Us serfs (or paens, or pissboys, whatever you may call us) have been made perfectly aware of the fact that quality issues have cost us our preferred status with our biggest customer. We are also aware that your efforts to deal with the problems basically amount to “the beatings will continue until morale improves”.
If you are kind enough to listen to us rather than letting us eat cake, here are our suggestions for improvement. Better yet, we really only have one important one to give you:
Quit shotgunning overtime at us.
Take the time to figure out what areas of production need extra help and concentrate resources there. Talk to the people that work in those areas and others that are trained in those jobs, many of them need extra hours and are perfectly willing to cede their time to help. Better yet, a large percentage of us don’t have problems with working overtime, we can all use the money.
What we have problems with is when we’re scheduled to work seven days a week, every week, without a hint or a clue of getting a day (let alone a weekend) off, week after week, month after month, with no regard for if it’s really needed in a particular area. And especially when our particular station is caught up and has no parts to run. A really egregious example of the above is a couple weeks ago when my area was fully staffed on overtime days, yet the area that directly feeds parts to ours was unstaffed the whole time. Especially maddening was the fact that one of their workers was on vacation, yet no provisions were made for anyone to cover his shift or overtime days, resulting in us running out of parts and standing around thumbing our asses on the clock at time-and-a-half. Yes there are many around here that don’t mind doing that, but I like to at least feel like I earned my overtime with something other than make work, or be allowed the opportunity to stay home and be more productive there with my time.
When people are forced to work their days off against their will, without rhyme or reason as to why they are there, for months on end, it’s inevitable that people will give less a crap about their jobs and quality will suffer. They are human too and occasionally like a day or two off to spend with themselves or their families without having to burn a vacation day to do so.
Few people here (except maybe a handful of chronic complainers and punk kids) are asking for more money, or better benefits, or more vacation time. We just want to be shown a little respect. Targeting the areas that need extra attention and focusing there rather than regularly blanketing us with overtime would go a long way towards showing us that respect. There are a lot of really good and experienced people here and there is potential for this to be a great place to work. All that’s needed is a little cooperation and understanding from management, and policies that make sense to the rest of us, not this current gulf of discord and dysfunction. Is all that really too much to ask for?
We believe that if we can be shown these simple courtesies, people would be much happier and more productive with their jobs, and a lot of the quality issues would solve themselves.
Thank you for your time.