Friday, January 16, 2009

Yet more bitching about work..

Yes, I'm going to rant and rave about work stuff again.

However, before I do, I sent some questions to my wife's blog at her request. I think you should check out her answers, and see what you think!

Anyway, on to my raving....

Yesterday, I had one CRAZY workday.

Let's start this thing out right, and I'll paint you a small picture.

When this warehouse was built, it was decided to build in a small rural area that wasn't being utilized extensively by anyone, and would be easily accessible from the main freeway. They found this spot, and proceeded to install an ENORMOUS warehouse here. I'm not kidding about the size. This warehouse is over 975,000 square feet of space (floorspace), and rises over 180 feet. Plenty of space to store things!

Anyway, things seemed well. That is, until the first real rain hit. Then we promptly lost phones. That's when we found out some seriously bad news.

The city around where we'd built this place had installed sub-market cabling in this area, since before we'd come here there was nothing but cows and fields.

Moving a heavy indutrial zone in here blew out all of the specifications for the underground conduit and wiring that ran through this area. Because of this problem, ground water was now able to seep into the undergroun cabling, and effectively shut off any communication we could have with the "outside" world after any kind of heavy rain.

We brought up this finding and our concerns, and were reassured that the city would replace the cabling as soon as it was able. Passified, we went back to get our work done.

That was 5 years ago. Since then, each and every winter and spring we deal with the serious loss of phone communication. This will also include cable, and electrical at times too.

Yesterday was one such day. It had been raining here for about 3 days, and the water tables were getting high. At the end of the workday on Wednesday, my connection to the corporate network was getting dicey, and phones were becoming heavily laden with white noise and static. I contacted the local phone company to come out and fix the issue.

They never showed up on Wednesday. At 5pm on Wednesday we lost ALL phones and data lines. It was a total death blow to my warehouse, as with no corporate server to work on gave us no ability to update inventory or stock. Thus my warehouse ground to a complete halt, and workers were sent home.

I came back to the warehouse on Thursday assuming that the phone technicians would have taken care of the trouble, and everything would be running again at normal pace.


Workers were sitting around chatting, managers were discussing options, and nothing was being done out on the warehouse floor.

My General Manager spotted me, and called me into his office, demanding an explanation.

I proceeded to show him the emails I'd left, and the calls I'd made to take care of the problem BEFORE it got to this point. He agreed that I'd taken the right actions, and proceeded to chew a new one on the phone representative that he'd had on his cell phone.

I contacted my corporate advisor, and they started putting pressure on the phone company from their side as well.

In all, the warehouse was effectively shut down for nearly 18 hours, costing my company approximately 2.5 MILLION dollars in lost time and revenue.

Because I didn't stay past my quitting time to wait for the phone technicians to show up the day before, I got my butt chewed.

So, thanks to all of this, I was in a REALLY bad mood.

Enter in my "second" part of my job.

Not only do I work the technical side of this warehouse dealing with the network administration and upkeep, but I'm also part of the Quality Control group.

Being on the QC team means that we do daily audits of trailers being sent out in order to assure the stores that the product they ordered is correct.

Well, because of some slacking on the QC side, the department was behind on the number of annual audits needing to be done. My head QC manager decided to "bulk up" yesterday, and we did double the amount we normally do.

One lucky group of loaders had to deal with us 3 different times.

Yeah. Three.

The first one wasn't so bad. They didn't like being slowed down too much, because they wanted better hourly numbers, but they were willing to work past it. They started to seriously complain on the second one, and it took nearly twice as long to complete because of talking, whining, and going to their manager to "demand" a transfer to a different trailer.

Being in the piss-poor mood I was in, each whine and grumble from them just get me off a little bit more. Somewhere in the middle of the second audit, and listening to a basic temper tantrum from a middle-aged man, I broke.

I called my manager, and informed him that I'd be doing yet a THIRD audit in the same trailer. With the same people. He approved it, and informed the shipping and loading managers. That act caused a fuss that I've never seen before in an adult male.

Whining, moaning, pointing fingers, I half expected one of them to throw themselves on the floor of the trailer and pound on it with their fists and kick their feet.

This display lasted nearly 45 minutes before they finally agreed to settle down and load the store.

45 FREAKING minutes!

After much delay, and quite a bit of grumbling and moaning on their part, we got the store audit started and we finished in about 35 minutes. As I cleared out the gear, and headed to my office, one of the loaders proceeded to thank me for the work. I ignored him.

He followed.

I walked.

He asked me to tell him what I had a problem with.

So, because of his request, I did.

I told him that I understood about the pains of dealing with the slow audit process. I understood about wanting to get work done as quickly as possible in order to have the option to leave early if the chance presents itself.

But I also informed him that the QC part wasn't my only job. I told him about my sincere hatred of someone wasting my time by doing childish things.

Needless to say, I wasn't nice about the whole thing at all.

I was actually quite the jerk.

But I really don't like it when folks kill my time by doing something stupid and childish.

The time they spent crying could have been better served doing work, and 10 minutes after we finished the store, they would have finished their tirade!

So.. Guess what I got to deal with this morning?

Yeah. The manager for those two isn't going to act on the incident, and DEMANDS that I apologize for my actions the day before.


I think I'll waste his time today, and see how he likes it. If he enjoys it, then I'll apologize. If not, he can kiss my ass.

Hope you all have a good weekend. I'm looking forward to getting out of here for a while!


Emmy said...

Just found your blog - and I have to say - you have described the past week at my work to a T.

Must be something in the water!

Chat Blanc said...

I'm almost fuming about those idiots and morons just reading about your pain in that whole crazy work stuff! I hope things get better! :)