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#4470626 - 04/16/19 12:30 AM Former Boeing employee talking about the work environment  
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Lead into his reply is this

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I would be _very_ surprised if in a few years from today a bunch of engineers don't testify that ample of warning was given to management about this. The same happened with DC-10's, the space shuttle disaster and many other catastrophic events, but economic gains trumped expert advice unfortunately.




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I worked at Boeing for about 1.5 years in the 2008-9 time period and I can absolutely guarantee this happened.

First, Boeing's corporate culture is the worst sh/tshow I have ever experienced. All large corporations have a lot of internal issues and problems but nothing like the Lazy B. It was like working in a company designed by Kafka. I signed up at Boeing as a programmer. When I showed up at my first day of work, the first words out of my supervisor's mouth were, "I don't know why you are here, we have no need for programmers." (The Boeing interview process is done so that at no point, do you ever have contact or communication with the team you will be working with.)

So, basically, I was cutting and pasting cells in Excel spreadsheets and doing ad hoc project management during my time there. They did have need for a programmer, but I didn't have access to install any programming software on my machine because no one knew who the local IT person was. No one. It was a year before I was able to figure that out and only because I was bored one day and was walking around the building and found the guy's cubicle by accident.

To be fair, the aging aircraft division that I was in was notoriously bad, even for Boeing. It was where they put people that the union wouldn't let Boeing fire. I would conservatively estimate 30% of my co-workers were full-blown sociopaths who would actively work to sabotage and ruin other people's work. Another 50% of the people there blatantly goofed off all day, reading the newspaper or books with their feet up on their desks (literally). The remaining 20% were people who actually cared about airplane passengers not dying and worked themselves half to death to keep things afloat. I'll give a quick shout out to Anastasia, James and all the contract workers who actually did their jobs. There are probably a few thousand people around the world who aren't dead because of you.

Anyhow, James (or was it Jim? It's been a while.) was a grouchy old engineer they stuck me next to. He was close to retirement and clearly wasn't too stoked about losing half his cubicle to an unwanted programmer that showed up one day. James had a bunch of photos of an old 747 and structural diagrams pinned to his cubicle wall. One day, I asked what those were.

They were pictures and failure analysis diagrams of [JAL 123](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Airlines_Flight_123), the single worst single airplane disaster in history. 520 people died. It was because a couple of Boeing engineers #%&*$# up. That 747SR had had a tailstrike incident on takeoff that damaged the rear pressure dome. A team of Boeing AOG (Airplane On the Ground) mechanics were flown out there to fix it. To oversimplify, they rushed and accidentally did the equivalent of 1+1=1 on one of their stress calculations. It was an error very similar to the infamous [Hyatt Regency walkway collapse](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyatt_Regency_walkway_collapse). 12,318 flights later, (well before what should have been at least 25-30,000 flight cycles that the crack inspection cycle would have assumed) the rear bullkhead ripped out mid flight and severed all hydraulic control lines. The plane lost all control and flew in a rollercoaster trajectory for 32 minutes before running into the side of a mountain. Many of the passengers had time to write goodbye letters to their loved ones. James had those photos and diagrams on his cubicle so that every day, he could look at them and remind himself of why his job was important and why he couldn't cut corners.

James was clearly an incredibly knowledgeable and talented engineer. He was the widely acknowledged expert in the entire department. If any other engineer had a question, they would always come to him for advice. So why was such a good engineer relegated to a department full of #%&*$# and malcontents? Because he wouldn't cut corners on safety.

This was the final stages of the 787 rollout, which was behind schedule and full of issues. James had constantly raised red flags about safety corners Boeing was cutting on the 787 rollout. Things like putting the plane out before there was a good understanding of crack propagation speed, nondestructive testing protocols and repair protocols for all the carbon fiber on the plane. These were extremely serious issues that Boeing swept under the rug to get the 787 out faster. Because he wouldn't toe the line on this, James got exiled to the #%&*$# little backwater I ran into him at where he was counting the days until he could retire and spend his time SCUBA diving out at Edmonds.

To this day, I refuse to fly on a 787. I'm sure that the Dreamliners that came off the assembly line after about a year or so were fine but there's that first year of production that, as far as I'm concerned, are ticking time bombs. I talked to many engineers who had worked on that program to know just how badly they rushed that initial production.

So, as far as I'm concerned, #%&*$# Boeing. This was inevitable. I'm honestly shocked it took this long for something like this to happen.


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#4470633 - 04/16/19 01:39 AM Re: Former Boeing employee talking about the work environment [Re: Ajay]  
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Executives should serve time in prison, like the rest of the peasants.

Interesting note: In China, if an executive or group of executives mess up to such a degree that the deaths of people result from their incompetence or greed, they are put to death.

The line workers aren't at fault--they do as they are told. Fines and penalties mean nothing to multi-billion dollar companies, but the threat of jail time, that means something.

#4470635 - 04/16/19 01:53 AM Re: Former Boeing employee talking about the work environment [Re: Ajay]  
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There was a time when a lot of people would refuse to fly in anything BUT a Boeing. Looks like they got too big for their britches...


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#4470640 - 04/16/19 02:09 AM Re: Former Boeing employee talking about the work environment [Re: Ajay]  
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Originally Posted by Ajay
To be fair, the aging aircraft division that I was in was notoriously bad, even for Boeing. It was where they put people that the union wouldn't let Boeing fire. I would conservatively estimate 30% of my co-workers were full-blown sociopaths who would actively work to sabotage and ruin other people's work. Another 50% of the people there blatantly goofed off all day, reading the newspaper or books with their feet up on their desks (literally). The remaining 20% were people who actually cared about airplane passengers not dying and worked themselves half to death to keep things afloat. I'll give a quick shout out to Anastasia, James and all the contract workers who actually did their jobs. There are probably a few thousand people around the world who aren't dead because of you.


Wow, sounds exactly last my last workplace. screwy

However there's nothing to say that other passenger aircraft producers aren't just as dysfunctional.

#4470653 - 04/16/19 06:21 AM Re: Former Boeing employee talking about the work environment [Re: Ajay]  
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Maybe so, but here's a clear indicator.

#4470672 - 04/16/19 10:58 AM Re: Former Boeing employee talking about the work environment [Re: Crane Hunter]  
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Originally Posted by Crane Hunter


Wow, sounds exactly last my last workplace. screwy

However there's nothing to say that other passenger aircraft producers aren't just as dysfunctional.




Yeah i've worked in similar as well. Painful pulling other peoples weight isn't it.


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#4470674 - 04/16/19 11:12 AM Re: Former Boeing employee talking about the work environment [Re: Ajay]  
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I'll try and make this as non-political as possible so here it goes:



When you work in an environment where employees can slack off constantly with no fear of reprisal, it will result in shoddy production and products.


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#4470691 - 04/16/19 01:29 PM Re: Former Boeing employee talking about the work environment [Re: PanzerMeyer]  
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Originally Posted by PanzerMeyer
I'll try and make this as non-political as possible so here it goes:



When you work in an environment where employees can slack off constantly with no fear of reprisal, it will result in shoddy production and products.



The problem, or part of, i have seen in my last couple of jobs is management has to follow some silly protocols before letting a near useless employee go. I don't know how it is in the US but over here it's all a bit silly. I've had management meetings where i have felt like banging my head against a wall because we have had to follow a set of steps that may require weeks and even months while money, time and morale is being flushed down the drain before we can fire someone.


Imagine this, a guy who is responsible for the day to day running of a 140 plus car a week workshop, sitting at his pc half the day looking up fb and other non related stuff. Long lunches, repeatedly late, a sick day always rolls into two and three ..with a doctors certificate of course. Barely gets the minimum amount of work out the door, smokes like Notre Dame (too early?) and has zero respect for anyone, and nobodies respect in return.

One of the worst humans i have been unlucky enough to work with and having to wait four months before we saw the back of him was near madness. And then you have the average joe bloes who do just enough to scrape by in between doing nothing a lot while the remaining amount of time with the heavy lifting being done by what seems a small amount of people who really care.

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#4470692 - 04/16/19 01:37 PM Re: Former Boeing employee talking about the work environment [Re: Ajay]  
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Similar workplace culture problems were responsible for closures of many of GM's plants around the US and Canada. I tried my hand working for GM for a short time in 2018 while taking care of my grandmother who suffered a stroke last summer. Her house was located in the same city as one of the GM plants. I remember telling her one day after finishing work "There's no way this place can stay open, it's a complete $hit show. They're gonna be closed down". After some chastising for my language..They shut the plant down a few months later.

If the people working there are reporting chaotic working conditions it is not a good sign for the company.

The breakup and "modularization" of Boeing over the past 20 years has probably resulted in a lot of bad decisions being made.

#4470716 - 04/16/19 04:14 PM Re: Former Boeing employee talking about the work environment [Re: Ajay]  
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The most dysfunctional has to be Public Service (government employees).


There was only 16 squadrons of RAF fighters that used 100 octane during the BoB.
The Fw190A could not fly with the outer cannon removed.
There was no Fw190A-8s flying with the JGs in 1945.
#4470717 - 04/16/19 04:15 PM Re: Former Boeing employee talking about the work environment [Re: Ajay]  
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Originally Posted by Ajay





One of the worst humans i have been unlucky enough to work with and having to wait four months before we saw the back of him was near madness.



Are you guys in a union or was this simply following Australian labor laws?

Last edited by PanzerMeyer; 04/16/19 04:16 PM.

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#4470718 - 04/16/19 04:19 PM Re: Former Boeing employee talking about the work environment [Re: KraziKanuK]  
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Originally Posted by KraziKanuK
The most dysfunctional has to be Public Service (government employees).



It's really bad in the US so I can't even fathom what it must be like in Canada.


Alea iacta est.
#4470721 - 04/16/19 04:49 PM Re: Former Boeing employee talking about the work environment [Re: Ajay]  
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And people wonder why I'm so against unions, it crap like this that just infuriates me. Post Office is another great example... I deal with this Sht bag every Monday who replaces our lobby rugs usually around 10:30. He #%&*$# every Monday about the same thing about how his company wants him to help other drivers, yet he'll tell me he sits in the parking lot across the street for 2-3 hours because he's all done and doesn't want to go back to work, because they'll ask him to help.


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#4470728 - 04/16/19 05:13 PM Re: Former Boeing employee talking about the work environment [Re: PanzerMeyer]  
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Originally Posted by PanzerMeyer
Originally Posted by KraziKanuK
The most dysfunctional has to be Public Service (government employees).



It's really bad in the US so I can't even fathom what it must be like in Canada.


Bad bad Leroy Brown.

It's to the point where you'll have unstable weirdos threatening you to your face, in front of the supervisors, and if you say anything you'll be the one that gets in trouble.

Or you'll have folks that'll refuse to do their work, then follow you around all shift and document and even film you with sick smiles on their faces as you're forced to take on their workload, and of course they'll report anything you did wrong to the supervisors after, even things like skipping a break or leaving your work area to retrieve tools is enough to get you in trouble.

Oh, and don't get me started on the attitudes of many of the "women" that worked there, you had to walk on eggshells around them, or else.

#4470742 - 04/16/19 07:01 PM Re: Former Boeing employee talking about the work environment [Re: Crane Hunter]  
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Originally Posted by Crane Hunter
Originally Posted by PanzerMeyer
Originally Posted by KraziKanuK
The most dysfunctional has to be Public Service (government employees).



It's really bad in the US so I can't even fathom what it must be like in Canada.


Bad bad Leroy Brown.

It's to the point where you'll have unstable weirdos threatening you to your face, in front of the supervisors, and if you say anything you'll be the one that gets in trouble.




The same happens with teachers/students. World gone nuts.


“Government has three primary functions. It should provide for military defense of the nation. It should enforce contracts between individuals. It should protect citizens from crimes against themselves or their property. When government-- in pursuit of good intentions tries to rearrange the economy, legislate morality, or help special interests, the cost comes in inefficiency, lack of motivation, and loss of freedom. Government should be a referee, not an active player.” - Milton Friedman
#4470753 - 04/16/19 08:04 PM Re: Former Boeing employee talking about the work environment [Re: Top Gun]  
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Originally Posted by Top Gun
And people wonder why I'm so against unions, it crap like this that just infuriates me. Post Office is another great example... I deal with this Sht bag every Monday who replaces our lobby rugs usually around 10:30. He #%&*$# every Monday about the same thing about how his company wants him to help other drivers, yet he'll tell me he sits in the parking lot across the street for 2-3 hours because he's all done and doesn't want to go back to work, because they'll ask him to help.



Unions are a necessary evil. I have been part of two, ALPA (Air Line Pilots Association) and Teamsters. I never got involved with unions, other than just paying my dues (literally) and did my job. But I can tell you from working/flying at places without unions, you're a complete slave to management with zero representation.


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#4470770 - 04/16/19 09:44 PM Re: Former Boeing employee talking about the work environment [Re: Ajay]  
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I wonder if Boeing is anything like my company in having WAY "too many chiefs and not enough indians".

My first few weeks I met my boss, my bosses boss, my bosses bosses boss, my bosses bosses bosses boss, and my bosses bosses bosses bosses boss.

Most top heavy company I've ever worked for.

#4470772 - 04/16/19 10:06 PM Re: Former Boeing employee talking about the work environment [Re: Ajay]  
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#4470779 - 04/16/19 10:45 PM Re: Former Boeing employee talking about the work environment [Re: Ajay]  
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Unions had a place at one time and in certain places today.


There was only 16 squadrons of RAF fighters that used 100 octane during the BoB.
The Fw190A could not fly with the outer cannon removed.
There was no Fw190A-8s flying with the JGs in 1945.
#4470797 - 04/17/19 12:19 AM Re: Former Boeing employee talking about the work environment [Re: PanzerMeyer]  
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Originally Posted by PanzerMeyer
Originally Posted by Ajay





One of the worst humans i have been unlucky enough to work with and having to wait four months before we saw the back of him was near madness.



Are you guys in a union or was this simply following Australian labor laws?


No union, just the standard tome of paperwork required over a certain period of time before you can do anything.


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