Make allowance for anxiety activators

The news came to the maintenance crew as a bombshell. It was definitely scheduled. A date had been set. Some workers clustered in groups to gripe and grouse. Others hit the phones to call their spouses or sound out employment opportunities.


The news came to the maintenance crew as a bombshell. It was definitely scheduled. A date had been set. Some workers clustered in groups to gripe and grouse. Others hit the phones to call their spouses or sound out employment opportunities. Most simply returned to their jobs looking worried.

Little wonder. Employees had been speculating for months about the rumor that XYZ (name disguised) was planning to take over the company. The raider had a reputation for acquiring plants, shutting down unprofitable units, and spinning off other parts for whatever bucks it could get out of it and the workforce be damned.

Maintenance Foreman Tony Russo did his best to reassure the crew. "This is a strong healthy operation. The takeover could even be to your advantage. No point in crossing a bridge until you come to it."

Workers listened to him, but not many faces registered belief. Suddenly Russo spied Electrician Grade I Al Haber heading for the locker room. Haber had been working on a high priority job that was behind schedule.

"Where do you think you're going?" Russo called out.

Haber didn't reply. Within minutes, he was gone for the day. He didn't even punch out.

Russo was livid. "He's gonna get the book for that," he muttered. He filled out a pink slip, suspending Haber for a week for violation of a company rule and insubordination.

Haber returned to work the next day and apologized, but Russo would hear none of it. "We're in a worse hole than ever because you walked out on that job. The suspension stands."

Question: Is Haber's suspension warranted?

Delman's decision: "Change the suspension to a reprimand," Plant Engineer Ben Delman instructed Russo. "From what I know of Haber, his behavior was uncharacteristic and clearly motivated by the announcement. It's only natural for employees to be upset by news that could jeopardize their security. As any psychiatrist could confirm, our built-in mechanism has ways of dealing with strains we find difficult to tolerate. Some seem to cope well with pressures and anxieties; others seem to go off the deep end momentarily.

"Such response is normal and healthy. If we didn't act as we see fit we'd be apt to explode. In your place I wouldn't make a big deal of Haber's response."

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Safer human-robot collaboration; 2017 Maintenance Survey; Digital Training; Converting your lighting system
IIoT grows up; Six ways to lower IIoT costs; Six mobile safety strategies; 2017 Salary Survey
2016 Top Plant; 2016 Best Practices on manufacturing progress, efficiency, safety
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
What controller fits your application; Permanent magnet motors; Chemical manufacturer tames alarm management; Taking steps in a new direction
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
This article collection contains several articles on preventing compressed air leaks and centrifugal air compressor basics and best practices for the "fifth utility" in manufacturing plants.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
click me