Skip to content
Archive of entries posted on

End of Week 1

Now its midnight and I can’t sleep.
So how about I write about something good. Complaining hardly ever helps, right?

All of my insurance benefits kicked in today, for starters.
Health, Vision, Dental, and a ‘free’ Life Insurance policy that Plexus gives all employees.
401K was setup and adjusted. I just need HR to activate the computer access on their end so I can choose what particular funds I want that money to be invested into. I’ve got until June 8th to do that.
Bonus part is that come November I have an opportunity to change my benefits if I want too, so I sort of get to ‘test’ things out now (praying I don’t test out the health plan).
I know I need another eye check and for the first time ever I have dental insurance.

So today at worked I did a lot of follow up stuff with that, but at the same time building management called upon our line to add an extra 3 board assembly/jobs into our rotation – and these boards have ‘urgent #1 priority’. They also come with access restrictions to what data we can have about the project – and pretty much everything is stamped with red ink as it’s a government job. Not only that, but the quality jumps from a class 2 (standard Plexus Quality) to a class 1 (High Quality – a.k.a. ‘overkill and very expensive’).
Got more process experience again, had a chance to sit down and just talk with the various other residents of ‘the cube’ (that’s the name for the engineering cube area on the production line I’m on).

Found out today that the line I’m on places twice as many components per hour as any other line in the building (~14,000 parts per hour on my line, next highest is ~8,000). Our A line places more than most complete lines (Each machine places about 650 components in under 6min, and we have 4 machines per line – yesterday I was the guy that kept those parts coming on the A line).
Our B line places as many as most A lines (For reference, all lines have both an A and a B line, A line is always used. B line is used if the circuit board is dual sided, meaning that components are on both sides).
This line also makes more money than any other line in the building too. 🙂

Had a meeting for the next budget phase – basically what our production line ‘wants’ in the next year, anything over $1000. We want 2 more machines to replace 2 we have now – and these babies are expensive machines I found out today!

I guess I should stop rambling on about my job, I hardly know anything yet really – but I could write far more on this page!

Time to move out?

So I’m considering moving out, and soon, once again. It’s only been a week and a few days and I’m about to go nuts.

Last night I’m talking with some friend on my computer (as usual, it’s how I talk to the vast majority of my friends it seems) and my mom seems to be upset that I’m in my room instead of being bored watching some TV show I really don’t want to watch with my parents downstairs.
I take a shower at night because the bathroom is nuts in the morning between my two sisters. The bathroom vanity covered more cosmetic junk than the Health and Beauty section of ShopKo (I should know, I worked that department for a year).
I go to sleep
I wake up at about 1am to discover my bedroom is about 90 degrees and I feel like I’m going to pass out from heat. Last summer I passed out twice from heat exhaustion in Platteville and I felt like I was about to again. Thankfully I still have all of my fans from last summer – and they were in my room. So I turned them all on high and that helped and a little bit later I was asleep.
I wake up.
My parents pull the one thing that irks me more than anything. I get ‘asked’ to mow the lawn after work by my dad, to which I reply “we’ll see after work” only to have him tell my mom not 60 seconds later that “Marks mowing the lawn after work”. Like usual I wasn’t at all asked – I was told. Ugh.
I go to work. Have a great time.
I go home. I go to my room to change into shorts and sit down for a bit and check email. I got a few that I needed to respond to. My mom shows up behind me and is upset that I’m not mowing the lawn it seems.
I go outside and start mowing the lawn.
I throw on my iPod and crank the music. So I’m mowing for about 10 minutes when the thing is clogged with grass (again). So I sort of yank the mower back over the clump of grass that’s stuck under the mower and then start the thing up again. 20 seconds later my dad is yelling at me for ‘destroying equipment’ (welcome home, by the way) and he pretty much tells me to go away and he grabs the mower.
I think a ‘wtf?’ is appropriate here.
I go inside.
I get told he had a bad day.
Great, he has a bad day, on a Friday, on an extra long weekend. Let me out of here.

I know I’ll get an earful later on ‘destroying equipment’, something to look forward too. ugh.

Working, Friends, & Flags.

So today I started working on the assembly process, which was a pretty neat experience. It looks like I’ll be in a different location for about the next week, so until Friday of next week perhaps.
Today I was at the starting process. From blank circuit boards to nearly fully completed when done. The particular line I worked on was only one side of the circuit board (all of ours use both sides of the boards) with 4 machines that places parts. Each machine places about 600-700 parts each in about a 6 minute process – provided the machines doesn’t run out of parts!
Each machine can have up to 112 different parts ‘installed’ into it, and keeping those parts coming is defiantly a job – the job I was doing today.
The rest of the job was visual inspection of the board before the placing process to make sure it’s clean – and after the placing process to make sure something isn’t messed up.
Clean – no problem.
After – fun problems. Ever try flipping over a part that you need to pick up with a tweezers and place it back where you got it without touching another part? Oh – and the part is about an eighth of an inch square? (The machines placed this part upside down 3 times while I was working today). And with my not incredibly steady [male] hands I now know why the vast majority of the assembly workers are female!
Every assembly worker I worked with this morning, except for 2, were female (out of 20 or so). Most were twice my age, buts that’s not important. It was pretty fun though, and I defiantly learned a lot today.

Been over a week since I left Platteville now, and I’ve heard from 3 people I know from college so far in that time. I’m curious as to how everybody else is doing, I miss them already.

Tonight went to Appleton Memorial Cemetery to help the Boy Scout troop I’m and Assistant Scoutmaster in place flags on all of the veterans’ graves. It continues to amaze me every time I do that how many flags we place – and how awesome all those flags look flapping in the wind when we’re done. Something so many people forget, even today, that war has touched so many lives.
Happy Memorial Day – a few days earily.

First 2 days

Monday
So on Monday I pretty much spent the whole day with Human Resources going threw the basic training and fairly boring instructional things written for the assembly workers (paid by hour). I was one of 4 in the group of 25 or so that wasn’t an hourly worker.
Anyhow, the 4 of us did get a separate session on benefits and how to set that all up that the rest of the people didn’t get (so many choices… insurance is confusing).
After spending was seemed like forever in training we were done, so I was to report to my supervisor in building 5.
Well, my supervisor in building 5 transferred on Monday morning – so with the help of the Site Engineering Supervisor we tracked down somebody to give me a very quick tour of the facility until I could meet my real supervisor on Tuesday – on his second day on the job.
Anyhow, I got to see where my desk will be, very nice. I’ve got a huge workspace – and it’s not really a ‘cubical farm’ at all. In fact the engineer that was giving me the quick tour referred to it as ‘the court’.

Tuesday
So I show up for work and make a nice discovery right away – I can’t get in the building. My key card beeps at the door alright, but the door won’t open.
So after walking to the front of the building and finding the receptionist she calls up security and gets my card fixed in about 30 seconds. Just then another one of the new hires I spent yesterday with shows up – with the same problem. He got his card fixed too, the receptionist said it’s pretty much every Tuesday she has to do that for a few people (New hire orientation is on Mondays).
So After getting into the production area I again get a tour – this time by the IE I am replacing (He’s moving to a new department in about 2 months). And here come the names. Lots of names. I forgot pretty much all of them. I met my supervisor/boos for about 60 seconds, and I didn’t see him the rest of the day (I remembered his name at least!).
So I’m working on the Siemens Ultrasound production line, and boy did I see a lot today.
From how insanely small some of the board components are to how many hours of testing are done on each unit, and so much more.
I’ve already pretty much been told of a project I’m going to be running and I was put on the CC line of about 3 other projects I will be assuming from the man I’m replacing.
Got a computer and phone during the day – along with what will be my standard working hours, 7 to 7:30am to about 4 or 5 every day. I have a daily 7:30am production meeting, so I have to be their for that.

Today was awesome. So many details with the production of the circuit boards and all the issues related to it. It looks like starting next week I’ll be an ‘assembly worker’ for about a week and a half as I’ll get a day on pretty much every machine to find out all the great details from each one. All while attending the various meetings I’ll be going too.
Fun times.

At Home

So, I moved home on Tuesday, only to go back to Platteville on Wednesday with a U-Haul trailer so I could pack up more stuff and the furniture items I had.
So I spent most of yesterday in Platteville or driving.

Today I spent the day cleaning up my room and getting all of my stuff into it. I think I’ve concluded that I’ll have to move out to find room for everything. Well, that’s not so true, just about everything (minus the furniture) is in my room right now and it’s pretty well organized. I still have some more to do tomorrow though.

So tonight I went somewhere I hadn’t been in about 6 years. A Boy Scout Meeting with my old Boy Scout Troop where I received my Eagle Scout loooong ago. I’ve been a registered Assistant Scoutmaster for the troop for the last 6 years, figured it was about time I showed up for a meeting. Ran into 3 people I knew, and they all recognized me immediately as well. So next week I’ll be helping out with the normal thing we did the Thursday before Memorial Day – putting flags on the veteran’s graves at Memorial Cemetery in Appleton.
I hope that I can get involved again, this time as an adult, in the troop again. I had a lot of fun in that troop and I’d love it if I can help out.

Well, time for some more unpacking and arranging. My room is starting to feel like home again.