The Inspector and the Bolts humour
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  1. #1
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    I saw this recently on a Stationary Engine Forum, not sure of the era, but may have been written many years ago.

    http://www.etinews.com/tip_mnth_inspector.htm

  2. #2
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    Oh, BOY! Have I been there. I've inspected parts for Navy nuclear reactors. Talk about a paper trail - all the way back to the ground the ore was dug from. It's not uncommon for a simple item to have 2" of paper in the official inspection package.

    This is needful because of the hundreds of lives and the two billion dollar submarine are dependent on each critical part.

    Grief is not what you get when you work from the wrong drawing - it's more like crusifixion. If you don't have your ducks in Euclidean line and all your I's dotted and T's crossed you will be shredded.

    You get to go to meetings that last for hours where your every action is explored by your technical inferiors and you get to respond to polite questions wrapped in barbed wire from some self-important pipe insulator (long hungry for power and postion) who clawed his way into the Nuclear Power heirarchy over the backs of others. For example: "So Mr Addy, when did you first notice the class five thread major diameter was machined on BOTH ends of the studs? - Ah! AFTER the discrepancy report hit your desk, thank you." Then he'd drone on like a prosecutor to further armor his case.

    All you can do is wait as your tormentor thoroughly and inescapeably commits himself. Then you rouse: "Gentlemen, I don't understand the purpose of this meeting. Why am I here?"

    "Because Mr Addy, eleven of the studs you passed as acceptable were in fact machined to an incorrect major diameter."

    "That's my point. They weren't. If you look at Nuclear Power Manual para X, note Y, and the BRMO memo #umpty-ump, you'll see a reference authorizing the paragraph in the NPEI waiving the major diameter tolerence on the nut end of eleven studs to accommodate an existing mechanical interferance problem noted ref Z, ect, etc and changing it to the major diameter to which they were actually machined in accordance to the revs listed.

    "The subject altered studs were clearly marked and separately packaged in accordance to note 6 and 7. In the inspection report a note was entered in the 'remarks' with a reference to the NPEI paragraph under which the exception was specified. I see you haven't referenced this in the Lessons Learned agenda under which this meeting was convened."

    In the following silence a dropped pin sounds like a train wreck. Crow feathers fly as the former tormentor re-spins his position and exercises damage control. Administrators and major players mentally re-evaluate their minion as to his ability to work under loose supervision. Said minion will spend months doing gruntwork plotting revenge. At least one of his supervisors will catch up to say to me he was very sorry and that a mistake was made and the meeting minutes will show no negligence or fault on my part.

    Sometime later, at least one senior supervisor in my shop will call me to his office: "Dammit Addy, next time call somebody before things get this far. We can't afford to waste time in chaired meetings playing someone else's silly power games." Of course I'd look at him in astounded innocence. The supervisor not fooled for an instant gives me a disgusted look and growls "Get the hell back to work".

    Things can go the other way and disasterously but naturally I'm not telling any stories where I wound up behind the 8 ball thanks to my own stupidity.

  3. #3
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    Forrest,My last duty station in the Navy was Portsmouth Naval Shipyard In Kittery.Me.I was given a choice of extending my enlistment to go there or,horror of horrors,being assigned to a sub tender.F that.

    I had to extend for 15 months(to Dec. of 86) so that I would be able to make the first DSAO run.IIRC we got to the yard in Jan. of 85 and we were supposed to be done in Aug. of 86.After I signed my extension papers I told my Weapons Officer that I would never go back out to sea on the Simon Bolivar again because there was no way that that boat would be finished with the yard period until at least early 1987.He assured me that I was wrong.I assured him that I was right.When I reported to the boat in Dec. of 80 it was in PNSY and they were a year late in getting out of the yard then.I knew that the same thing would happen again.The boat didn't leave until Aug. of 1987.

    Now,after reading your post,I know why I was right.Ken

    [This message has been edited by ssbn641gold (edited 01-25-2004).]

  4. #4
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    I manage the collection and retention of exactly that data for the Space Station! Your only slightly exagerating when you say the papertrail extends back to when the ore was dug, but it get's pretty close.

    And the purpose was nailed. That entire structure can be brought to it's knees by any number of small failures. Plus, it makes it easier to recalibrate and/or recertify some of the components on it without bringing them back to earth if we know all the background data.

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    That link doesn't seem to be working anymore, but I have a photocopy of the original piece in its entirety, with the credit "Journal of the Society of Licensed Aircraft Engineers, Berkshire, England", seemingly copied from a page from "Product Design & Engineering, March-April 1964". There's a wonderful cartoon with it of a man testing the quality of nuts with his teeth, the signed "Quality Control is the Nuts" behind him...and a basket of "Nay!" at his feet. I'm trying to find a better original of that as well.
    I found this in a file of my father's papers, which included countless sheets of mechanical & machinist humour. I want to reproduce it & frame it as a birthday gift for my brother. Dad was from England, at one time worked on Big Ben, was building his own clock (from scratch),& worked at Moore Instrument Company in Toronto. I've inherited his metal lathe & hope to learn to use it.

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    Forrest, I have to say...your comment here made me laugh almost as much as the original "The Inspector and the Bolts" that brought me to this site. Brilliantly written account. Do you mind if I include it with the framed copy of said bolts article?

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    The big joke with all the inspection and paperwork happens when the xrayed pipework goes to the sandblasters to be coated,and they break off a couple of the small branch pipes,and the maintenance man rewelds them back on......and done missed welds in a tubular crane boom.....if all the welds are documented and xrayed,how can a weld be missed?

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    Default Inspector and the Bolts

    I googled Inspector and the bolts And it came up so it’s still available and its pretty good!
    Speaking of Forest anyone heard from him? Haven’t Seen him post in awhile

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