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Fifty Years of My Life (1939 - 1990)
A Memoir by Jeff R. Noordermeer

Promotion to Quality Control Manager

In the summer of 1982 we had a big managerial change in different departments. Our new general manager wanted a different quality control program, as he had worked in his younger years as a lab technician. I know this was going to be another tough challenge in my working hours. There were so many things he wanted me to do and change. He told me that when he worked in the lab there were days where he had to work 24 hours a day. What he didn't say was that years ago there were a lot more people working in a lab. I had two men working for me in the lab, one in the early morning hours and one in the afternoon. The management was very particular about people making overtime. Since my help was paid hourly and I was paid a salary, most of my weekends I spent at the plant by myself to get his new quality program organized. With long hours and many weekends I finally got things going the way the new general manager wanted.

In September 1982 I was called into the general manager's office and told that if I was interested in taking the quality control zone manager's job, they had me in mind. All of my responsibilities, financial and other benefits were explained to me. I was told to think it over for a few days and let the management know. If I would take the job I had to report directly and work closely together with our Southern zone manager, Mr. Bob Facchina. Mr. Bob Facchina was a graduate from Maryland University with a degree in business. When he started to work for Embassy Diary as a trainee he worked for me in the lab. He was a very smart and aggressive young man. In several years he moved through all the departments of our company, and finally became the number two man as a Southern zone manager. Bob Facchina always felt that I had the qualities to take the whole program of quality control of the zones and branches involved. I know that this was going to be another challenge in my life. After a long talk at lunch with Bob I told him that I had decided to take the job. I knew that I would have a lot more responsibilities and headache. I didn't want the job that badly, but there was a little part of me saying, I went so far over all those years I might as well go to the top.

When it was officially known that I had excepted my new position and the new organizational chart was sent out to all the different departments, I found out that there were some bad comments made by some other supervisors about my getting this job. To be sure that I would have full control over my job, I outlined in a fully written report what I felt my duties were, and I wanted Mr. Bob Facchina to completely support me in my program. I had copies distributed to all the departments in our organization. When I excepted my new position I bypassed many of my close associates who were university graduates, and I had the authority to take remedial steps immediately. I had the authority to discontinue any operation if it wasn't up to our quality control standards. This was not to the liking of some of the production supervisors. Bob had especially emphasized that when I took my new position it was my responsibility to correct anything that was not to my liking. By my being around made the atmosphere uncomfortable for the production supervisors as they had to work with time and production. I had many flare-ups with production supervisors as they were always trying to take shortcuts in putting out a product.

Production supervisors are always interested in the quantity they can put out in a day, as it always looked good for them on the production reports, but the quality of the products was sometimes neglected. That's why I always kept a close eye on the production, as I was interested in quantity and quality. I became involved in so many programs that I had to spend many hours at work. We had regular staff and sales meetings. At the staff meeting I had to prepare and present the latest records about our quality controlled products. I never felt very comfortable at those meetings. There were always executives present from our Dallas headquarters, and they would question us about the in and outs of our operation. I was very strong in my work, but I was always very uneasy. I knew I did not have an educational background of schooling like most of my associates I had to deal with daily, but I had a strong feeling for people, and whoever I met I would always come straight forward to meet this person. With my strong personality I could always work with those people.

CONTINUED: A tour of the dairy
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© Copyright  - Antonio Zamora

- Foreword
- Old Rotterdam
- World War II
- After the War
- Coming to America
- Washington, D.C.
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