Simple Minds and Double Standards

Posted: September 25, 2015 in Opinions and Observations
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

In another time long ago, I made my living in injected molded plastics.  Long history but the memory I told a co-worker the other day was worth posting.  As you probably guess, I am not a conformist.  I have a hard time understanding why simple things are done wrong and I have a nasty habit of pointing it out sometimes.

As a supervisor of a night shift crew, we manufactured large panels of plastic for assembly in auto plants.  The machine operators were opening huge metal doors, pulling out heavy molded plastic panels and would trim excess plastic with blades and pack the parts in boxes, to be taken away by other busy bees.

When I started working there, I watched what they were doing for a long time.  I had time and motion training from the old days and I was really curious.  One night, I went to the machine operator with a tall stool.  I suggested he do a few changes in the layout and process and suggested he sit on the stool to be more comfortable.   He responded well to my suggestions but told me he could not sit down.  I stopped for a second and asked why.  He was told the could not sit down at his station.  When I asked the long of it – the owner/manager did not think you could work hard if you were sitting down.  I pondered this for a few days.

Then the following week on the evening shift I went into the offices and took out all the chairs and put them in the warehouse.  When asked about the incident I replied that I thought I was doing as instructed and making the company more efficient since I was informed that you cannot work hard sitting down.

In retrospect, I should have been fired and should have thought of that possibility,  I did not.  But the next day there were tall stools by each of the molding machines.

Comments
  1. Aversion to change. But you have put across your point cleverly. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • midimike says:

      I am guilty of that too. That is why I try to make the point in a way that can be understood from the opposite point of perspective. If we can see what the other person sees, I think it would make compromises as lot easier! Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is awesome! Good on you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That is a very brave move, Mike! Hats off to you! And you’re so compassionate 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice! I always sing The Authority Song. It’s nice when, on those few occasions, someone other than authority wins.

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      Funny, I was just thinking that we can use the same term – authority – as we would – casino dealer! The odds are stacked against you, the dealer/authority always wins ties if you get close, and they will lure you in to believe you are the lucky one. You are so right. Many times even if facts support one party, the other party when in authority often triumphs. I still think they always get better!

      Like

  5. tracihalpin says:

    Wow…that was a brave and compassionate move. Way to go making a difference!

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      Each of us in our own way. One little decision after another. You know this; the choices we make build on top of each other. We choose to make a difference.

      Liked by 1 person

      • tracihalpin says:

        So true. I just listened to tony robbins while I worked out and he said you have to do little rituals each day to bring you to where you want to be in life. He said success and failure don’t just happen; what you believe and what you do each day bring either one. Love that guy…simple yet so true. Enjoy your Saturday 🙂

        Like

  6. Victoria says:

    It’s great they made the change. Usually people will fight for their right to be ignorant. Good going!

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      You are right. And from my experience I argued the point very well and proved it would be beneficial for all – and still it was not implemented. The demonstration of how it can be applied incorrectly made it difficult to argue in this case. I was lucky, indeed. Thank you!

      Like

  7. Temy Hoang says:

    Wow, that was so brave of you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Tom Benedict says:

    You MIGHT have been fired, but I don’t think you should have been. There’s a certain value in blunt honesty that I’m guessing the owner recognized and respected. I used to work with a tool and die maker, and he would’ve gotten a kick out of this story!

    For what it’s worth we have stools in our machine shop, which are great when you’re doing fine detail work. Funny thing is most of our office workers have switched to standing desks! Mine’s on order, and should be here in the next couple of weeks. I think I’ll wind up doing more sitting in the shop than in my office.

    So maybe you were just ahead of your time, and paving the ergonomic path for that company! See? Blunt honesty is a good thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      Your summary is pretty much what happened in the end. I ended up getting my point across and I do think he responded well – over time. That is really funny. Great post. Thank you for your comments.

      Like

  9. Andrea R Huelsenbeck says:

    I LOVE this. This is going up on my Facebook page right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Nadine says:

    Love it, you surely are brave man =) people like you are rare today

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      Thank you so much! I am proud of that but I don’t think of it as brave. It is that I just cannot stop myself. I imagine bravery requires you force yourself to do things? Thank you though, because I do know what you mean and I appreciate it!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. ivugalive says:

    this is worth a share!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. thomas robinson says:

    As I recall, you WERE fired from that plastics job–at least once. You contested it and won. You stuck around long enough to annoy the plastic people for quite awhile. Injection moulding isn’t glamorous, but it pays the bills. You managed to create objects of art from test emissions. That was cool.

    Like

    • midimike says:

      That was at a different company even longer ago if you can believe that! I got fired twice from that same company. I learned a lot and the pay was better than the music stores! I still have a number art pieces and there are always bozo beads!

      Like

  13. rubiredsaid says:

    You know Mike, that was your prerogative to challenge what you deemed to be right or wrong!
    Quite often things are unsaid because of repercussions, so I salute you!
    In the meantime the employer was exercising his power over his employees, though it could have cost your job I feel he was surprised to be challenged too!
    I’d like to thank you for your visit and reading my poems. I hope you enjoy your weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Not So Cold says:

    This is awesome. I would have enjoyed working with you. I used to do proces development for a biotech company. I was a part of many arguments with management about “the way we’ve always done it” vs. “the better way to do it”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      I can understand doing what works and I am sure you do too. But there comes a point where improvements can be made (even if the improvements benefit someone else). Some managers just did not see the advantage in doing something that only the worker bees would benefit from. Thanks honorary co-worker!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Cool! I hate pointless rules…

    Liked by 1 person

  16. .kirsi says:

    So weird. Why do companies or managers or whatever people think that because you find a more ergonomic and comfortable way of working, it’s somehow lazy?? Have been through the same in Scandinavia, they taught us students to look ambitious with standing. In one way I understand that, depending on working place and situation. Fortunately we could choose when working in the pharmacy shop in the beginning of ´00, we were on our feet all time that our backs were tired in the end of the day. When our locations were reshaped and renovated it included height-adjustable tables so you could sit or stand whenever you needed, even in front of customers. However, the overall picture of sitting automatically seems to mean ‘lazy’

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      That is a big part of it. I have heard; ‘perception is reality’ so many times I could scream! The reality is some people are rather closed minded. Again in the big picture, someone will always be ahead of the curve, and someone will be behind. When the managers or people in authority that could change things are behind the curve, we all suffer. Thank you for sharing your experiences.
      Maybe they get that impression because all the other ‘guys’ that sit at a table for meetings never get things done, so sitting = waste of time???!

      Like

  17. DeniseBalog says:

    My oh my Mike, that is quite a story. Definitely an artist. Thinking with the “creative” side of the brain. Yep, mean that as a compliment… Yep, you’re an artist! Well done neighbor! You must have made a lot of folks happy who received the high stools for their stations:) Awesome:) d

    Liked by 1 person

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