At the Top of the Food Chain

Son unit is part of that as he’s employed by a automobile manufacturer or OEM and not a 1st tier or lower automotive parts supplier.

The differences between these two strata can be illustrated by this.

In preparation for a new model launch, son unit and others have been told that for the remainder of this year, they can expect to work weekends as well as a full weekday schedule. Mentioned this to someone else who told me during his time at a parts supplier for this OEM, employees had to work 7 days a week for 8 months to keep up with the OEM’s demand for parts.

Insane, no?    But that is an example of how life can be for a OEM parts supplier

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A Progressive’s (aka neo-Collectivist’s) Stupidity

The photo and caption, copied from another blog21

“Remember that next time you get online or use your phone. Those satellites didn’t launch themselves.”

A hearty ‘Amen’ to that.  There’s are times when a person’s stupidity crosses the line from funny to painful.



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Years Ago

During my college job at a grocery store.

while working there a new employee, a woman named Denise, came in to work as a cashier-outside of the butchers, the highest paying hourly job in the store.  Word went around that she was an ex-Playboy Bunny and I guess to satisfy everyone’s curiosity, she brought in a couple of photos of her in her bunny suit.

As I remember, she was attractive, but not heart-poundingly so.  And what else I do remember of her time there were comments made to her or in her presence  the kind of comments that if they had been made now, would have landed the person who made them, the supervisor and the company in deep EEOC doggy doo for harassment.

I never participated in such and said very little to her, probably out of being dumbstruck with shyness. But looking back over the many decades since that time,  feel sad about part of her experience while working there.  There may have been many reason why she quit being a Playboy Bunny, the nature of the work and the environment, personal issues that forced her to leave and take  a job as a lowly grocery store cashier; things that only now occur to me.  Given what might have been why she took that job, its too bad she wasn’t treated differently than she was.

Odd too that after all the years this comes to mind for reflection.  Suppose a part of where I am in life

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Clingy Kat 

It’s son’s cat, who makes a habit on placing herself on my lap and expects me to remain still and unmoving until she decides to do something else.

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Something I and others like me come up against frequently now given where I and others like me are in our lives.

It cropped up again on Friday as one of the visiting Japanese engineers decided he’d have a short personal conversation within me and within that conversation,  he asked me how old I was.

Deflected the question at first, but then told him my age, to which he asked ‘Shouldn’t you be retired?’

In a way, I see where he is coming from.  In Japan, someone my age is expected to drop out of the workforce -and be consigned to playing what the Japanese call Gate Ball for the rest of their life, or if still working, working at the periphery of the work force.

Sure, I’d like to be fully retired, wouldn’t anybody, even at say the ripe old age of 30?  But first, personal circumstances, of having an extended period of time in the employment wasteland and still maintaining a roof over our heads was a considerable financial drain.  I cannot afford to retire now and may never ever be financially ready to completely retire. Second,  I am still happy to work and be useful, preferably in something more closer to what I see as my real skill set.

And I don’t buy the excuse employers make about how people at my stage in life are more expensive.  Bulls**t.  If anything, I see myself as a cheap, yet very experienced alternative.  My most major financial obligation, paying back the house loan, will be over in less than 2 years, have no other children to rear/support, IOW, my compensation needs are less than what would have to be paid for say someone in their 40’s or 50’s. I’m a bargain waiting and willing to be snatched up, yet employers just don’t seem to get this.


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Like Talking to a Four-Year old

Is how some of the visiting Japanese engineers view me.  To do what I am supposed to do smoothly,  one needs to know a bit of metallurgy, metal machining, and production computer programming, which I have very little knowledge of.

Add to this the general noise level on the plat floor and my not used to the way many of these people speak, its a wonder I am able to do what I can do.

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Shit Happens…and Other shit

Am told we are on the downward slope in finishing this project and the small individual demands from the Japanese visiting engineers seem to proportionally escalate.  Last Friday was a good example of this;  scurried abut and at the end of the day, there were some request that cold not be met  as what was needed simply had not arrived from Japan yet.

But the reaction from some of these visiting Japanese engineers was, ‘Ok, so what are you going to do about it?’  very hard to explain there was nothing I or anyone else could do.  Its what I see as one of the Japanese traits- they love to plan (think of the line fro Red October, about not taking a dump without a plan) but when things go off the rails, as things do… they seem quite helpless and unable to cope/improvise.

Also had a worrisome moment last week about what I did or did not say.  I interpreted between a Japanese and a couple of local contractors and was called over as it was thought I had directed the contractors to do a task they weren’t supposed to do yet.  Very fine line between what I said and what I said meaning he information I transmitted.

Personally,  I find myself well over my head and then left out of the loop when the Japanese discussion gets into scheduling and very detailed talk about the machines and the functions they perform. Simply don’t have the deep background for this, which I mentioned over and over again during the hiring process.  and as written an number of time before, have had little interpretation experience too.  So, again as also said in earlier posts, don’t believe had misrepresented myself and would have no hard feelings if told its not working out.  This gig is a hardship gig.



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