About Me

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I never wanted to be a fitter and I didn’t even know what a fitter was or did, until it was too late. The story of how I came to be one can be seen on my website: www.calvertonfitter.com After 45 years in industry working on such diverse things as aeroplanes and textile machinery I thought it would be a good idea to start a blog and to share some of the things that I've seen and done. Some of the posts are funny and some are sad. Some are political and some are about racism. Hopefully you will find them all interesting, and even entertaining!

My Favourite Posts

Some of MY favourite posts include: The Congo, Deltic (3 posts), On the Buses, The Bus Drivers Story, Classical Music and Sherry, Working in Karachi 1988, Going to Karachi 1988 (hilarious), Broken Mug, Tilbury (4 posts).

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Sketches from a Fitters Day

I’ve got the barrel back from the contractor and assembled it using the workshop crane, total weight about a half ton. I don’t have a licence to drive a fork lift truck so got one of the others to acquire one out of the factory, put extension legs on it and I slung the barrel underneath. It took a slow careful drive to locate it in position but we succeeded and I started bolting it up. I’m beginning to hate having greasy fingers and I don’t like wearing the latex gloves supplied by the company. Some of the bolts are difficult to access as well which is always frustrating. That’s code for a lot of swearing took place. The machine next to me sprung a water leak so there were clouds of steam billowing all over.

I’m called to the workshop kitchen where the production director is waiting with the others to tell us about the difficult trading position the company is in. We are going to have a ballot he tells us and the company favours option 1 which is a 4 day week from January, representing a 20% wage cut with 3 redundancies and 2 extra unpaid days holiday at xmas. Option 2 is that 14 people are redundant and we try and continue on a 5-day week. He talks a lot about a worldwide recession and hopes it will be over soon and blames the Americans (alleluia). The company have just traded his car up from a Jag. to a BMW 520d. Nice work if you can get it.

Second subject is a health and safety issue regarding fire safety and the engineering manager volunteers to tick the boxes on the weekly form. Are there sources of ignition, are there combustible materials, and are fire exits clearly marked and accessible? etc. This meeting is interrupted by the production supervisor and team leader coming in and complaining about clouds of steam emitting from a machine and can someone fix it please. Two men go off to fix it but quickly come back to tell me to change 2 hoses, they can’t do it because it’s the end of their shift and they’re off home thank you very much. So off I go to fix it and half an hour later the meeting is still going on with the next shift so I sit in again and learn nothing knew.

Back to my barrel and I start bolting on the heaters but I’ve had enough and wonder back to the workshop with my tools and start packing my gear away. I rang the IT department where an old black and white printer is due to be ready for me to take home as mine is bust. No answer. Tomorrow maybe.

Then I realise a supplier hasn’t arrived to look at an adaptor we want and can’t identify in the catalogue. On Friday we had stressed its urgency but I nearly forgot about it today, he didn’t turn up and his office wasn’t answering the phone. Tomorrow maybe.

While having lunch I had to listen to a tirade from one of the guys about a News of the World story he was reading on that poor kid who was murdered. He was upset that the paper couldn’t identify the culprits and publish their pictures. He quietened down a bit when I pointed out that a judge and jury decide whether a person is guilty not a newspaper and then the pictures can be published. Its crazy, why do I have to point this out to grown men.

Boy, am I glad to be home.

1 comment:

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