"We have to take care of our own."

When Group Leader Ed Keller opted for early retirement, George Kaplan kept expecting to hear the good news from Maintenance Supervisor John McDermott that his promotion to Keller's job was official. But weeks dragged by with no word from his boss.


When Group Leader Ed Keller opted for early retirement, George Kaplan kept expecting to hear the good news from Maintenance Supervisor John McDermott that his promotion to Keller's job was official. But weeks dragged by with no word from his boss. Keller left and still nothing was said. Kaplan, a top rated worker, tried hard not to become bitter. There was no question in his mind that he was the person who was best qualified for the promotion. He was also next in line from the standpoint of seniority. On top of that, McDermott had promised him the job. So what was holding it up?

When he found out, he was stunned to learn that Pat Reilly had been appointed group leader. Barely able to restrain his anger at the injustice, he stormed into McDermott's office.

"What's going on?" he demanded.

McDermott's coolness was in strong contrast to Kaplan's heat. "What do you mean?"

"You promised me that group leader job."

"Oh, that. I checked the records. Pat's performance has been outstanding. I decided to give him a crack at it."

"I'm better qualified than Pat and you know it. I'm also the senior man. You only gave him the job because you are a couple of Irish drinking buddies. It's not fair."

McDermott sighed. "Life's not always fair. I'm sure you understand, George. There's nothing personal involved. You're a good worker, and I like you personally, but a man has to take care of his own, if you know what I mean."

Kaplan's lips tightened. It was a supreme effort not to blow. "Yes, I do." He added, "A man has to take care of himself too." Kaplan took off for Plant Engineer Bill Daly's office.

Question: In Daly's place, how would you respond?

Daly's decision: Bill Daly summoned McDermott to his office and reviewed Kaplan's and Reilly's employment and performance records.

That done, he said, "Kaplan's clearly the senior and best qualified employee. Why did you select Reilly?"

"Pat's done an outstanding -- "

"Bull!" Daly cut him short. "We both know why you chose Reilly. I want Kaplan to get that promotion. All things being equal, the only criterion we accept here is performance. There's no place in this plant for prejudice. I'd advise you to keep that in mind for the future, or you can start job hunting yourself."

Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
September 2018
2018 Engineering Leaders under 40, Women in Engineering, Six ways to reduce waste in manufacturing, and Four robot implementation challenges.
GAMS preview, 2018 Mid-Year Report, EAM and Safety
June 2018
2018 Lubrication Guide, Motor and maintenance management, Control system migration
August 2018
SCADA standardization, capital expenditures, data-driven drilling and execution
June 2018
Machine learning, produced water benefits, programming cavity pumps
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
August 2018
Choosing an automation controller, Lean manufacturing
September 2018
Effective process analytics; Four reasons why LTE networks are not IIoT ready

Annual Salary Survey

After two years of economic concerns, manufacturing leaders once again have homed in on the single biggest issue facing their operations:

It's the workers—or more specifically, the lack of workers.

The 2017 Plant Engineering Salary Survey looks at not just what plant managers make, but what they think. As they look across their plants today, plant managers say they don’t have the operational depth to take on the new technologies and new challenges of global manufacturing.

Read more: 2017 Salary Survey

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
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 Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Material Handling
This digital report explains how everything from conveyors and robots to automatic picking systems and digital orders have evolved to keep pace with the speed of change in the supply chain.
Electrical Safety Update
This digital report explains how plant engineers need to take greater care when it comes to electrical safety incidents on the plant floor.
IIoT: Machines, Equipment, & Asset Management
Articles in this digital report highlight technologies that enable Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
Design of Safe and Reliable Hydraulic Systems for Subsea Applications
This eGuide explains how the operation of hydraulic systems for subsea applications requires the user to consider additional aspects because of the unique conditions that apply to the setting
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