Monday, March 15, 2010

What can Brown do for you?: Just a sort supervisor

Wow, it's been such a long time since I have written a story, I am starting to forget some of them. That's why I started do this, so I would never forget.

So we left off with Dave leaving and us getting a new building manager...again. This time it was Lou. He was an Human Resources guy and came in and actually watched us do our thing for awhile before he made any changes.

I can't remember much about Lou's first couple of days there or even months. I think it was because I was just doing my job in the sort aisle. I had to cover doors 1 - 20 and Adrian have the back 10. Yeah it didn't make much sense to either of us that I had to cover 3 return doors and a sunrise door that fed us nothing but Next Day Air. But whatever, Trevor covered door one by himself (something I never thought possible) and Joe covered the return slide at door 7 by himself. Other than that I was moving constantly talking to P.J. about moving people around.

During this peak season, P.J. had a great idea to "prep" the sort aisle with packages. Meaning we would unload a complete or 50% trailer to put packages in the sort aisle so the sorters would have work in front of them right away instead of waiting for about 15 minutes for it to get busy. Think about it, 15 minutes times 18 sorters? That's 270 minutes saved...almost 3 hours. Nice move on P.J.'s part. It became a daily routine even after peak. In fact, when we went to 40 doors P.J. would usually unload 2 full trailers before sorters showed up.

Now Tom had become a shield for me. I would bitch and moan and he would listen and take it in. I had seen the other side and had seen the lies. I tried to make things better on my side, but it didn't last long. I soon returned to my "us vs. them" mentality.

We also had some new supervisors in the building. One was Ness. Ness was brutal...horrible whatever you want to say that was Ness. He got beat up nightly by the bulk drivers, funny actually. He didn't know how to move people or anything. So I was paired up with Ness and we didn't get along at all. I was constantly moving people for him and doing his job.

So Lou would hit Adrian and me up on sorter testing. He wanted us to test 3 sorters a night and do an OJS (On the Job Supervision form) nightly as well. So one week Tom left for vacation and told me to run both sides, unload and sort. So I was making my moves when Ness and Mike were telling me, no. Mike is a whole other story, so let's just say we didn't get along either. I was moving my sorters to where I wanted unloaders to go. Mike called Lou over to me and tell me who was in charge. I told Lou that Tom had told me to run both sides. Lou looked at me and told me something I will never forget "You are just a sort supervisor. You don't need to care about them." So I didn't.

I'm not one to brag, but I was one of the best supervisors there and knew how to get my sorters to do their best. The week went by and I didn't make anymore calls. The following week Tom is back and Ness is by himself (Mike is back to his area). I move my sorters around open the doors and have doors 1-20 spotless an hour into the sort. The flow per hour was so low on the loadside that Tom & Lou came back to see what was going on. Lou and Tom stepped up into the aisle to see a totally spotless aisle. I was giving 2 sort tests and had given Adrian some sorters as well.

Tom and Lou both looked shocked. I had turned door one into a mini small sort with sorters opening up the forever bags (with NDA envelopes) and sorting them to the belts. The return doors were spotless as well. Tom asked "where is all the flow?" I said I don't know. He asked how many doors had I broken (emptied). I said again, I don't know, but I didn't 7 sort tests and 2 OJS's. Lou came up next to Tom and asked me what was going on with the unload. I looked him in the eye and said "I don't know, I'm just a sort supervisor." He looked pissed as did Tom.

Tom pulled me aside and pleaded with me. He said he didn't know what happened when he was gone, but to please fix it. I told him no, that Lou, Ness, and Mike made it clear I was not in charge of the unload. He told me he would get rid of Ness.

We went down late that day, but true to his word Ness was gone after that day. He went to small sort or somewhere. I ran the sort and unload through peak season. We hit unreal numbers that year. I can't take all the credit though. It was winter of 2001 and our total volume was down due to 9-11. We did smash Pieces Per Hour, which I still believe is because of P.J.'s idea to prep the sort aisle.

Next up...Mike and the two way street.

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