Tuesday, August 4, 2015

You'll Never Escape Me My Pretty

This Single Hibiscus Flower Was Staring at Me When I Left for Work This Morning.
The hardest day of the week at my job is Monday, which I imagine is the same for most people. When I get to work on Monday I usually have to deal with the plant being without me for two days. My self-importance level really goes through the roof if I happen to come back from a week vacation. Now the usual ordering responsibilities have been given to someone who cares little about doing it, the powered industrial vehicle fleet has been without its manager for a week, and sometimes I think the entire place has been devoid of common sense for a week. This one was a doozie too, since the production manager had the week off too.

It’s hard to explain what exactly can go wrong when I am not here to micro-manage it. Some of the things are almost impossible to foresee, and there were a few items that were particularly surprising this go around. I am sure after a week to stew on them I may find some humor in it all, but right now I am still in a bit of disbelief. This go around it was an episode involving the floor sweeper. I mean a floor sweeper is what it is, you hop on it, you drive it around the plant and you sweep up the dirt. You then go over to a hopper and the unit will actually dump itself into the hopper. This isn’t brain surgery, but for some reason it takes a brain surgeon to do it, and if there is one thing we don’t have a shortage of around here it is brain surgeons, let me tell you.

Well of course I get to my office two hours early yesterday so that I can try to get ahead of whatever mess it is that is left for me (there always is one) and while I am trying to catch up on my e-mail (fourfreakinghundred, that’s a new word get used to it) I have one of the yeah yeah guys standing in my doorway. You know who these people are, they usually start their conversations with “I don’t want to get anyone in trouble but,” and that’s as good as the conversation usually gets. Sitting next to my keyboard on the desk is a note from one of the shippers telling me that the floor sweeper is broken, and yeah yeah is most likely here to tell me how.

Now the story went something like this: The power went out at the plant so the system that tracks how full the silos are isn’t operational. A filler truck shows up and starts filling the silo. Filler here is talc, so you need to get that in your mind, like an old person’s bathroom floor covered with white powder, yeah talc. The air pump on the truck continued to fill the silo until it couldn’t take anymore and then BOOM! The top blows off and talc is covering the ground out back where the silos are. Easy enough, it has happened before. It isn’t an environmental disaster, and the rain will take care of most of it as soon as we have some showers, BUT NOOOOO, some genius (brain surgeon) goes out back with the indoor floor sweeper to take care of about 150 lbs of talc. Talc is about 100 times as fine as floor dust, and the filters on the sweeper can’t handle more than a couple of pounds of it much less, well I guess whoever did it got about 50 lbs before everything seized.

There is an even funnier part to all of this as I went to the morning meeting where we all sit and discuss the mundane operations of running a factory. After I went around and researched all of this, absolutely nobody in authority whatsoever even knew this happened. Not that the floor sweeper was destroyed, not that someone took it outside, not that a truck overfilled the silo, not that the top was blown off and had been for days! Nope, I was the first they had heard of it and I wasn’t even here! They sure would have wondered in a few more days when another filler truck came in wouldn’t they? I’m ready for another vacation, but I am not brave enough to try it.