Why?

Why won’t my DVD player remember where I stopped watching the disc?

Why is the intro Universal theme music at the DVD start up so much louder that the one before each episode of Law & Order?

Why does the control panel in Windows almost always open up as large icons as I like, but will randomly appear in the detail view?

Why when renaming a file in an Windows file explorer will the file jump to the bottom of the list instead of staying put?

Why can’t I get into writing on this blog?

And now for something I don’t need to ask why about:
A coalition of medical marijuana advocates came out Tuesday against a California ballot initiative that would legalize the drug for recreational use and tax its sales.

Started up, went down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 848

Sorry I Doubted You James

Oh, about a month or so ago, we had visitors and one of those visitors was a 3 year-old nephew named James (Hi James.) One of the things we had to amuse said 3 year-old was a book about airplanes. It wasn’t just any ol’ static book about airplanes, it came with little cardboard replicas of planes that needed to be put together and had the advantage of being capable of flight. Not real aerodynamic flight mind you, but by brute force. Each plane replica had a small notch on the bottom of the “fuselage” that you hooked the rubber band of the included primitive slingshot thingie into and then pulled back as far as your mighty 3 year-old arms would go before letting loose launching the plane into the wild blue yonder.

James and uncle Brian spent a few enjoyable hours over the course of a couple of evenings “flying” planes in the back yard. One evening James launched the B-2 bomber with a mighty tug and it soared off in the direction of our mimosa tree and I didn’t see it come back down. He said it was stuck in the tree. I couldn’t see it, so I figured it had come down in the neighbor’s yard. James insisted that he could see it and wanted me to go up and get it. I just knew it wasn’t there, so told him I would get it, but I couldn’t, because I didn’t have a tall enough ladder.

Tonight as I walked underneath the mimosa tree on the way to the shed to get out the lawn mower and leaf blower so Donna and I could do a little lawn maintenance, I looked down on the ground and this is what I saw:

Started up, went down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 852

Hourly Communications Meetings

To help foster communications the Director of Operations (AKA the Big Kahuna, the Head Cheese or Plant Manager) meets with representatives from the various departments roughly each month. He has one for the hourly employees and one for the salaried folks as well. Each month, persons are picked at random to attend and they are supposed to solicit from their surrounding fellow employees questions that are bothering them so management might be aware of outstanding issues.

Every month there are always questions about pay:
1. Are we getting a raise this year? 
The wage package is currently in St. Louis being reviewed by Emerson corporate. The expectation is there will be a raise increase this year. An announcement will be made as soon as possible following Emerson?s response. 

The Director of Operations hates questions about the parking lot and I think word got around that he did, so someone usually sneaks on in:
3. Why are the shifts putting their motorcycles in the parking lot instead of where they are supposed to park? *
A motorcycle is a vehicle and can park in any space they choose.

*There are 2 designated motorcycle parking areas and I guess it upset someone to find a motorcycle in a regular parking spot when they couldn’t park in the much closer to the door motorcycle spots.

Questions about the break area and cafeteria are always popular:
14. Could there be a border placed around the snack machines to prevent your money from rolling beneath the machine?
I really don?t think so. If we put something around them we would not be able to clean under the machines.

There is at least one bathroom question each month:
34. In the ladies bathroom down below Joey Marshall office we don?t have any hot water.
Each sink in the specified bathroom was checked and all had hot water. 

There were at least 6 or 8 questions referring to a particular job that came open when someone moved to a different department recently. Several of them felt that race was a determining factoring in who they hired:
56. A lot of us black people bid on calibration job. No one got it. Someone doing the job that only has nine months (job requires 3 years). 
This question is a good example of how rumors and false information get circulated and employees end up frustrated and upset by false information. Note the following misstatements and errors: no one except HR knows with certainty how many people bid on a position, including how many from any particular race, nor does any one else know who was tested, or who was or wasn?t qualified to even be considered. At the time this question was asked in the Communication meeting, a determination if any internal bidders would be awarded the position had not been made, so the statement ?no one got it?was a false assumption. As for the experience of ?someone doing the job,? again no one knows for sure someone else?s past experience. Rest assured that HR — through a third-party entity ? verifies the experience and qualifications of every employee before hiring during pre-employment background screening.

My pick for question of the month goes to:
21. When is the next Opinion Survey? 
I do not know. Emerson schedules the Opinion Survey. 

Every 3 years or so, corporate does an Opinion Survey. This is a way for the employees to “communicate” their dissatisfaction further up the ladder than the monthly meeting with the local top guy.

Corporate takes these very seriously and in the past it has led to several of our management team taking early retirement or moving to another corporate locale in a “promotion.” Management always denies that they know when the survey is coming, but there has been very strong circumstantial evidence over the years that points to them knowing. Steak cook outs, t-shirt and jacket giveaways seem to occur at very coincidental times.

My guess is they are not told the actual date for deny-ability purposes, but do know what two week period it will happen in. And my guess is we are in for one soon. The other day as Donna and I went for one of our walks on our break we got stopped in the hall outside HR by the guys from the stockroom pulling pallets stacked with boxes. Each pallet probably had 20 boxes, each had “10 each” hand written on the outside with a Sharpie and the UPS shipping label was addressed to the HR manager. I think we are getting an unexpected gift which will lead directly to an expected Opinion Survey.

Started down, went up, back down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 858

I Got Nothing

I used up a weeks worth of words on the Sunday and Monday posts, so the only thing here is the top count.

Started up, went down, went up, down again, up again, down once more, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 874