Almost everyone has an opinion of Newark Airport. Looking out the window on departure you see a lot of familiar sights: IKEA, the Jersey Turnpike, Refineries, an occasional Sopranos flashback, and lots and lots of white planes with blue tails. These planes are now marked UNITED. Scratching my head I had to look twice.
The merger of United and Continental has not just begun- it is in full swing. I travel in and out of EWR a lot. I actually have grown to like the place in an odd sort of way. It always means that I am off someplace to meet a customer or go to a show. I’m eager to meet someone I have talked with in the past or for the first time. Arriving means that home is about 90 minutes from touchdown.
When I saw the planes painted the familiar white and blue with the United name, I was disappointed and concerned. Spending about 100,000+ air miles per year in a continental plane has afforded me a consistency and level of service that I deem more than acceptable. The 16+ hours to Hong Kong always seem manageable with the smiles and hard work that the attendants put forth; which is contrasting to my experiences with United: the old planes and crabby attendants who make it a chore and frown if you ask for the can of soda during the beverage service.
I listened to Larry Kellner the CEO for years during his pre-recorded message about their quality service, newest jet fleet in the industry, etc… but the biggest test for this airline since its bankruptcy in the 1990’s is to maintain its consistency of reasonable service at a competitive rate while not falling prey to the perils of mergers gone bad. And for all of us frequent business travelers, do not forget to just give us the whole can of soda.
On Sunday I arrived at the beginning of my journey to Asia: Newark Airport. With a sigh I got off the monorail at Terminal A, rather than my usual stop at Terminal C. This was only because the usual direct flight that I take was all booked and so our illustrious Lori got me on a partner airline, United. The only issue was instead of a direct flight, I had to connect through ORD (O Hare). This added another 3 hours to the travel time, but with 13 hours vs 16 hours, at that point you’re numb and hungry anyway. While sitting in the lounge (a perk of the Continental / United merger) an announcement began saying my EWR to ORD flight was cancelled. Looking at the time, I started to formulate a Plan B.
I walk up to the counter at the lounge, and politely say I really need to get to Asia but my flight is cancelled, and the next EWR to ORD will not get me to Chicago in time for my connection, what now?
A few clicks and a few squints at her screen, and she produces a boarding pass that is famous in Royal Master Circles – “The Express”. This was my original preference before I was booked on United, but the cost was insane. As soon as I figure out what happened and realize that I was treated to a direct flight, my phone beeps and buzzes stating that my new gate of departure is 121 in Terminal C. Continental instantly sent me an update to my status of my gate and departure time.
Frequent flyers have all experienced this instant information but in the information age what made this cool is with a simple Mobile phone number or e-mail address, all of this is instant. Back when instant coffee was an innovation, it was coffee made fast, but now it takes too long for water to boil on a stove. So we look for faster ways to get hot water.
Instant information is key to running high volume production. Every minute of lost production means lost profits. Royal Master has now incorporated in their machines the ability for the machine to e-mail up to 10 addresses or send out text messages to mobile phones numbers when a machine issue ...
Our overseas agent recently sent us an inquiry to grind parts for an experimental grind. His only details that he gave is that they are very small and they might be hard to handle. In working with guidewires which go as small as .001” in diameter, I thought, “ no challenge here”.
Wow was I wrong. Not only are these parts small in diameter, but short in length. The 1000 parts that they sent in are shown here. The handling of the part, not the grinding will be the challenge. This is a patience job, and a job that even our competitors will say, “just call Royal Master”
In replying back to our overseas agent, he gave me an “oh by the way” with the customer wants to autofeed them. In the back of my mind I assumed that this would have to be the case as I cannot see anyone on a production basis handling these parts, but I also kind of hoped that they had a plan already in place for inserting and removing from the wheels.
I will keep you posted as to the progress as we grind them in our Experimental lab. If you have a part that is more of a challenge, give it to us and you can win a $100 Best Buy Gift certificate. Closing date for Entries is August 15th.
I look forward to your tough job, what would challenge us?
When I started at Royal Master in January, I was extremely nervous. I had never had a job before, and I was intimidated by horror stories that my friends had told about their own jobs. Since we are still in high school, most of my friends work at places like the grocery store or the bagel shop. Working at an office was a total mystery to me.
My first week passed quickly. I met so many new people and tried my best to remember the names and faces. I started filing and making new folders. I had so many questions but everyone was so nice and answered them all. I started learning what I needed to do, and every day that I was there I became less nervous.
Now, three days a week at three, I walk into the office, say hello to Lori, Lee and Marilyn, before heading over to Alan’s desk. Alan will tell me what I should do that day. Sometimes, I will file downstairs, other times upstairs, where I file old purchase orders. I’ve also learned how to answer the phones. Occasionally, John Jr. will have a project for me, one that will, as he says “keep me out of trouble for a while”. Those projects range from figuring out how to put pictures on the blog to setting up email distribution lists.
Some of the things I have done at Royal Master have even helped me out at school. For my computer class, we had a project in which we need to design envelopes and labels. I was ahead of the class since Lori had already taught me how to make labels for the folders.
The people are what make my job here so interesting and fun. My friends have told me how some of the people they work with are cranky or mean. That is not the case at Royal Master. The people here are so nice. For example, Lori wrote up a whole page of directions about answering the phone, like who is in what department so that I can direct the call to the proper person.
Working at Royal Master is not at all what I expected. . Though I was nervous at first, I am now so glad that I work here.