Sunday, December 7, 2014

The results

I am not sure why, but the sadistic Clock Maker feels I need to have a heart cath. It is scheduled for the 22nd of December. Why this date? Simple, I already have the week off from work. This way I don't lose any pay, or have to use any extra vacation. If he doesn't need to do anything further, I should be out roughly 3 hours after it is done. If he needs to put in any stents, I am looking at 6-7 hours afterwards. He said no driving for 24 hours after, and no heavy lifting for 5 days. (I move 5500# of material daily at work by hand. What constitutes "heavy"?) If it's anything major, just start digging that hole. (because the ground is froze, and it will take some effort)

I was also told, that on the off chance I need to spend the night (yeah so much for an "out patient" procedure), I should pack an over night bag, including all medications. So I made myself a list of things I need:
  • Medications
  • Netbook and charger
  • phone and charger
  • Twelve pack of Coke (they said I could have a liquid breakfast :P )

I feel like I am missing something on the list, but I am sure it will come to me before the 22nd. Hope everyone is staying warm out there.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Idiots and work

Last night was one of "those" kind of nights. It went relatively fast once you got past the idiot. Supervisor #2 hires some real winners. I think he chooses the worst of the worst, and says "congrats" you're hired! Case in point...

A worker came up to me last night and said he needed to fill out a "near miss" form. I asked him why. He said he almost got his fingers cut. The conversation goes something like this:

Idiot: I need to fill out a near miss form
Me: Ok can you tell me why?
Idiot: I almost cut my fingers
Me: And how did that happen?
Idiot: The hopper was clogged, and none of the regular fixes worked. So I took the air pipe off the bottom of the hopper, and grabbed the clog with my fingers.
Me: Ok, so how did you almost cut your fingers?
Idiot: Well there were these little blades on the inside half of the hopper, and they were spinning.
Me: Did you remember to LOTO (lock out tag out) the machine first?
Idiot: No. No one told me I had to do that. Maintenance said only if I am reaching inside the hopper. So I need to write up a near miss report, and tell them they should have a warning that there are moving parts inside there. So no one gets hurt.
Me: You do realize as soon as you remove the air pipe, you are considered to be reaching inside the hopper, correct? And as such you could be cited for a safety violation, since you neglected to LOTO the machine first.
Idiot: (extremely indignant) No one told me I had to LOTO the machine when I do this, I can't be written up for something no one told me.
Me: Actually you can. We do not follow after each and every employee to make sure you don't do something stupid. And we can only engineer out so many hazards. Common sense must come into play on occasion.
Idiot: Well that's not right. No one told me.
Me: Here is an example. Day shift Idiot takes space heater out of bathroom, and places it next to a bale of drc (paper), while she is working. Anyone above the age of 7 should realize you don't place a heat source near paper. We should not have to explain that to an adult.
Idiot: Well if no one told her, then she can't be blamed for doing it.
Me: Like I said before, we can only engineer out so much stupid.

I had to walk away after that. He was adamant that if someone isn't specifically told something is hazardous, that absolves them of any wrong doing. I wonder if he ever thought of bungee jumping off a very tall building, without a cord....

The Clock Maker

I thought the stress test went well. That's what happens when you listen to the moron technician running the dayem test. He said "I did much better than he thought I would." I took that as good news, and went home more relaxed than I had been since this started.

Well apparently he must have had some realllllly low standards. The doc called me on Nov 17th @ at 10am (even though she knows I work nights) to tell me I had an "abnormal" stress test, and now need to see the Clock Maker. I was barely able to process what she was saying, since I was half asleep yet. And just what constitutes "abnormal" anyhow? I mean seriously, can you use a word like that when referencing this kitty? I have been called a lot of things, but I am pretty sure "abnormal" wasn't one of them.

Anyhow, tomorrow is the big day. Maybe the Clock Maker will be able to explain in more detail just what "abnormal" truly means in regards to my ticker. And what means of torture he has in mind to rewind it.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Stress Tests, who needs them

After receiving a rather high number on my heart calcium scoring test, my Doctor, in her infinite wisdom, decided I need a stress test. (I knew there was a reason I avoided that profession) So I made the appointment for this Friday morning, bright and early 7am.

The Rules:
1. No caffeine for 24 hours before. (I think they forgot I have caffeine running through my veins, instead of blood.)
2. Nothing to eat or drink after midnight, including any medication. (so no advil to counter the caffeine withdrawal migraine I will get)

I question the wisdom of telling someone no caffeine, as that in and of itself, will stress a person out. Add in that I work the night before, 6pm-6am. and have to deal with total idiots for 12 hours right before this test, without killing any of them. (Can you feel the stress level rising already? I can)

Once there they will run a base scan, then they have you exercise to the point of exhaustion (that should take all of five minutes, specially with my breathing being messed up lately), then take another scan. (That is if you don't croak in the meantime) They tell me the whole process will take 3-4 hours if all goes well (WTF!). Darling, I can tell you right now, if I make it up to, and through that test, without going homicidal, it went well. Never mind how the heart turns out, my sole goal is to stay out of jail at that point. My internal sleep clock states if I'm not tucked in by 11am it will revolt, I will get sick. If this thing takes the full 4 hours, I'm screwed. I then have to try and drive 30 miles home, in direct sunlight. I'm a night-worker ffs, the Moon is my sun! (To any of my LEO buddies out there, please be heading in the South bound lanes, Thanks)

So if y'all don't hear from me by Saturday, either send flowers, or bail money.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Lost another one

So, last week I had to let yet another temp worker go. This time it was an older gentleman. He showed up to work on time, but unfortunately that is not enough. He was mechanically, and technically challenged (both a requirement for this machine), plus hard of hearing. I tried training him repeatedly on basic operations, but it just wasn't to be. When I tell you not to turn your back on a certain section of the machine, it is for good reason. The reason being I don't want to have to come back and clean up a 30' lake of water, with an eight foot puddle, of now hardening polymer, floating in the middle. And every time I turned around, he had his back to that particular section. If you can't hear if the pelletizer jams, and you can't see it when it jams, HOW are you going to stop the machine?
Not sure how many more temps I will go through, before I find one like my original trainee.
My very first helper was a middle aged, Laotian born fellow, who picked stuff up super fast. And I mean he picked up anything I showed him quickly. The machine type did not matter. Show him once, and BOOM, I could walk away without worry. I had him trained on the quarter-folder, the rewinder, the recostar, all of it. Then upper management thought it was a good idea to transfer him to the meltblown, since he learned so fast. (sad face) He later left our company to go back to school. God I miss him.
Since then I have yet to find one even a quarter as capable as he was. And I should know, I have gone through roughly three dozen trainees since then.

Thursday, July 10, 2014


Last night at work I was transferring some dusty polymer from transport bags, to a silo, via a vacuum hopper. You raise these canvas bags up with a forklift, suspend them over the hopper, and cut a small hole in the bottom, so it can slowly pour out. The bags are about 5 feet tall, 4 feet on each side, and weigh roughly 2000 pounds. When you near the bottom of the bag, you end up wrestling the last few hundred pounds around a bit, to get it to come out. You get covered in the crap. Head to toe. I was wearing a dark maroon sweatshirt and navy shorts, that fine white powder made me look like a bad ghost.
One of the forklift drivers came over, and asked "Are you ready for the next bag?"
I looked down at my now white coated clothes, glared back up at him, and said "Do I look ready for the next dayem bag?"
Without missing a beat he said "No, you look like you just had an affair with Charlie Sheen."

Yeah, he won that round.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Good Help

Good help is very hard to find now a days. Since this post I have gone through two more trainees. By the time I go on vacation in August, I am suppose to have not one, but two new ppl trained up on the machine. At this rate I won't even have a half a person. (someone who can do very basic running, but knows nothing about the computer controls yet) Is there really no one out there, regardless of age, who can make it through a 12 hour work day without whining, or texting on their phone? Is what I ask really all that much in this day and age? Someone who wants to show up on time, and do a decent job? Granted the pay isn't anything to write home about. The company pays $10/hour to start. But dayemmm isn't that what His Royal Magical Fart Monger is pushing for anyhow? The work, in and of itself, is not hard. You load a conveyor with material, restart polymer threads, and pretty much stand around the rest of the time. (With an occasional "OH SHIT, WHAT DID I JUST DO?" moment thrown in for good measure) I am almost afraid we are at the bottom of the barrel now, all the good ones have been used and abused elsewhere :(