The first thing we had to do when we got to the plant was watch a safety video. It featured the word “safety” about 39 times in 7 minutes (the majority of them being in the first minute and a half). Also it taught us that we MUST wear safety goggles the entire time. Only problem is that the goggles were not exactly designed to fit over a variety of nose shapes and sizes so it made for a bit of an uncomfortable tour.
Then it began. Well it began before but now it began for serious... The factory......the factory tour...THE ACTUAL FACTORY TOUR! As the double doors swung closed behind us, it hit us like a wall of sticky pudding. Whap! A smell of perfume and glue and mouthwash all mixed up in one stew crawling up your nostrils and into the forehead of your face. They said it was coolant. Cool.
The first stop was the big washing machine incubators. A giant robot arm lifts a big lump of metal in and then it gets swished around with coolant and drills and then POP! Out it comes like a piece of toast but metal toast and instead of being brown and buttered it’s shiny and with holes. Then we interviewed some people including the head honchos of the incubators who debated over if it was better to be in charge or if it was better to be on the “line”. Then they told us how long they had been working at the GM plant and how the floors used to be wooden and the roofs open = dangerous and slippy when it rains.
Then to the “line”. As in the assembly line... where people do the same thing over and over and switch and then over and over and switch and then over and over and then they go home. It was a bit different than we thought it would be because it looked really fun. And there are machines that help you lift things, and the conveyor belt doesn’t move until your finish your job (not like when it all goes to shit for Lucy). Also each team gets to pick their own music which makes it a lot more like a dance club where you get to perfect your sweet moves.
We got to interview more people, like managers and team leaders, and they were all sooooo nice to us. We learned about unions and layoffs and taking care of the line and your team because a minute of production lost is actually worth thousands of dollars. We watched flying robots and cleared the way for mini tractors. All for the engine. Just the engine. Because at the end of the day, they take all these engines and whisk them off to another plant where they grow the rest of the car. Can you believe it? Hundreds and thousands of engines seven days a week, around the clock.
Fordism at its best... GMism that is.
Signing off on another adventure, Morro and Jasp.