Saturday, November 21, 2009

Just sold a too I posted to craigs list

I'm selling off items at basement prices because I don't use them or I am trying to get better control of my material objects. I sold a 4 ton hydraulic body tool and but before doing so one of the persons contacting me was so pushy I had trouble dealing with him. He called me on the phone like 4 times almost to the point of pestering me and when I said come over at 9 he came over at 0845 and parked in my driveway which is short and like he owned the house that I rent. I could tell he wanted it and I showed him it worked. It was just the way he was, pushy. I am not so pushy, however I am opinionated according to some fellow workers and I am loud according to even I. So, I gave up at 0855 and sold it to him. I am trying not to be such a stubborn person. The guy is buying something and paid better than 1/2 the new price. I'm happy about it, but I just hate to deal with people on that basis and I still must because I have a bunch of music CD's that I am going to post today. Don't need them, music is everywhere and I am really just interested in listening, not collecting!

Busy, high energy knocked down and getting back up to resist again

The school bus company I work for has recently installed Zonar Systems GMS/GPS system in its buses in this part of Portland, Oregon. They have been installing the systems world wide in all their buses and here is what they told us essentially it would be used for electronic data input to get away from the paper reports we have to make to comply with DOT regulations. However, it goes much further. Here is a quote from a transportation system magazine article.

"(According to Brian McLaughlin, COO for PeopleNet, about half of their new customers are previous users of competing systems while the other half have never used a telematics system before and have a few key reasons for considering one, such as the desire to automate driver logs. “We usually have to pull new customers back,” McLaughlin says. “You can't successfully do everything at once, so we tell customers to begin by focusing on the areas with the greatest ROI first.”

For most fleets, that has meant beginning with the operational basics, for example, by optimizing routes and improving driver performance to reduce fuel usage by managing deadheading, idling, out-of-route miles and fuel-robbing driving habits like speeding and improper shifting. “Just the fuel savings and automating driver logs pays for the system,” says Lemke. “The rest is all gravy.”)" And the way our local manager has of informing us of what we are doing is putting the reports of our speed out on tables in our dispatch area and leaving a note on her white board telling us if we don't start toeing the line we are going get disciplined. Oh boy, not only that, the middle managers of the company seem to have software that scans our drivers daily reports and the time we log onto the bus system and it is paying us the most favorable to the company. That means when we report to work to pick up our paperwork everyday at our assigned time, we don't get paid. I suspect it is a change in policy, except they conveniently forgot to explain the procedure to us. We are getting shorted time. Of course, all this goes along with their standard operating procedure. Someone in the company, an employee has asked the company to repair and bring up to safe standards equipment in the yard and provide rain gear for some of the drivers who fuel buses the response to our question of rain gear was "what did you use last year?" When we replied whatever we brought from home, we were told "use that, it worked last year didn't it?" I told the manager who were having the conversation with that most companies I'd worked for in the past supplied rain gear or any other safety equipment as part of their obligation to keep their employees safe. That response was met with a dirty look. So, that was a meeting with the fuelers and I have been one for over a year. Usually the companies I worked for purchased several rain suits of varying quality and often we had to mix and match, but at least we had protection. It is obvious that this company is taking away or refusing to treat the employees who bring in the revenue as respected human beings instead insisting that safety is their number on priority in public, but what they do at their bus yard is none of anyone's business including their employees. I've been busy. I've made time to take every third Thursday off from fueling and attend union meetings to keep informed and to add whatever I can to question what our elected union representatives are doing to help us remedy our working conditions. And then, someone file a complaint with OSHA. I know this because I know the person. The person exhausted all requests for the company to bring the fueling equipment up to industry standards. It is propane and although it is not as flammable as gasoline or perhaps Jet A or diesel it has several safety related issues for the workers who fuel the buses. The first being training. The training to transfer the propane has been inadequate and the facilities maintenance is non existent and there is no evidence of any regulatory inspections. We have over 200 drivers in our yard and our contract is with Portland Public Schools. And of course, we are driving buses that are old for industry standards and since this company has purchased our contract and buses they have implemented different ways of doing things. They did upgrade the equipment in the shop, but eliminated the overtime. They also instituted a new policy on ordering parts much like our heath care system where an administrator has to approve the parts order according to some budget plan if they deem it excessive, no part is ordered. They did however, bring us a bunch of wrecked buses and leave them in our yard and apparently the manager has instructed perhaps the mechanics to strip these buses of needed parts. Hell of a way to keep the children of the city safe. Plus, these wrecked buses are robbing our operating buses of parking stalls. We don't have enough stalls now and that is an issue. We have lots of issues now with this big multi national corporation that have been sucking up my time.