Play the tapes

Play the tape.
I can’t do this. But I know who can.
“Well, Robbie, what do you think?”
I’d been at my new job for maybe two years. Possibly free. The man who got me my first job in automotive started to work as an operations manager at a small factory and he called me in to see what I thought.
I saw alot of work that had to be done, and it would be a challenge, but I knew that the results he wanted were not the ones I could produce in the time frame he wanted.
“It’s not for me, but I think I know who can help you.”
I made a call to another friend, and then these two friends met up, and they did a great job turning the plant around. Ultimately, the plant closed, but it was not for lack of effort on either of their parts.
I am sure that if I had of got involved, it is entirely possible that it would have closed earlier and as a direct result of mistakes I would have made.

Change the cassette. Okay. Put in the other one. Play the tape.
I can do this. It’s not going to be easy, but I can do this
“Well, Rob, what do you think?”
It might have been the fourth year of a job that wasn’t new anymore. I had been hired originally as a kind of customer service and production scheduler and the job morphed into production scheduler and then ultimately, I ended up production planning for the bulk of the plant. The presses were left out of it, and so were some other, smaller machines. For a guy who considered himself a kid with barely a high school education, it was kind of daunting. Not sure how it happened, but it did.
Then there came along a new way of planning. Well, a way that had been talked about but not implemented at all. And no one really had any idea where to start.
“We can start with a spreadsheet, I think,” I said.
After that, my spreadsheets kind of ended up taking on a life of their own.

There are an awful lot of more tapes after that. We can play them all, one by one, if you’d like, but the essence of most of them is the same.
I can do that. I can make that work.

This would be the latest one. Play the tape.
This is too good to be true. It’s going to be work, but it’s going to be so much fun doing it.
“Well, Rob, what do you think?”
I’d just had a short tour of a factory warehouse where they housed tens of millions of dollars of inventory caught up in almost a thousand different part references. They wanted to make their schedules better and to break into the original equipment manufacturing market. The bulk of what they did was all in sales to the aftermarket. They had people in shipping, they had people in planning, they had people in customer care, but they didn’t have a department or a department head. They had no measureables and no procedures and were having problems keeping their customers happy. The person who called me to come and take this tour was someone who I cared for and trusted with my life. They wanted to know what I thought.
I started three weeks later. It would have been sooner, but it took a week to get approval to hire me. If I were single, I would have quit my old job on the spot and started and soon as the new job would take me.

This next tape is an old one. Blow the dust off it and be careful. It’s been played alot. Probably once a day for the past twenty six years.
I got an idea. I know it will work.
“Well, everyone, what do you think about the line up?”
It was my second to last year at grade school and I was on the softball team. I loved softball, I really did. Not entirely sure why. I still like baseball. I don’t follow the teams or the players, but I can easily sit and watch a baseball game and get into it like I was in the game. I’d even still go to a live game, given half a chance. Doesn’t matter if it’s pros or amateurs. I love the game. In the summer, I played softball in a league. I went from short stop, to centre field to catcher. I had a decent arm. I could throw a strike from centre field, not needing a cut off man, and I was quick to my feet for my throws to second. I think I even managed to impress my dad now and again.
But this tape was from grade school and it was a Mr. Seguin that was talking about our line up and who was going to play where. He asked us what we thought. This was before I knew the meaning of a rhetorical questions.
“I think maybe you should consider putting so-and-so here and so-and-so there.” I went on to describe the reasoning to my logic. I did it with my Dad and Mom whenever I wanted to get my point across. Sometimes it worked, sometimes they found flaws in my reasoning and I was forced to concede and learn from my mistakes for the next time. Such reason departed me from the ages of seventeen to twenty eight, but those are different tapes.
“Really? Well, I think you should go home and keep your opinions to yourself.” He kicked me off the team and sent me home.
Ultimately, he allowed me to be a sub on the team, and I got to watch him take credit for my idea to switch things up with where the player’s strengths are.

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