Worker quits in the heat of the moment: Can he change his mind?

Welder Jim Gordon's problems were too numerous to list on one sheet of paper. He drank too much, smoked too much, and partied too much.


Welder Jim Gordon's problems were too numerous to list on one sheet of paper. He drank too much, smoked too much, and partied too much. Gordon had problems at home, problems with his kids, problems with coworkers, and problems with his boss, Maintenance Supervisor Jeff Cousins.

Most pressing of all was his marriage, which seemed to be falling apart. His wife had threatened to walk out in the past, but had never followed through. One day when Gordon returned from work, the house was empty. Betty and his two kids were gone. No note. No nothing.

Gordon went berserk. He smashed a few dishes and other items. This outbreak was followed by a bout with depression and a sleepless night. Next day, he showed up for work bleary eyed.

Cousins, who was too busy to notice the change in Gordon's appearance and state of mind, and had little use for him to begin with, gave the welder an assignment he didn't like. Gordon started arguing with him.

"I get all the garbage work," he complained.

Patience exhausted, Cousins snapped, "I have no time for you this morning. Either get to work, or punch out."

"Forget it! I quit!"

Cousins grinned. "Hey, that's the best news I heard all week."

The next day, Gordon showed up and apologized to Cousins. "I wasn't myself yesterday," he said. "I didn't mean it when I quit." He explained about his wife walking out.

"I'm sorry about your trouble," Cousins said. "But a quit's a quit. I already assigned someone else to your job."

"You never gave me a chance." Gordon threatened to sue.

Question : Can Cousins make Gordon's termination stick?

Ingram's ruling: "Reinstate him," Plant Engineer Sid Ingram instructed Cousins when he heard the facts of the case. "While it is ordinarily true that a quit is a quit, this case is out of the ordinary. For an employee to make a meaningful decision about so critical a matter he must be mentally capable and reasonably rational to do so. Given the circumstances, and Gordon's state of mind at the time, I would say he deserves another chance."

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...
Safety for 18 years, warehouse maintenance tips, Ethernet and the IIoT, GAMS 2016 recap
2016 Engineering Leaders Under 40; Future vision: Where is manufacturing headed?; Electrical distribution, redefined
Strategic outsourcing delivers efficiency; Sleeve bearing clearance; Causes of water hammer; Improve air quality; Maintenance safety; GAMS preview
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Safety at every angle, Big Data's impact on operations, bridging the skills gap
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Applying network redundancy; Overcoming loop tuning challenges; PID control and networks
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing arc flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical 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 of plant safety and offers advice on best practices.
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