Pure Gonzo Engineering

Thursday, April 23, 2009

You will be informed on Friday if you still have a job here.

For a while I thought Wall Street ran our company. We made stupid fucking decisions for short term gains. OK whatever, I can roll with stupid decisions.

So we announce a loss for the first time since '92. BUT if you take out the cost of restructuring the company we actually made a profit. Sales are only down like 22%. Really not that bad. Wall Street agreed, our stock went up the last two days.

Today we had a meeting letting us know R&D was thinning the ranks by 5-10%.

We'd been safe thus far.

Through the fear during the speech came the loathing.

Don't ever tell me your process for getting rid of people is "benevolent". Gods are benevolent, you're just people acting in your own self interest so you don't have to cut dividends.

Don't tell me not to worry because 90% of us are safe. I'll keep that philosophy in mind when I'm handed a 10 chamber gun with only one bullet in it and told to put it up to my head and pull the trigger.

Especially when you give us till Friday between 8 am and 2 pm to try and justify in our own minds why we won't be chopped. (My justification is that I'm working on the highest selling bulldozer in North America. That makes me valuable right? It should help me sleep tonight at least, and maybe tomorrow night.)

In a truly Orwellian moment during the speech an individual said that 9 X 4 was 38. No one really said anything. A few of us looked at each other. These people get to decide if we eat steak or the discounted ground beef that is 65% fat next month. Maybe that equation works out if it's in millions or billions, I've only got an engineering degree though so I may be wrong.

In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality, was tacitly denied by their philosophy. The heresy of heresies was common sense. And what was terrifying was not that they would kill you for thinking otherwise, but that they might be right. For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable—what then?

or in this case 9*4=38

I'm scared.


Monday, April 13, 2009

And who do you think you are, Sir?

I forgot how frustrating and difficult my job can be. In the shit. Slangin' hydraulics. Breathing smoke.

I wanted to start early today, but you can't get a fucking thing done before 8:30 because of safety meetings and trying to hitch a ride to the test site in the fucking downpour.

I get my shit going, and I'm feeling pretty good. I need to get a pump adjusted. Turns out this pump is located in the belly of the beast and is nearly impossible to get a wrench on for my poor mechanic. Each adjustment takes about 30 min to determine how the pressures and fan speeds have changed. There are also two pressure settings that need to be altered and one affects the other. Turn one up and the other goes up also. Get one set and the other is fucked.

5 hours later and I think I've got it, and my software to interface with the machine goes crazy and I need to have IT fix it for me. They reinstall it because they have no idea what is going on with it either. By this time 1st shift is over. No more mechanic. I check my pressures and they aren't right. One day to set a pump, and I couldn't even get that done.

Tomorrow is another work day, however.

Swim lessons with the boy tonight were good though. His enjoyment and the warm water pool made the stress go down.

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