Sunday, July 17, 2011

Column V2.13 - Mr. Tech Service no more

So, while the obsoleted-parts fiasco was transpiring, NO-CS was hard at work disrupting our tried and true methods of Technical Service. I get called into his office in early 2004 and get told (Note: not asked; not ‘do you think this is a good idea?’…) that I am being moved out of Technical Service and into a full-time training role. At the same time, my office will be relocating to the South Campus so that I could be segregated from the day-to-day Technical Operations.
Several things came to mind when I was told this was happening. Not really in order, but: 1] I turned down the Call Center Manager job because it would have removed me from Technical Service; 2] I was NOT a “Training Manager”. Yes, I could DO it, but it was not where my strengths lay; 3] Customers still needed the Service that only I could provide-I would still get the harder calls whether that was NO-CS’ idea or not; 4] the new office location meant doubling my commute distance each way. (the “South Campus” was the DeVilbiss manufacturing plant- about 15 miles from my home in Oakfield. The Jackson PC/Delta plant-AKA: “North Campus”-was 7 miles from my home); 5] Yes, NO-CS is the Boss and he has the Authority to do with me what he will. Was this a good idea? Not in my opinion; 6] I did NOT want to be forced into a “Training Manager” role. Mainly because I had seen first-hand what happens to ‘Training Managers’ when the company belt gets tightened up…they are usually among the first out the door.
OK, so being the trooper I am, I gave it my best shot. My first project was to serve as the Technical Advisor on a repair video for portable planers. It took about 3 days to shoot and 3 weeks to edit and organize, but the final result was a good thing. We sent it out to all of the Service Branches. My second project was to design a Flat-rate manual for woodworking machines. If you know anything about servicing cars, there exists a ‘flat rate manual’ that tells the mechanic how long each job should take. Dealerships use this manual for their job estimates. Up till this point in time-2004-no such manual existed for woodworking machines. That can’t be said any more. I designed it, wrote it, used my 23+ years of working on these machines and created one from scratch. On its face, it might have been a good idea, but NO-CS intended to use it has a hammer over the heads of our Service Branches and Authorized Service Stations. When they happened to send a claim in that was longer than what I had assigned, he was going to reduce the reimbursement rate.

Next week, same time, same place…

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