Manufacturing Basics and
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Hi MBBP Subscribers, 

A few of photos from our wonder trip down the canals of France:

Let's start up again with another of my favorite "Take-a-Break' Stories. This experience gave me a little humility.

"Early in my career, I left the aerospace business to enter the commercial laundry and dry cleaning business. Talk about a career change? My new job was superintendent of the laundry. I had 65 direct labor workers under my direction and .....

The rest of the story appears below the line.

Have a nice day, and stay connected.

  
Bill Gaw

Business Basics, LLC
6003 Dassia Way
Oceanside, CA 92056
bg@bbasicsllc.com 
760-945-5596


My Most Difficult Job 

Early in my career, I left the aerospace business to enter the commercial laundry and dry cleaning business. Talk about a career change? My new job was superintendent of the laundry. I had 65 direct labor workers under my direction and equipment valued at over 5 million dollars. 

On the second day of my new employment, I was roaming through my standup desk and I found a large envelope with "Attn: New Superintendent" written on the outside. I opened it and inside I found a note and three sealed envelopes identified simply as First Time, Second Time and Third Time. The note said "Each time you're in trouble you will get called to president's front office. Before going to his office, you should open the appropriate envelope.  

A month later, a washman inadvertently added green die to the white shirt washing machine. I heard the commotion in the wash room and when I arrived in the washroom all I could see were once white shirts were now beautiful Kelly green. We setup a wash machine with bleach in an attempt to recover to the original white color. You guess it, we got white shirts with many little holes in them.  

The next day I received a call to report to the Presidents office. Before I went there, I opened the 1st envelope. Inside I found a piece of paper that had only four words on it, "Blame it on me". I went before the President and he was furious about the shirt disaster. After 10-minute of shouting, he asked for my explanation of why it happened. I told him that my predecessor had not properly instructed me in how to remove dye from clothing. He accepted my explanation and sent me back to work. 

Two months later, the woman performing the folding plastic-wrap packaging at the end of our flatware folding conveyor was upset with me relative to her pay incentive.  While I was on the telephone in the middle of the laundry, trying to settle down an irate customer, I heard shouting and laughing in the area of the flatware packaging workstation. I left the phone hanging with the customer creaming at me and rushed over to the flatware packaging workstation.  

Unbelievable! The flatware packager had become so mad that she just quit working and went home not turning off the conveyor and not telling anyone of the situation.  By the time I arrived, there were probably  20 customer orders that had fallen off the end of the conveyor and were all mixed up in one huge pile of laundry.  It took hours to sort it out and we knew that many of the customer orders would be delivered as a mix-up.   

Within a week, I received a call to report to the Presidents office. Before I went there, I opened the 2nd envelope. Inside I found a piece of paper that had only six words on it, "Plead for your families well being".  

I went before the President and he was furious about the packaging disaster. After 10-minute of shouting, he asked for my explanation of why it happened. I told him that an employee problem was the cause and that it wouldn't happen again. He said, "Your fired!". I said, "Please give me another chance, my wife can't work because she has to stay home and take care of our sick children and I need this job to maintain the well being of my family ". It worked. He said, "Get out of ere and get back to work.".  

A month later, I was short washroom help. I used a company truck to go pick up some temporary help at the rescue mission and on our way back to the plant, I got into an auto accident, destroying the right side of the truck.  

The next day I received a call to report to the Presidents office. Before I went there, I opened the 3rd envelope. Inside I found a piece of paper that had these words on it, "It's time for you to make up the three envelopes".  

Well maybe it didn't happen exactly that way, but the experience was actual and it WAS the toughest job I ever had. 

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