What to do with a well-meaning joker?

No one is perfect, right? Instrument Repairman Bud Fallon seemed intent on proving this premise. Bud's a nice guy, friendly, cheerful, well liked. But on the minus side he can be, to put it kindly, a pest.

07/01/1998


No one is perfect, right? Instrument Repairman Bud Fallon seemed intent on proving this premise. Bud's a nice guy, friendly, cheerful, well liked. But on the minus side he can be, to put it kindly, a pest. An incurable practical joker, addicted to clowning and horse play.

The problem with people like Bud is that not everyone appreciates their humor. Electrician Grade II, 250-lb Mike Fagan, was as serious minded as Bud was fun loving. Clearly, Bud showed poor judgment in selecting Mike as the butt of his joke. Mike was in a foul mood that day, working on a rewiring job in a hard to access location.

Bud, working nearby, had been needling Mike all morning, the other man growing increasingly irritated. When Bud rubbed sticky grease on the handle of Mike's screwdriver, it was one straw too many. The electrician pounced on his tormentor, wrestled him to the floor, and sat on his face.

Bud struggled for breath, but Mike refused to free him until two men pulled him off. By this time Bud's face was dayglow red. Swearing that he might have been suffocated, he went berserk and attacked Mike with a 4-lb hammer. That's when Maintenance Supervisor Ed Byrne appeared on the scene.

Fighting on the job was bad enough, Byrne thought. Attacking someone with a dangerous weapon, whatever the reason, was grounds for dismissal.

"That's it, Fallon, you've had it."

Stunned, Fallon started to protest.

Question : What do you think? Does Bud deserve to be terminated?

Garfield's decision: When Byrne brought the dismissal notice to his boss for approval, Plant Engineer Mel Garfield tried to reconstruct the incident. His first question was, "What provoked the attack?"

"From what I've pieced together," Byrne replied, "Bud had been needling Mike. When he greased his screwdriver, Mike blew up. He knocked Bud to the ground and, literally, sat on his head."

Garfield frowned. "That's a helluva lot of man to have on your head."

"If you ask me, Bud brought it on himself. Besides, going after a man with a hammer -- how can you condone that?"

"You can't. But we have to consider that Bud Fallon is a long-time employee with an excellent record and no previous violence. His action, while childish, was in no way malicious. I think dismissal's a bit harsh. I'd suggest a week's suspension and warning notice that further shenanigans of this kind won't be tolerated."





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...
Your leaks start here: Take a disciplined approach with your hydraulic system; U.S. presence at Hannover Messe a rousing success
Hannover Messe 2016: Taking hold of the future - Partner Country status spotlights U.S. manufacturing; Honoring manufacturing excellence: The 2015 Product of the Year Winners
Inside IIoT: How technology, strategy can improve your operation; Dry media or web scrubber?; Six steps to design a PM program
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Warehouse winter comfort: The HTHV solution; Cooling with natural gas; Plastics industry booming
Managing automation upgrades, retrofits; Making technical, business sense; Ensuring network cyber security
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices

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 article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me