Another Fun Meeting

So, the president of our company blasted me in front of the entire management team yesterday. Again. And it was during the all plant video conference. Again. 

The issue?

Evidently I wasn’t doing enough to contain in-house finished goods when there was a quality issue at one of our customers. 

So, the customer had an issue with a few pieces from one lot of material that we shipped them in July.  My initial containment was working to get this lot of material quarantined at the customer and brought back to our facility. 

The problem is that this is a large customer. They have multiple lots of material in consignment at a warehouse near their factory in North Carolina. And we also had quite a bit of inventory at our plant. 

After giving my initial assessment of the quality issue, the President decided to lay into me. 

“What are YOU doing with all the material in-house?” He asked. Notice he didn’t say “we”– he said “you”.  Because evidently it’s just me when there’s a quality issue. 

I replied that as of right now, I wasn’t doing anything with the material in house. 

That’s when he went off that I wasn’t standing up for quality and that I should be containing all the product in house and we should retest it all, etc etc. 

I suggested that maybe we just look into one particular kind of lot, which may be more susceptible to quality issues and retest that. 

“What is the logic in that??  Hmmm??  Explain your logic to me in NOT containing everything!”

This “discussion” went on for like 20 minutes. 

I really wanted to lash out– burning elf my tongue. Which probably allowed me to maintain my job. But I was frustrated almost to the point of tears. 

You see, there are SO many considerations involved– so many moving parts that containment, rework, and other decisions are beyond just me. It’s easy for him to bark “Retest everything!” But it’s not that simple:

– none of the material left in-house was from the lot with the quality issue and had already been tested so there wasn’t any reason to believe it was suspect 

– there were like 30 bundles of material in house (many thousands of feet) and retesting it all would risk damage and also take production lines down

– what were we to do with all the consignment material in the warehouse in NC? Bring it back? Shut down the customer?

– were we going to delay shipments to the customer?

– if we rework all this material, what other customers are going to be pushed out of the way and suffer late shipments?

– without seeing the defective parts, will our retesting even catch the issue?  If it won’t, what do we do?

You see?  There are lots of considerations, which affect the whole business. Which is why we have a management team meeting to review complaints daily to make these kind of decisions. It’s called “risk analysis”.  And that is not just MY job. 

But of course it’s hard to say any of this when the president is in attack mode. It’s also hard to come up with all of this when being attacked in front of 30 of your peers and your boss just watched it happen and doesn’t jump in to help. 

Nor does anyone else. 

I do think that the next time he pulls this stunt (and he will because he’s done it before) I’m going to ask him point blank why dealing with quality concerns are only my job when the rest of the time he spouts off that quality is EVERYONE’S job.

That should open an interesting dialogue. 

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Woofy Wednesday

And a bit of a cheeky NSFW one:

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Beautiful Sunday

The weather was absolutely gorgeous in Iowa on Sunday (when I was visiting Dad).

Here’s a video of me feeding his koi. Enjoy the moment of zen:

Here’s a picture from our walk through his neighborhood on Sunday morning. There was exactly ONE cloud in the sky. 

And this is from my drive home:

It was a nice visit. 

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Last Days of Summer

I kind of hate this time of year.

The last grains of summer are trickling through the hourglass, the days are getting noticeably shorter, the weather turns a bit cooler, and school is imminent.

It doesn’t help matters that my birthday falls at the end of August.

Having a birthday at the end of summer kind of sucks. Many years it was during the first week of school. And during college, all my friends were already dispersed to their various universities.

Celebrating your 21st alone with a frozen pizza and a beer doesn’t make for a fun party.

As I approach 50 (it’s still a few years away), the birthdays are getting harder and harder.  50 feels like a definite line in the sand, a rubicon.  If I don’t have certain things in place in my life by then– it’ll be too late.  And I’m getting closer and closer to that line.

This year I’m really sort of dreading my birthday for some reason. It’s making me cranky.

I guess I’m starting to feel old. I’m noticing more aches and pains and joints thst don’t quite work the way they used to.  And then you add in the waning summer….

Bah. Humbug.


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Woofy Wednesday

Are the Olympics done yet?

And a very NSFW image below:

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Design Team

So, I agreed to help out on the design team of one of the local area high school’s winter indoor drum line. 

Yes, winter indoor competitive percussion is a thing. 

Basically it’s like a mini Marching band show (with just percussion) and they march on tarps in gymnasiums. The tarps go from plain to printed with highly decorative designs. And sometimes there are props. 

Anyway, the percussionist who teaches this particular group asked me to be on his design team. And after a few beers, I said yes. 

We had our first meeting last night.

We had already talked about the overall show concept, but we threw out some other ideas and potential effects points. Talked about music a bit, and musical thematic ideas. 

It was actually fun!  I love the beginning part– coming up with ideas and concepts and music and themes and visual cues and pop cultural tie ins and program pacing…. All cool stuff.

This is something that I’ve wanted to get into- especially on a drum corps (or even high school marching band) scale. 

It’ll be interesting to see how this goes from the conceptual to the physical. 

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All’s Well

That ends well. 

The drum and bugle corps championships were this past weekend, and the Bluecoats took the crown. It was their first ever championship in over 40 years of existence. 

And it was so well deserved. 

Here’s a video of their encore performance.  Their show is called “Down Side Up”.  

They use these curves walls on the field as slides and also they run up and down them. It’s ridiculous!

Also on a good note, my Cavaliers took 5th with their show “Propaganda”.

What’s cool is that when I saw early season renditions of both of these shows, I predicted both placements. 

Anyway, I hope you can watch the video. If you don’t have 13 minutes, just scrub to the last 2 minutes to get a flavor. 

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Olympics and Drum Corps

I really was contemplating not watching any Olympics this year. I’d heard nothing about our athletes and only negative stuff about Rio.  But since nothing else is on TV….

My thoughts:

Michael Phelps may be the greatest Olympic athlete of all time, but he’s kind of a dick. 

Our women’s gymnasts are just on a completely different level than other countries. 

The male gymnasts for the US are hot, but hot doesn’t win medals.

There doesn’t seem to be any coverage of any non-hallmark sporting events. And NBC’s coverage in genera is pretty shitty. 

I don’t think I can stand another week of this. 

And now for Drum Corps:

The DCI world championships are this weekend.  Prelims were last night and I’m happy that the Bluecoats are in first. They absolutely deserve to win.

My beloved Cavaliers are sitting in 6th by 0.2 point. I’m hoping they can sneak into 5th– their show deserves it.

And for a fun clip of the Bluecoats, go here:

Wink and a smile, baby. 

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Woofy Wednesday

Non-Olympic edition. I mean, the athletes are hot– but generally like 20 and hairless. Not really my thing. 

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New Art

Okay, this is the last art I buy this year, I swear!

The piece is called “Star Buck”.

It’s archival ink on white pine, all done by hand with a 0.5mm pen. Well, several pens, actually. (I believe the artist called them Ultraliners or some such).

It’s actually a circular piece, in a hand-made circular frame. Here’s what it looks like on my wall:

The artist (Erin Curry) was showing at the Uptown Art Fair (which Kyle dragged me to).  She was fascinating, with a mind that works a mile a minute. She did stuff like my piece, also other skeletal animal drawings with mixed media collage work, and also some 3-D drawing/cutout stuff in shadow boxes. All very cool. 

This piece struck me though. There’s an energy to it, and a cleanness. I was drawn to it instantly. Then she told me the story of it. 

Some sort of bizarre dream that involved this buck but also the “cow jumped over the moon” rhyme. She was on the road and showing at different art fairs, so she started and finished the piece in her booth. While going through multiple pens (like 8 of ’em).

Erin has a touch of madness to her– like most good artists do. On the back of the piece she had also scrawled a random Charlotte’s Web quote for some reason. It just struck her late on night, so it was added.

Oh, and she’s a self taught artist. She started as a kid when her mom gave her pen and paper and told her to “stop fidgeting”.  She didn’t even know that what she was doing was called “stippling” until a fellow artist enlightened her. 

I think I was drawn to Star Buck, because it reminds me so much of Rockwell Kent. Google him. I mentioned this to her and she went ape because I recognized that because he’s a huge influence on her. (I smiled at this.)

I think Star Buck found the right home. 

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