Thursday, December 31, 2009


I am on a rant again about responsibility. The production hours at work changed today. A normal start time of 7am was moved to 5am so the operators could get out at 1 and rest up for their New Years celebrations. Very nice on the part of their boss who usually won't allow this to happen. In the past there have been communication issues when hours have changed. Forgetting to notify QC or maintenance of the change and operators forgetting to set timers for the change. I was notified of the change two days ago and wasn't to happy. I only had to work 3.5 hours in the first place and would have liked the extra two hours of sleep, but I complied with the operators wishes.
The four operators that were to work today were the one's that pushed for the time change. When I got in this morning they were all sitting in the lunch room as usual. For the past year or so I've been in earlier then them and have gone and turned on some melters to allow them to start up on time. I told them yesterday that I wouldn't be in until 5, therefore they would have to turn the glue on. No one did. They all forgot. As I went out to turn it on I noticed that the major melters were not running. They are on a clock which should have been changed yesterday to reflect the starting time change. No one did it. This glue takes 1 1/2 hours to heat up from cold. This caused a 1 1/2 hour delay in their start up time. The acting Production Supervisor took the fall for this. I say it wasn't his fault. He notified them that their wishes for an earlier time change had been granted. It is not up to him to make sure the line is ready to start up. These people work on a line every day and know their start times. They tried to lay it on the operator who isn't here today. I say no! One of them should have taken the initiative to make sure the timers were set. He could care less, he's off today. He probably could have looked into it but in the long run these operators should take the fall. This is why their boss doesn't allow different start times. This is why I am no longer a boss...I cannot stand when people cannot take the blame for their own mistakes. Sad thing is that I know come Monday when the Production Supervisor is going through the numbers from today he will announce the delay and stand there and take the fall. Not one of them will speak up and claim responsibility.

Happy New Year to all! May you all have a safe and fun evening.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


That is what my car told me the temperature was at 5:45 this morning. "9". By the time I hit Highway 100 it was 11. The creaking of the frozen porch door told me it was cold. The crackling of my car door when I opened it seconded that motion. Funny how it didn't really feel that cold. Maybe I've become used to the cold. The perk was that it was cold without wind so the coldness just kind of sat there.
When I got to work I noticed the abundance of salt in the parking lot and on the walkways. I think our service overdid it a tad. It may be a good idea for them to spread it out a little more evenly. There are literally piles of salt in some areas that if you're not careful could trip you. I'm sure that at some point this winter someone will be writing up an incident report for unsure footing on the salt.
The birds got me this morning again. There is an evergreen tree close to the side of the building that one has to walk by to get to the door. A flock of birds has made this there evening resting place. Usually they fly out around 7 am. This morning it was still dark when I walked past and I saw the tree branches moving a bit. Out they came. I stopped while they began their flight into morning. I felt a little like Tippy for a minute or so. I'm not quite sure how all those birds fit into that tree but can picture them all huddled together to stay warm. Their path out was not all on the same course so I think some of them were a bit shocked to see me in their way. I'm just glad that I was alone at the moment and no one got to see the show. I see this as being a pay back for my laughter last week when one of the guys I work with was walking past at the time of their departure from the tree. I happened to be outside and got a good laugh at him dropping his lunch bag and taking off with some not so nice words coming from his mouth. A good idea to solve this problem might be taken from Steel Magnolias. Get a gun!

Monday, December 28, 2009

My Shadow

It's a tough transition from being very busy to being idle. There doesn't seem to be a happy medium. I went from going non -stop the few days before Christmas and right up to Christmas morning then it was like all of a sudden someone slammed on the brakes. It was over just like that.
We did have one social event the day after Christmas but it was very low key and was only a few hours. It involved snacks which I avoided and cake which had the yucky whipped cream frosting, so that didn't interest me either.
I am beginning to see the inside of the fridge again. The hash brown casserole is gone, finally. I couldn't eat it again. There's still some dips, polish sausage and cheese & sausage. I need to get rid of some cookies and pretzels and then things will be good. Yesterday I did make another batch of peanut butter balls as they went fast and I'll need them for New Years.
So in all total I had 5 days off. Two were pretty busy. The remaining three were a bit boring. Apparently my husband was also bored as he took to following me around. He assisted with setting up the new printer he bought me and it was then I discovered the poor guy got no toys for Christmas. He received clothes and gift cards. I don't think he knew what to do with himself. That and the fact that the kids didn't get any toys so he had nothing to put together.
This is quite unusual as he usually gets something to putz with. Last night I told him to dig out the beer making kit he got at least 5 years ago and hasn't touched. It was on his list.
I may make a "to do" list for all the idle time he will have.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Taking A Lesson

There was drama this weekend. Some of it started in the middle of my Friday afternoon chocolate dipping. The drama was on my husband's side of the family this time. Things are a mess over at the family homestead and we were called to action. Arnie went first to try to sort things out and make sure that his mother was okay. She's been doing so much better since her hip surgery and this was just a kick in the butt for her. Arnie has a way of keeping his cool and assessing a situation prior to flying off the handle. He's a talker, not a screamer. Because I was in the middle of something I waited until later to take the trip over. This was good as it gave me time to cool down and take a look at the problem at hand.
It appears that one of the kids was dipping into Mom's emergency cash. I feel bad because at first we questioned the amount of money she had. With the surgery and meds she had been on we wanted to make sure she did in fact have the cash. There was enough evidence supporting that she did. The guilty one also fessed up to the crime. My heart went out to my mother-in-law as she's always been there to help the kids. She's borrowed money, charged things and paid for certain things for them , all while being on a limited income herself. This was money she had put away for a trip she wanted to take and just little things for herself. I cannot fathom the hurt she was feeling. The trust that has been lost. This of course affected my sister-in-law also who has just recently had surgery and is in frail health herself. She's right in the middle. Trying to find a reason for this and yet feeling the hurt also.
The story filtered through the family and some first reactions were to pounce on the guilty one. Call the police! I didn't see her the first day but upon my return the second day she was home. We had a talk. I never once raised my voice. I told her that she had to make it right with her grandmother and not just by paying her back. She needed to earn her trust back. She told me she intended to pay her back before she discovered it was gone, but she just got caught up in things. There's no admission of drugs or any addictions. It's just car problems and the fact that she likes to hang out in the bar. She likes to buy drinks for people. This is where Arnie stepped in and talked to her about priorities in life. He had my full attention also. All done without raising his voice. Reminding me so much of when my kids would be in trouble and he'd wait awhile and then talk it out.
On the other hand, we have the brother and sister-in-law that went marching over there the next day and totally screamed their fool heads off at all the kids and the sister-in-law. Threatened to have them evicted and flat out told them they were all losers. We were again called to pick up the pieces. When I talked to the screamer she told me that they needed it. She feels no remorse in freaking out my mother in law, and has now written the family off. Good way to handle don't like it..just write them all off. She was at one time one of my closest friends and I have seen this change in the way she deals with life coming for years now. I will give her the benefit of doubt as her husband has had some medical issues for the past three years. This, I would think, would make her a little sympathetic to the health issues of others. You just don't raise hell in a house with two people who's blood pressure is already being monitored.
I tried to not bawl my eyes out when I got there and found my mother in law in tears huddled up in her bed with no intentions of ever coming out. She had already begun to find a way to begin patching things up with the niece , and although still hurt was defending her. The "take control, and scream at everyone tactics" didn't quite work.
I am guilty of bashing my niece at first. My first reaction. I need to take a good lesson from my husband and take the step back before opening my mouth. You think after 25 years I'd have that downpat.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Stay Tuned

Our "Holiday" Party is being held today. This is an on site party complete with Wii bowling and some game show activities. I would venture to guess that the reason for the on-site location is the budget cuts. Rumor has it that another reason is low attendance at the past Holiday functions. They're usually held at Country Clubs or the ICC and are held on a weekend two weeks prior to Christmas. In 9 years, I've never made one. The company picnic on the other hand is usually more populated. Hence location and it's summer and it's not two weeks before a Holiday. I just choose not to go for my own reasons and don't fault anyone involved in the preparation and planning. I know what goes in to planning a party and trying to make everyone happy.

Yesterday we received a memo with details of the party. One thing that struck a lot of people was the raffle ticket rules. In the past when you attended a function you received a raffle ticket toward one of many prizes they were giving out. This year you may purchase raffle tickets, with proceeds going to a local charity. You must also be present to win with the drawing being at 4:15. There was a lot of barking about that. Quite a few people in our department planned on attending the party until 3 and then cutting out. I have decided to stay. There are some good things at stake here. A 32 inch Sony flat screen HD tv, a Bose home music center, Ipods, Brewer tickets and various gift certificates. For the cost of $3.00 per ticket or 2 for $5.00 you really can't go wrong. Spend $20.00 on tickets for a charity cause and have a chance to go home with one of these things. No, wine glasses are not a prize this time. Even the chance of paying $20.00 for a vacation day is appealing to me. So, I will attend until the end and hopefully go home with something. We'll see.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Charlie Brown Ain't Got Nothin

this is the tree that my husband worked so hard on Sunday afternoon. After positioning it where he wanted it I made him move it to right under the front window. I was afraid that all that hard work would go to waste if some hoodlum should decide to steal it. Here it stands in all it's glory. I may add a decoration or two as Christmas Day draws nearer.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Rembering Randy

One year ago today we lost a good friend. A man full of laughter and with a compassion to enjoy life to it's fullest. To this day I still can hear his hearty laugh. To many times we shared laughter that would bring tears to our eyes.

A year has gone by fast. Yes, it still feels like a few days ago we were chatting on the phone and making plans to get together for a few beers and a game. I can honestly say that not a day goes by that something doesn't remind me of him. There are days I can smile to myself over a funny memory, but also days that I really miss him. I get plenty of hugs from my husband, but he had this way of giving a hug goodbye at the end of a fun night out. He always had all the right words and always made light of any situation.

I know he's probably sitting up there with Big Dave and my brother getting in all sorts of trouble and just having a good time. Probably the last one to leave any type of social event and probably in the middle of a circle of others telling one last joke. Void of any pain and problems. I can't picture him any other way. Probably made supervisor by now.

So on this day I remeber him. I'm a little sad because I miss him. I smile when I think of certain things. I'm still trying to make sense of it. I'm proud of Jodi for being so strong and know she also misses him. Forever in our hearts!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Panic In The City....

Here we go! Will the city shut down? Will school be called off? Will the grocery stores be packed with people in fear of running out of food? It's 2-4 inches possible by midnight. Not that I like snow or anything but it's no reason to panic. Yes, it can cause some inconveniences at times but if you plan accordingly you'll be fine.

I heard the first report around 11:30 stating that the National Weather Bureau had issued a snow advisory. By the time I got out onto the production floor 15 minutes later there was panic in the air. These are mostly people who have lived in Wisconsin all their lives. One guy who's been in Wisconsin for 2 years was calm and assuring everyone that they'd be fine. 2-4 inches. To me that's wimpy snow. I say bring it on! Give us something worth panicking over. No need to rush to the store as I doubt anyone will starve in the 24 hours it would take the city to dig out after a big one. Maybe for some batteries, beer or diapers (if you had babies). Drive according to the weather conditions at hand and all will be fine.

Snow does make everything look clean for a while. It covers up all the deadness of fall. It looks good until the dirt and sludge from the snowplows is tossed onto the clean piles of snow. I am more partial to the big flakes that fall at night. It does have a certain prettiness about it. One that maybe the warmer climate inhabitants could be slightly jealous of. I just hate the cold that comes with winter. I hate the crunch of the frozen snow beneath your feet. I hate the blast of cold that goes down the back of your coat and the tingling of your ears as they begin to freeze. I hate that your face is frozen but your nose will still run. That's not to far away. And to think 3 months ago we were trying to find ways to cool off while camping. Ah, yes, Wisconsin! Gotta love it.

The other excitement at work today was the coyote spotting. For years those of us coming in at 4 & 5 am are used to seeing them. We've gotten to where it doesn't even phase us. Some of the office and management personnel have spotted them roaming our parking lot as late as 8 am. They put out a warning to us. If we see them we should stay in our cars and honk the horn to scare them away. When all is clear you may then exit your car for the building. There is one guy that still rides his bike and he's thinking of ditching that mode of transportation for fear that the coyotes will chase him. I think he should carry a few morsels in his basket and throw them out if they do. At any rate, there are enough rabbits and squirrels around here to keep the coyotes from bothering any people. If they're so worried about the pesky critters then they need to speak to the people at the back side of the parking lot that put food out for the geese & deer. They have created a death trap for them.