It Looks Good on Paper

I am returning from my month of writing exile.  I have written over 59,000 words and finished the story.  I may be posting excerpts by the middle of the month.  For now, here's something I wrote a couple weeks ago.

I am currently working for a company as temporary technician working on a major product recall.  At the moment, we have plenty of units in the shop in need of rework.  The following article is not a direct indictment against the company I am working at or any other company singularly, but a general statement on the apparent inability of some people within those companies to see the real amount of work involved in the problem at hand.

 
Everyday I get a visit from a front-office management type who asks me how many units I've sent out for the day.  If my answer is a low number, I am forced to explain the intricacies of my job and grocery list of things that have gone wrong with the rest of the units.  For example, I had two units shipped by mid-afternoon, but the management worksheet states that I can do one unit per half hour, which mean in six hours I should have twelve units out the door.  I had to remind him that these systems are incredibly unreliable due to their age and that I have been through a total of nine through the day.  The half-hour time frame is ideal and does not account for paperwork and potty breaks.
 
The attitude of management at this job differs greatly from my part-time job.  There, I am responsible for analyzing data that comes from the lab, but what's different is that the doctor in charge does not give me the third degree if I take longer on one set as opposed to another.  This is because he's done this work before and knows that one set of data differs in length from other sets.  Often, I will find that he already begun analyzing because he does not want to get out of the habit of doing it for himself.  Sure, this takes time and, therefore, money out of my hands, but then he is also keeping with the work and not depending on only one person to do the work.
 
The main problem is the disconnect between management and the real world.  Many companies I have worked for had this disconnect and I have talked to many others who felt the same way about their workplaces.  It's easy to look at a piece of paper, see numbers and make decisions based on that, but it's something else to see the reality before one's eyes and realize that it looks much different.  I have a standing offer at this particular company to sit in the back and observe, and maybe even learn, what really goes on at the tech bench.  So far, no takers.