Tuesday, April 15, 2008

H R was giving out pink slips

(Another Turnaround Tale.)

And I was loving it!

I made a big show of walking down the hall, handing employees an 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of pink paper, and telling them, "Here's your pink slip from H R!"

One or two of them actually started to get a look of shock on their faces, but that look was quickly replaced by a grin.

What was going on? We have so many vehicles more than normal in the plant parking areas that we had to assign different parking zones to people depending upon where they reported to work. The folks who work in the Adminisration building were assigned to the north parking area. Each area was color-coded. Guess what color went with the north parking area.

The idea was that in the morning we have attendants at the entrance to each parking area. If you don't have a piece of pink-colored paper (your parking slip) with "North Parking Area" printed on it, you won't be allowed into that lot.

My point is that a huge amount of planning goes into one of these turnarounds to ensure not only that we have enough workers and materials, but that there are extra rest rooms (porta-potties, mostly), wash rooms, eating areas, clothes-changing areas, and other necessary infrastructure and facilities to handle 5-10 times the normal crowds.

Just like a big public event, parking has to be controlled as well.

Oh, and this weekend we had a first! On Sunday, we randomly tested 34 people for drugs and alcohol, and nobody tested positive! (First test in two weeks that didn't result in at least one worker leaving the plant.)

As you can tell, we really DON'T look forward to these turnarounds.

But we don't usually get to hand out pink slips, either.


kenju said...

Hooray for the drug test results and good for you for doing the colored slips of paper to show where to park. Genius.

Karyn Lyndon said...

They sure get their money's worth out of you!

Duke_of_Earle said...

Kenju -- I'd love to take credit for the idea, but all I got to do was gleefully hand them out. Somebody else thought of it. As for the drug screens, I figure that just about the time this turnaround is over we'll have weeded out most of the druggies. That'll be AFTER they've been working impaired out here for a month!

Karyn -- Well . . . I'd like to think so! As my novel's protag said, "Hey, what's not to like? I'm a great guy." (With all due modesty, of course.)