4.17.1993

I have survived my first week of working at Bill and Dave’s company.

From the week long training course I went through I’m certain I will be working in their printed circuitboard business, but I’m not sure where in that department I will end up. Training was more than tolerable because they actually had us doing stuff rather than just sit there and rot while some instructor droned on for hours at a time. All of us in the class had to do alot of wiring, learn how to solder, and become comfortable working with different kinds of PC boards. The majority of the week we were relentlessly drilled on component identification. There is alot to know about the individual parts packed onto a PC board. Many more than I would have ever figured anyway.

We were all issued a large sized binder in the training class and over half of it is stuff about identifying components. How to tell the polarity, what each part should look like, other unique markings, and the internal part numbering (reference) system that someone at Bill and Dave’s came up with. We also spent alot of time this week learning how to read color codes on resistors and inductors. At first I was really intimidated by learning the color codes but after we got into it, there was nothing to worry about. I picked it up right away. They had some easy excercises with little sayings to help us remember the order- and number value of each color. The color code is black 0, brown 1, red 2, orange 3, yellow 4, green 5, blue 6, violet 7, grey 8, and white 9. On some parts with a % of tolerance that color band will either be gold or silver. So they have these little sayings like “Big Business Rarely Offers You Great Big Valuable Gifts Willingly”. The first letter of each word in the memory phrase is the order the color code falls in. They had us write a bunch of our own and my first one was “Big Boys Raped Our Young Girls But Violet Gives Willingly”. Violet is such a slut, I swear.

Wiring was a bit difficult. We had to wrap very small gauge wires around test pins and then solder them to the pins. The shit is tricky because you are only allowed a certain amount of wraps around each pin. It’s usually like one and a half turns. No more. Soldering is fun but that’s also dicey because of the heat involved and the small diameter of the wires. The insulation burns off the wire like cannon fuse when it’s lit if you lay into the connection with the iron for too long. And too long might only be two seconds. It takes alot of practice to get that straight without BBQing the shit. They gave us all a blank PC board with nothing but little gold plated holes in it and tons of test pins and wires. We had to go at it on the board and keep soldering in test pins and then wrap a wire or two around each one and zap it with the iron. I boogered up quite a few before I started to get the hang of it. I kind of like the smell of solder smoke.

All of us were issued a little red tool box and they took us to a place called labstock where we were outfitted with just about every kind of tool or supply that we would require in our jobs. They told us that anytime we ran out of something or broke a tool to go to a labstock center and grab whatever we needed. Very Cool. I got all kinds of crap. Weird lookin’ pliers and copper twine that acts like a solder sponge when you heat it up. It’s like magic. Let’s see. I got a cool penlight flashlight, tons of screwdrivers and pens, lead clippers (great for trimming my fingernails), giant Q-Tip looking things on wooden dowels (great for cleaning my ears), and all kinds of other shit that I don’t even know what to use it for yet. I finished up my first week putting in 44 hours. This coming week I will start someplace out on the floor but I have no clue where yet. Hope they don’t throw me into something mindless.

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~ by factorypeasant on September 2, 2004.

One Response to “4.17.1993”

  1. Bill Gates And Dave Grohl?

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