Work overload for female engineer: Any recourse?

Ellen Kramer was an experienced engineer and regulatory issues specialist. When hired 2-yr before to work under Special Projects Supervisor Jerry Bambers, paperwork had been neglected for years.

08/01/1998


Ellen Kramer was an experienced engineer and regulatory issues specialist. When hired 2-yr before to work under Special Projects Supervisor Jerry Bambers, paperwork had been neglected for years. Continued negligence would have meant major fines and penalties for the company. One of Kramer's chief duties was to straighten out the mess.

She worked hard and made a good deal of progress. One day her boss approached her with a special project he said had to be completed in 6 wk. When Kramer reviewed the assignment she couldn't believe her eyes.

"There's no way this could be done in 6 wk."

Bambers shrugged. "The order comes from the top."

"It's impossible." She urged him to negotiate the time frame. "I'll need 8 wk at least."

"I can't do that, Ellen. An order's an order."

"Then at least hire an experienced consultant to help."

Bambers refused that too. Kramer's first impulse was to quit. But she needed the job. In the next 6 wk, Kramer put in 170 hr of personal overtime including weekends, evenings, and two national holidays. Somehow or other she completed the assignment on schedule.

"I told you it could be done," Bambers said casually, when Kramer handed him the 256-p report.

That was all the thanks or recognition she got. The next day Kramer told him she was suing the company.

Bambers laughed. "For what?"

"You'll see."

Question : If you were in this situation, what would you do?

O'Brien's verdict: Plant Engineer Jim O'Brien summoned Ellen Kramer to his office, and got her story confirmed by hard evidence. He called Bambers to his office.

"I don't know what Kramer's chance of winning might be if she sued. What concerns me more is the way she was treated. I won't deny the importance of getting that report out on schedule, but a consultant's help would have been quickly approved under the circumstances. I'm going to thank Ellen personally for the job she did. I'm also going to authorize an extra week's vacation, and put her in for a $500 bonus in appreciation for her service. Finally, I'm keeping a close eye on you, Jerry. Unless you can humanize your treatment of the people who report to you, regardless of sex, creed, or color, you won't be long for this world."





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...
Strategic outsourcing delivers efficiency; Sleeve bearing clearance; Causes of water hammer; Improve air quality; Maintenance safety; GAMS preview
World-class maintenance: The three keys to success - Deploy people, process and technology; 2016 Lubrication Guide; Why hydraulic systems get hot
Your leaks start here: Take a disciplined approach with your hydraulic system; U.S. presence at Hannover Messe a rousing success
Flexible offshore fire protection; Big Data's impact on operations; Bridging the skills gap; Identifying security risks
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
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
Applying network redundancy; Overcoming loop tuning challenges; PID control and networks
Putting COPS into context; Designing medium-voltage electrical systems; Planning and designing resilient, efficient data centers; The nine steps of designing generator fuel 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 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