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talljasperman's avatar

Can you describe the biggest problem that is right at the top of your pay grade that you have solved?

Asked by talljasperman (17996 points ) March 7th, 2014

Also can you list a problem that you couldn’t deal with but your supervisor could because he/she is better trained? What is the most difficult problem that each discipline and trade has ever faced… Like If Dr. Phil was giving Hannibal Lecter therapy. That would be an example of the difficulty class (DC) for each profession, craft, and trade. Another example is like tacking an animal or criminal with tracks covered in light snow. Based on the question

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6 Answers

LuckyGuy's avatar

I work on technical problems that have not been solved before. I cannot be an expert in all fields so I call in other experts to cover areas that I cannot.

zenvelo's avatar

Tasks like that don’t solved or assigned in that manner in senior management. I have certain things I do on my own, but at a certain point other people must be involved to complete a project.

For instance, a customer will tell my boss they are taking business elsewhere because of a change in rates. My boss informs the team, one analyst reviews the customer’s business mix, and how a change favorable to that customer would affect other customers. And then finance looks at how a change will trickle through to profitability. And we discuss various ways to adjust all rates so that a discount in one place will result in more money coming from another place.

After all that, the customer relations (marketing) people talk to other clients, and I work on preparing a filing of the rate change for the government. And then we explain (with the lawyers) to the gov’t. why our rate change is fair and equitable. After approval the marketing people make a formal announcement.

We work as a team, keep each other informed, and our boss oversees the process and keeps us all moving forward.

ibstubro's avatar

I was an hourly employee in a food factory for 20 years, operating a machine. About 2 years before the end of my tenure, I was talked into leading a team of employees and managers. Our task was to design a way to get a several hundred pound roll of food-grade plastic from a vertical position (standing on a pallet) to a horizontal position, head high. For years, they had been knocking the roll off on the cement floor, stopping it, inserting a bar, then hand cranking it with a chain pulley.

My team located an electric crane and a location for it. Designed a cart that would hold 5 rolls horizontally, yet roll smoothly, and another electric crane for use on the line. With other improvements to the line, it was a $50,000 project and was executed in such a way that not one single modification was needed or suggested when it was complete.

2–3 years later, when I was within 2 months of being eligible for early retirement, I was railroaded by local management and fired. Corporate (it’s a multi-national) saw it differently and gave me full retirement benefits.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Most of the things my boss can do, I can do as well. The exceptions are hiring and firing employees (while I can’t do this, I can input my opinions), and having the power of her title behind her conversations with physicians and other departments in our hospital. I have filled in for her in the past and continue to do so when necessary, so I have developed more authority with people at my work. Some employees will come to me with issues rather than going to her because they are more comfortable talking to me. I then take the issue to her and she includes me in the efforts to correct the situation.

filmfann's avatar

I used to work on telecommunication equipment. Much of it I had been trained on, but one specific piece of equipment I had not, purposefully. My company didn’t want us to try and troubleshoot this equipment, but merely do what our tech support tells us.
Well, I was in the field, and I did what the tech support did for about an hour, and it would not reboot.
I told them that I felt it might be a specific card, and they told me I was wrong, and that this card was uninvolved with this booting process. I had enough experience with other pieces of shit equipment to know better.
Disregarding the tech support’s commands, I replaced the card I felt was in question. The machine rebooted.
Tech support then had to add that card replacement to the possible repair procedures they use.

That said, if I had been wrong, it could have meant a several week suspension.

Cruiser's avatar

When I was just a salesman for our company that makes adhesives, one of our tried and true #1 formulas experienced a multi 6 figure catastrophic failure. It was inconceivable that this could be happening as again it was a 30 year old formula with zero failures. Since the boss was at the job site 800 miles away helping to remove the failed material it was left to me to figure out what went wrong.

As it turns out the batch makers took it upon himself to make the product on a cowles disperser instead of the slow mix kettle it was always made in as he knew he could make 3 times the amount of product this new way in the same amount of time. This high speed mixing created a much less dense material and thus the stoichiometry (chemical balance of the formula) was off enough to create an imbalance in the mix ratio and thus a product that could not cure as originally designed.

Not being a chemist, my own stubbornness and curiosity set me on a course of discovery where I not only found this imbalance in the new mixing procedure but I also uncovered a flaw in the formula that also contributed to this failure. I essentially had to deconstruct the formula and rebuild it with new additions to the formula and came up with a more bullet proof product that 15 years removed has not had one failure and is still our #2 product we make.

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