Friday, May 12, 2006

Changes Can be Embraced

I have been known to focus on what I see as negative at my work place, and seldom write about what is positive.

Our senior vice-president of production, Mark Kurdich, has made many changes at the Olympic Facility that are very positive for the workforce.

With the promotion of our new vice-president of production, Russ Newton (AKA Wayne), tensions have eased and it is actually rather fun coming to work again.

Our new plant manager, Greg Malcolm(AKA The Cowboy), is also a people person and the supervisors no longer need a heads-up when the Director of Operations is in the pressroom, as we have done in the past.

Returning pressroom manager, Johnny Walker, has even changed his attitude, and takes our ribbing very well. And gives it back as well.

As a direct result of management changes, production figures are soaring to new heights every week. Rolls per break are at seventy rolls per break, papers per hour are slowly increasing as the press speeds have risen, and newsprint waste is dropping as the printing presses are getting the attention they so dearly need.

A few of my co-workers are never pleased with any changes, and continue to bitch and moan, and mis-direct their anger at the wrong people. Major changes at the Los Angeles Times are made from Chicago, not from Los Angeles.

We all have options, we can remain un-happy, or we can embrace change and smile, what will your choice be?



Anonymous said...

sniff.....sniff....sniff ....sniff??!! hummmm something smells funny on this web site...Ahh !!! I know!!! it smells like someone has accepted this sweatshop ( isn't that! what mark kurtich DIDN'T
want us too THINK "they" were creating ( at one of their " townhall" meetings ?? )No my friend I think " someone" is in "cahoots" with
mark & Co. As for "stumpy" well after all of those ANGER managment classes the TIMES PAID for hopefully( I doubt it !! )they might work

Anonymous said...

Ed ... I wonder if you would ask kurtich how much his bonus was ( and raise for that matter since the cut down
we know he had too split that
20,000.00 with what's his name )well THAT was " better "
for HIM ...LOL

Anonymous said...

Ed liked your article on change some people come to work and just want to piss and moan.This company is one of the best pressrooms to work in.Also one of the top paying pressrooms. A few coworkers just are unhappy people.I still love it hear after 28 years operator

Anonymous said...

wait...wait ...wait ( smiling ) you've got too be kidding right !!?? Humm.. must BE from O.C ( LOL )talk to the people who's knee's & necks are all banged up ( I'm sorry I forgot I'm talking to an Operator !! )

Anonymous said...

Journeyman O.C or not most of you could have been operators but you were comfortable not being one thats your choice don't bag on Eddie. mark did what he had to do as our boss he has bosses most of you know me I'm a true blue collar most of you made choice's years ago this is the what a majority chose I live with don't agree with all but the times and alot people made things possible for me sometimes we over look them I being one myself. Mark Kurtich gave us all our raises back after our first go round with reviews he took the time to see me we can find mistakes in everyone's character but those without sin cast the first stone I work for excellent bosses Ron Ernst, Steve Kawaski I'm not the easiet person to get along with I don't kiss butt but I'm trying to give credit where its due just do our best press people and keep livin. Rick Hernandez O.C. pressoperator

Jess Espinoza said...

Well said, Rick! Life is full of choices, we make them, and then we must be prepared to live with the consequences or the rewards of those choices. Besides, being an operator does not mean you have it easy, many operators work just as hard as any other person on the crew, not to mention the added responsibility of running a crew.

Anonymous said...

Rick !! it's great to hear from you I've heard so many good things about you ( really ) but we out hear in L.A. ( Oly ) have it a lil bit different then you all out there in O.C ( believe me when I say that , and feel free to ask around the former OLY people who got tranfered )Oh and I would never bag on ED he's a great guy ( just a lil shortsited thats all.. too each his own )As for Jess welllll... lets just say he made out when they closed SFV
right Jess??? ( I thought so ... wink ..wink )you guys have a great day

Jess Espinoza said...

Sure, you'd never bag on Ed, Rick, or myself, at least not openly or using your real name; but you are truly a master of innuendo. As for me making out, you're correct, I got to keep my job, which is something I thank the lord for every single day. And as for things being different at Oly, your world is what you make of it, so quit whining, cowboy up, and make the best of the situation. There are people who are a hell of a lot worse off than you perceive yourself to be, co-workers that didn't have a choice and had to leave the company. I've been with the Times 26 years, worked at 3 plants, and still enjoy my job. If the Oly pressroom is so horrible what are you still doing there? Better yet, what are you willing to do to improve things at work? I'm challenging you, I know I can work with you to make things better at the Times, are you willing to work with me?

Anonymous said...

Sweatshop, give me a break. If everyone on a crew participates during makeready and the run its self the work tends to even out, but there is always 1-2 people that do more complaining than work, they hold themselves above certain work details and they are usually the bottom guy or someone that doesn't even know his job all the way up to the 1st inkers job. I can't count how many times I've seen people during a production run reading the paper, not just an article but the entire newspaper-in front of the new plant manager,gee I wonder why they down seized the crews the way they did. Remember the LA Times closed an entire plant, its time that everyone should wake up, do the best job that you can do and hope this company stays in business for a little longer-every 2 weeks we get a pay check and I never had a problem cashing mine!!!

Ed Padgett said...

I started working for the Los Angeles Times on August 3rd, 1972, and there's a reason I'm still working there. The pay scale!

Sweatshop, I think not. I will agree, we are all working much harder, and stress levels were at an all time high last year and a few months of 2006.

I had the option of leaving the Times with the last buyout, but opted to remain. After crew change over, I did have my doubts if the right choice was made, but that is a memory now.

Working is like a marriage, sometimes things go well, and sometimes things do not go as well as we would like. But we always have the option to stick it out and make things better, or walk away upset.

Anonymous said...

FINALLY we got to hear some real gratitude testomony about a great place to work. Remember it is called work....Also guys and gals us operators are short upstairs by 3 people and when running you are about the same OPERATOR 28 YEARS and working harder and thats ok STILL LOVE IT for a work place

Anonymous said...

An individual's behavior is a function of their thinking. The brain processes information then applies life experiences. Being human, the output is never pure logic and being intelligent, it is never pure emotion.

It's my observation that people displaying "extremes" in behavior, whiners as well as Pollyannas, are heavy on feelings and short on rational thought. Just think of people you know. Does that friend with the occupation of chemical engineer behave the same as your artist buddy?

Logically, The Times is a great place to work. Just run the numbers and review the facts (hours worked, pay rate, benefits, number of holidays...) That's what the chemical engineer would do.

Emotionally, for some, The Times may be a mismatch and a hell-hole (wife hates you working weekends, the old days are gone, people you love have left on buy-outs, can't sleep during the day...) Your artist buddy would be more affected in this regard that the engineer.

Bottom-line, we are all in control and responsible for our own destinies. If the job doesn't fit, make a change. Feeling trapped and helpless is the surest path to unhappiness and a life of bitching and moaning.

Remember what a great philosopher once said: No matter where you go, there you are!

Anonymous said...

Who the hell are these people? I hope your getting credit for the bootlick. I read this statement somewhere M.Kurtich is a wonderful person he is doing the best he can, cut him some slack. Doing the best he can? I’m sure he can cut better than he’s been cutting he’s not trying. In almost every meeting Kurtich has had with employees where he announces that there will be cuts and buyouts, he says that these steps have to be taken to ensure the future of the company and our paper. Whose future is he talking about? There’s not one person in this whole company that is not indispensable. Take a good look at the future, it’s unraveling right before our eyes. I will embrace change, but only those changes that benefit employees and not executives who get bonuses for cutting their work force. UNION