Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Job...

Well, it pays the bills and keeps me fed and clothed to my satisfaction. But sometimes it makes me wish I still had hair so I could pull it out. And I've had a string of those days lately.

I don't even know for sure what the problem is. For one thing, the platemaking machine I work with five days a week has burned some 194,000 plates since the company bought it about eight years ago -- I found that out when the technician who came to work on it this afternoon opened up its own version of Apple's Time Machine on the computer. That's not unlike a car having 194,000 miles on it -- that's multiple trainloads of fucking plates burned. And you don't need to be a physicist to know that entropy happens. That machine is wearing out.

Another issue in that vein is, we currently have seven different plate sizes for the presses we use, but the machine is only designed to hold five at any given time. We can store as many sizes as we want to in the system -- we just have to take one size out and put another in when we have to burn a plate of the latter size. It's a juggling act, and one that I'm accustomed to. But apparently, whoever designed this platemaker never took into account that a print shop that uses more than five sizes of plates would purchase it -- and from what I've heard from people who work for that company, most print shops don't do things the way we do. So maybe a little bit of the problem is on our end.

Then again, I'd like to know why when we do encounter problems while trying to burn plates, 90-95% of the time, it's only one plate size that's giving us trouble? You'd think it would be somewhat spread out over all the sizes. It's not. But you point that out, and you hear things like, oh, it's probably the aluminum in the plates, or oh, the plates probably aren't square.

Yeah, well, pro-tip time: if the plates aren't square, it's the manufacturer's fault, not ours -- the plates come to us pre-cut, we just have to suffer through what they deign to give us. What, I have to measure every plate with a fucking L-square before I try to burn it now? Kiss my ass -- I may not have an engineering degree, but I don't need one to know when I'm dealing with shitheads. Give us square plates, and then if we're still having trouble, I'll listen to your advice. Assholes.

I keep having to not quit my job. It's not getting any easier...


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