Chapter V: Know Your Role
Every morning on the way to work I listen to the “Elvis Duran and the Morning Show” on 96.7 The Planet FM. Fittingly this morning’s topic of discussion was the treatment of interns. Elvis Duran talked about how when you think of an intern you picture a disoriented college student squandering through an office each morning with a stack of coffees to be delivered to each employee. Then of course one of the coffees wasn’t made to order and the intern has to go all the way back down to the café or across the street to pick up another one. Basically, the stereotype is intern = company [profanity].
Being the intern means every single employee in the company ranks above me, which means everything they need to do is a “higher priority” than what I need to do (even though it may not be).
With TA running 24/5 the extruders and injection molding machines are constantly in use. Typically only 2 of the 3 lines are running at any given time on the manufacturing floor, so when I need to mold parts, a line should be available…right? Wrong! The molds on each line differ, so depending on what I need to mold dictates which line I need to run. If I need to mold on line 2 and it is running then I need to either first check the schedule to see when the line will be down or second talk to the shift leader. The shift leader will either say “no” or send me to the operators on the floor to see if they have a window of time the molding machine won’t be in use.
It’s the same story for most anything, at least for the first rodeo. I have to ask if I can use it, be trained on how to use it, and if some one else needs to use it, I’ll step aside.
“Patience is a virtue.”
I’ll also have situations where a co-worker needs my help, so I’ll then pause what I’m working on and assist them. Once I’m done, its back to my own work. I don’t necessarily have deadlines or someone looking over my shoulder, but I am expected to complete my tasks timely and orderly.
Here at TA I am by no means the company [profanity]. I have access to almost anything in the facility, as long as I’ve received proper training, asked for permission when needed, and of course, is available. I don’t push a mail cart, take coffee orders, or stare at a computer screen for 8 hours pushing one key. I’m not taken advantage of, or talked down to; I’m treated equally and with respect.
It’s true “all I really need to know I learned in Kindergarten.”
- Being polite and respectful
- Asking for permission
Sticking to those guidelines I think has helped me to become integrated into the TA family. I feel like I belong now and I’m no longer “the new
“If I’m not back in 5 minutes…just wait longer!”