What To Do On a Rainny Sunday in “Real America”?

Yep, that’s what I’ve woken up to…rain & grey and instant flashbacks to the oh-so-depressing visuals of winter here.  I have always wondered what people who call this home do for leisure.  I really don’t see much and in that regard son unit’s observation about the only thing for entertainment here in ‘real America’ is to eat & drink alcohol may be true.

But there is the weekly trip today to the closest- 1hour & 20 minutes if you want to call that close- to stock up a bit for groceries for lunch and- news flash I’ll be leaving for home Wednesday afternoon and passing through where son unit now lives, some stuff for him as well.

He’s not yet a month into the job, but seems like what he’s doing.  Vast difference in the business culture where he works, Toyota and the business culture of the ghetto company.  He said he can listen to music on his iPod as he works………  Judging for what I have experienced thus far with the ghetto company, and its culture an extension of another OEM’s business culture,  I believe the rejection letter he got several months ago from that OEM was a blessing in disguise.

But what wouldn’t a blog entry be would mention of the ghetto company?  On Friday, I was translating for a very anal retentive exercise solely to please the Japanese parent company( who I am beginning to see as being pretty clueless) .  An exercise that was about a fun as having a tooth extraction done through an ear canal.

After it was over and the conservation dissolved into small talk.  I asked a question I have had for quite some time on the ghetto company’s manufacturing philosophy.

This question came out of seeing there are written operation standards, i.e., work shall be done exactly in this manner, for everything the ghetto company does.  I believe – and that was my question- this is an unintended consequence of conforming to ISO standards, which require documentation for what you do and documentation for the documentation.

In one case, for an assembly that can only be partially robotized and is especially critical as these assemblies are interior components thus in addition to proper assembly, blemishes, at least until delivery to the main customer, are also a concern.

Now the ghetto company assembles a fair number of variations of this assembly and the operations standards are literally 4 large, packed binders thick.   Not surprising, many of the quality issues I have seen for this product arise simply due to the person assembling/inspecting it forgetting a step, and with so much to have to remember, why am I not surprised?

I said that in the late 80’s when I as a part of what is called   工場自習 (I call it Toyota’s boot camp),  I was thrown on an assembly line in Japan and told to start slapping together Camrys.  This was eons before ISO and there were no operation standards to read and remember.  I was shown what I was expected to do and told to look at the kanban hanging in the front of each car coming down the line for all the information I needed for what part at my station was needed and what I was expected to do with it. Easy peasey.

The answer I got was that was a time when people took more pride in their work and that now, lamentably, there’s a different kind of worker on the assembly line, thus a step by step operation standard is needed.

Don’t agree and seem to remember ‘people don’t take more pride in their work’ comment is passed down from generation to generation.

 

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