Adjust Two

A few feet away from where I sit working at the Adjust One test station there is a dark grey five foot tall test station called Adjust Two. Adjust Two is the next step in our instrument test/calibration process. From what I can tell, Adjust Two is predominantly a manual tuning operation. I asked TC about that station and he said, “Adjust 2 is for adjusting the power level on the unit. It sets the calibration-constants, power to make sure that the power that was set on the unit was the power that was delivered. It also has hookups so that we can make sure that every BNC connector on the unit is actually connected to the right place and electrically functional. There are also some AM adjustments, but that’s small shit.”

The interesting thing about Adjust Two isn’t really the equipment or the process, rather it’s the female technician that operates it on dayshift. I call her BP. BP got her degree in electronics and moved out here from the east coast to work for Bill and Dave’s company. Bill and Dave’s prides itself on hiring people with disabilities and doing everything they possibly can to accomodate employees. BP is blind. In order for her to make measurements on a unit and then tune it, engineering rigged up the Adjust Two station with an electronic voice box. When BP hooks up an instrument and starts the test routine, that little voice box calls out the measured value. With only a second or two of delay as BP makes real-time tuning adjustments the voice box tries to keep up with her. It’s pretty cool. Usually in the afternoon when I first get to work I say hello to BP and her trusty seeing-eye dog, named Doug. Doug is a laid back Golden Retriever who’s really friendly, but before I can pet him I have to ask for permission from BP to do so. It’s a rule she has about approaching the dog. I don’t know why. Anyway during BP’s shift Doug patiently rests on a big blue cushion underneath the workbench BP sits at. Doug doesn’t seem to mind hanging out with all us nerds and geeks.

Boxes that have passed the Adjust One station are beginning to pile up in the Adjust Two area. BP is working as fast as she can, but there’s only so much a person can do in an eight hour shift. There’s some talk about getting someone to run that station with us on swingshift since nobody is currently operating it at night. I don’t know who we might get. A few names are in the hat. There’s only one employee’s name I heard so far that I hope we don’t have foisted upon us. That’s Abu. Abu is notoriously lazy. At night he spends most of his time wandering around in the building corridors, or running his mouth like a jackhammer. He’s also a phone beast. No matter where managers have moved him in the department he continues to suck. So like I said, I hope we don’t get him.

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~ by factorypeasant on January 16, 2006.

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