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


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Forgive me Lord, for I must rant

Today is one of those days I'd love to rant about my job.  I mean, in a "Gilligan's Island meets employment" sort of rant.  I honestly believe, and have expressed, that if we followed a certain pattern (not MY pattern, I just think they should have a "things to do it right" checklist), we could get through all of our recent product launches with our sanity intact.  I wouldn't want to bash our company because this place is really a ton better than 95% of jobs out there- not to mention the fact that I HAVE a job!

HOWever, some things you have to shake your head at.  For example, one lady is really close (as in take a walk across the shop floor and lean on a table to catch your breath) to maternity leave, and she's the one who runs the multi-ply (AKA the machine that cuts all the stuff that mine won't or I don't have time to cut), as well as various other duties.  So naturally, a guy from another department (which is slow to the point of standing around) is training to do her job training to do MY job.  He says he was told I would have to work preggo-lady's side and he'd be on my machine (which he doesn't really like because there's a lot of standing around watching the machine cut).  Another person told me that it was the other way around, so there ya go.

Another incident today involves cutting something I call a whale.  Basically, instead of five or six reasonably sized panels of fabric for a boat cover, a whale is two huge vertical panels with lots of bands to hold everything together.  These are (generally, but not always as we shall see) old-style covers that we do very rarely.  But there is one particular style that always causes catastrophe, and today's example is much they way it always goes:

- halfway through the second huge (around 7 1/2 yd) panel, the cutter gets to a certain point and jams the machine, necessitating a reset.  Now, there USED to be a setting that would allow me to reset and then go back to where it left off (in case the machine jams or the blade breaks).  That setting has turned itself off, and none of those at higher pay scales know/care to learn how to fix it.  Thus after jamming, I have to start the half-cut panel over from scratch.

- Reset the marker, try again.  Repeat first entry.

- Reset the marker.  This time, it hits the same spot and breaks my blade.  Then the fabric roll has a split so another four yards of fabric goes down the drain.

- As the blade is being changed by me, here comes another cover order, which was needed HOT!

BTW, that hot cover had to have two panels recut because they weren't right.  And one of those "mysteriously" never changed when the engineer changed it, so I had to recut it again.  It was one of the lucky ones.  If you go here and scroll down, you'll be reminded of my story about the Wujiang the Dragon fabric company.  Well, yesterday, our black fabric changed over to WTD, and the next one that needed modified had to be completely recut because, of course, the fabrics don't match.

Then, appearing over the bow was ANOTHER whale- this one supposedly a prototype (something being cut the first time).  When I asked the production Mgr about it, he chuckled and told me that we show we already made it, but have no record of shipping it, so we have to re-make it.  When I commented that in two weeks they'll send the original back and it will sit forever waiting for someone to order one, he implied that it was not the only such item over at (our biggest customers)'s plant.

Next up, Our engineers on site are good but are really getting hammered with these new covers, especially considering one guy is brand new and still learning the ins and outs.  And he sent me out a prototype that, when I tried to cut it, the cutter said the marker was out of bounds (AKA something wasn't going to cut where it thought the fabric was).  So I have this handy-dandy little check box that sets everything back where it is supposed to go- usually.

Still out of bounds.

So I moved the laser pointer that guides the cutter up into the fabric ( a no-no usually) until it LOOKED like it should work.  And away it went.

And when it got to my side of the fabric, cut four inches off the edge.

So I got the rookie out there and showed him what was happening.  He went up and "re-processed" the marker.  This time, it worked, and started cutting fine- until it got to the OTHER side of the fabric, at which point it cut five inches off THAT side.  After fiddling around and wasting another ten yards of fabric, while the rookie pled that he was stumped and would try to solve it permanently when his mentors got done with another of the endless company conference calls, I started the cut 3 inches and a scosh off the fabric on my side, and eventually got the damnable thing done.  When you add in another one yesterday, this one dealing with an engineer from another plant that shrugged and said, "It must be an old pattern (a surprisingly commonly used excuse)" and me having to turn my fabric rack around and cut a panel on the (usually) wrong side, I think I may ask about getting engineer's pay for the week.

Then again, since I was out sick Monday, I might not.


  1. When you get old enough, retirement will provide relief. It worked for me.

    1. I suspect dropping dead might come quicker for me...

  2. WOW! That can get be a frustrating day.

    1. See also the day before, AKA the Father of Sorrows, and today, code named "a screaming diorrhea of a day".

  3. Chris:
    I so like your analogy w/ Gilligan's Island.

    It sounds like YOU are perhaps the ONLY one there that "can think on his feet" and thereby get the job done
    I admire that.

    As to the REST of the state of the shop?
    Well, I'd have to conclude that a guy named MURPHY is practicing law there.

    Be nice to see you "graduate" to appears they could USE the assistance.

    Keep up the good work, and stay safe up there, brother.

    1. You pump me up far too much. However, I do have my moments. And yes, that Murphy can be a real bastard.

      BTW, on the "Thing That Wouldn't Line Up", I suspected that the problem was a large "collar" that when separated from the rest (which I had to do at the end since it missed the fabric) had a large engineering line through it that I wager was screwing everything. Surely enough, I had to recut it today- and then re-recut it when Rookie put the remade piece in the marker flipped the wrong way.

      One of many things I had to re-recut today...

  4. Is it possible that you might be able to make a better machine with coconuts? Gilligan would.