Peaches Turn to Lemons

I have loved my job for nearly 10 years. I have always described it as a "peachy" job. I get along well with my coworkers, especially my boss, Bernie. Overall the first 5 or 6 years at LaCroix had been slow with occasional fits of frenzied work, due to a special Boeing project or a prototype such as the Spaceship One that was shot up in the Mojave desert a few years ago or the Eclipse airplane that is now in production. Those projects made the job fun, an unusual bit of rushed work for a year or less, just enough to keep us from falling asleep at our desks (which I nearly did a few times in the beginning).

Well, back in early December I noticed our Boeing work beginning to ramp up. We had 300 Boeing purchase orders on 12/1 and by the end of the month it was almost double that. Considering that I'm the one who prints and starts the processing of the Boeing work, I found myself suddenly scrambling to keep up. We had a new project called the 747-800, a special freighter I believe, for the large cargo freighter that is used to transport the 787 parts around the world. That was just the beginning. As of last month we had approximately 6000 separate shipments to Boeing needing to be processed.

I'm not the only person affected by this increase, needless to say. The whole office is working constant overtime and are at each others' throats due to this sudden eruption of work. Here is Rick's description of what has transpired:

"If there ever was an office of people that was one step from "going postal" ours would be it. It has been going on for some time now, and shows zero sign of abating. There is a never-ending circle of lost paperwork, misplaced paperwork, wrong paperwork, no paperwork (when there should be), incomplete paperwork, duplicate paperwork... It's got nerves frazzled beyond belief.

They keep accepting the jobs for parts that comes down from Boeing because that's what we do--We make parts. The trouble is, we have far exceeded our capabilites. We are having to "farm out" work to all corners of the area. We are so overloaded that there are at least 4 different machine shops in the Seattle area that are doing work for us full time. Okay, the shop has exceeded its physical capabilities and the result has been having every Tom, Dick, and Harry that owns the right machinery to subcontract for us. That works for the shop. What about the office? The paperwork can't be farmed out to anyone else. We have to to do it. We have no system in place whatsoever to track the flow of parts and/or paperwork. No barcode scanning system--No "system" of any kind to enable us to keep up with our workload. As I've mentioned before, they are pencil users in a computer world.

The brothers La Croix can't be totally oblivious to what's going on--They must have a reason for not doing anything to rectify it. I have been speculating that perhaps they plan on selling the company in the very near future? There is no indication of such a thing, but if they were planning to sell, what better time than when business is climbing at a dizzying rate? They are both old and there is nobody to succeed them. It's an interesting notion..."

Tuesday morning the older LaCroix brother, Phil, took me into the conference room to discuss with me what's been eating at me, that I appear to be not a "happy camper". He did a very good job of building me up with constructive criticism, he's very good at that. But, the way I'm looking at it, all he accomplished was throwing a little sugar into the mixture - hence only creating LEMONADE.

0 cats hacked up hairballs:

About Me

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After 2 unsuccessful marriages I spent 12 years as a divorcee, only to fall prey to another man's wiles. We had a fun 5 years together and then he decided he wanted more freedom so once again I'm single.

So I'm freshly divorced at 57 and have 5 great kids and now 7 grandkids. My kids are still a major part of my life but I'm busy helping my aging parents on Kauai.

I've lived in California, Hawaii and Oklahoma before finally settling here in Washington. I love Washington and come back to visit family, friends and take care of my garden often but will be temporarily a resident of Kauai.

I've moved 30 times in my life (no, my parents weren't in the service, at least not since I was about 2) and finally planted roots when I got my little house that I've owned since '91.

My family are Jehovah's Witnesses, I've been one since '72.