Saturday, October 30, 2010

Here or the pop-off valve?

This aggravated me, but after the fact was very entertaining so it is going here:

Each morning I review the performance data and paperwork from all 3 shifts in all 5 departments. If I find deficiencies or discrepancies I pass it on to the supervisor to review with the employee who made the mistake.

Thursday the first shift inspector in Dept 54 had not filled in his reports after 2:50 p.m. 2nd shift pointed this out so I had filled in the missing information myself after 4:00. Since the supervisor has 3 weeks experience as a supervisor he asked me to review the problem and let him watch. The conversation went like this:

me: Rico- the inspection report was not filled for the last hour of your shift yesterday. What happened?

Rico: That's not my handwriting

me: I know, it's my handwriting

Rico: then why you fussing at me?

me: I'm not fussing. I filled in the information so 2nd shift could total out the lot.

Rico: Then if it's wrong you did it.

me:It's not wrong

Rico: Then why you fussing

Me:(voice rising now) You should have filled it in but you didn't. Why not?

Rico: Mr. Terry you need to calm down. If you filled it out you don't need to be getting upset with me.

(the supervisor is giggling at this point then says) Rico- you have to fill out the inspection report for the whole shift.

Rico: I didn't fill it out, he did.

me: O.k. I'm sorry I'll do better

Rico: just calm down it'll be o.k.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

This is Happy making stuff for me

Monday, December 14, 2009

Random happy memories

The first time I saw her at the SCA meeting

#1 toddling across the beach when he was 18 months old

What do you do with spiders? "ooh tep on dem"

Walking down Magnolia Ave tied together with her scarf

Jan 18, 1986, coming back to my apartment dejected and smelling the most wonderful pot-roast cooking and her there. My heart has never soared more than that night.

Christmas Eve 1994- watching her face light up as she opened her presents in private.

Our first meal together as a married couple after returning from our honeymoon. This picture was taken as she set the table in our "cozy" little apartment.

9 days in a compact car together on a road trip up Rte 66

(Funny how all my fondest memories center around the Love of My Life, huh)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Our own Christmas story

This is our 24th Christmas together. Every year 2 special ornaments have been front and center on our tree. The boys are tired of hearing the story every year as we decorate the tree. Here it is for the rest of the world:

For those not familiar with our story, we married while I was still a student. I had been working my way through college but senior year as a Chemistry/Chem E major was going to be full of labs and lots of classes that would make working difficult. Peggy agreed to quit school and work 2 jobs to pay for me to finish my degree. Needless to say money was extremely tight. We decided to not put up a tree that year due to cost, then the night of Dec 23rd we were at A&P buying groceries because Peggy had just been paid and they had trees marked down to $3. Only scruffy "Charley Brown" trees were left by that time, but we bought one anyway. We put the groceries in the 1970 VW Beetle we drove then discovered we had no way to secure the tree to the car. Our apartment was 4 blocks away, so we decided to walk the tree home, she on the top and me on the heavy bottom end. We laughed the whole way, then pondered how we would stand the tree up. We finally came up with a flower pot we stood the tree up in then packed gravel from the parking lot around the bottom of the tree to hold it up. So there we had a naked tree but a tree none the less. Then we remembered our groceries in the VW still in the A&P parking lot so we walked back hand in hand to retrieve them.

Christmas Eve she worked the morning in the fabric store, then early afternoon I took her lunch before taking her to the 2nd job waiting tables. There was a Big Lots closeout store next to the fabric store, and Peggy suggested we go in and look for some decorations. She had gathered up about $8 worth of change from tips. We went in and bought a few glass balls and 3 collections- one glass, one funny blue painted wood ornaments, and one brass tin-punched.

After I picked her up from the steak house when they closed 9:00 Christmas Eve we went home to decorate the tree. 2 ornaments stood out for us. The glass Love Birds is kind of obvious why it means a lot to us. It's cliche', but we were pretty much living on love at that time.

The other was a funny little bird sitting in front of his house with his mouth wide open. I don;t know why but it really tickled me. "Reckon what he's shouting" I asked.

Putting her arms around me she said "He's telling the world how much I love you and wants to make sure they hear"

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

mixed blessings

Please know that I realize times are hard out there right now. I am the only major employer in the 5 county area hiring right now, and for every position I have to fill I have 35-40 applicants. The last 4 1/2 years have been spent building a major maunfacturing operation from nothing, and growing a related existing operation. When we started the new operation it was me (a VP of Operations), a Dept Manager, and 2 hand-picked operators. We would run one machine, move with the product to the next step in the operation, etc. Since I had designed the central machine to the new process, it was a good opportunity to see firsthand how I had done. 4 of us has now grown to 240.

The first expansion in the summer of 2006 was not too bad, I was able to hire several people just coming out of the military. The timing was good. The second expansion, in Jan/Feb 2007, was something else all together. The economy had not turned sour yet and I had a hard time finding good people. Retention from that round was only 60%. Thid expansion was a little better but not very large.

In the fourth expansion in the summer of 2008 the operation doubled in size in 3 months. The reason for the title of this post is that, the same week we announced that expansion a major industry in an adjacent town completed it's shuttering of operations. The average age of the new hires in that group was 47. Retention from that round- 100% after 18 months. In the fifth expansion, March/April of 2009, I tried hiring a mix of mature workers and younger applicants, hoping the young ones would learn to work from the older ones. Retention rate? 100% of those 35 or older, 20% (1 out of 5) for the young group.

Now we're in the sixth growth phase. In the last 2 weeks I've hired 9, with 6 more to go. Another manufacturing plant is shutting down 12 miles from here. I am blessed to have a rich pool of mature, dependable workers to choose from. But knowing I can't help them all breaks my heart. 140 people suddenly unemployed, average seniority at the facility was 14 years. I'm not done yet, but the average age of those hired thus far is over 50. The ones hired are extremely grateful, being anxious about finding work at their age. I am grateful to have employees who want to work, and show up 99 days out of 100. But knowing for every 1 hired 4 or 5 remain unemployed is tough

Monday, July 7, 2008


As a 1930s husband, I am
Very Superior

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