Under Control


December 8, 1991 (Sun.): The wife and I took our cocktails and sat by the window, watching the new snow fall. We have a fresh new start with no relocation, and I've got a new project underway. Am looking forward to Christmas and the New Year.

January 9, 1992 (Thurs.): The engineering staff finished the new specifications for the customer requirements. What a relief! The spec is short and the design is simple and beautiful. The customer contacts like the product very well. This is what engineering is all about.

February 12, 1992 (Wed.): Even though the project is already under way, Marketing wants "minor" changes. And Manufacturing is complaining about costs. As professionals, we must respond by editing our specifications and engineering project plans.

April 15, 1992 (Wed.): Hired a new compiler expert. The software load will increase the power needs. Memory space is scarce. My wife is becoming annoyed at the time spent in the shop. Weekends and nights are spend doing design work and I'm in meetings all day.

May 11, 1992 (Mon.): Blew my cool today. Later on I apologized. All that was hurt were my feelings. We have restarted the hardware aspects of the program. The new delivery is 12 months away. Management pointed out that six months have gone by and engineering costs have skyrocketed. Marketing has retained a consultant to help with the project specifications. The manufacturing VP has returned from a long purchasing trip to China and wants a meeting ASAP. Got a little spring fever. Wife is going to spend some time with her mother in the south. Kids and her need the time.

May 29, 1992 (Mon.): Just got out of the costing and manufacturing meeting with four of the manufacturing people. The chips we have chosen do not meet with the new purchasing standards. Seems like the VP got a great deal on obsolete memory chips in China. We will therefor have to increase the size of the package. This will necessitate a package and heat reevaluation. Have not heard from the wife in several days. Am pretty tired. This is turning into the worst project of my career.

June 18, 1992 (Thurs.): Wife and I had a heated argument over the phone until early this morning. She's tried to call for the last several days. Been sleeping at the office and the secretary blocks the calls if I am in a meeting. Marketing called another damn breakfast meeting.

July 22, 1992 (Wed.): My compiler expert quit today. This means a setback in the project schedule. All of us are working half time - 12 hours a day. Jerks in Manufacturing say we must cut the costs 32 percent.

August 25, 1992 (Tues.): Had a long talk with the suits in the front office. They actually took me to lunch. The talk restored some of my morale. May be I went too far. Had two martinis and talked it over with Shirley.

September 25, 1992 (Fri.): The wife is putting the kids into a school near her mother's house. And the specs have changed again. If I ever catch that marketing guy in a dark alley, I'll clean his clock. Management has pulled a design review against my wishes. Took a week to prepare for it. The results will not be available for several weeks.

October 26, 1992 (Mon.): It rained here in engineering land. Again. The customer review turned on us. The user doesn't want the product the way it is configured. To hell with the suits. We need to get this project under way. Dumped a hot coffee into the manufacturing VP's lap. Felt good. My wife's lawyer called.

November 27, 1992 (Fri.): Haven't had a shower for several days. Shirley says that I should take better care of myself. A new project manager has been hired and I am to advise him.

December 15, 1992 (Tues.): Bought the kids some nice Christmas presents. Shirley helped pick them out. I have been served a restraining order to stay 100 feet away from the marketing guy. The new engineering manager is very enthusiastic about the new project. Maybe I should hit him too.

January 20, 1993 (Wed.): Finally quit today. Don't know why I ever wanted to work for this rinky-dink outfit. Am moving to California once we get final settlement on the house. Rumor has it that the projects out there will keep me and Shirley happy. Looking forward to the new start.

As appeared in Manufacturing Systems Magazine July 1993 Page 36

Manufacturing Systems Magazine Articles
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