Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What can brown do for you? Sup School

Taking a small break in the time line to go back and talk about sup school. I met up with Trevor this past weekend and he reminded me of just how stupid exciting sup school was. We had to go meet at a hotel in Anaheim for 2 weeks. That's not too bad and it was for 5 hours a night (the length of our shift)...ok that makes sense. How about the 7 - midnight time?!?!?! HUH yeah it was the only time available for us, but it could be worse because Trevor went during the 3 - 8 AM time. So here I was going to my last semester of school which ended at 5, then hang out at school for awhile then drive down to the hotel. Oh one last thing, we had to be dressed as though we were going to work...even the shoes.

Now keep in mind, usually they had you wait about 2 - 4 weeks before they sent you so you had some experience going into the training. I was suping for about 2 or 3 weeks before I was sent. So I show up on the first night and when we sat down we were told these were our teams for the rest of the school. Our team was pretty cool. We were all about the same age, except one lady...and I say lady because she was in her mid 40's and she drove daily from San Diego to Anaheim for the class. Apparently, there weren't any sup schools going on down there, and she had another job that she couldn't drive everyday.

It was here at sup school that I really started to get into trouble. I don't know what triggered it, maybe it was the time or the fact I felt I already knew the operation. Anyway, I could talk about the constant bottle of coke and dr. pepper we would drink at night (we got up to about 30 bottles on our table), the getting in trouble for saying "ohhh team 4" every time they did something right, or me changing a screen saver to say "team 4 sucks". Apparently our instructor didn't believe in competition. The way he yelled at me you would have thought I wrote something about his mother.

But I will focus on our computer simulation game...think of it as a really cheap version of the Sims. You had 4 or 5 employees and you just saw their facial expressions. If they were happy they smiled, if they got upset or mad they began to frown...pretty funny actually. Well our group tried our best on day 1. We had to plan out a 5 hour day and what we would do with the employees, and then submit it and run the day. The program would then generate the highest PPH (pieces per hour) , the higher the better. So the next day we were given our results and Team 4 was in first and didn't lose any employees. Everyone else lost one person and we ended up in 4th place. Now this sim lasted for one week and our pph were so far behind I told the team let's just counsel everyone. Now counseling in the game was like disciplining your employee. The other guys were for it, but the lady wasn't too sure. In fact we let her do one hour while we did the rest. BTW, this is where the ohhh team 4 started...our instructor did the classic "maybe you guys could learn from team 4". I hate that crap!

So anyway over the next 4 days we counseled everyone in the game (eventually the lady let us take over completely), we had 3 employees quit. Everyone was frowning except for one guy...he was smiling all the time. We found out later that his character liked to be yelled motivated him. Nice huh?

It was a fun game and I really wish that we could have gotten a copy of it. Oh well. Next time we will go back to my last days of Pen 9 and what helped lead me back to the sort aisle.


Kelvin Oliver said...

Sounds like a very interesting time period. Guess it wasa good adventure or classes for you. I'm sure everything learned is being useful for you today.

Mr. W said...

I'm sure everything learned is being useful for you today.

actually without my 5 years at UPS and coaching I would probably be lost as a teacher. The prep classes they make you take really don't help in the real world setting.