing her husband really, and not seeing her kids. The phone, it's now 3:45 in the morning, and it's ringing off the hook. It's Ford. The plane, and the parts didn't get there in time. The truck is "lost". Turns out, the driver got tired, and pulled over for a snooze (I shit you not). She has to call the State Troopers to find this guy on the side of the road on I-95 somewhere in NC to wake him from his slumber (he's not answering his phone, or it's OFF) so that he can make his delivery. Yeah, she had to recruit the damn State Troopers. Get this, they find his truck, and find that he's "OK" (she sort of fibbed and said that she was worried because he was overdue at his drop off, which he was, but not that he stopped for sleep), and he gets to the airport in Rocky Mount about 3 hours later than he was supposed to. The plane is still waiting, because it's a single plane that we chartered special, just for these parts. Parts get loaded and flown to Chicago, where they do make it, just in time before shutting down the plant. Mission accomplished right? And you'd think, job freakin' well done right? Well, in the world of where we work, oh no. Job NOT well done. Her boss calls her, and is mad, mad like someone just pissed on his head and tea bagged him while he was passed out from being drunk. She gets essentially yelled at for NOT clearing all of this expedited freight through her boss, and her boss' boss (her boss' boss lives and works out of Brazil by the way). Not only is it NOT job well done, but her boss tells her that his boss is going to be calling her about this issue, and that she needs to apologize TO HIM for not getting his approval for shipping this freight by air. I kid you not. She is supposed to APOLOGIZE to this guy for doing her job very well, and under a lot of stress. Bear in mind, you shut down this plant in Chicago, you're paying over $20,000/minute in shut down costs. If she had not shipped these parts on this plane way down in Rocky Mount, NC, the place in Chicago would have been shut down for almost 6 hours. Now, I might not be the best at math, no wait, I'm GREAT at math, but we're looking at well over $120,000 in shut down costs. That $10,000 we just spent on shipping out on a plane doesn't look so bad now does it? But since she didn't get "permission" she is supposed to apologize. I was lucky enough to be at her desk when her boss' boss called her for his "apology". Oh, she didn't hold back. Not only did she not apologize, but she told this guy (pretty high level dude) that next time something of this nature comes up, she would be calling him direct to let him take care of the whole thing, and it will be in his court if we shut down a customer somewhere. He backed off, but what an ego, what a prick, what a complete and utter asshole maniac this guy is/was for thinking he was owed an apology for someone doing their job very well.

This is where I work, and what most of us put up with on a daily basis. My boss has his head so far up the plant manager's ass that we can barely see his feet. He'll sell each of us out in a minute if it makes him look better in some sort of way. Our old boss had our back, and with this guy, we can't trust him as far as we can throw him, and with our collective bad backs, we shouldn't be throwing anyone. I keep telling myself, about one more year, and I can get out of there. For now, I need the job. I need the income, but soon enough, I'll be telling them to kiss my hairy ass.


28 August 2007

Do you want to?

Do you want to see something about the town that I grew up in? Documentary in the making from a guy in Cape Elizabeth...

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03 August 2007

Sad, so sad...

I got this picture from the BikesnobNYC blog. If you haven't read it, please do. It's worth it. You'll love it. At least, I think you will, if you're kind of jerk like I am, you'll appreciate the humor, and the bike snobbery. Anyway, this picture of this "custom" road bike, makes me want to sort of throw up.

I can't even begin to start about how, and where this bike went wrong. First, it's a mountain bike, converted to a road bike. And that's the only nice thing I can say about it. Just look at the picture, and make your own decisions on what the hell is going on with this thing. And here I thought I couldn't hate tri-geeks any more than I already do. Boy, was I wrong.

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