24 September 2007

People Are People

Y'know how airlines over-book flights, assuming some people won't show up? The company I work for has been over-hiring welders, assuming some people will quit right away. And that's just what happened last week.

They hired an old-timer (whose name I forgot about 12 seconds after he introduced himself to me) and he started last Monday. He worked hard and was very friendly. He and I are from the same town, so we chatted about schoolteachers we'd both had. Having that kind of conversation with someone who's easily 20 years my senior was weird, let me tell you.

On Friday he seemed upset. About three hours into the shift, he went to our foreman and asked if welding the same type of part over and over again was all he was going to do. The foreman said yes, and the guy packed up his stuff and walked out.

I was surprised. It's obvious when you walk through the shop that it's a production shop. This guy looked like he'd been welding for a long time, so he should have known what the deal was before he accepted the job. My guess is that he didn't think the pay suited the workload. Most of the new-hires are starting in the $13-$15/hr range, and churning out a LOT of pieces. I weld about fifty pieces an hour, but they're the smallest components of what we make, so nobody else has that high a piece-per-hour ratio.

If you don't want mind-numbing, repetitive work, this job is not for you. Fortunately, this is exactly the sort of work I like, so as long as the lack of sleep doesn't kill me before I graduate, I'm keeping the job.

Coming next: All-Leather Cow Interior

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