"You're fired!" "I quit!"

When Maintenance Supervisor Sam Sharpin instructed Utility Worker Joe Belson to scrape the rust, apply red lead, and paint the railing in front of the plant, the worker balked.

04/01/1999


When Maintenance Supervisor Sam Sharpin instructed Utility Worker Joe Belson to scrape the rust, apply red lead, and paint the railing in front of the plant, the worker balked.

"Hey, Sharpin, how come I always get the dirtiest jobs around here?"

Sharpin was over his head in work and in a nasty frame of mind. He was not about to get into a discussion with Belson, a chronic griper.

"Because you're not trained to program the computer," he said brusquely. "Get to work."

"If you keep needling me I'm gonna complain to the union." Belson replied darkly.

"Be my guest. In the meantime get your butt on that job or you'll be out on the street."

One word led to another and before long the two men were yelling at each other. When Belson used a profane epithet, it was the final straw for the supervisor.

"That does it! You're fired!"

"No way! I quit!"

Belson stormed out of the plant.

The following morning, Belson found his time card missing when he showed up for work.

"Where's my card?" he demanded.

"You've got a short memory," Sharpin replied. "You quit yesterday."

"You can't take that seriously. I said that in the heat of anger which you provoked. I need this job. I have no intention to quit."

"That's not the way I see it," Sharpin said.

Question: Can Sharpin make his firing -- or Belson's resignation -- stick?

Plant engineer's verdict: "Reinstate Belson with a warning in his file," Plant Engineer Arnold Colin instructed Sharpin when he was filled in on the incident. "Termination is the ultimate act of discipline. Neither an abrupt dismissal, nor resignation, in the heat of anger, can be regarded as adequate cause for so serious a penalty."





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.
July/Aug
GAMS preview, 2018 Mid-Year Report, EAM and Safety
June 2018
2018 Lubrication Guide, Motor and maintenance management, Control system migration
May 2018
Electrical standards, robots and Lean manufacturing, and how an aluminum packaging plant is helping community growth.
April 2018
2017 Product of the Year winners, retrofitting a press, IMTS and Hannover Messe preview, natural refrigerants, testing steam traps
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
February 2018
Setting internal automation standards

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.
click me