In Answer to a Headhunter looking for a Candidate
Many of you know me from my telling of past experiences. Here is one more to add to the pile. A recent email to me about an employment opportunity in automotive. My return email to the headhunter.
Thank you for your interest.
Having been trapped between Engineering and the plants over the years where I was working was an experience. No amount of logic would sway their demands for what they wanted regardless of their being a part of causing it. I would direct you to what has happened most recently with Semiconductors.
Automotive shut down due to the Covid epidemic and the lack of a 100% vaccine to prevent it. Even with the vaccine, one still had to maintain distance from others and stay out of crowds. Automotive figured it out and made arrangements.
Rather than maintain inventory of crucial material needed to start up again, automotive did not task the supply base with orders so they could build an inventory in support of manufacturing. Semiconductors is one of those items which has very little direct labor input (the lowest cost of manufacturing). So, when automotive finally came back online, they were short this crucial component to complete product.
Manufacturing semiconductors is a two-phase process, grow the wafers at one facility, send the wafers to another facility to be cut into foundation, populate with transistors, layer them, etc. (extremely simple version). While some will tell you the lead-time from start to finish is less, my experience has been it will take 8 weeks. It also takes a long time to catch up with a pent-up demand, new product demand, etc. So, automotive screwed up, which is not unusual.
What I have learned with automotive over the years is they are bound to repeat the same mistake over and over again. In 2007/8, when Wall Street blew themselves up and Main Street had to rescue them by being a part of the solution. Automotive lost 40% of its business in the blink of an eye. They shut down. Automotive did not maintain its orders then either. And the same critical part (semiconductor) was short when they started back up.
There is no amount of jumping up and down, yelling, etc. which will make a wafer grow faster or Fab to process quicker. I was chasing semiconductors in 2010 and was a part of a conference call between the German company where I worked, the Panasonic semiconductor plants in the Philippines, and Chrysler which included the VP of Purchasing. The Chrysler VP asked the Japanese head of the plants if they could allocate 25,000 semiconductors to us monthly. The Japanese plant manager of 6 plants said Chrysler should give us some of their allocation.
It was hard not to laugh. I stifled it.
Not learning from history, we are bound to repeat the same mistakes. And for sure we did in 2020 to 2022. Automotive was and is charging a premium for its vehicles because of limited supply of strategic parts.
I am retired now which would cause me to say no anyway. I learned from my experience in 2010 not to get caught between the customer and your company without a way out to resolve the issues. For that reason too, I would not interview.
Did I get this right?
I have been thinking about unretiring, but just because I’m bored.
I don’t have to think twice, it’s alright …
Retirement is the only opportunity in life that one may have to do important work for a wise boss, but not everyone gets that chance. Such contentment requires both resources and wisdom, but more of the latter can somewhat compensate for less of the former.
I ‘retired’ early, as my employer of almost twenty years was deeplu involved in the process of going under. Having spent several years as a parent working in town & school libraries as a volunteer (my first stint as such was as a sixth-grader), I decided to help out the local hospital, and never left.
I have been ’employed’ there for about 30 years, with no pay. I am now the only person there who provides ‘library services’ as such, for zero pay, working remotely. Because someone has to do this. I get practically zero assistance (or recognition) from hospital administration, except for my most immediate IT needs – they keep my email access going.
They keep me busy, probably about 30 hours a week.
Feels like a fair amount of energy going to something that no longer serves you. I’d drop it if you really are done with it. No question your past experience brings a lot of value to assessing contemporary situations, but maybe better to let go some of these “opportunities” with just “thanks for asking, but no thanks”.
This explanatory answer is important and superbly done.
It sounds like they think that hiring you will speed up semiconductor production. Do they know something you don’t know? Check with a New Age counselor. Perhaps you have a special affinity with crystals. Growing crystals still has its mystical elements. There’s good pay for a reliable crystal whisperer. Could it be your laser like eyesight when you go Dark Brandon? Automotive semiconductors don’t need EUV. Even the visible band light you emit would work in fabricating that kind of chip. The job is a bit repetitive, but they offer a lot of great perks like free eyewash.
You are definitely doing the right thing.
I can’t quite walk on water as my ankles get wet. I can not fix immediately what took them time to break. The process is the process and I can not change it. I can connive and use my influence. If they blew themselves up which they probably did, it will still take time and a lot of talk. Then once fixed, they will blow themselves up again.
I am not ready for more Ground Hog Days again. Although she might inspire me.