Tonight I got a call from the plant floor saying they needed to swap a printer out. Note the word swap-That would imply 2 items, one that is currently in place, one that is waiting in the wings. I tell supervisor AB (not his real initials--His name is unpronounceable to most English speakers, he goes by initials) that we need information for both printers--IP address would be best, but the barcode is enough. Since the old printer is working, we ask if it is necessary to do during production, he says this has been a problem for the last 3 shifts and needs to be fixed ASAP. "All I have is barcode". OK, let me have them. He gives me one barcode and explains in detail what is wrong with the printer--Information I don't need, we aren't even allowed to touch them. I ask for the numbers from the other printer "All I have is barcode", gives me the same barcode again, and explains what is wrong with the printer, and that they are still using it. I give up, and go the half a mile (literally) to where the printers actually are, so I can get the other barcode.
By the time I get back, get in touch with the central people who will actually make the change (somehow it is considered more efficient to have a central team who I have to get out of bed, instead of having the local people maintain their own addresses) it is too late to make the original window. I call AB again, tell him we can't guarantee we will be done in time, so we need a new window. "All I have is barcode. I'm under a lot of pressure to get this fixed" and he describes the problem again. Explain that I went to the floor and got the barcodes for both printers, and I have the information I need. He interrupts to tell me "All I have is barcode" and tell me what's wrong with the printer. I explain again that I have the information that I need to make the changes, I can't get them done before lunch is over, all I need from him is the next window when we can do it He tells me next break, I ask when that is.
Make arrangements with the central people--The woman I talk to is going to set her alarm so she can wake up and push the changes.
AB calls again, saying he is uneasy about doing this during production (which is exactly what we told him before...) and that if he can't print labels he'll be f'd up. I explain that worst case, he'd have to put the old printer back and it would work. He repeats himself again--I tell him it is his call, but if he cancels, we won't be able to reschedule again until production is over. He cancels, then tries to explain why he's uneasy--I tell him I have to wake up the person who will do the change and stop her, so I need to go.
This is typical for him. Although he's foreign, that's not the problem--when he listens, he can comprehend, and his accent is understandable. With him, everything us URGENT, and then when he changes his mind, the change is URGENT as well.