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This is a question Work Experience

We've got a work experience kid in for a couple of weeks and he'll do anything you tell him to... He's was in the server room most of yesterday monitoring the network activity lights - he almost missed his lunch till we took pity on him.

We are bastards.

How bad was your first experience of work?

(, Thu 10 May 2007, 9:45)
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Another co-op story.
At that particular plant there was a labor union, and they had gotten far too powerful for the good of the plant by that time. As I was working as an engineer, more or less, I was not in the union- and if I did something like use a wrench to tighten a bolt, I was taking work away from union members and would get written up.

One day I needed a small metal plate made, four inches square with a 1/8" lip on two sides to keep it in place on the piece of testing equipment. So I went over to the machine shop and requested this- but the shop foreman wasn't going to ask one of his men to stop what he was doing on behalf of a goddam co-op student (he was a redneck with a deep resentment of college educated people), so he told me it would be at least three days before he could get to it.

Well, I knew where the scrap steel was, and knew how to use a bending jig. So I went over there and cut a square of metal, bent one flange and was about to bend another when the union steward for the shop came up behind me and screamed, "What are you doing?"

"Hang on a sec," I cheerily replied, and finished the bend and took the finished piece out of the bending jig.

"Have you been trained to use that piece of equipment?" he roared at me.

"Of course, back in seventh grade metal shop." I said with a disarming smile. "It's not difficult."

I got chewed out for about five minutes before he let me go. It wasn't until after I left that it occurred to him that I had basically hinted that the precious work that a union worker should have been doing for me was something that could be done by any twelve year old.

I got written up and had to answer to my boss, my boss's boss, his boss, and all the way up to the plant manager. By the time I had reached her (the plant manager was a woman about five years older than me), I had gotten quite tired of explaining it, so I may have been a little sarcastic when I reported to her. Fortunately she was equally tired of this sort of childish tattling on the part of the union, so she found my story rather amusing.

Especially when I said that if they spent half the energy doing their work that they spent bitching about people like me who were actually trying to accomplish something, the plant would be running at peak efficiency...
(, Sat 12 May 2007, 16:55, Reply)

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