Retardo And Crew

I’m exhausted. I’ve been putting 50 to 60 hours a week in at the job. My boss, Shamu, doesn’t seem to have much going on upstairs. She’s a nice lady but she doesn’t pay enough attention to what her dayshift crew is actually up to at any given time. Shamu is responsible for three groups in my area. Manual Part Assembly (MPA), the robot goo dispensers, and a metal press operation. Our dayshift guys take tons of smoke breaks and wander around in hallways. Since the dayshift crew isn’t pulling their weight we have to bust ass every night to get the area caught up. The lack of output from our dayshift miscreants causes a chain reaction out on the rest of the shop floor. We feed boards to the Racking group. If the dayshift guys here don’t do shit, the swing shift Rackers don’t have much to work on until late in our shift. If the swing shift Rackers don’t have stuff to do, the PC board lines they give work to on the following dayshift will be dead, and so on. This is causing the flow of work from our area to pulse out of here rather than be steady. It’s gonna catch up with my boss sooner or later if she doesn’t motivate those chumps to get with it.

The worst one on our dayshift is Retardo. That’s what the swing shift ladies call him anyway. He’s got to be the biggest god damned Mexican I have ever seen in my life. For real. This guy is taller than I am and he’s built like a freight train. Never seen anything like it. He’s a real doofus too, just like his nickname implies. During his shift he sits at his station and uses the yellow goo to doodle with. He writes his name with goo (he actually misspelled his own name) all over the robot, the computer case, and his station bench. Most of the time he roams the hallways and wastes time flapping his gums at his pals. Sometimes he hangs out in the exercise equipment room and does hours of weight lifting. Retardo can easliy burn an eight hour shift that way. It screws us though when we come in at night. People lean on us to get stuff out as fast as we can. It pisses me off. I have to work twice as hard so our doofus can screw off.

Retardo’s wife works just across the hall from us in MPA and she’s really weird. Her job is trimming and bending the metal legs on PC board components all day long. She will bend the leads on hundreds of inductors and then grab hundreds of LEDs and clip them for hours. That’s all she does, 40 hours a week. There’s a deaf-mute-blind guy that’s her partner, doing the same work. It’s an absolutely mind-numbing job and sometimes I think the deaf-mute-blind guy does a better job than she does. Retardo’s wife appears to have the I.Q. of a hubcap so the work is perfect for her. There’s something about her that is creepy though. Whenever she is walking in a hallway, no matter what time of day it is or how many people are around, she nervously looks over her shoulder as if someone is about to drag her into a dark alley and mug her. She seems to be living in fear. It bugs me. I try not to talk to her, or follow her in the hallways. She might mace me or start screaming. My only crime would be walking behind her with a donut in my hand.

The guys we have next to us run Haeger presses. A Haeger press is a big machine that uses hydraulics to install hardware like standoffs and rivets into PC boards. They’re dangerous to use though because some of them are semi-auto. It’s a hydraulic press plus it senses electrical contacts. When the press makes a circuit between the part you’re installing and a board, the press automatically punches hardware into the PC board. If you happen to have a ring on a finger and you put your hand in the wrong place at the right time you could make a circuit. Then you’d get a finger crushed off. Or you could have a rivet punched through your hand and fasten you to a PC board. That would be fun to explain at the emergency room. Anyway the haeger press guys are strange indeed. One of them looks like he got hit in the face with a shovel. He seems to be constantly sunburned. I think he did way too many drugs back in the late sixties ’cause he isn’t all there. His pal George is a part time janitor someplace else on graveyard shift and he likes to tell us about everything he found in the trash or in dumpsters over the past few days. George brings home everything from small pieces of furniture to food… for his family. Furniture I can understand fishing out of the trash. Food, I cannot.

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~ by factorypeasant on September 5, 2004.

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