Saturday, February 15, 2014

Rock And Roll And The Operations Mandate And How It Failed.

It was almost a year ago that our hot shot operations manager marched everybody into the cafeteria and made an announcement that our printing department would be moving up to Onatonna Minnesota and those who wanted to go could but those who didn't would have to either take a buyout or take a chance in the pool and hope not to get demoted to packaging.  You'll love Minnesota said Gordon, you'll love it even more since it snows more than it does here, hard to believe.

In the year past that shock we have to come to conclude one thing.  And that's Gordon is an idiot. The transfer move to Minnesota with printing didn't worked out as well because Gordon failed to realize at the time that he was stealing our work to keep his Minnesota workers happy and working all year around was that the Minnesota plant was much more smaller than the one we had here in town.  It also goes to show that management with their packaging conspirators also are idiots too.  The scanning that is now in Iowa City which is supposed to move up to C.R. is going to be crammed into a smaller building.   I don't mind the shorter drive to work but not going to be too thrilled in the packing us into like sardines.  A very poorly planned and ill timed maneuver if you can call it that.

This winter working in scanner and at times being loaned out to packaging has been a clash of differences. The hectic and chaos that is packaging is shorted into 9 minute breaks (which is supposed to be 10 but we got paid yahoos to watch the clock to called out BREAK when it happens and then watches the time and count people who are 10 seconds late back from break and short them a pay or two.  Whereas in scanner we work with a more lenient and tolerable attitude.  Though I work better with the former co workers in printing down in packaging, it's the seniors and bosses that tend to take advantage of the situation and nit pick on each and every little thing that happens.  Which includes blowing a gasket if you have a open container on the production line.  Or the packaging boss blow on and on about things that don't matter to you but serve up old hot dogs from the day shift and trying to get a dollar out of these overcooked e coli in the works.  Whereas in scanner we have pot lucks and free food whereas in packaging paying 50 cents for brownies just to have it go to Pearson Cares.

Basically we were going into darker days when somebody decided to make Gordon, the Onatonna head of operations up there to be one down here and we never seen him that much, unless he came down just to see what he could steal back up there and leave us down here dangling in the breeze.  The type of guy that you don't want to turn your back to, otherwise you might get a knife in the back.  I do not have a high opinion of him, another of these rah rah guys, that got hired out of someplace else, and have no clue on how we operate as a company and decided to do things his way.  And that was his elaborate plan, to keep his workers happy, displaces the ones down here and to make a big mess out of everything and throw money down the drain and move printers and scanners to a more cramped and hostile working conditions.  I'm always amazed at some of the things that I heard from Conrad up there about how bad it is and how Gordon didn't have a clue or concept on how big things were down here.  But then again Gordon knows everything.  In other words, he's an idiot.

At this time last year we begin to prepare to say goodbye to our team and wondered how things would turn out once September rolled around.  And half a year into scanning I still conclude that even though my new co workers are eccentric and not exactly commandeering, some of them are even more oddballs than myself, at least they do help you when you have questions.  The bond and closeness of my old printing mates after 20 years of being together is sorely missed.  Up in packaging the scanning co workers and I don't associate at all, unless it's Jack talking sports.  Usually the main bitcher, is usually sucking down a gallon plate of spaghetti and complaining he's gotta make an hour trip up to Packaging land to get from where he lives. And has a 4 year college degree and still works at a crappy job.  We all do, I just do the best of what I got and move on and try to keep up.

But some good news has come out of this and it may have been too late to save the printing department, but we have managed to win a big sized contract that will make up for the loss of the California project that was one of the cornerstones of why we continue to work at Pearson Inc and it will keep me working for at least another five years (God willing if I haven't had a stroke yet, or better yet win the lottery and finally retire with my own blue cart-those who retire in the company get their own personalized blue carts for their tenure spent at the company, a long standing tradition).  One that a rationable   person would think of not moving every GD thing up to a shorter work space and perhaps leaving things be.  Which means even though I'd be driving an extra 20 miles to work, that in Iowa City you have space to breathe and park carts when the busy season starts up.  I might be even thinking outside the box on this, but perhaps maybe even Printing moving back to CR if this doesn't work out and leaving scanning be? Or maybe this is wishful thinking on my part.  But if Gordon and management continues to trek on moving scanning into a even more cramped CR in July, catastrophic and damaging things may happen.  But then again Gordon may just skip out like Russ Gaglarti did back in 99, took the money and run and get somebody to buy out the place.

To which I say, mergers and buyouts do not help the average worker, only the investors and those with company stock benefit from this and the average worker either adapts or gets laid off.  Most of the scanning folks that I work with act like rats jumping off a sinking ship, in it for themselves as they try to get on to other departments, namely phone work and that's not my cup of tea. We'll still have a job be it scanning or the dreaded and close by packaging department once things move up there.  But there's still time to right the wrongs and keep things where they work at best.   I'd love to move on to a better job and a happier outcome, but sad to say the record store business hasn't been all that great either and there's less and less of them now.

So we try to do our best with what we have and hope we can make a difference so that our customers do come back. I still care of what I do and with the folks that I work alongside with, but I wished I can go back to this infamous Town Hall meeting that the dumbass ops manager from Minnesota came up with and smack him upside the head for all the turmoil that he has brought upon us the past year.

He didn't do any favors to anybody but for himself and the profit line.

Which is why he's still an idiot.

Update:  Our wonderful place of employment continues to lose contracts left and right and once again we had the annual meeting of them looking for people to buy out and not work for a year and it's getting very tempting not to say no.  Since I have a car payment for the next couple years can't do it, not right now anyway.  However I may have to take a furlough for one of the summer months since we won't be working. And maybe use that time to clean up the house and get rid of some hoarder shit.  Still, we have a job but not taking the buyout, we are rolling the dice once again.  With our business trying to get everybody to go online for their testing (amazing how the internet has been killing our livelihood all these years with record and book stores closing up and now the limeys trying to get everybody to go paperless) it seems that we are on borrowed time once again.  With Gordon whooping it up in Austin and probably looking for more stuff to take back to Minnesota to keep his printing help going, we were spared of his rah rah BS about taking one for the company will make us better.  Not really, it's making us look bad in spite of us losing two major big contracts, I'm still hoping to tough this out for another 5 five years or when my boss finds a better job.  The way it's been going in this life and so far this year is even worse that last year.  But we're survive, one way or another.

Update 2:  Gordon continues to move printing ops up to Minnesota by announcing that he's going to take away the IBM printers for springtime processing another stupid move in another spring season already in chaos in January.  The old familiar faces of the temps are back, all the way to Buzzard Lady and The Psycho Couple, a woman and her boyfriend/hubby giving dagger eyes to anybody who stares at his woman for more than 2 seconds.  And of course the usual rah rah bullshit of the clueless idiot that is head of operations in our town telling everybody they are needed and no excuses if you're two seconds late or if the weather sucks.  A clash of ideas, if the Iowa State Patrol and the Weather Bureau and the IDOT telling people that travel is not recommended or if there's ice on the road, the wonderful Tracy can get in his newest Mustang and come get us.  Packaging boss Jeff was not amused at the comment about having buses coming to get us either but this the logic of a corporate department, intending to close up shop in five years and putting everybody out on the unemployment lines, unless you want to travel up to Minnesota for a chance to continue to work in printing. But then again Gordon is typical Corporate, and if you're not one of his guys, you get passed upon.  Come springtime during another Town Hall Meeting aka Layoff Two Oh One Five, I'm sure Gordon will be happy to pass out severances to fed up employees who gave it their all and all they got was being docked point one for being 1 second late, or having to work the weekend for overtime due to Management incompetence.  The only hope is to be brought by a more sympathetic company and restore things how they used to be but I won't see that in my lifetime.  Nor yours. .