Busted Again

A few months have passed since the last investigation took place at TDS over the paperwork fiasco. Myself and about six other people were verbally reprimanded and written up again for something we were instructed to do by our superiors over a year ago. This was the last straw for me. After that day I was determined to get out of TDS. I began looking for work the very next morning and did so every day after that for two weeks. Before I knew it, I already had two interviews with other tech companies scheduled. One was at a fiber optics communication company, and the other was back at my former employer- Bill and Dave’s company.

Here’s what happened. Mid-1995 we were given permission by our management team to perform one aspect of a test procedure a certain way. The instructions were verbal. They were never formalized in writing of any sort. Since then we have been performing this job the same way ever since. While my supervisor was mired in a different, unrelated investigation, she discovered how we were performing a task. What we were instructed to do was never in the procedure, she said. She was of course correct, but I had bad news for her. She was the manager that had issued those verbal instructions originally over a year ago. She feigned no knowledge of being responsible and the next morning they launched a new investigation. I was furious. More Catch 22 bullshit on an even more extreme level was heading our way.

The only thing that saved my job was the fact that under questioning all the other employees backed up my statements- that we were verbally instructed to carry out the work in a particular manner by one specific manager. All of us were written up, including my boss. This shit was getting damn old real fast.

There are other things here at TDS that trouble me. We suffer from a serious lack of planning when it comes to the purchase of new equipment. For example, they bought us a paint mixer to save us the time of having to dunk a stick inside a can of paint and sit there for a half hour mixing the crap by hand. Problem is, the machine is not for use with flammable paints. Guess what we use? Flammable paint. So we’re back to square one and the machine has been collecting dust underneath someone’s desk for months. Then there’s the automatic potting machine. We’ve had it for two years and our engineering team hasn’t got it to work once. Our automated cleaning machine doesn’t work, and what’s worse is it actually damages parts. Chamber 2 on the ATP test set has never operated properly, so we have been at half capacity there.

Perhaps the biggest equipment joke of all is the Tri-axial Vibration machine. In October of 1995 TDS purchased this new-fangeled Tri-axial Vibration machine for the Environmental Lab. We already have one that works flawlessly, but you could only test a dozen units every 45 minutes or so. The new one is suppsed to do 24 units every 15 minutes, but it never has. In fact, they can’t get it to work properly at all. I don’t think the machine is defective, rather I suspect the engineers back east who selected it are defective. This particular piece of equipment can’t do what they want it to. It’s a situation of right application, wrong machine for the job. The engineering team back east already has this model but they use it for testing explosive bolts. Apparently no one has told them that micro-electronic devices are not explosive bolts. Thanks to their stupidity they’ve wasted eight months of our time and tens of thousands of dollars. Way to go, guys.

Bottom line is this. I don’t have much faith in TDS ability to use good judgement. I resent being reprimanded for doing my job the way I was instructed to perform it. I’m frustrated that my job is made more difficult on a daily basis because the equipment I have to work with is breaking down or inadequate for the applications we need them for. I was determined to get out of TDS before it got shut down. If I am hired back in at Bill and Dave’s, things are going to be very interesting. I sure hope they are treating their people better than they were when I left them the last time.


~ by factorypeasant on December 30, 2004.

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