The job that’s paying the bills… more about my aerospace experience

26 Jul

So it’s been four months since I’ve been back on the job (5 months total not counting a lay-off period inbetween). This job pays the bills, and that was what it was intended for. I wanted to amass as much woodworking toolage (sure it’s a word… ) as possible while building experience on the job to boot.

But truthfully I’ve been trying to figure out how long I want to keep this job. I haven’t been all that happy. I’ve been yearning to start my own woodworking business ASAP, but recent events may change my mind.

Nothing but the truth…

These past four months have been spent at one station, assembling drawers for the kitchen area of private jets. This entailed many procedures that got carried out over a jam packed six day period- then it was on to the next jet’s drawers. Each task was written in a chart. The amount of hours given for each task on my chart seemed to never correlate with how long it took me to accomplish each task. Over four months I grew faster, but still not fast enough for the charts. I was delivering the finished drawers behind schedule each week. This grew more and more frustrating. I had positive feedback about the quality of my work, from several people but I somehow couldn’t find a way to keep up. I wasn’t alone. My station was shared with another person on my shift, plus two people on the day shift. All of us were struggling. I worked myself ragged some days- advil and ice followed. Sometimes we would even get help from other very experienced woodworkers in our section- I noticed that they too could not work at the pace the chart demanded. Finally we had a two our meeting with the fellow that created the chart and he agreed that changes needed to be made.

The shift…

Several days ago we started a new jet that was to have the amended chart with more realistic hours for each task. But that same day I was switched over to another station, as were four other people in our section. I was disappointed at first because I wanted to prove I could turn around the drawer station- especially with the new chart. But the higher ups had made their decision.

Hind Sight…

I’m now working on a totally different part of the kitchen. I’ve had two days of worry-free bliss compared to the station I’d been frantically struggling through. Both days so far I’ve been able to do the work assigned in the time assigned, and even a little under schedule. I can’t believe the difference. I have the sense that I had been dropped into the worst possible station right out of the gate. Aerospace work doesn’t resemble traditional woodworking in the least, so in this case learning your abc’s is hard enough without being asked to then transcribe a dictionary. Short of growing two extra arms I don’t know how I could have done better than what I was doing. No wonder I was so stressed all the time. I had no idea just how bad it had been until I started this new station of sunshine and lolipops. My attitude towards my job-that-pays-the-bills has improved ten-fold. It feels good to breathe again.  So… yeah I might stay a while longer… I’m still not sure how long, but longer than before the change in stations- that’s for sure.

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2 Responses to “The job that’s paying the bills… more about my aerospace experience”

  1. Megan Rain July 26, 2012 at 9:10 am #

    Sam, I’m so glad you were moved to another station. But you didn’t tell us what you are DOING at the new station. Would it ever be possible to post pictures of the aerospace work, or is it all under wraps?

    • Warped Boards August 5, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

      It’s kind of hard to describe and pictures are probably a bad idea… but I’ll ask around at work

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