Thursday, June 25, 2009

In the Bunker: The Last Days

You know, I've read about plant closures in the newspaper but this is the first time I've ever been in the eye of that particular hurricane.


Back in May I had two separate vacation day requests go unapproved by the VP of Operations.

"We really need you here," was his answer each time.

One of "my" employees took a previously-scheduled vacation day and the VP and Plant Manager both were querulous.

"Why would she want to take a vacation day?" they asked, mouths agape.

"Um, because it's an employee benefit that is part of the total compensation package," I knew better than to say.

Well, guess what?

With but four weeks left until my scheduled 07/17/09 permanent layoff date :

  • The VP has skee-daddled off for a week-long vacation this week, and...
  • The PM is taking all next week off!
Now, just to add a little battery acid to that gaping wound, the VP decreed that a certain project has to be completed before he gets back. The project in question appears to be ill-conceived and is currently being poorly executed. It seems highly unlikely it will reach fruition before the VP returns Monday.

The PM seems entirely unconcerned and disconnected from the mechanical and technical issues that are currently thwarting this supposedly important project. I guess I would, too, if I wasn't going to be here when the VP gets back.

Dang it, I've been doing as much as I can to get this thing moving, but it is outside of my circle of influence and expertise. (I spent a couple hours trimming wires yesterday because of the aforementioned disconnects.)

It is as if the captain and first mate elbowed all the women and children out of the way as soon as the Titanic hit that iceberg.

Is this why American manufacturing has gone down the tubes?

Has everyone lost the will to make stuff?

When did the stupid bomb go off and what is the half-life for the moronium-286 fall-out?

I'm trying to hang in there so as to get my "separation package" which is most likely to be one week of pay and all my unused vacation time.

Guess I'll have to try a little harder, eh?



Blogger furiousBall said...

there is an abundance moronium stock piled at my last workplace

June 25, 2009 10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tryv all you want if it helps pass the time, but at this point, everyone above you (hell, EVERYONE) is trying to rip off as much as they can before the doors close. Been through it 3 times, and its all the same thing. Equipment goes missing, web surfing goes through the roof, do whatever you want; it wont make a difference. go to maintenance and get yourself some a/c units, or welders, or whatever. Gauranteed someone way up the foodchain has taken out a loan on whatever asstes are there and is skipping town as we speak. Fuck work; lookout for yourself and family.

June 25, 2009 3:01 PM  
Anonymous Ian House said...

I would like to, politely, disagree with Anonymous above. I think the most important things that you should take away with you is your honesty, integrity and reputation. It doesn't sound like your employer will miss them much.

And, knowing you as I do ... that's EXACTLY what will arrive home with you on the last day.

As for the collapse of our once GLORIOUS manufacturing base, well, what can I say? It's a monumental tragedy. Will we ever get up off the mat again?

Best of luck, Craig, my friend ... although, I know those words are of little practical consequence.


June 25, 2009 7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, Ian, you're right. Like I said, I've been through 3 shutdowns, and I busted my ass like my bro craig is doing each time. It's discouraging to rearrange the deck chairs on the titanic while the captain is counting his $ on the lifeboat. Virtue is its own reward.

June 25, 2009 8:40 PM  
Blogger Craig D said...

Since there's nothing at the rack factory worth stealing, I'll default to the whole integrity scenario.

Thanks for the kind words. Maybe I'll post some of my musings on my ill-starred career path in the manufacturing sector next.

June 26, 2009 11:49 AM  
Blogger secret agent woman said...

How demoralizing. And we wonder why the economy is in such a state.

June 27, 2009 2:59 PM  
Blogger Craig D said...

S.A.W - Dirty dishes are recession-proof. Clean dishes, unfortunately aren't. If a refridgerator breaks, folks will run out and buy a nn. If thedishwasher breaks, well...

June 27, 2009 4:02 PM  
Blogger the blogger formerly known as yinyang said...

"Has everyone lost the will to make stuff?"

Nah, mostly it's just that we're all cheap bastards - the companies want high profit margins, so they outsource; consumers want lower prices, so they'll buy the finished products no matter how crappy they are (unless it's lead-painted toys or something). It's the spirit of American capitalism.

I bet if they brought the manufacturing jobs back, people would line up to work them.

June 28, 2009 4:56 PM  
Blogger Allan said...

Don't let the bastards drag you down. Do what you can and don't worry about the thieves at the top...karma will eventually prevail.
And make sure to get (and enjoy) those vacation days!

June 30, 2009 11:54 AM  
Blogger whimsical brainpan said...

The stupid bomb went off in the 80's. And rather than having a half-life I think the potency increases as time goes on.

I hate that you are getting caught in the fallout.


June 30, 2009 1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

work shmerk, the turk lurked and jerked

July 01, 2009 2:04 PM  
Blogger Craig D said...

Re: Pilferage.

Lots and lots of copper tooling has been disappearing from various machines! Can the A/C cooling coils be next?

July 01, 2009 3:22 PM  

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