Two Carols

My first day over here in Area 51, Squirmy introduced me to his swing shift team. Most of the people working on this line I had never met before with the exception of Wah, and Ron. Ron I knew and liked from back in my PC Board days. I worked with robots in Autoflexing while he worked on the other side of our area in Racking. Ron was a sharp guy, way too smart to be wasting his time mindlessly racking and de-racking PC boards 40 hours a week. I remember when he got a job as a technician because nobody up in the PC Board department saw him again after that. At least I didn’t anyway.

That idiot, Slobbering Mouth Kid, was here in Area 51 for a while. I had to work with him on the Spokane Transfer project during the summer of 1996 and all he did was get up in employees’ personal business. He failed to do any work. Oh, and he burned the side of his head with hot soldering irons frequently. He was such a rocket scientist. I used to walk by in the hallway and see him sitting at a workbench in Area 51 doing nothing but talk his coworker’s ears off. That guy never changed. He quit Area 51 just ahead of Squirmy firing him and headed up to work in another division. Squirmy fired a big bald Slobbering Mouth look-alike months before. Guess that shook Slobbering Mouth Kid up, so he sailed on out of here to be a manager’s kiss-ass at another site. I’m glad he’s finally gone.

Swing shift is damn fun with this crew. Two technicians, TC and Sea Squid, are constantly giving each other a hard time. They’re funny as hell and quick on their toes with cut downs and talk about random silly shit all night long. It’s like having your own private comedy show. There’s also a Crazy Red-Headed lady in their tech area, and Wah. Wah is a teeny Vietnamese lady I only know by name and not much more than that. She’s one of the Vietnamese women that I used to terrorize every once in a while late at night by yelling in Vietnamese at her. I was hidden behind cubicle walls or under a nearby desk whenever I pulled a prank like that. She never caught me and I think she assumed the dirty talk was coming from an old lecherous Vietnamese guy on another line. I wonder if she ever hassled him about it. Heh. TC is the area’s class clown, and he’s a good one. He reminds me of the little cartoon mascot on a can of Pringle’s potato chips. I think it’s his hair and moustache that resemble Mr. Pringle so much.

Squirmy has left me in the care of two women, both named Carol. They are to be my trainers in this product’s assembly and MI/EI areas. Okie Carol is my assembly trainer. I call her Okie Carol because she has a slight Southern drawl to her voice like a depression-era Oklahoma native. She’s weather-beaten in a black and white vintage movie Grapes Of Wrath dust bowl sort of way. Her cheeks are sunk in somewhat which gives her face a slightly starved appearance. She’s going gray and she’s covered in wrinkles. Okie Carol is tall and skinny, and bossy. She’s got some spirit in her that’s for sure. If I’m not doing something the way she thinks I ought to be doing it, I get told about it pronto. I’m just going along with it and having a good time doing so.

Little Carol is the other of my two mentors here. She’s got to be right around five feet tall, maybe a little less. She’s also older, gray, and wrinkly. But, she’s got fire in her. Her hands are ravaged by arthritis, bony at the knuckles and shriveled some. Nevertheless she has no problems dealing with 100+ pound test instruments because she uses her noggin to figure out ways to move these heavy boxes around using what little tooling we’ve got on the line. I saw her lift a box onto a table the other night only using a couple of fingers. Made me do a massive double-take when I saw such a frail old lady do that. I’ll eventually be working with Little Carol shipping finished boxes off the line. It will probably take me months before I’ll be done training on the front end of their line and then I can go back to bug her.

For now, I have a seemingly endless supply of A6 boards to test and tune. After I burn through their stockpile of untested boards Okie Carol is going to begin teaching me their instrument chassis assembly and power supply testing. Maybe next week at the earliest.


~ by factorypeasant on November 10, 2005.

4 Responses to “Two Carols”

  1. How does one go about burning the side of one’s head with a hot soldering iron by accident? I assume it was by accident, and not something he just enjoyed doing.

  2. Wad, please see the “California Trainees” post. it’s in the January ’05 Archives most of the way down the page. all your Slobbering Mouth Kid questions shall be answered!

  3. Right. What a freakin’ idiot.
    And, damn, you are one prodigiously writin’ maniac.
    Do you keep all this stuff on or is it on a separate FTP account somewhere else?

  4. i write most of this stuff from memory, off the cuff. as i mentioned before posts with a date title like 12.5.1991 for example, are almost verbatim from my journals. everything else is spur of the moment from memory in the order it should have taken place.

    last week i reached one of my goals, i depleted my written journals. from here on out it’s all from memory.

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