Board Butcher

Interfacing with the technical side of the house is becoming routine for me. Up ’till now I haven’t had to deal with them much, but lately I’ve had to repair instruments and some boards for them. Or I have to take something back to them that they messed up. I’m not impressed with the California or Spokane techs on this line so far. Take Board Butcher, for example. He’s a tall, older man with greyish curly hair and a moustache. He has glasses and wears an outfit that is brown or grey. I don’t think I’ve seen him wear any other colors. On days that he comes in to work wearing all brown he reminds me of an old UPS delivery man with a big beer gut. He always carries a black briefcase with him. I don’t think I’ve seen him open it up here at work even once.

Board Butcher seems to have missed out on some basics of reworking PC boards. During the replacement of a damaged part it’s a general rule of thumb to secure the new part flat to the component (top) side of the board. You don’t load the part in all cockeyed and then solder it into the board. Also it’s a good idea to trim the metal legs of the part sticking through the circuit (bottom) side of the board before putting that board back inside an instrument. Otherwise it might make contact with something and short the fuck out. Board Butcher has BBQ’ed a bunch of stuff since I’ve been here. I got a phase mod from him the other day that he said he fixed. When I opened up the metal casing just to double check his work, I found an IC that was completely cockeyed and the IC’s leads were jammed up against the back of the metal case. If I had installed this into a unit and powered it up we would have had another component BBQ party on our hands. I don’t trust this guy’s work.

For some reason Board Butcher seems to think I’m an OK kind of guy so he’s been telling me alot about his anti-government views. You see, up around these here parts there’s a large concentration of people that are in militias or are invloved in some kind of white supremacy group. As I mentioned before there’s considerable overlap between the two camps. Board Butcher believes that all freeway signs have a number printed on the back of them that are supposed to tell US Army soldiers where to take civilian prisoners during some sort of a round up that he thinks will happen any day now. The numbers are some system that will reveal the location of giant concetration camps out in the desert of Nevada or Arizona. He’s not jacking me around about all this stuff, he genuinely believes everything he’s been telling me. A couple of times I freaked him out by making some comments about his views within earshot of other employees. He pulled me aside and asked me not to mention those things when others were around.

Sometimes I get random wisdom from him. The other day I walked by his desk in the test area and he stopped me with this question. “Hey Factory_Peasant. Know why Wonder Bread says it’s ‘fortified’ on the package”?
“Uh, no”. I replied.
“Do you know why Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes says it’s ‘fortified’ on the box”?
Again I thought about it for a microsecond and replied, “Nope”.
Board Butcher looked me right in the eye and he said, “They’re fortified because there’s nothing in them. That’s why”. He nodded his head at me like I would know exactly what he was talking about and then he went back to his board butchery.

A few years ago there was a sickening incident at a place called Ruby Ridge, in Idaho. A guy by the name of Randy Weaver was allegedly set up on some bogus weapons charges and the FBI showed up to lay seige to his house. They killed one of his sons and snipered Mr. Weaver’s wife. During the standoff, Board Butcher claims he was there delivering food to the family holed up inside the house. I don’t know if his story is true, but if it is, the guy really is hardcore anti-government. No doubt about it.

He’s mentioned other stuff about himself that I can appreciate and admire though. He’s all about self-sufficiency and he apparently does most if not all of his construction on the family home by himself or with friends. He was able to get off the power grid by using alternate methods of fuel or other ways of generating electricity. That is very cool and there’s nothing wrong with being self reliant, but there’s this off-center creepy element about the guy that puts me off. Oh well, his personal beliefs aren’t hurting anyone so no big deal. I just wish he’d stop wrecking our PC boards. I don’t need the extra work right now.


~ by factorypeasant on January 24, 2005.

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