June 18, 2006

A Day at the Office: Character List

Bernardo Bulnes- Plant Manager, Mexican, MIT Masters in Metallurgical engineering. He is the big Guy. He is a nice guy with a funny accent who loves Mexican Soccer. I caught him watching a play by play broadcast of the Mexico world cup game on his computer.

Mike Droszcz- Weird name (pronounced Drosh) but pretty chill guy. I follow him around most of the day. He is 26 years old and is the only other engineer at the plant besides Bernardo. His girlfriend makes him eat healthy. His cat scratched his girlfriend in the face so he missed an entire day of work to take her to the ER.

Eddie- The safety guy at the plant. Ironically, he parked behind a rock hammer and his truck was crushed. No one was hurt. Everyone at the plant got a kick out of it. Eddie was a sport and posed for a picture next to his damaged vehicle.

John (Blaster)- Disgusting Polish blaster who works for Dyno Nobel. He speaks terrible English and favors one leg dramatically while walking. Today there was a small meeting in the conference room with a small bathroom attached. John Blaster walked in and took a nasty dump in it and left the room smelling like spoiled kibosh.

John (Foreman)- Goofy guy who screws around a lot but takes the job seriously. He drives 130 miles one way to work and 130 miles back to his home is Pennsylvania. He only sleeps 4 hours a night yet has the most energy of anyone.

John (2nd shift foreman)- He’s from Pittsburgh but hates the Steelers so I automatically disregard him. Moving on

John (QC Guy)- Intern like me but works for an outside company that does quality control on the products. I have worked with him a little bit but not enough to really know him that well

John (Weirdo)- I’m not really sure what this guy does. I believe he has an environmental engineering degree. He shows up occasionally to do water tests and other pointless stuff.

John (Shop Guy)- Very nice guy originally from Alabama (no accent). He tries to organize the storeroom where all the supplies are. Right now the place is a disaster

Charlie- Nothing too interesting about him. Makes jokes like everyone else.

Wayne- He is probably the most interesting character at the plant. First off, he is very nice because he takes me out for iced coffees and breakfast during the workday. Also, he pays for my lunch on some days. Wayne was a machine gunner on a helicopter during Vietnam. I believe he has shrapnel in his thigh and head. Wayne is always messing around, especially over the radio air waves. He tells me some good stories. He calls me Young Blood.

Sue- The secretary in the office. Very nice woman who is trying to set me up with this girl at another office. Ohhhh Boy

A day at the office:

Most days I follow around Mike. He does a lot of part ordering for the machines at the plant. This sounds easy but there are so many unique machines that require specialty parts that can only be ordered through designer companies. More often than not, we have to go out to the machine and determine what part needs to be replaced. This requires us to look in manuals to find out the part name and number. Other tasks throughout the day include water pumping. There are three or four pounds with pumps moving and cleaning water from pond to pond. Water is then discharged out of the plant when it passes environmental standards. The water must be mixed with a polymer that binds to the mud and dirt in the water. The goal is to pump out all the water on the ground floor. To give you an idea of what we’re dealing with, we discharge approximately 2 million gallons of water per day. Other things I do during the day can involve taking inventory, sitting in on meetings, take measurements, and watch repair projects on some very remarkable machinery. Also, I get to watch production blasts (that means explosions). Basically, my job is to watch and learn as much as I can which is pretty simple. There is a lot of standing and walking so I am usually tired by the end of the day.

In the office, there is a lot of chit chat. Mike and I talk about random stuff including the different places to run and the places to go in the city. Occasionally, a salesman leave baked goods like cinnamon rolls or take us out to lunch to try to get us to buy his products. They’re good, a little too good if you look at everyone in the office. Everyone in the plant has a huge belly. My future isn't looking so thin.

At the end of work I drive back across the bridge to a park and go run. Then it’s my time to relax.

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