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Where's The Drill? ... or responsibility


Where's The Drill? | 16 November, 2001


Just got into work. One of the rechargeable screwdrivers is missing again. That part of the job is shut down, 'til Wal-Mart opens.

How do yall prevent these nice little units from "walking"?

Oooo, it is open? Gotta go!!!

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Where's The Drill? | 16 November, 2001

Short of locking them up and checking them in and out (and writing up your operators for not checking them back in at the end of a shift), I dunno. In short, I think ya gotta be a tool Nazi.

We only use hand tools (assigned to the operator's personal tool kits) or pneumatic drivers so aren't subject to that problem.

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Michael Parker


Where's The Drill? | 16 November, 2001

I have oftened wondered how this industry lets its workers get away from being responsible. The best way I know of is to have them buy their own tools. Just take a look at the trades - carpenters, plumbers, welders, sheet metal men, body repair, mechanics, even house keepers - they all have to buy their own hand tools and power tools.

A New Jersey Transit agency reduced their annual maintenance costs (over $100,000)for micro phones on the buses by requiring the drivers to own their individual mics. Suddenly the damaged mic rate went down significantly and replacement rates were near zero.

I say make 'em buy their own and you can enjoy your morning gnashing donuts and slurping coffee instead of cruising the aisles of Wal-Mart (unless of course you enjoy window shopping for the latest Binford do-hickey)

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Where's The Drill? | 21 November, 2001

I agree. Machine operators can jimmy up a $150k piece of equipment and get by saying something like 'I didn't know that dropping a scewdriver in doze movin parts would break anyting!' with out more than a token slap on the wrist. However, you're on the hook to get that machine up and bake in production NOW or it's gonna be your job!

Anywho, I don't think having people buy their tools will work in an industry paying minimum wage, the trades pay quite a bit more, so workers can buy their tools. Perhaps there is a theme here..... more pay, proper training, resulting in craftsmanship type quality???.....

But just the same, we need to figure out that we need to hold production workers to account for their actions too.

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Michael Parker


Where's The Drill? | 21 November, 2001

All it takes is an agreement signed by the employee upon date of hire. The employee is issued tools to do their job. They sign a document that lists the tooling inventory and replacement costs, stipulating that the employee is responsible for the tool. If it gets lost or damaged by misuse, the employee must pay to replace it. A payroll deduction would take the money to cover the new tool. In event of large expense (over $100), the money can be reimbursed in increments (but shouldn't become a 20 year mortgage). Make it hurt a little and the employees will quickly learn that THEY are RESPONSIBLE. By the way, this type of document and policy is legal, in fact it was endorsed by a union for that transit agency I referenced ealier.

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Where's The Drill? | 22 November, 2001

One of the points brought forward on this discussion is the level of responsibility the management wants to give the operators. The more responsabilities = higher salary.therefore, in order to save money in salaries, the operators are not held accountable for "loosing" tools or breaking machines. Same for replacing an empty reel with the wrong part # and scrapping 500 assembled units.

This concept was "revealed" to me during a meeting with senior management. To me, it says a lot about the kind of attitude that is being encouraged by this way of running things. Responsability for what you do, even your conduct and work ethics, are determined by the salary you are paid. So as long as you are paid low wages, you are not expected to have any. This discourage any person who possess work ethics to conduct himself accordingly, since no recognition will be given this person for his outstanding attitude. More; the other operators will unite against such a fine person and label him a "brown nose" and other colorful expression for "sucking up" to the boss by doing acts that are not required...

Thing is, If I had this kind of mentality, I would be an operator, not a process engineer and supervisor of maintenance.

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Where's The Drill? ... or responsibility | 23 November, 2001

What Claude is saying may be right. But looking at it a bit different from the view of "senior management" this should be interpreted as depending on the salary the work itself is different and therefore the responsibility is different. It doesn�t naturally mean that responsibilty for the specific work is decreasing with decreasing salaries, for example if I get 10% of the salary another person gets it doesn�t mean that I�m only 10% responsible for the work I have to do. I�m still 100% responsible for my specific work it may be just 10% of the work others have to do.

I know, I know, a point where most argueing is about, .. the "fat asses" are sitting around, getting the big $$ and we have to do all the work ... , that�s just another topic. If I get only 10% for the same work and responsibilities ... that�s makes it a bit different and usually the attitude changes and things like missing drills, broken tools or wrong parts mounted occur. "Senior management" would expect that it�s within the responsibility of " middle management" to look after their workers responsibilities. If you are not given an explicit order or procedure on how to maintain responsibilty from top to bottom it�s your task to establish a system that covers all responsibilities in your field of duty, you should be supported in doing so, means equal treatment for equal work and responsibilities. If that�s not gonna be achived you�ll be always in a mess and feeling like living between millstones (your seniors and your workers)and all your arguing isn�t worth a penny. Been there, done it, hate it. One important thing is to express the duties and responsibilities clearly to your stuff, don�t allow for the "usual" excuses (�t wasn�t me, didn�t know ...must have been the holy ghost than ?) and than not acting upon the incident, do something, explain, teach, punish , fire, change procedures, improve the situation, ... or you will be getting deeper�n�deeper in your fine mess. Regulations and "signing" for work and equipment is often seen in manufacturing environment and if not used only for blaming and prosecution it makes sense most of the time and helps to remind people of their responsibilities.

Be clear without ambiguity but fair (have to work on that one from time to time) and remember a good climate makes living much easier for all of us.

Best wishes for all your climates


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Where's The Drill? ... or responsibility | 29 November, 2001

Well put Wolfgang!

To quote the 'Red Green' show on PBS -

"I'm rootin for ya, we're all in this together"

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Trevor Easton


Where's The Drill? ... or responsibility | 30 November, 2001

Wolfgang put things very well, but doesn't the overall attitude reflect the general lowering of standards that we all seem to accept. Look at an old picture of a railway locomotive. It is clean and polished because the crew are proud of it as THEIR "tool". How many schools have uniforms these days? Do you wear a suit and tie to work. etc etc.

Trevor "I'm not wearing a tie either" Easton Snr Tech Co-ord. Dofasco Inc

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Michael Parker


Where's The Drill? ... or responsibility | 3 December, 2001

DaveF- did you get your answer? By the way, did you ever find that misplaced drill or did you have a fine time at Wal-Mart, grumbling in the aisles whilst evaluating a new do-hickey replacement?

I believe I have read from the responses that most agree that responsibility and accountability need to be promoted. Can it be that middle and upper managements are the lax ones? They have fallen away from promoting responsibility and enforcing accountability. Is the excuse of lower pay valid to ignore the basics? While I wouldn't expect a $10 per hour laborer to replace a SMT machine, I would expect them to be responsible for a $50 drill motor. All it takes is one of them having to pay, the word gets out and they all are suddenly acutely aware of their responsibilities.

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Where's The Drill? ... or responsibility | 3 December, 2001

GET ANSWER? Shore. Tks t'all.

DA DRILL? Naw, never found it. I worked at this plant down in Arkansas, where we cooked dirt. [Got it so hot, it glowed orange.] Virtually everyone in the plant had a wauky taukie. About half of the 2-ways would get stolen about this time of the year [every year]. But the nice folk down them parts would return them just after deer season was over. Now, thet�s rite kindly!!!

HAVE I GOT A DRILL? Well, I stopped off at Kristy Kream and smuggled a half dozen of those golden morsel of cardiac arrest in under my genuine Malden Mills Polartec, not to be confused with one o� them gd knock-offs, fleece Into Wal-Mart. Got the glaze all over the fleece and my shirt.

Then after leaving, I got pulled over by Officer Hardass on the way back to work. He caught the scent of the Kristy Kreams all over me and demanded his customary cut. Like a dope, I hadn�t bought any extra for him, figuring I�d eat the donuts in Wal-Mart and he never be the wiser. So, anyhow he gets me out of the car, performs an illegal search, doesn�t Merandize me, reads me the riot act fer not given him his dibs, and sends me on my way.

Anywho, of course I couldn�t find the same drill that we�d been using, different batteries, charger, etc.

WHO�S WHO? Yano, nothing is ever the troops fault. It is always management�s fault. Regular people have it right. Bosses stop thinking regular, using common sense, when they become a high muckety-muck. Must be some required operation by the socialists that run things inside the Beltway.

It�s like the guy down the street, he left his riding lawn mover in plain view out in his back yard [why he needed a rider in a quarter acre city lot, I don�t know.] So, someone stole the rider. And he said �I guess that guy he wanted it more than I did.� The again, there�s the homeowner�s insurance issue, which I doubt had any � hey wait a minute!!!

RESPONSILITY? We have people sign-out for their tool box, but never tried to control rechargeable drills, because it was too BIG a pain, mostly revolving around the logistics of recharging the batteries.

MIKE: SN Celebration Ale is excellent this year.

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Michael Parker


Where's The Drill? ... or responsibility | 4 December, 2001

... and there you have it folks, a pithy epistle from the good book of David!!!

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