Hello from Scottsburg, Indiana
Thursday morning – March 3, 2022 (First post of this travelogue)
I am in Scottsburg to teach a three day Mechanical Drives Class for NTT. I have been staying at a Holiday Inn Express property just off I-65 and just across the highway for the class location (Google Map).
When I accepted this assignment a couple of months ago, Pat and I got excited about driving here. Well those plans turned to mush when the weather got very marginal. So at the last minute I booked a flight and came on my own. The decision not to travel by car was probably a good one, but right now the weather is great both here and at home.
This was a very unusual class. It was arranged through a continuing education arm of Purdue. The facility that the class was held at is community vocational training center. The actual customer was Morgan Foods who are vendors of canned soups to WalMart (and others). They are a family owned business that been in existence since 1899. The unusual part of the class was the fact that all of the students were production workers and had almost no experience with maintenance processes.
The class started off well and the students were anxious to learn about all of the mechanical components we cover (bearings, belts, chain, couplings, gears, etc). The first two days of the class were lecture with the third day devoted to doing all the hands-on labs. The “lecture” part of the class went well. The students asked great questions and seemed anxious to learn. The labs were going reasonably well until an HR person came to the class. He told the class that they would all be given a trial maintenance position within six months. I thought that was a great gesture by the company. However I talked to the group after the HR person left and they were all very negative. There were lots of dynamics going on within the company and somehow what should have been a positive offer was construed to be a slap in the face.
The end result is that the student’s attitude towards the labs became a real issue. They were not at all interested in the processes and treated the equipment rather badly. I had to bounce around to each station and make quick repairs to offset the damage they did. Nothing major, but all I could hear was almost continuous hammer blows to the equipment.
Fortunately they were respectful to me and were very good about helping me load the equipment into the two huge shipping crates.
This is the last NTT assignment I have on the calendar for several months. I blocked out the middle of the year so that Pat and I could do some travelling and I could devote some time to my projects. I am very happy to take a break from teaching. I have been tempted to pull the plug entirely, but I enjoy the work and the money helps fund my play toys. I guess I will hang in there for a while longer, but I will definitely cut back on accepting offers.
That is all for this trip.