When do you know things that are supposed to work break down and cause an entire chain of “oh, dang ( substitute with expletive of your choice) !”. The car battery is not supposed to die in the car you had just in the shop for a hundred thousand mile service. When Dad does not get up and get ready for a morning walk as the dogs expect . Dad being too sick to walk them for a couple days – is not routine and definitely confusing.
Today, the navigation app on the cell phone should give you the optimum route to work, but doesn’t tell you to go home because all highways are clogged – or to take the bypass road that will get you around the breakdown in 4 instead of 20, minutes. Once at work, I internalize the odd report that it took four times or three times for my technician assistant to perform a test on a series of the ‘widgets’ we build – when it takes normally one pass through. In a prior life of mine (perhaps at the very start of my working life)- and apparently is still the operating mode for managers – the thought that everything in your work environment “just works” never seems to be re-evaluated. It’s often a conversation I have with managers about resources, more equipment and extra pre-inspections that always seems to turn my thinking to the “and the Israelites will have their quota of bricks undiminished, but without providing them straw”.
After a day of sorting out what the priority for troubleshooting and repair would be on a group that I am supposed to deliver for customer shipment next month, my technician and I suspect that the tools are faulty, not the product. We swapped tools between our workstations, and things started to work. And that is why I have taken a creative response to schedules, quotas and deadlines.
I have calculated what the reasonable time allotted for a production run to be successful, the double it. And I double it again. Then “fight” with managers and planners for that schedule, yielding only slightly. Each production run I can shave off minutes for each task, maintaining the “working like a dog” to get better each time.
You have to be good at what you do. But you also have to look out for your own well-being. Dogs know this. Every afternoon when I get home, Dexter and Comet are at the door to greet me. Their hard work at sleeping has paid off. Dad congratulates them for an exceptional job with a biscuit and an afternoon walk.