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


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

I promise, this really happened...

So let me tell you about all the different ways a day at work can go off the rails.  To set things up, I'll let you in on a couple of issues that started last week.  Right now, the program we use for the engineers to make the markers that I cut is transitioning from accumark to something called optitech- or NC for short (don't ask me how).  So we are slowly getting more and more NC markers although we still do plenty of accumark (which I will shorten to AM for the duration).  So this involves switching the cutter to the proper "wizard" to bring the marker up properly, as well as choosing the proper file set if I have to bring it up manually instead of just scanning it over.

That said, last week my machine (the legendary Haney) decided it was no longer going to bring up NC files properly- it would only give you an out-of-bounds error, no matter what you did (except, briefly, if you didn't switch the wizard over to NC).  So we shifted all the NC stuff to the other cutter, being run now by a newbie whom we shall call T-man.  After a day of this, the Haney decided one problem wasn't enough, and it started going out of calibration.  This means that my little circular wheel-blade wasn't going down the line straight, and thus was cutting crooked in the seconds before it shattered altogether.  The Maintenance guy and I fixed it Thursday, ran fine all day, but friday morning it went AWOL again, and with anyone who knew how to fix it already on Labor day getaway, I fiddled with it myself, got it running right- for 2 hours before it went bad again and we shut it down.  That, as I said, was last week.

Tuesday, all the proper people were assembled and they got it going again.  By this time, I had lost faith in the Haney and remained at the other cutter whilst T-man got to deal with it.  That brings us to this morning.  Tuesday evening the "powers that be" had a meeting about the machines, and were looking into my suggestion for a fix- running a system restore.  But, as meetings do, all that was accomplished (and so far) was talk.  I came in with a note that I had to cut a missing part first thing.  It was an NC, and when I tried to open the marker I was greeted with something new- a little "NC import selection" box, on which I had to choose the magic checkbox to get the marker to open.  I showed that to the lord of the Realm- he took a picture and sent it to our guy that's supposed to know about these things, and by the time I had it cut, they were all gathered around my machine- and a good thing too, because just then the Haney went askew and broke yet another blade.  That went on most of the day, with the diagnosis being a failed sensor "which was on order".

Moving along, we start to hit the highlight about 10 AM when our floor boss gave T-man a marker to cut, hot prototype.  He got the error, and I said, yeah, that's an NC, it won't cut on the Haney."  So they gave it to me, and as I was cutting it- actually, just as I had finished the fuzzy patch that goes with it- out came the Big Boss again with three more of these "furniture covers" to do.  The first three went okay (these things are a colossal pain but the customer wants them, so), but when I went to do the fourth...

See these first three were one marker, but the other one was the same as the one I had just did for T-man.  Only thing was, now I was getting the error, even though it had cut fine an hour and a half before.  Nothing I tried would get it to work, and so I told Big Boss- just as he was bringing out another one, so "hot" they hadn't even worked up proper paperwork for it, just pull it open manually and go.  So while he goes back to guy-in-the-know, I go ahead and cut the orderless marker- not noticing the little "-05" on the paper I got, meaning that it was out of a different color.  With an order, I woulda caught this.  Without, with 15 distractions going on, and just awaiting the next disaster, I cut out of the wrong color.  S'okay, just another wasted 23 yards of fabric, and there have been so MANY today...

By this time, I had also acquired the fuzzy patch and vinyl patch for another previously cut (by T-man) marker that a) the fuzzy patch was backwards, and b) the vinyl was cut wrong side up.  After proving to Big Boss that fuzzy patch was in the system backwards, I was then greeted by guy-in-the-know (henceforth GITK), who played with my machine before determining that the one marker, indeed, was not going to work on my side.  Just on a hunch, he went over to T-man and the Haney, where- despite refusing to cut the same marker 2 hours before- now IT would cut the damn thing.  Good enough, here's your paperwork and your fuzzy patch, have at it.  It was at this time that sew boss came over and informed me that I'd cut the one out of the wrong color.

So that gets recut, and soon after I am told that the fuzzy patch for the other three- which I had scanned over- were now backwards.  Later, I heard it was two out of the three.  WTH?  A few intrepid souls decided to go cut them by hand (thank God), and by then we were ready to unscrew the fuzzy/vinyl problem.  Did that, and then I went to do my next thing.  When I opened the wizard, lo and behold, I saw next to the one I was doing, a canopy marker.  I didn't scan a canopy marker.  T-man didn't scan one.  NOBODY scanned a canopy, and as a matter of fact, neither I or T-man even saw an order for one all day, and yet, there it was.

Finally, it was 15 minutes to quitting time- just about enough to cut one more cover.  Just as I start, T-man says, "Uh, I think my label printer ran out of paper."  (Each marker has to print a box label.)  Well, he had plenty of paper- but the five labels he had printed- and five more, when he tried to get them to "print" a second time- had wrapped around the roller on the way out.  Not an uncommon problem, and not a big deal when you catch it after one or two.  But TEN of them?  That required time I didn't have and my scissors to cut them out.  And of course a couple of attempts to reset since the idiot ink ribbon ALWAYS has to get misaligned during such a venture.

Nonetheless, all finally got done, barely before the buzzer.  And as I staggered out the door, I told the Big Boss for the umpteenth time, "If you woulda JUST got the priest in to sprinkle with Holy Water before we moved the machines this spring..."

Big Boss, as he always does, just laughs and says, "Fair enough..."


  1. I feel like I need a xanax just from reading about this...

    1. You and me both... but I settled for a Frostee...

  2. I love when the big wigs have a meeting for several hours and accomplish absolutely nothing. What's worse is when you're in there with them. Good times, good times.

  3. Chris:
    Wow...I got worn out just taking in ALL that went on at the plant...sheesh!
    Sprinkle with holy water?
    You're gonna need a 55 gallon DRUM of that stuff...with the applicable pressure washer to douse the place!
    Days such as this I DO NOT MISS...AT ALL.
    (and I had my share both on AND off the road).
    There has to be a sainthood in this for 'ya, buster.

    Stay safe & hang tough up there, brother.

  4. You're making me feel really good about my current hiatus from work. This time around I am not even bored.

    I could TOTALLY be a lotto winner's wife.

  5. Seriously?!! Is it a full moon or something? I totally had a day much like yours yesterday. So crazy and frustrating minus the boat fabric. Today was a hair better but still reeling from yesterday.