Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Greatly Increased Nuttiness At Work......UPDATED

Gee, after today's meeting, I might not get a chance to give them notice!

Since this Friday is payday, and next Friday is when we turn in our time sheets, I'd expect things to hit the fan next week.

And all indications are it's going to be a bloodbath.

More when I know.......


Well, we had another meeting on Tuesday morning where our Direct Manager (the guy who signs our time sheets) brought all 20-something of us in, and clued us in on what's going on.

Everybody that was in the room, including himself, is subject to layoff, along with most of the other office staff, like the purchasing people, secretaries, and most of the IT staff.

It will be a bloodbath.

He said that he'd been in meetings the previous week, prior to the All Hands meeting, where lots of yelling, screaming, and table pounding (of the "We will BURY you" type, if you know what I mean) went on, and the owners were really putting down the American workers as "overpaid, pampered, and lazy", and how we never seemed to be doing anything and spent too much money on things that weren't needed.

And the last six launches we did were all booked in 2007 or earlier, and in some cases were done at a discount because of "launch credits" negotiated during the Chapter 11 doings.

And despite the fact we were told that our services would be "In very high demand" when they started launching again, after hearing what went on the previous week, responses in this meeting ranged from "Fool me once.....", to "I'm not quitting Boeing AGAIN!" (some people are making plans to head back to The Mothership, and a couple have already left), to "Good luck with that!".

I've worked with these guys (and ladies) since 2004, and if they say they won't come back, believe it!

We were advised to try and use our vacation and sick leave ASAP, "just in case" the owner's try and wiggle out of paying it to us at separation.

As far as spending money on things that "weren't needed", our part of the system is literally falling apart, and we're just about fresh out of bailing wire and chewing gum.

We have computers running Windows95 on 486 processors doing critical things.

We have other similar computers running Windows NT 3.5 doing other critical tasks.

All of the computers controlling things in the Launch Control Center are running Windows 2000, as are 95+% of the workstations there.

Some the managers in the LCC had their workstations "upgraded" to Windows XP, but not many.

Our "Autotracker" to run the telemetry capture antennas failed years ago, and I had to manually follow the flight profile using the control knobs on the front of the Antenna Control Unit.

The telemetry receivers have been failing due to old age, and we have to send them to a private place for repair as the company that built them doesn't (and won't) support them.

The telemetry decoders are ancient, require a couple of reboots to get them running, and have been known to just stop working.

Same with the optical tracker for recording the launches on film and video. The had to put a 6' piece of pipe on to the pedestal to muscle the cameras around and follow the launch vehicle, as the computer and control electronics had multiple failures, and the company servicing them "wanted too much money" to come out and fix them.

The ships have been getting a bit run down as well. Safety items are fine, but now you're starting to see rusty spots because there aren't enough crew members left to keep on top of things, and I suspect the paint budget" has been slashed.

They shut down the air conditioning in the building most of my group is in, and brought it portable AC units to keep things tolerable.

The carpets in the building look like something a slumlord would proud of, as they haven't been cleaned in at least 5 years.

There are "Out Of Service" toilets and urinals in the men's room, and burned out lights everywhere.

It really looks like The Beginning of the End for the place.


  1. Hang in there. It sounds like you got 'em where you want 'em.

  2. Yeah, my SS starts in October, so if I get the axe next week, I'll just collect unemployment for 7 weeks or so!

  3. Retirement is a beautiful thing, especially when you have a big "forest-fire" to watch...

    1. Yeah, the place is approaching "critical mass" and about ready to disintegrate.

  4. I wish retirement wasn't 7-8 years off for me. I'm glad the timing is such you won't be left too short. Still, not the way you would liked to have ended.

    1. Yeah, I was planning on sending a nice (really, a nice one!) to the "Company All" email address telling people how much I'd enjoyed working there, but I don't think that's going to happen!

      They told us "sometime in August", and August 1st (and payday) is tomorrow, so it'll be a real interesting day.

  5. Don't recall you've ever mentioned exactly whom you work for, and it sounds as if that's likely a good thing. Good that you're close enough to retirement, and I hope you're financially well prepared to enjoy yourself! More time to play with oversized go-karts and radios sounds like a fun time.

    1. Some here know, but most don't.

      I'll write the whole story after I've separated from the company.

      Been there since 2004, and it was run MUCH better by Boeing!


Keep it civil, please....

A Bit Of Rearranging In The Electronics Shop

 Since I've been cranking away on projects, I decided to rearrange things on the bench a bit to make it easier to use my test equipment....