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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Monday, April 13, 2015

"Either we're complete morons, or we make this way too hard..."

The story I am about to start with has several wrinkles of utter stupidity, but to tell them all would push the stupid squirrel pictures right off the post.  Therefore, I shall shorten this in the best way I can...

Let me make one thing clear.  I love my job (albeit I don't want to LIVE there).  It makes my last job look like something Fred Flintstone would laugh at me for working at.  But there are parts of the ordering process, the inventory process, the engineering process, that seem downright arcane.  This is a story of such.

Since our biggest customer often has a hard time separating butt from brain, it was decided we would take on some work from one of our other plants to fill in the dead spots.  They set us up to help them with another customer who evidently orders items by the metric shit-ton.  This is new to us, as we ship one thing at a time to our biggie... and apparently it confuses us.  But I jump ahead.

One of the many problems with doing these covers is that the fabric used, provided by Chinese vendors who admittedly are making far below the minimum wage, has a bad tendency.  It seems that is difficult for them to roll fabric so that it comes off straight.  A minor problem on most fabrics, it is a huge honking mess on this fabric.  So the other plant, which makes far more of these than we do, was faced with a big scrap fabric problem, which they solved by taking a couple of each covers' mid size pieces and putting them on a separate cutting marker, so they could use the scrap up.  Not doing so many means I don't have the scrap to cut the pieces from nor the time to mess with cutting three different things to make one cover- BUT have to do it anyway, since they won't change the cutting marker.  AND, the bill of materials is set up to NOT pull the pieces from inventory (since the other plant makes them from scrap already written off), so I have to add the yardage- about 10% of the total- back in manually.

This usually leads to a nasty e-mail from corporate inventory, asking why I've used 300 yards to cut 250 yards worth of covers.  And we give them the same answer every time, rather than fix the B.O.M.  But Friday, something else happened that ties the whole story together.

My boss shows me the latest evil e-mail- it claimed that on one order I used 300 yards instead of 54, and on another, 296 rather than 172!  Now I already know their numbers are bad- 54 yards wouldn't get me but 2 covers (3 if you use scrap for the scrap pieces), and only one order I ever cut had less than 14 covers.  So I dug up the old orders- complete with chicken scratching showing the yardage I used to make what they think is scrap, plus my own actual scrap.  My numbers were fine.  So my boss when back to the e-mailer to try to figure it out.

Here is where one of those arcane things comes in, called "pack or piece".  Once I've cut it, the sewers sew it, and the packer packs it, it is supposed to be 'pack or pieced' so that it appears on inventory as a finished item.  And on the first order, that said I used 300 instead of 54- out of 20 covers cut, sewn, packed, and presumably shipped to the other plant- only 3 had been pack or pieced.

Which is where the title of this post comes in.  However, it also works well with my other two stories.


On our Sunday walk, we saw a flash of motion in the swamp.  It turned out to be a squirrel, who'd climbed out onto one of the floating logs to investigate something, apparently the turtles as they sunned themselves.

Thing is, he wasn't smart enough to go back the way he came, and his climbing choices (the two trees you see above, both dead, a stump between them, and the log he rode in on) left him no way to dry land.  We watched him go back and forth between them...

 Well, some of us did... he seemed completely baffled how he was ever going to get out of the mess.  Then he saw us...

...and just stopped.

He watched us, we watched him.  For probably ten minutes we sat in place...

...until Scrappy asked, "Can we go now?"  We began to leave, and then I remembered what now becomes part three of our story.

That there is the torn up mess left by the idiot who got stuck Friday and whatever towing service he used to get unstuck.  They tore up a sizable amount of mud and grass, far more than what you see here.  If the guy who did this, the man who drove this car:

sees this, I hope you'll contact me.  I'll give you your chance to explain, and promise not to humiliate you much more than I already have.  C'mon, whatever lame brained explanation you give has got to be better than, "The kid in the Flash shirt told me the world is flat and ends just around the curve, and..."

In closing, by the time we walked back to take that picture and returned to where we were, the squirrel was still in the same spot.  Hoping we would call the fire dept. for him, I guess.


  1. Chris:
    I can relate to the work story.
    Had my share of "winners" in the head office.

    I have two very simple rules about such things and the people running those companies, businesses, or whatever else they're called:
    RULE 1)
    Most all bosses never believe the people under them that KNOW MORE and said bosses have difficulty finding their ass with BOTH hands most every day.
    RULE 2)
    Refer to rule #1

    As for the squirrel?
    Seems HE would make a GOOD "boss" for some companies...heh..

    Hang in there, stick to YOUR principles, and
    Stay safe up there, brother.

    1. This job is FAR from my last one... I would have went with the complete morons there. And the squirrel.

  2. Re: your post title....

    Can't both be true?

    That popped into my head while I looked at your post on my dashboard-not directed at you, but at people in general.

    As I read your post, I couldn't help but laugh, for while our occupations are different, I get the same scenario several times a week, where I am called upon to refute someone else's number when I have no idea what thought process went into their calculation.

    Yet, the assumption always seems to be that my number must be wrong, even though every time it seems to bear out that their calculation was flawed.

    Did the Sermon On The Mount include something about the idiots inheriting the earth?

    If so, can we give them part of their inheritance right now and let them all move there?.

    1. Yes, both can be true to an extent... I was thinking about a 75-25 mix in favor of "too hard" here, with the reverse at my old job- with me skewing it for staying there so long.

      As for the assumption, I've found that every time I think I'm dead on right, I catch some idiot thing I've done and gain humility.

      I don't recall that part of the Sermon- perhaps in the Monty Python version. But it's a darn good idea. Then they can argue about why they are there by themselves.

    2. Wasn't it right after "blessed are the cheese makers?"

  3. Oh Lila would have no part of leaving while being in close proximity to a squirrel. Her whole meaning for life is to watch for squirrels and then to chase said squirrels. She howls and goes crazy over them!

    1. She'd have been in about 2 1/2 feet of slightly stink water to get there.... which is where the squirrel's problem lie.

  4. American squirrels always remind me of Daryl Dixon

    1. Noty being a "Walking Deader", I had to look that reference up. This one was certainly in a good location for the resemblance. Thanks for stopping in!

  5. Did you catch him for dinner?

    1. 2 1/2 feet of stinky water and 30 feet up a barkless, branchless tree, without a gun? I don't think so.

    2. 2 1/2 feet of stinky water and 30 feet up a barkless, branchless tree, without a gun? I don't think so.