Two words I dread – “It Just”

Do you ever have this happen to you?

You’re doing your own thing, and someone asks you for help. Whatever it is they’re working on, a machine, a computer program or the computer itself, their car, whatever… it’s not doing what the person expected or wanted it to do.

When you ask them what they might have done, seen, or witnessed to help you figure out the root cause of the problem, the person opens with these two words…

“It just.”

  • “It just stopped working.”
  • “It just started making loud noises.”
  • “It just went boom, and then a piston rod came flying through the hood in front of me.”

There is a sub-category of “It just” you see almost as often.

“I was just.”

  • “I was just writing a report and the computer deleted all the files in the folder.”
  • “I was just shooting the marked target and then I died! My computer must not have shown the graphics of the green fire under my feet.”
  • “I was just standing there and the machine started belching fire and thick, oily smoke.”
  • “The hard drive just formatted itself.”

If you’ve ever encountered these, or if you’ve ever used them, we all know what’s going on.

It’s a way to report a problem while, at the same time, making it clear that whatever happened, dude, it wasn’t my fault. You can’t blame me, it just happened. 

No matter what happened, it wasn’t me, it just happened, I don’t know why, but I certainly wasn’t confused and hitting buttons at random hoping that I’d luck out and hit the right one.

Obviously, sometimes it’s used because the person is so lacking in training of what they are doing that they honestly have no idea how whatever it is happened. You’ve got to feel bad about that, when someone is tossed in the deep end and has no idea what they’re supposed to do.

At the same time, “It Just”… doesn’t that make you cringe?

Have you ever been called to help someone that knows nothing whatsoever about computers to help figure out over the phone why their email “stopped working”?

Or, God help you, their internet?

Or maybe to figure out where the computer “chose to save their files”?

Yeah, I know.

I’ve got one of the most advanced cases of “It Just” here at my plant that I’ve ever seen.

He’s amazing. Truly. No matter what has ever happened, it was never, ever his fault. He has never had anything to do with whatever happened.

This man has the most amazing relationship with equipment I’ve ever seen.

As far as I can tell, all computers and control cabinets, programs and PLCs hate his guts, and they decide, at random intervals, to just hose him.


Mysteriously, the only computers or machines that do so are ones that have some form of operator access, or have set points that can be adjusted by an operator. 

Isn’t that wierd?

There is an extra symptom that is either related to the “It Just” virus and is only seen in the most advanced cases, or is particular to this one person, and that is the “Fault Lock.”

The “Fault Lock” is when the person sees something they think isn’t right, something they think has a fault, and therefore any problem on the equipment, any problem with it at all, must be caused by that one perceived fault.

“This sensor isn’t responding right. I think the sensor is bad. We need to replace this sensor.”

I fiddle with it for 10 seconds. The sensor is responding perfectly. “Nope, sensor is fine, see? Running perfect. On/off, on/off, just as regular as little bacon bits. Let’s see it run so I can figure out what else is going on.”

It’s no use, though. From that point on, no matter what I do, if I do not replace that sensor, every future problem WILL be attributed to the sensor being “just bad.”

But it won’t be said to me. After all, I’m the one that didn’t properly address his concerns.

So this is how it will work. When asked by upper management why the operator level setup is not done or is taking longer than normal, or how the machine is running, the answer will be “We’re having issues because this sensor is just not working right. I’ve made maintenance aware of it but they haven’t done anything about it. It’s not my fault, I told maintenance, but they wouldn’t do anything about it.”

Which of course is usually followed minutes later by the upper boss sending a rocket downstream to find out why maintenance hasn’t fixed this poor guy’s problem, and why is maintenance all screwed up. Those lazy bastards.

It will not matter how many times I try to train this person on how the sensor works, the voltage ranges, the response times, the trigger ratios, the opacity of materials, the set point adjustments, the PLC ladder logic or the sequence of operations. It will not matter that the core issue that I found originally was that something else completely unrelated to the sensor further upstream was wrong or out of alignment.

It’s obviously WORSE if I find something wrong with his setup that was the actual problem instead of the sensor.

It also does not matter how many other shifts ran the equipment perfectly fine with no defects and low scrap rate for a week after the repair. That, to someone with Fault Lock, is utterly irrelevant. The sensor was bad, he knows the sensor was bad, the sensor is still installed, and therefore no matter how well the machine may be running NOW, that sensor is just lying in wait, biding it’s time until it leaps out and BANG!

Or, and this is much more insidious, that sensor seems to be working… but every once in a while, just when you think everything is fine, WHOOPS! The person with fault Lock saw it do something wonky. “There was a bad pouch, did you see it fail to catch that? No? Well, it only happens every so often, if you stand here for only a few minutes you won’t see it, but I’ve seen it do it, and I know that sensor is still bad.”

What matters is, he’s got what he’s decided is a problem, and from then on out, until that part is actually replaced, anything wrong is forever related to that sensor.

Does any of this sound at all familiar? Do you know anyone like this?

I have since learned that, when he calls me out to a machine with a problem, the very first thing I do after having him repeat/demonstrate the problem, no matter what the problem may be or how wrong he is about what’s causing it, is to go to whatever he was blaming, and make a big show of taking it apart and testing the hell out of it. If at all possible, I have to remove it completely and take it back to the shop. Then, I can bring it back and put it back in place, and finally begin actually troubleshooting the problem.

Of course, I can’t say that. No, I’ll be “just looking around to see if there is anything else that could ALSO be contributing to the problem, now that we fixed that issue.”

I have learned to really dread hearing those two words. “It Just.”

I’ve also learned, years ago, that when something “just happened”, never, ever rule out that there was something, somewhere that a bored, lost, or clueless person could change in the controls to cause it. Don’t just automatically start an 8 hour teardown before you check ALL of the control panel setpoints or air cylinder pin valves or proximity switches first.

And never expect them to ever admit it later, because they are either afraid of looking stupid, are embarassed to have done it, or simply wanted to go on break for a half hour while you tried to figure it out.

44 thoughts on “Two words I dread – “It Just”

  1. I only have one thing to mention about this topic. I have met and married the one exception to the rule.

    Okay, now here me out. My wife, finally decides to start playing wow. I buy an old computer from my cousin who used to play WoW on so I am certain it will work.

    A couple of days into it while playing the game, her comp just freezes. No explination no nothing just freezes. After hitting the windows button and then returning to the game it is fine. This begins to happen rather often to the point that she cannot play the game. To fix this we buy a new video card and put that into the computer. Still same result the comp crashes when ever she goes to play WoW.

    So for some reason I decide to buy a new computer just so che can play WoW. I go out buy a nice new computer with similar specs to the current one that I had been using. Put in the new very capable video card and as soon as she logs on and starts playing “Bam” it freezes again. The same exact thing as before.

    Dumb founded she gives up on playing wow believe she is cursed.

    Finally when we began to save up money, we decided hey lets go out and buy matching his and hers laptops, then she can give wow another try. We go out drop quite a bit of cash on these comps. We bought higher end models not the Top of the Line gaming ones but very capable ones. Both are bought at the same exact time right away we fired em up downloaded WoW on to both comps and no sooner the five minutes in her brand spanking new lap top freezes. To this day she still struggles with it and I have done every thing possible to resolve it.

    I am dumb founded, I racked my brain trying to figure out where its going wrong and how in the world can some one have the same unexplainable issues with 3 different computers especially when I have an identical one and no problem.

    Any ideas?


  2. This just happened at the office today. I walked in from a meeting. One of the ladies comes out, all in a lather…”I was just scanning something and the whole machine just stopped working! I’ve got to get this contract out right now!” One look at the scanner/copier showed me the “something” was a stack of about 50 pages in the middle of which was 5 pages stapled together. Surprisingly the auto-feed on the scanner does not seem to like pages that are stapled together. Go figure.


  3. PS…..

    My favorite one……..” It just stopped running….” ………the rest of the story… “…after I tried driving quickly through a stream up over my hood with a cold air intake installed that was pointed down, a foot and a half below my hood line, and sucked up water into my Hemi.” …….good thing Daddy paid for it… $$$


  4. I feel the pain BBB,

    I’m an auto tech………and we get the “well I just had it in for service and now xxx doesn’t work…” xxx= part of vehicle no where near what was serviced, has no physical connection to anything serviced, or isn’t on the vehicle what so ever.” well you guys must have done something while the car was here” ………riiiiggghhhttt….cause thats what I do all day…..screw with stuff to get people back that are now pissed…to then fix said problem for free (cause my manager gives EVERYTHING away) and make no money off said job. If said vehicle has a faulty whatever… WILL NOT do it for me or any other tech….ONLY the customer will ever see/hear/notice the fault…….and believe it or not anything with any kind of electrical genie smoke can and will spontaneously stop working…..just because!!!…or because I did something to it as part of my plan to take over the world!!!! muhahahahaha…..ahem…! …and on the other note……they call that funny book/dvd/cd an “Owner’s Manual” for a reason……like, …..I don’t know to read about your product/vehicle/whatever…and how to use/operate it… will tell you what that annoying blinking loud noise/light is for… really…it will!!!! ……breath……..ok…./rant off

    Thanks for the hoots BBB 🙂


    • I had that in reverse as the consumer… had my car’s AC go out, took it in, pointed at the thing and said “it leaks, I need a pressure test, leaks repaired, and a recharge. We ended up paying something like $2400 to get my AC fixed at the end of fall, ran it over a singhle winter (for those that don’t know, your car DOES run the AC over the winter, it’s part of the defrosting system, removing moisture from the air), and by the time spring came around, hey look… no AC, no charge. I took it in, and they didn’t want to cover it in any way. ‘We charged it up, if it’s bad now there’s any number of things that could have gone wrong with it, and whatevers wrong we didn’t touch.”

      I went off on them, and felt entirely justified in doing so. i didn’t ask for a charge, and i didn’t pay only for a charge, I asked for the pressure test to be done and all the leaks identified and sealed. That was the task, that’s what I was there to pay for, and I sure as hell wasn’t gonna spend another $2400 to have them do it all over again, which is what they wanted. In the end, they fixed the last couple of leaks, and I payed for the new charge at cost. Mistakes happen, but I know what specifically to ask for, and if someone cuts corners but charges me full price for it, hey, If the job wasn’t done right, I’m not going to eat it.


  5. It also sucks to be on the other side of this though, to be the person whose machine genuinely isn’t working as it should but you can’t prove it to tech support. I had this problem with my old internet provider for a long time, I had no idea whether it was something with the modem or the connection or what… but it would often die for no reason that I could make out, stay dead for hours despite of restarts etc. – then I’d call phone support and it would suddenly come back on or the guy would say that he couldn’t see anything wrong with it from his end even though I had no connection. They refused to send a repairman over for ages because of this, and when I finally got one, he tightened a screw somewhere (aka I have no idea what he did, but it clearly wasn’t overly complex) and I never had a problem again. And yet they strung me along for months just because they didn’t believe that there actually was a problem!


  6. Of course you didn’t touch anything. Of course there’s no error message. Of course the VCR is supposed to blink “00:00” and that’s normal…

    I don’t work in manufacturing, I work in IT, but I swear we have those precious and wonderful people too. The difference is, I can’t fire them. They’re our “valued customers.”

    – I get an email that “our Internet is down”. Really? How did your email get here? Osmosis?!!?!
    – Of course I get those phone calls with “Hey, I just wondered, this thing isn’t working, and… nevermind!” (Ah, you found the “OK” button. YOU GO!!!)
    – And those special types (usually male) that go “I KNOW ABOUT COMPUTERS AND NETWORKING, I WORK(ED) IN IT, AND YOU CAN’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO”. Sure. If you’re such a wizard, why the heck didn’t you get it to work, and why didn’t you think about following the 3-step printout? Thanks for paying the bill that I’ll send to you for “reading the manual back to you, ensuring you follow all the steps this time”.

    But what takes the cake are the “Hey, I should’ve gotten an email from XYZ and it’s not here yet.” So I dig through logfiles and spamfilters and all. Oh, look, they hadn’t sent it yet when you called. Oh look, you received it 3 minutes later. Thanks for NOT letting me know, so I could waste an hour digging through all kinds of obscure log entries!

    Don’t even get me started on the “Oh, I got that email from ABC about 6 months ago and deleted it , your server still has that, right?”…

    A carpenter has to learn how to use their tools. Why is it acceptable for office folk to be clueless about their tools?! I mean, just imagine:
    “These nails don’t work”
    “How’s that?”
    “See – the flat end is against the wood, and it’s too hard to hit the pointy end with the hammer”

    “Maintenance broke my saw. Ever since they were here, the saw’s pointy things are on the top. And the handle hurts my hands now”

    Sorry. Rant over, and the bars are still closed 😦


    • oh you have reminded me of one of the husband’s experiences doing tech support … dealing with a ‘it just …’ call running trouble shooting when the caller commented … ‘yer … it’s really odd, I can’t get my radio to turn on either and the aircon’s been off for hours’ …. his response … ‘is the power on?’ … ‘oh no’ she replied ‘it has been off for hours, but I still can’t get my computer to work’.


      • Oh yeah, I’ve hear of those kinds of calls. Like, the person is sitting at their office on their cell phone in teh dark, wanting to know why the computer isn’t working.


  7. On the flipside, I’ve run into several occasions when the codebase under the project I’m working on actually *does* change, and it promptly screws up a variety of things in new and interesting ways. That’s the problem when many wheels are turning in the production pipeline; too many things are interconnected, and you may never know something is going to break until it explodes.

    A hapless artist like me with no debugging tools won’t know what the heck is going on and why the dumb thing isn’t working like it did ten minutes ago. I just synced to the latest data like we’re supposed to, and BOOM, the program crashes. Since I never had my fingers in the programming pie, it wasn’t my fault. This is especially pernicious when the underlying errors work well on the purveyor’s machine and they aren’t even aware that they broke the game.

    I’ve learned to dread that: “It works on my machine”


  8. Oh my gosh… although I am not a completely computer-dumb, I think I do this to my husband (a very tech savy IT master) ALL.THE.TIME. I’ll have you know that I’ve linked this post to him and appologized profusely. I think I know ‘just enough’ to get myself into trouble… and when I hit that trouble it’s always, “Oh crap… hey babe…?” I truely think he dreads that just as much as than the ‘I just’ that he knows is soon to follow…


  9. I’m a systems engineer at a cable company, I work with our network monitoring system, IP management system, and a few others, and code scripts that help them interact, amongst other things. While some of the systems I support are accessible to customers, for the most part my group’s “customers” are other employees of our company – we support the tools they use.

    Our general motto, whenever somebody has an issue, is this: First, we will attempt to reproduce the issue on our own (or prove that it occurred at the very least, depending on the exact issue, so that we can do something to watch for it/track it in the future). If we cannot, we will go to that person and have them attempt to reproduce it or show us exactly what happened. If that doesn’t work, it is not an issue worth us dedicating time and energy attempting to fix. They are told to get a screenshot if it happens again and send it to us.

    Works fairly well, and also ends up with a fairly large quotient of the FM principle. What’s the FM principle, you ask?

    Other person: “The system isn’t working!”

    Me: “Seems to be working on my end, let me walk over and watch your issue.” Walk over to him.

    Other person: “Oh, it’s working now! How’d you fix it?”

    Me: “F%$@ing Magic.”


    • Ah yes… the “It wasn’t working, now it’s fixed, what did you do?”

      I usually just tell the person that the machine is afraid of me, it knows what I’ll do if it pisses me off. Then I tell them to call me if it starts getting uppity again, and I’ll put it in it’s place.


  10. hmmm I had that happen with a washing machine … at least it was not a computer? I swear I cringed and tried to crawl under it when the conversation ran.

    Me: ‘I’d like to get someone to come over and look at my washing machine’

    Guy on phone: ‘What is wrong with it?’

    [Me tried to crawl under nearest rock in shame]

    Me: ‘It just wont work.’

    Guy on phone: ‘I need to know more, does it make strange noises, not drain … ?’

    Me: ‘No, I finished a load as normal, nothing odd in its performance, put the next load on, pressed the start button, as normal and … nothing happened …’

    [silence on phone]

    Guy on phone: ‘I’ll come over’

    …. some days later …..

    [Guy standing in front of my washing machine looking completely bemused]: ‘You are right … it just doesn’t work!’

    Problem did end up getting fixed.

    I still felt like a pillock.


  11. And on the other end of the conversation, “Oh, it just started working again, nevermind.”

    (ie, whatever you did to help over the course of the last hour didn’t actually help.. it just spontaneously righted itself, just as mysteriously as when it just stopped working in the first place)


    • Amazingly enough, I don’t see that at work all that much… because they’ll sit on the problem, progressively making it worse and not producing a product, for hours before they’ll admit defeat and call in maintenance.

      Except for my main dude, who will call maintenance if he thinks the mahcine he’s on is thinking dirty thoughts.

      “It hasn’t done it for a while, but 6 hours ago I think that arm wobbled when it inserted that spout. I need maintenance to take the machine down for the next 4 hours to find the problem.”


  12. Heh. My habit of using brokets gets me again. Around “I’m not an illiterate banana bandit” should be (mute switch) and (/mute switch).


  13. “That’s just wrong… to be in a position where the brainless git is your BOSS.”

    It’s not just cream that rises to the top.

    I to tech support for a living. The ones that make me want to bang a head on a desk (Mine or theirs, whichever) is “What is the error message you’re getting?” “I’m not getting an error message. It Just doesn’t work.” “What does it say on the screen?” “Error message, user is a monkey”. I don’t mind helping people with legitimate problems. Ka ka occurs sometimes, and things really do just stop working. But when the error message says “You put in the wrong password”, I don’t want to hear your theories on why it isn’t working. The program is telling you why it’s not working.

    When I worked for a big blue Three Letter Acronym company, back when Symantec was still Norton, they had their own antivirus program. Very simple controls. It would pop up a huge window covering most of the screen, with a huge button on it that was a quarter inch smaller than the window, that said “CLICK HERE TO SCAN”. That was the only control on it anywhere…

    …and people still didn’t know what to do. They’d call in a panic, “It says click here to scan! What do I do?!” “Move your mouse over the button.” “Ok…” “Now press the left mouse button.” “Hey, it’s working! How do you know all this stuff?” “I’m not an illiterate banana bandit.” “I’ve been doing this for a while.


  14. Employees of a very large software company in Redmond, Wa are given out a set of special cards each quarter. The card has the number to a high priority help line and code. The code is good for one issue. A friend as a problem with Outlook deleting all the emails from their boss, give them a card. I’ve heard these can be especially helpful on planes after your neighbor asks where you work.


    • oooh….. okay, now I know what envy feels like.

      “I’m sorry, but I simply can’t help you with your problem. BUT, I have here a card. This, this is that famous card you’ve heard of so often before. All those times when someone has told you, go tell your problem to someone who cares, well this…. THIS is the phone number and special code to that one person who cares.”

      “Give them a call and leave me the hell alone.”


  15. Oh man I feel your pain on this one, I spent thousands on a server once because the boss of the company thought he new exactly what the problem was and nothing I said would change his mind. As the system was off of warranty and was the only one that did not have a contract (per him of course) 4 days of coming out there with every part he wanted till he got fed up and left me alone. I completely replaced the guts of that server – lol. Then I promptly replaced the bad power rail for the drives that I knew was the problem. God me and their IT guy were laughing about it for months.


    • That’s just wrong… to be in a position where the brainless git is your BOSS.

      Oh wow. I’d freaking quit. I couldn’t take it. there would be blood on the walls, man.


  16. Yeah I encountered them all the time when I was in IT, and still get it because I’m the family’s “computer guy.” Even my above-average-in-technical-knowledge wife gives it to me sometimes. I’ve gotten it so much, that I reflexively fire back without even thinking, and in a very skeptical tone, “What do you mean, it just…?”

    Some of those people get the message right away that I’m not buying what they are selling, and start fessing up details. Some try to play a game of chess with me, only giving me the details they deem necessary to fix the problem, until I show them the logs and have them red-handed. Others, will take to their grave any information they know that might help me fix their issues. Even when I open the logs and/or history and find apps they shouldn’t have installed, or websites they shouldn’t be visiting they deny it. I’ve “fired” a couple of family members over this, after repeated times fixing the same problem. I’d install virus protection, install another browser other than IE, etc etc. They’d turn it all off and get a virus again. Finally said they can start paying for their service, best buy charges $75 bucks just to look at it, have fun, and good luck having them fix it.

    I’m now an engineer that designs products that get assembled and get the “It Just” ppl on the floor. I’d probably be your best friend BBB. I’ve gotten a couple of those ppl straightened out or fired. It’s amazing what a graph can do. The operators have to log into their test racks, and product is tracked through repair. So a simple pull of data from the database, some simple excel wizardry, and a nifty graph can make it very easy to understand where the real issue is. Having a graph of errors and yields when the “it just” person is working vs. not working has an amazing effect on management. They love charts. Actually they love visuals. So next time some idiot ruins the 2 spare parts you had in stock before calling maintenance and management wonders where they are, simply pull out the 3 ruined parts and place them in front of the manager and say, “Right there. Those two were in perfect condition when I left yesterday. Now they aren’t. I, as much as you, would love an explanation as to what happened.”


    • Oh, I’ve done that. Over and over. But Thromean pretty much pegged it. You get what you pay for, and I don’t care how bad the economy is, you don’t get experienced equipment leads with programming knowledge and actual intelligence and mechanical aptitude, with experience and common sense, for $8.25 an hour.

      So…. after proving that the machines in his department work 124% more efficiently and with fewer breakdowns when he’s on vacation… they posted for more operators for his position for a year. And never got one at the wage they’re willing to pay.

      Talk about job security. “I’ll never be fired, no matter how much I suck, cause nobody else will take this job.”


    • you know execs love charts and visuals? it’s so they don’t have to think very hard. Tech writing class I took in college said to write all technical reports for executives at a 3rd grade reading level, and even then that might be too difficult for them. I firmly believe in the peter principle, people will rise to their greatest level of incompotence. If you do your job, do it well, long enough you will get promoted into a job you can’t do.


      • Or be given so many tasks that eventually you just can’t keep on top of them all… and your superiors fire your ass and go looking for “another monkey that can pull a switch for $8.50)


  17. All I can say is LOL. I work in a print (embroidery, sign, shirt… you get the idea) shop and run into similar issues. With us its usually the Xerox tech telling us that our paper is bad. A million and one reasons… this paper is too dry, too humid, too much static, was produced during the full moon… We get the same song and dance every few months. I want to tell him, “Just change out the paper feed rollers like you did last time.” But if I’ve learned one thing in life you never want to offend your cook or your service tech.

    Of course this takes him all of 10 minutes to switch out. But he then spends the next hour or two doing “preventive maintenance” so he doesn’t have to run to the next call. Blah!

    My favorite phrase around here is “It’s a simple job…” That’s when I cringe and just know it’s going to be some sort of crazy obnoxious order. I spend more time repairing customer artwork than actually doing designing work.


    • I stopped badmouthing copier techs the day I saw what people DO to them and then expect them to always work perfectly, always sort, always staple, never bind, never jam and always be clear.

      The day I watched someone make some copies, check the warm sheets off the press, make touchups with liquid paper to the original and form feed it again was teh day I stopped giving them shit.


      • What kind of print work do you do, Chawa?

        AND… why haven’t you updated your blog! Hmmm? I check every day, and no Chawa!



  18. Bear, as a computer programmer/developer we always had a saying “Don’t doubt the code.” There would invariably be a time when a user would say, “It was working yesterday and just today it’s not. You must changed something…”

    Now why I would go and make changes on something that’s WORKING!

    So after investigating the matter, it always came back to the corrupt file/data the user was trying to load. :


    • Lol…. yep, that’s another one… “Maintenance was in there yesterday, so they must have changed…” That’s another huge one.


  19. I personally can’t stand when you repair an issue, and for weeks afterward any operator error or system failure happened because you fixed some trivial issue a few weeks prior. Not becuase the keyboard is unplugged.


  20. As I also work in manufacturing, I have seen this a million times. Its a “bad” program, It’s bad workholding, It’s a bad cumulonimbus cloud floating over the factory. If you put any kind of control where a person can reach it, they, after standing in front of it for any length of time, will change something. Sometimes it will be an short term improvement, but with a long term consequence. We are producing product 20% faster! Yay ME! Oh but that darn programmer picked out the wrong tools because they are only lasting 50% of the required time.

    After a machine crash, and hearing “IT JUST CRASHED, AND ALL I DID WAS HIT THE START BUTTON”, and after it had been running for weeks safely, all you want to do is break some one off at the knee caps. One of the great things about modern computer controlled equipment, is that they have a “truth” table. It shows all of the key presses made on that machine for the last several months. So you can go back and see what they did. Then you can tell them the true reason that they let out all of the magic smoke that keeps the machine running was that they were an idiot.

    Or when I am running a job and things are producing, but then since I cant work 24/7, the job gets handed to a guy who is doing well to have figured out that shoes are not the same as gloves even though they both cover those things at the end of your limbs. “Production goes down 30% during second shift why is that?” Because you can’t find some one willing to work for 8.25 an hour who gives a $%^& ?

    My best line while working for a company was in response to a question about improving production and reducing setup times. I told the VP that our company motto should have been: “Tell me what you need, and I will tell you how to do without it. ” I was gone a week later.

    I feel your pain BB.


    • I wish you worked here, it sounds like we’re Bears of a feather. Or something. At least, I bet it would be fun to have a beer with ya.


  21. I keep a stock of spares just for “that guy”. I will pull the (insert name of component here) and head to the shop with it.

    I will grab a coffee while I clean up the perfectly good part I just pulled off, and swap it out with the other one I pulled off last week. (this person has like 4 parts they rotate through) While I’m back there I grab the actual part that needs replaced and bring it out to swap as well.

    Thank god for modular designs. Makes swap out time almost a non-issue.


    • Well, all I can say is (insert raspberry here).

      Most of the equipment we work on is made overseas somewhere, has no parts support here, and lead times are 4 to 6 weeks…. when it’s not 3 to 5 months.

      Now, I do my best to foresee problems and make predictions and get parts in BEFORE they break, meaning I ordered parts at least 3 weeks or more before they were needed, but there is always that day where some BLOODY IDIOT has a cylinder shaft get bent, replaces it with one in spares and then gets THAT one bent immediately because the stupid son of a goat didn’t bother seeing what the root cause was (because, you know, linear shafts just bend themselves), and then they break the OTHER TWO SPARES TOO.

      And of course I walk in in the morning to be greeted with “How fast can you get spares in the machine is down and we have no parts, why didn’t you have parts for this”… and I go, whoa, back up cowboy, what the f&*^ do you mean there are no parts? I just got three in.

      Oh, your idiot systematically destroyed ALL THREE SPARES before calling maintenance? When they should never have touched it in the first place>?

      Why do you think that is… maybe because THE MORON BROKE THE FIRST ONE AND DIDN’T WANT TO ADMIT IT?


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