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Fly on the Wall
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Categories: Experiences and daily life; Human nature; Ethics and laws; Commerce and business

Word count/read time: 818 words; 4 minutes (WHOA!)

Everyone has their panties in a twist over air travel problems. Travelers are still treated like cattle and employees' new "powers" have made it worse. Security is horribly lax. I do not feel safe and it has nothing to do with being 35,000ft high!

Boeing has suffered this past year. People who actually work there (NOT the suits) warned about this for over a decade. Boeing's business philosophy is the new paradigm: Squeeze maximum profits at the expense of everything else. To make it worse, top executives' pay was essentially based on legally cooking the books.

Just one of the countless damning articles can be found here. Or this one which basically says the executives laughed all the way to the bank while screwing everyone else. Naturally, this resulted. NOTHING will happen to those leaders though they should be lynched and forced into abject poverty if they survive walking the gauntlet of employees they wronged and families who lost loved ones as a result of their greedy mismanagement.

They gave multi-million dollar packages to CEOs for essentially ruining the company further. Some countries have a cap on CEO salary and it would be fair to adopt that in our hyper-capitalistic society. However sensible, the lobbyists will ensure otherwise. Politicians know stepping out of line would be career suicide. Besides, they will be the ones voting on how to bail out Boeing when the time comes.

Something similar was happening while I worked at a machine shop that supplied the nuclear, oil, medical, and aerospace industries. The incompetent quality control guy, I'll call him Tom, would let anything pass regardless of how poorly made. There is no payday without shipping parts even if they are defective! Maybe they will come back, maybe not, but at least the customer has something.

I spoke up repeatedly and got in trouble every time. My last attempt resulted in my skipping over Tom's head and going directly to the boss, I'll call him Mike. I insisted that this part, along with hundreds of others, was no good, and it had been happening for months. Mike said we'd consult Tom to straighten it out.

Tom initially said the part was OK. I could see the mental high-fiving between the two. Case closed, except I said to check again and further specified where to look. Tom picked it up again, inspected it again, and said it was OK again. Tension grew as they both wanted to squash me like a bug.

End of story, almost. Tom refused to acknowledge the defects and it was obvious both were trying to discredit me. I demanded a third inspection and mentioned again exactly what I was referring to. After Tom said it was OK a third time I pointed to the screaming flaws at which point he said, "Well, that is something different entirely. It looks like a tool rubbed against it. (incoherent babbling and mumbling) No, this doesn't pass inspection."

Mike and Tom weren't happy. I was to blame, naturally, even though I didn't make the part. (The crack, weed, and vape junkie on night shift, I'll call him Brandon, did; most of his parts were defective but nothing was done about it or his drug usage in the building during work time.) Mike told Tom to check all suspect parts. Tom put them on a cart but he didn't check a single part and they were shipped anyway.

 
I was to blame, naturally, even though I didn't make the part.
 
The programmer, who I'll call Tyler, heard the story. He said that if the customer doesn't refuse or return the parts and no one says anything - aside from the worker(s) who reported the issue - it is perfectly acceptable to send parts which don't meet customers' specs (i.e., intentional deception). So much for ethics. I resigned shortly thereafter under protest. (One customer sent back thousands of the same defective parts three times at which point they canceled our contract. We failed to fix them yet we shipped them anyway!)

This happens in every industry but it is especially precarious with planes, trains, and automobiles. It's merely annoying when a TV, blender, shovel, or make-up case fails. However, the mentality is identical: Lie, deny, and blame someone else. How many Toms, Tylers, Mikes, and Brandons work at Boeing with 150,000 employees? Tens of thousands would be a conservative estimate.

Boeing's outgoing CEO assured everyone this was going to end. That he would implement new inspections. Yeah, dolphin-friendly tuna, free-range chickens, check's in the mail. You're high if you haven't noticed this problem everywhere, all the time, continually getting worse.

The jewelry world is no different. Fake precious metals, counterfeit goods, manufacturing lies, conflict minerals and gemstones, environmental and habitat destruction, price fixing, etc. It is the exception for any company to have integrity in all it does. Honesty is merely a by-product or happy coincidence since it does not generate revenue. Just ask Tyler, Tom, Brandon, and Mike.


Posted by M: April 9, 2024


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