Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Job rotation

One of the benefits of retirement that I really appreciate is that I can coddle myself when I feel under-the-weather.

As a working guy, sometimes I would trudge off to work when I was feeling about 40% healthy. I know that everybody does this.  Somehow, one foot placed in front of the other, I would make it through the day.  It was worst when I had a 97 mile, one-way commute.  I had the huge good fortune to have some very understanding members of the carpool.  There were times when we broke the rotation just so somebody could sleep in the back seat.

Now, as a retired guy, I can take a wee dram and hit the rack.

Maybe it will be better when everybody is a part time worker.  It is hard to envision most 67 year old people putting in +40 hours a week and having a stellar attendance record.  Our bodies tell us to slow down when we ask it to do too much.

Job rotation is one of the major changes in the modern factory environment.  Historically, employees would secure less strenuous jobs as they acquired seniority.  You might see a 72 year old in a factory but he would be working in the battery room watching the lights on the units charging the forktruck batteries.

The new environment avoids one employee "owning" one job.  Rather, teams of employees own several jobs and the team members rotate through those jobs to spread out the ergonomic stresses and to provide ergonomic recovery time.

The net effect is that jobs that used to be ergonomically limited can now be loaded up.  It is similar to a physical fitness buff alternating cardio and weight training.  He/she can really hit the workout hard because they know those muscle groups will have sufficient recovery time due to the alternating of workouts.

Not only has the one-employee-owns-one-job disappeared, those "look at" jobs have mostly been replaced by electrical monitoring.  That quick induction charger with the embedded programmable controllers is not only faster than Vern in the Battery Room, it is more precise.

It is pretty hard to imagine a team of 67 year old geezers burning 160 Calories an hour for 10 hours a day, five days a week, week after week.  A few will be able to do it just like a few 40 year olds can run sub-3 hour marathons.  But most will crash and burn.

Fire up the Jiffy-Pop.  This is going to be interesting.

1 comment:

  1. I called Dad once and he was watching a squirrel. I asked him if he didn't have anything better to do. He told me that he wondered all his life what a squirrel did all day, and by gum, he intended to follow this one from daylight to dark.

    It ain't goofing-off if you're interested in it.

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