Been A While

It has been a few months since the last time I wrote in here. I haven’t felt much like putting together my thoughts and writing it all out. No motivation. Alot of it has to do with the schedule I’ve been keeping at the job. Early dayshift hours and an overwhelming amount of stuff to train on and learn. I’m always worn out by the time I get home each evening.

Today was really hectic in there. Currently I’m finishing up my final phase of training in the Closed Area. They’ve been bouncing me back and forth between the Final Test Area and the Environmental Lab. So I’ve been training in both areas simultaneously and working on product headed out the door. To make matters worse our product is terribly behind schedule so we’re under a tremendous amount of pressure to get a certain amount of completed products out by the end of each week. We’re in a phase of production the military likes to refer to as LRIP. It stands for Low Rate Initial Production, and there are a number of phases within each LRIP stage. At this time the end of week goal is steep and it’s very difficult to meet on time due to all the problems on the production line. Each unit is totally labor intensive to build so that isn’t helping either. Seems like every day in here I keep discovering more bugs that still need to be worked out of the whole product area that no one is paying any attention to.

One of the things I never thought about when the US Government is your primary customer, is that if you piss them off they won’t simply just go away like any other dissatisfied customer would. With Uncle Sam it’s almost like being in double trouble. You burn the Government they not only will stop doing business with you, they might shut down your operation and fine your business into oblivion all at the same time. It’s rough and to a certain extent that’s some of the pressure that we all feel here when we’re drastically short of meeting the required goal for the week. If we do meet our goal by tomorrow I’ll be very surprised.

The stuff I’m working on is all classified, and every day I learn a little more about what these things do, how they are deployed, who our customers are, and most importantly what other products we work on. On a few occassions when it has been very slow they’ve loaned me out to the commercial production area in another part of the building. While I was there I started working on some odd stuff. Very different from what I had been working on up to that point. It seemed like it was of a more vintage electronics technology than what I was used to. Turns out I was working on components for the TOW missle and also some stuff for Stinger missles. I thought that was pretty cool but, I didn’t know it at the time. It’s all just so sneaky here…

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~ by factorypeasant on November 15, 2004.

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