Weird and wonderfuck

So, we have this vapor phase oven at work, and recently, the vacuum hood began to raise crooked:

Technician came in, said we broke the pistons due to overpressure…


Yes, you read that right. A 70.000€ industrial machine that supposedly requires an external pressure regulator that the installation technician DID NOT put in.

Because wait…what is THIS for, then?

Apparently, NOT for those pistons, just for the flimsy pneumatic scissor door.

Now, enjoy some damage x-rays:


The Machinist, episode 7: Bycicle Repair Man!

What is hot and has chains?



No, dangit. Let’s see, what is hot, has chains and can hurt you a lot?



Ah, fuck it! I’m talking about a reflow oven!!


The other day we were working as normal (“normality” in my job has some weird meanings, but let’s save that for another bed-time story, okay?). So, my boss had put in the oven a special, humongous (5300x350mm) prototype board, and everything was fine, until the oven weng BANG!

No, literally, the sound was deafening even over the compressor and pneumatic feeders. So, we all ran to the oven, BANG!, tried to figure what was wrong, did the board fell off the rails? BANG! was it stuck somewhere? BANG! none of those where positive, and we figured that the board altough stopped inside, BANG!, was already in the cooling zone, so, we removed it as carefully as we could, BANG!, and performed an emergency shutdon of the core oven. BANG!

While my boss was shutting it down, I notticed that the lateral chains weren’t moving (whereas the central guide chain was). After some more banging (not the right one, sadly) everything was stopped, and I could do an inspection of the mechanism. Everything was oiled or greased, so I didn’t take any photos, sorry. Anyhow, the culprit was something blocking one of the lateral chains, wich in turn made a chain slip, and since the oven is mostly sheet metal, it acted as an acoustic chamber, multiplying the sound.

When I finally got rid of my boss and coworker, who where “trying to help” by being around or in the middle of what I needed to check (they don’t have much mechanical knowledge) I did my thing, and here’s what I found:

Aaaaand that’s it.

I suppose we should lube the chain a bit more, but my boss hasn’t found yet a cheap enough high temperature oil (He doesn’t want to pay 500€ per ounce of special grease either), still, that’s not my problem, I’ll just clean or repair what I can.

The Machinist, episode 6: Third time’s the charm.

This morning, apparently, all the whole idea of me not doing overtime finally sank in with my boss. He had a meeting with our parent company, and it seemed they agreed that an effort was needed. Yeah, because all these months I have been scratching my belly, right? Anyhow, I got to say “I told you [you need someone who’s going to overtime to death, still not me anymore].

I quickly checked that my previous manager still had a place for me in his heart, and basically didn’t give in at the “then [if you don’t overtime] we have a problem” (spoken in a friendly way, not menacing). Since, as said, I’m imprevious to any kind of coercion, as I’ve done way more than enough, I just agreed on his problem and kept working.

Some time later, the Paying Boss from the parent company came to see me. We had a friendly chat, and basically wanted to know what the matter was. He was relieved to hear that I just was done overtiming, but still loved the job. He even agreed that being in my position, he would have made the same decision. I made clear I was ready to be fired, after training my substitute, idea that was met with horror by him. He just won’t let me go, I guess.

So, he wondered if I would agree to continue in an afternoon shift (if multiple shifts where to be created), at wich point I made clear I had no problem with rotating shifts, wich seemed fine and logical to him. Of course, he still had to ask if I would do some overtime once in a while, if needed, that received a sincere “Of course, I have no problem with that, and you ought to know”.

I certainly live in strange and adventurous job-keeping times.

The Machinist, episode 5: Encore

It was clear that my boss hadn’t understood what I meant yesterday (or I wasn’t clear enough), so it was obvious I had to explain myself better.

Me – “Good morning boss”
Boss – “Good morning”
Me – “You know yesterday’s talk? I think I didnt explain myself well”
Boss – “…do explain…” /puzzled face/
Me – /add excerpts of previous post, making it a nice explanation withouth the harsh words/
Boss – “Ah, I did understood you then, you have the same answer, It’s fine, don’t worry”
Me – “But…but…you need someone who is going to do all that overtime…” (remember I’m insane)
Boss – “I’ll find a solution”
Me – “Find someone you like and I’ll train him with everything you have taught me, then [fire me, so I get my unemployment checks] I’ll find my way”
Boss – /dafuk face/ “O no, now you don’t get me, the overtime is my problem to solve, you [have done enough] just do your normal shift, it’s fine” (Basically the usual job I know, normal shifts with some overtime once in a while, the usual wich I don’t mind to do, not the life-killing I’ve been doing)
Me – “Eh……..” /gets so puzzled that goes back to work/

All my life I have stated that my employment record doesn’t have any connection with reality. If we don’t take into account the past four or five months, I live in a world where a job is something you eagerly wake up to, enjoy the day (with normal ups and downs) and after a periodic while, they even give you money!, and extra work means extra money too!.

This morning I was all in about opting-out of my job, brain racing into the mindset of what machines to sell (3D printer), what services to cancel (internet) and planning an ultraconservative way of life to maximize job-finding time, grinding to a halt with a really loud screeching sound, while on the dashboard blinks the message:


As it seems, my employment life-train still runs on rainbow tracks and gets fueled by unicorn shit.

The Machinist, episode 4: Well, I tried…

Wait for it.

But failed.

You might have notticed I haven’t written anything worth in a long while. Four months of 10 to 11 hour shifts (20 minutes to eat dinner) plus 5hour shifts on saturdays have taken their toll on me.

My creativity is gone, also my happiness. I don’t rest well, and I take home the stresses of the day. Summarizing:

Two months ago, my mind failed.

I was so tired, I started riding home (by bycicle) in automatic. It took me a while to realize I was crossing traffic lights without thinking. Luckily, it was late and no cars where around, but boy, that was dangerous.
So, I told my boss I was only going to do 10 hour shifts max + saturdays.

3 weeks ago, my body failed.

I got a severe case of whiplash, or heavy torticolis. Whatever it was, it hit hard, and I took almost a week off, and after that, I’ve been doing regular 8 hour shifts for about two weeks now.

Guess what happened during this 3 week period.

Yes, I began to do things again, started writing somewhat (in my head, mostly headlines and bits of story, but that’s how I often begin). Got to play with the laser and do cool things. I haven’t picked up my bicicle yet, as I didn’t want to strain my neck until full recovery, but I want to ride her badly.

So you know, when I was offered this position, I was told it would be hard, they would expect more from me, yadda yadda…the usual. I expected the extended shift from time to time, one saturday or maybe sunday of work to ship some boards. I don’t mind that, I mentally expected twice the amount of work I did in my previous job.

However, I clashed with an absolute lack of defined job shift, not even defined festivities. Couple that with lazy behaviour on bringing the specialized technicians to teach us the usage of the new machines…and well. This is not something that is going to turn into a normal job anytime soon, even if my boss thinks it will.
Don’t get me wrong, my boss is the best one you could ask for, and that’s the worst part. When I leave, I do so with the feeling that I should stay and do more overtime. I’m a sensible person, and seeing strain in other people’s lifes is just something I can’t help to care for.
But still, this is absolutely not my company, I don’t even have shares of it, I don’t owe them anything to work 60 hours of overtime a month. I get them paid, but I don’t need to earn 2000 euros a month, I need time to do my things.

So, the thought of starting next week with the “normal” shift my ethics require me to do as to keep with the pace of my boss…I…I just can’t get more months of this.

I have the feeling, the strong hard feeling, that I reached the end of the road. No amount of money can pay off for more time of creative mental shutdown. I was good at my old job because I was me, now, I’m just a technician carcass, but the person inside is, or has been until now, in a deep lethargy state. Now that I got up, I’m just not going back.

Just so you get the point, las weekend I had the feeling of having all the time in the world to do my things. I did plenty, I did nothing, I saw friends. I had a normal weekend…for the first time in an eternity.

So, it should not come as surprise when today I told my boss:

Me – “We should have a meeting”
Boss – “Of course, what for?”
Me – “I don’t think I’m the right person for this job”
Boss – /Face of complete desolation/ Takes me apart from the other coworker “Is it because you don’t like it?”
Me -“Oh, no, I love it, but you need someone who will do more overtime than me”

At that point, I’m not sure if my boss understood that I meant that I didn’t want to do any more overtime. Recently I told him I would be soon going back to “normal” (i.e. death by overtime) So he might just have understood I would not do more than 10*5+5 hours per week (total, normal + overtime).
When he got back from dinner, he told me that what I said before was not of importance, and I should not worry.

At the moment of this writing, I must clarify this with him, and I have the firm belief he hasn’t understood that I’m done with all that [crap].

I have worked plenty, I’ve been there in the worst times doing everything possible. I have the sincere feeling that I don’t owe anything to anyone for the opportunity they gave me (and that’s a pretty powerful gun if anyone dares to try to make me feel guilty)

So. It’s fun to write again, even if it’s a rant. XD

Will keep you posted!