I've heard rants about the Chinese taking our work because of the lower
wages they will work for. I believe this is the symptom not the cause. First
of all, the Chinese are HUNGRY. They want the work far more than the workers
here. I've said before, I haven't seen a white man work up a sweat in
fifteen years. THINK about it.
Most workers here in the US are rushed so much they don't even care enough
to finish a job before it's sent out.
Case in point:
Last week a friend, another shop, sent me two prints to quote. Approximately
300 pieces each. The parts were simple shapes to machine, just .12 thick
profiles in G-10. 1.5x2"
I quoted a small setup and then the run cost. The print had about 5% of the
needed dimensions shown. When I asked where the rest of the information was,
I was told they would send me a dxf file. The dxf file when I opened it
didn't make any sense because the rest of the dimensions were 1/3 larger
than the part was supposed to be. However the given dimensions were the same
as the print dimensions. Big confusion. When I called for clarification I
was told I needed to scale the file down to 2/3 size. When I did that the
dimensions were also reduced. Unwinding all of this took about 4 hours on
the two prints. Big learning curve and way too many phone calls. The last
gotcha. I was supposed to make the part to match the sample given. The
sample was also wrong. Sheesh!
Needless to say my oysters were quite fried when the smoke cleared. So much
so I charged the customer $150 to decipher his prints. He wasn't too happy.
I told him I've been reading blue prints for thirty years; but I'm not too
good with mind reading.
The very bottom line is the engineer was too lazy to finish his work. There
are many of these examples in the US today which adds to the cost of doing
business. This all supports the reason for going overseas to cheaper labor
In the "60's I worked for the railroad. There I learned a phrase. "You have
to protect your job." You protect your job by showing up on time, do the
work as best as you can, and as efficiently as you can because if you don't
someone will have your job.
Guess what? That's why China has our work. The work will go where it can get
We all need to get out from in front of the television sets and figure
better ways to do our jobs. That is if we want to protect them.
Best regards to you all,
17 years ago