Thursday, June 27, 2013

Honda Visit (+ Sweet Cousin Friends)

Hey, y'all.  I've found myself asking, "What day is it?" so many times this week.  This whole no-working thing has made it hard to keep up.

Today was actually kind of a work day, though, since I spent it here:

And it. Was. Awesome.  This workshop was designed for business, history, and economics educators from across the state. Like I mentioned in my last post, I was pretty excited about it.

It was a GREAT experience.  The day was mixed with a bit of history, business, engineering, technology, and LOTS (and lots and lots) of economics. And fun, of course. 

{Here's one of my groups doing a productivity exercise.  I met some neat secondary and post-secondary educators from all over the state.}

Not gonna lie, though -- the coolest thing was not the economics talk or the chatting and networking.  It was the doggone PLANT TOUR.  AH-MAZING.

I can't even BEGIN to tell you how cool it was to experience the processes that go into creating these vehicles. I have a high level of respect and admiration for people who work there.  Everyone from the top-level management to those on the floor. The detail that goes into ensuring the quality of the vehicles is amazing. My favorite parts of the tour were:
  • Watching the engines being produced and all the tiny pieces and processes that it involves.
  • Seeing the vehicle components (bumpers, seats, doors, etc.) before they were put together to make a vehicle.
  • The robots that were a part of the welding process.
  • Hearing that people who worked in certain areas of the paint department are not allowed to wear regular lotion, hairspray, and normal things we never think about (because tiny components could get into the paint and cause premature chipping).
  • The cleanliness of the plant.
  • The number of women who worked there.  I shouldn't have been surprised since some women in my family (including my mother and grandmother) worked in manufacturing for most of their lives.  For some reason, though, I thought a place like Honda would employ significantly more males.  But I was wrong.  (I should add that I don't remember seeing females in the office area where many of the engineers worked.  There just aren't many female engineers, so that didn't surprise me.)
  • Learning how much these people made. I knew Honda had a reputation for paying well, but I was still surprised at what these people TAKE HOME.  And their benefits are also top notch.
  • Seeing all the employees doing their parts to make quality products.
There was just SO much to admire during this visit.  One thing that was a bit disappointing, though, was that I didn't see anyone I knew. I already knew my relatives who worked there wouldn't be there at the time of the tour, but I have classmates and people I grew up with who also work there.  I was expecting to see someone "from home."  Didn't happen.

In reality, the chances of me seeing some I knew was kinda slim.  While I think of Honda as a little plant near my hometown, I'm a bit off with the "little" part. This facility is a huge employer in our state -- employing THOUSANDS of people.  Trying to find a classmate or two in the white uniform, hat, and safety glasses that EVERYONE was wearing was a bit of a needle-in-a-haystack thing.

Oh, well.  It was still awesome.

Now it's time to enjoy the weekend.  M has company tonight -- my sweet, sweet niece, C.  I'm gonna let them stay up late and enjoy each other since they don't see each other often.

We spent the evening in our usual spot -- outdoors enjoying the sunset.

I have to enjoy days like this.  With my niece being six years older than M, one day she won't care to come to my house to spend time with her younger cousin.  She will see M as "too little," and I'll have to wait until they're both older before they're friends like this again.

Sweet girls!  They love each other so much!

Have a great weekend, good people!


PS - I know I said I'd post about our cave visit today, but I wanted to record the details from today's plant visit before they were forgotten.  I'll post the cave stuff in a few days.

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