Plant Hierarchies

I think a lot of people here would be truly amazed at the social structure of most plants in the U.S.

I did temp work in a few about a zillion years ago while in school. Much of it is work that could be done by machines, but sadly, workers at or near minimum wage are cheaper.

The social structures are dysfunctional to say the least, both from a purely human standpoint, and from a productivity standpoint. The structure of it is pretty much as Localroger states here, the trappings of status are bizarre.

One place made video tapes (you would certainly recognize the name). The room was filled with identical lines. On one end, boxes of individually packaged tapes were brought in on pallets. One person would be responsable for bringing the pallets in using a human powered hydraulic pallet jack, open boxes filled with the tapes, and line them up. Two people would insert 3 or 5 of the tapes into a shrinkwrap tube and slide them onto a conveyer. They would go through a gas powered oven to shrink the tubes.

On the other side, I was to place the bricks into boxes, tape them, stack them up on a pallet, and when it was full, use a similar pallet jack to take them into the warehouse. I had about 30seconds to accomplish that before the tapes backed up into the oven and started melting.

They did have fast efficient electric pallet jacks as well, but those were used exclusively by the supervisors. They never actually carried a pallet with them, they just stood on them and rode them around the floor making sure nobody took a break. The front office was, indeed, offlimits. When I reported the first day, nobody told me where to enter, so I went in through the front door. Nobody said much about it (other than pointing out where I should enter), but it was clear that it 'just isn't done'.

BTW, my job was preferable to the guy who unboxed tapes because I didn't have to tape my hands up to prevent blisters from pulling boxes open all day.

Thankfully, that experiance was very brief, and I knew at the time that I would likely never have to take such a job again. Some people have little hope of leaving that work environment.

I don't regret the experiance one bit. It was very educational all around,. It puts a lot of perspective on things when I read/hear various spewings from economists and politicians who never have and never will have to work that sort of job.

The future isn't what it used to be.