Tuesday, November 23, 2010

They know- I know, they know

 With Thanksgiving being this Thursday we like many others will have a short work week. Some of us will still be working however as we prepare for all of the visitors. There is homes to clean and food to cook and guests to invite and welcome- all that stuff.  But, that is not what this write is about. This is about how the machines KNOW that this is a short week and they have to get all of their problems stuffed into three days instead of four.
  Yesterday would have been difficult enough just being Monday, but a Monday on a short week? Help us, please help us. Trying to get the machines started up and humming (they don't know the words) on time is a daily challenge. There is always one that doesn't want to co-operate. Yesterday, I think they had been scheming before we arrived. We would get one going only to have a problem arise that meant stopping it again. We would get another going only to find out that someone was out and we had to move this person from this machine to the other machine that had priority. Then of course there was planning, who would come out and inform the manager that they needed this put on 'right away' as it was promised to be delivered. (I see y'all out there nodding..you've been there) I'm always relieved to see Monday come to a close.
 Then, there is today.
 We get to work to find out that at some point yesterday one of the machines had been turned off and refused to start back. The electrician was out there for the better part of the day- he couldn't get it either. Then of course we had four machines change at one time. Not a one of them wanted to play nice.  To change one we had to pull what was on it off because we needed the machine to run something else---that was promised--taking what was on it and moving it to a machine running the same style. Of course the operator of that machine wasn't really thrilled at the stuff being brought to her because since it came off a machine it was smaller.
The frame changing was not fully ready when I got there to put the settings in. As I was preparing to do that I told the technician that a set of rollers needed to be moved to a different position. He looked me in the eye and told me the other tech had already done that. um.....no. I'm looking at the rollers right here all still in the wrong position.- ohhhhhh that. sigh
As we are finally getting the machine started a major belt dropped and flipped over. The tech seemed absorbed in what he was doing so I turned the machine off and got to slide around in the floor getting the belt back in place. It wasn't too long before we had it back on, and the machine back up and running. I swear though- if I'm going to have to do my job and the tech's..I deserve a pay increase.
 Two machines down. The other tech was doing a maintenance job on machine three. So while he finished that I went to frame four. Thankfully the operator had already gotten most of the work in the change over complete all I had to do was check yarn quality. Size was good, compared to standard was good, look was--rats! The color is so far off as to be in a completely different time zone. It was supposed to be a nice rich green, the was almost yellow. I can't find the dept. manager, oh yeah- she's getting materials for frame five-yup, another one popped in there, it didn't want to be left out of the fun. So, since I can't find her off I go to the sample dept. It was the manager of it that would either approve or reject what I was looking at. She approves a lot, but this one.. no.. she wouldn't approve this one. And she didn't. Back I go to tell the manager that we could not run that machine until the yarn was approved by the customer. This isn't happening.
I was approached by an operator who asked me if I would start one of the machines for her that runs the yarn on a pirn (big metal bobbin), which then runs round and round the yarn we make to hold it all together. I couldn't get the thing to start either. Seems some one for some reason had pushed the emergency stop and this emergency stop button did not want to release. It wasn't going to work and we couldn't make it... but the electrician and his tools got the button released and the machine running.
 The tech has finally finished with the machine he was on. Off I go to it and start helping get it started. Tech disappears-yuppers..standard thing, never can get tech help when you need it. We do get the machine running.
 Lets see, oh joy, there is another frame that will be running out, but I know what's going on next so I can get her a little prepared. She's good enough to change it herself as long as there is someone nearby to make sure its right and give it their blessings.
 That makes,6 changes. Then of course someone among the higher powers did not like the way this machine was running- fix it. Just as we got that done they didn't like the way that machine was making yarn, fix that. In the process there was yarn lapping around rollers right and left. Operators constantly needing something cut off, put back, moved over, found, brought to them, made.
 By lunch I was whooped. As I passed a coworker I asked if I could go home. She looked at her watch and said..no..I told her she was being very mean and that I was going to tell Santa on her and all she would get would be sticks and coal. Of course she was laughing as I walked away. As I passed her going back I told her that Santa was on my friends list and I really could tell on her. She was still laughing. Long about 3:30 (we leave at 4) she told me she would make a deal with me. She would give me Thursday off. HOT DOG!! oh wait..hmm..I walked off muttering to myself. As I came back by I told her, "throw in Friday and you have a deal"
 So, since she threw in Friday I won't be telling Santa on her this time..
 Right at time to go an operator had a lap bad enough that it could have locked down a roller but I think she stopped it first. the blade in my knife is dull from everything that I cut off today.
 By the time 4 rolled around, I was exhausted. But-- the day did go a lot quicker.

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