After I got out of the Air Force, I applied for my first full time job. The personnel person asked me if I would like to be an Industrial Engineer. It sounded good to me, but I had never heard of an Industrial Engineer. He didn’t know either, but he introduced me to the manager of the department who explained it to me. Had no idea what he was talking about. I didn’t know what I was in for.
When I first became an Industrial Engineer, everything seemed kind of daunting. There was so much to learn, but I was so young that nothing seemed impossible. I started as most IE’s, that is, I learned work measurement. It was fun at first to watch other people work while I timed them. I had to learn how to use a stopwatch. I thought using a stopwatch would be simple. But, NOOOO….. The next thing was to learn “judgement leveling.” There were videos to watch and I had to learn how far from “good skill and good effort” each sample video was. But learn it I did. Then I had to learn to break down each operation into segments called “elemental time.” Next came the pre-determined time system that this company used called “Work Factor.” This was actually somewhat boring. It’s amazing to me that I could probably use it to this day, many years later. All of this just to watch others work and tell them how long they should take. But I was in the beginning stages of carving out a career for myself.
Oh, well, more later.