Stuff Your Boss Probably Hasn’t Bothered To Tell You Cause No One Told Them-5


This was selling as, ahem, a bagel in one particular supermarket chain in Northern California.  First Croagel?

In another branch of this supermarket chain in Northern California this was selling as a kaiser roll.  I do believe they were inspired by the “Top of the Muffin” episode of Seinfeld.

These are examples of why I continue this series, because through no fault of your own you may have not received the information or training necessary to be successful at your job. As we have see many times in small businesses with high employee turnover and unfortunately even in large corporations sometimes things just drop through the cracks or worse, misinformation like a game of telephone going horribly wrong. Hopefully these blogs will give you an edge amongst your peers, impress your bosses up the food chain and give you the confidence to do the job correctly.  Now for your information these issues also happen in manufacturing as well if proper training is not done.

Excess glue can happen if you are not shown the proper way to purge the line after changing the barrel or filling the reservoir to avoid clogging the glue gun.  When you don’t do it right you wind up gluing everything together.

Even machines can be corrupted by humans if not properly adjusted during production. These are both out of the same package and are as much twins as Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie of the same name but it was close enough to pass in the weight check.


The manufacturers manual is a great resource for general information on operation and maintenance and after the equipment is installed you will not find a section on the exact fine tuning needed for your specific applications.  It’ll tell you what parts, dials, or buttons to push to adjust for filling different size boxes or going from 1 lb. poly bag to a 2 lb. poly bag but not how much to move the needle so to speak or in conjunction with moving several needles.  I have yet to meet a maintenance manager who is worth his salt actually need to read a manual but I’ve also seen an untrained rookie over adjust a machine to the point it took two days to get it back to normal operation ready.  So for young or new operators the fine tuning techniques will come from watching and doing during training or their apprenticeship.  When the opportunity comes to work with a seasoned veteran, listen to what they say, don’t interrupt, listen until they finish the thought, digest it and then ask.  Watch what they do and again don’t interrupt but make note of questions to ask in fact take notes the whole time you’re training and hope there is a need for them to trouble shoot while you observe.  Troubleshooting a piece of equipment is essential especially when on an off-shift so every opportunity to get to observe that, take it!  After watching for a while ask if you can do it yourself under the watchful eyes of the senior operator.


A tip to help win over the senior operator and learn his or hers tricks of the trade.  Don’t come across like you know it all, be respectful or you’ll never get anything with that attitude.  Be genuine in your thirst for knowledge and listen, watch and ask.  It won’t hurt to find out their favorite item in the snack machine or dessert or drink and be willing to do some of the crappy related tasks, it demonstrates your willingness and determination to learn.  If your aspirations are to move into management and leadership you may to document all that you learn for future generations to draw from.

Open and honest communication can achieve almost anything.  A morning huddle with the staff before the store opens or the shift begins, just ten minutes for a great opportunity to say thank you for their efforts, outline the days challenges, or make aware of critical deliveries or wet conditions due to weather.  It’s the same in production, asking honest questions on how something operates and treating each other with respect.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s