Working Conditions......How it's Working out

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Hound dog, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    With me gone a large portion of the day/night..........the responsibilities of the dogs fall onto Travis.

    So far he's done a good job, especially due to the excessive heat going on at the moment. It is very difficult to keep Maggie (who overheats easily anyway) and Rufus (coal black) cool on these type days. Our normal routine is to let the dogs play in the yard when the temp starts to drop. Well with heat indexes over 100 degrees.....even with the wading pools.....that is not so easy because poor Travis doesn't have a wading pool to lounge in which means he is out there roasting so they can have some time outside.

    We did have to resort to putting in the AC units due to the heat wave. We don't use them much though, mostly at night for upstairs and during the late afternoon (west sun hits the house no trees to block). Did notice this morning Travis forgot to open windows once it was "cool" enough to shut off the AC downstairs. Dogs were roasting when I came home. I refuse to run the AC during the day because it is just to huge temp/humidity difference for work. I can't go from a cool 78-80 to a humid 130 degrees plus (yesterday was standing next to a glass heater....I know it was hotter than that, water boy basically hung around us as much as he possibly could. We had 2 girls go down on line last night. They waited too long to tell someone the heat was getting to them. Short visit to the nurse, a long drink, cool rag and they were back. We did lose 2 girls last night, they just couldn't take the heat/work (the pace had doubled to fill an order) Another girl, well let's just say excessive heat can cause tempers to flare. In order to prevent herself from decking one of our supervisors........she left at lunch and went home. She'll be penalized for it (she did tell higher ups) but better than being fired. Spending my days without AC is helping me easily cope with the heat at the plant. I get hot, I sweat.....but I just don't notice it that much.

    Maggie is totally confused. Rufus is pretty adaptable. But Maggie cannot figure out wth is going on and her potty schedule is messed up. I'm going to fix it up this weekend so the dogs can sleep with me upstairs once I get home. That way on really really hot nights they get the AC too.

    Eating is an issue. I need to eat a big meal at noonish. But heat keeps the appetite at zero. And the 2 times I tried it I wound up dealing with nausea once I got to work. Not pleasant. I'm not the only one with this issue on night shift. It's a common problem in the summer. Yesterday I did BLTs and did ok........actually it was quite good. lol I don't eat at work unless I need is just too dang hot. I've lost 5 lbs this week. lol Sitting here now trying to think of something to eat before work. Doesn't help we're out of bread. ugh

    The gel inserts I picked up for my shoes yesterday helped. Not enough, but I did notice a difference.......probably I'd have been in much more pain feet wise if I'd not had them since I was again stuck in one spot all night. I'm putting in the 2nd pair tonight.......maybe double will do better cuz we've been told we'll likely be in the same place doing the same thing. There was very little time and opportunity to "move around" to distribute weight for relief.

    Last night we, quite frankly, for a group of newbies........kicked ***. So much so, we really impressed our supervisors. They made a huge deal about telling us just how much we "kicked ***" and that we were right up there with the old timers. Not bad for losing a few people along the way. We were "sleeving" glass jars for candles (largish) and I got the fun job of loading the glass onto the belt so the girls could slide the sleeves on. Oh, we thought this easy peasy........until they kept cranking up the pace. For 7 hrs my hands were moving so fast, while my eyes were checking for broken defective glass.......that it was not so easy. I feel for the girls putting those sleeves on (labels/decor) if the ones opening those plastic sleeves don't do it right....(another group of people) you can't get them on the jars and it messes up the entire line. Nor are they that easy to open them up. When they're printed the machine makes a crease that makes them just a fraction too small......there is a technique to get rid of the crease and if not done properly......well, yeah, they just won't fit. (I did this for about an hour and actually got very good at it, you can't be timid about stretching them)

    We do our best to watch out for each other and help when we can, anyway we can. This includes supervisors who will (and I don't care high up they are, we had company big wigs standing there opening sleeves with us for quite a long while) jump in and help if needed or even if they have come up to see how it's going. NO ONE ever just stands around, regardless of who you are. Even those on water/popcicle duty get recruited into various jobs if needed. This to me is absolutely wonderful. It works too. Keeps communication open with your bosses....keeps things running smoothly. I worked glass line for an hour before loading glass onto the belt. We had one old timer really ticked he got chosen to load the candles into boxes because it was not his normal job, but we were a man short, a super had miscounted how many they needed. I watched several supers come along and do what they could to ease the guy's temper and get him to the point where he could laugh it off and be ok again.

    I felt sorry for the newbies who's first day was last night. It was sort of a crazy making night with that order to fill, well, actually 2 of them. Super put them on sleeving the glass because she had to pull the rest of us off other lines to come help. I've noticed that there are several of us always chosen to go to other lines......and we're always the ones chosen to come back and help out when they're in a bind or got to get something done fast. Means we're doing good, so I'm told. I just wish the supers would quit forgetting I only started monday. No sir, I have no clue where glass line 6 is so would you just give me directions I can understand and stop looking at me like that. lol Sleeving is a HARD job. No one likes it. We were afraid it would scare of our recent newbies. But all of them promised they are coming back tonight. :)

    Other than the heat, honestly I don't see why people quit. So far it is one of the best working environments as far as teamwork goes that I've ever been in. Supers will bark at you, they'll yell, but 2 seconds later they're laughing and joking and standing next to you doing it too.

    We were moving that line so d@mn fast last night that 3 hrs into it we were getting a tad slap happy. We had the girls who were opening sleeves singing pop tunes and we were cracking up and making jokes. All good as long as you don't slow down. At one point I had to tell them to tone it down, my sides were hurting from laughing. lol Lots of fun even though we were literally working our rears off.

    Back hurts. My feet hate me, especially when I come home. Back is fine once I'm in bed. Last night I literally died, I didn't sleep. lol

    This old Nana (by the end of the night I feel OLD) is doing just fine. :)
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Glad you're enjoying your new job!!!!
  3. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member

    I'm glad it's working out so well for you! What a relief to have a good working environment. Just stay hydrated and safe during these dangerously hot temps!
  4. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Lisa I really admire you for being able to handle that! Not everybody could do that. And honestly, it's a lot easier to handle the physical discomforts than to work in a poorly managed hostile environment where employees are sniping at each other. been there done that. My son works in a place like that too and it took him a long time to get used to it. He's a welder in a large factory. They work in a big open area with no heat in the winter and no AC in the summer. In the winter they can bundle up but there's no way to get away from the heat in the summer. In this 95 degree heat they have to wear heavy clothing and a welding helmet. They drink liquids all day and by the end of the day their clothing is dripping wet. He can't eat in that heat either or he'll get sick. On the weekends he eats all day long but when he's working, he literally does not eat a thing until he gets home and has dinner. No way could I do that but he's gotten accustomed to it.

    I guess it's all in what you're used to and it's probably to your advantage that you haven't been relying on the AC as much as some of us have. When I was a kid, nobody had air conditioning in their homes. We were hot but we were used to it and never even thought about it. And none of the schools were air conditioned. Now, if the AC goes out in the schools, they consider it to be an emergency and send the kids home! I've gotten so used to my AC now that I absolutely could not do without it. Taking the dogs outside is about how long I can manage to stick it out. But I think about my grandmother who came from a farm family and never had AC in her whole life. Even in her 80's and early 90's, she'd be out working in her garden in the hottest part of the summer, then she'd be in her steaming hot kitchen canning what she grew! I just know that I could NEVER do that!
  5. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I couldn't do it, that's for sure.

    When I was very young I lived in desert west Texas, so we did have swamp coolers. School was made of adobe, and so no AC of any kind, but it wasn't necessary. My first apartment (Ohio) did not have AC and I thought I was going to die... I bought a small window fan. When I married XH, the house we rented did not have AC but we had one window unit. And when I worked in the back room at Target, I was right by the cooler/heater ducts...

    But I'm glad you're doing well. :bigsmile:
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    You know what?

    It's funny. It's 100 degrees out with the heat index........... Of course the AC is not on. I'm not even HOT. LOL

    Only time the heat gets to me is when I've driving.........if I get behind some slow person who is all nice and comfy with their AC on. If the car stops it is HOT as fire in it. I tend to get a bit of road rage at that point. lol

    Managed lunch without getting nauseous so far. Popcorn chicken and mozzarella sticks. This will be the hottest day this week. I'm gonna need that salt tonight. Got pretzels in my bag too.
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Hound, do you remember the ancient I Love Lucy episode where she was working on a factory line? It really was so funny because she began stuffing things in her pockets, her mouth, her pants etc. Reading your post made me smile. You are MUCH better than Lucille Ball. :) DDD

    PS: I have recently seen a few commercials for a slender pillow that can be used on top of your regular pillow or inside the pillowcase. It's suppose to make you cool. Have no idea how!
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Yes DDD I do. It is one of my favs.........although most of them are. LOL

    Believe it or actually does get like that with people who are having a hard time catching on or keeping up. Our system is set up that there is a person(s) stationed at the end of the line to load the end product onto skids.........they will also grab an unfinished product and set them aside to be reworked, but that is of course frowned upon if it is too much. So we'll have people start grabbing product off the line (if possible) and set it aside if they start seriously falling behind. If it really becomes an issue the belt is shut down. A bigger no no. But this can happen for a variety of reasons........not just that people are falling behind. Our equipment is literally ancient (not least not any I've seen) and most of the work is done via people, unlike most other factories these days. These days many candles are produced with plastic lids to prevent debris from getting on the candle until you get it home. Our machines are not made to work with the lids tend to gum up and otherwise fairly smooth operation.

    Four to six people went down tonight from heat exhaustion. I think we also lost about half our newbies, including those that started wed........they either walked off the line or left at break and never came back.

    I do see something that bothers me and I don't understand it unless it is because we've become such a lazy society. This is a factory. End product is everything. Productivity is everything. The pace is fast because it has to be to keep production fill orders in time. But we have people (and not just young people by any means) who act like they have all the time in the world to spare and move like turtles regardless at how much they're told / explained they have GOT to SPEED it up because their pace is preventing everyone else on the line from doing their own jobs and killing productivity.

    I'm all for yakking or joking or even singing or whatever as long as you can do your job the right way while doing it. We had 2 ladies (whom I normally like quite well) my age opening sleeves tonight. You have to be really fast with this because without sleeves the line can NOT move. They just would not pick up the pace, would not listen to how to properly do it so they opened right.......and would not shut up which was just slowing them down more. I'm not one who likes to get others into trouble but darn it I can't load glass without sleeves to go on the glass.......and if I'm not loading glass the belt has to be shut down. Know what I mean?? Then we ALL get into trouble because we're not working. Uh, no. We had to talk to the bosses, no choice. Not that them talking to these 2 did much good either.......but they did finally manage to hunt down a few other people to come help them that could do the job. omg These 2 ladies, while they started with me on monday........I've not seen them since until today. But geez louise, when the boss tells you that you've got to get your rear into might want to at least TRY to go a little faster. I literally wanted to rip out my hair at one point. Boss man had to tell me to slow down my loading pace 3 times because of them..........The last time I told him if I slowed it down any more I might as well freakin go to lunch. geez!
  9. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    I am so glad this is working well for you. It does sound like a very good place with the big wigs working along side the newbies. Then they really know the issues affecting everyone.
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You are one tough cookie. I get sick if I am out in the heat for too long a time. Yesterday there was an accident on a road I take to the grocery store and it had cars backed up badly because no one could go past the accident scene. Truthfully they should have had cops or something telling people to take a different route. My truck tends to not blow cool air when Im not actually moving. I ended up turning around in the road and going a different way. By the time I got home I had to strip down and take a cold shower and even after that I had to keep a cold wet wash cloth on my face while sitting in front of fan which is in front of my room AC. I do have central AC but my room tends to not get as much air or heat for some reason.