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MANUFACTURING BASICS & BEST PRACTICES BULLETIN

Now serving over 7078 subscribers

Competitive Knowledge for Manufacturing People 
=================================================

December 27, 2004

Hi [[firstname]], 

Time to take a break from your torrid work routine and 
enjoy another story, "My Most Difficult Job.". This one 
is related to my early work career and it took place 
at the Spic and Span Laundry and Dry Cleaner Plant in 
Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

Have a nice day, keep the faith, and stay connected.

Bill Gaw
Business Basics, LLC
Bg@bbasicsllc.com
760-945-5596

=================================================
MANUFACTURING BASICS & BEST PRACTICES BULLETIN

Now serving over 7078 subscribers

Competitive Knowledge for Manufacturing People 
=================================================

My Most Difficult Job

In 1969, 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 greens. 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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