Post-its From the Edge (of Boeing/FAA corruption)
These comments from other employees I worked with over the years prove that it is widespread knowledge at Boeing just how corrupt Boeing's quality system is. Most if these comments are comments I witnessed from Boeing people that were in a position to know intimately what they said was true--employees that worked in the Quality Departments at Boeing. When someone would make a notable comment that was of note in this regard, I would document the converstation ASAP on a Post-it note, preserving it word for word, and documenting the date and time it was said. Hence this pages title, "Post-its from the Edge" (of corruption, that is).
Actually, as you will see from the below comments, they are not "from the edge of corruption," as fits the play on words this page's title is--they document instead serious and massive levels of core corruption in Boeing's "Quality Management System" ("Mismanagement System", would be more accurate, as this site documents) that places the public's and our military personnel's lives at much extra risk than that which is required per the regulations, just to maximize Boeing's bottom line. Many of these comments have not been shared with anyone until now--not the FAA, or even the OIG. They only go to show that there is much more evidence of Boeing and FAA fraud I could have (and still can provide) provided the authorities if I did not have to report this fraud in the reasonable amount of time this critical issue necessitated me to act in:
Post-it from the Edge (of Boeing/FAA corruption) #1:
Documentation of a conversation with my QA supervisor--4/13/06, approximately 8:59 AM:
(My QA supervisor) came up behind me saying, "So Gerry, are you making any big money for the company today?" -- This was at least the third time he did this.
The above words from my supervisor, as well as the time he began to talk to me, speak volumes about the corruption of QA supervisors at Boeing. It was a not so subtle at least third same hint about what his priorities were--and the noted questions to me make it obvious intentionally, no doubt) what his priorities were as a QA supervisor. And from what I witnessed, those priorities had almost nothing to do with the minimum quality, safety, and reliability requirements of the airplanes that were supposedly the things that it was his job to to ensure were met, and seemed to have much more to do with the company's bottom line and the company stock price, which he also frequently discussed. But he was just a typical QA supervisor at Boeing, and not the first by far to show such a propensity to throw wrenches into the cogs of Boeing's quality system in the hopes that would pad the Bottom line, increase the stock price, and make his merit bonus at the end of the year worth more to him, literally.
As I've stated before on this website, I believe, another of my QA supervisors when I was banished to Flight Test used to yell "Are we making money yet!" as he walked down the hall that extended the whole length of the huge building. He also told me of a meeting that he and other managers like him had to attend at the old Boeing Corporate Headquarters site across East Marginal Way from Flight Test where they were told to go out and raise the stock price. At least the QA supervisor told me of it in a somewhat disapproving tone, which may have been because he knew I insisted on doing my job, and he liked to tailor what he said and how he said it to each audience he spoke to.
Of course, both ideas are inane--both the QA supervisor asking me if I had made big money for the company that day, and Boeing Executive management telling QA supervisors to go out and raise the stock price.
This is because QA actually doing their jobs better subtracts money from the bottom line as more defects are found and documented and repaired before the airplanes flew on to their customers. So, the only real way for a QA manager or a line inspector like I was to make the short term bump in profits they wanted was to actually ensure line inspectors did not do their jobs of ensuring the airplanes were complete and not defective before delivery, and to instead let those misconfigurations, defects, and incomplete installations in the airplanes deliver to customers purposely undetected and unreworked. And that is how both noted supervisors did their jobs. One was more gleeful than the other at having to perform this kind of fraud, but they both did what their managers wanted them to do.
The time of the quote, 8:59 AM, also has relevance to the extreme pressure inspectors were put under to rollerstamp to "make big money for the company." 9:00 AM was every hourly worker's break time, and his discussion with me extended beyond the noted quote well into my break, as frequently happened with this particular supervisor. And he would come out to the factory floor to talk to me and others frequently during our breaks and lunch times. It was obvious why he did this, however--he thought if he talked to us during our breaks, he would be doing another favor for the company's bottom line, which was his sole focus, it seemed. In this case, he was trying to not interrupt us during the time we weren't on break so as to not interfere in even a small way with our productivity by such talks on company time. It happened so often that it was obvious he was purposely doing these work related discussions during break times for the aforesaid reasons. So much so that I began collecting data on what times he came out to speak to me and other line inspectors I saw him talking to during his rounds with the intention of filing a complaint about it if it didn't stop, which it did not. Unfortunately, I was terminated before I could do so, albeit it was not high on my list of priorities as QA management corruption that placed the lives of people who flew on Boeing planes at extra risk for more bottom line dollars was my main focus. These comparatively much pettier violations of laws to pad Boeing's bottom line were only a concern if I found time to compile my data and send it off to the relevant state labor law enforcement agency to get the violations stopped, which I never did.
These incidents are quite illustrative of where managers heads were at at Boeing even in times when profits were great. Some of their actions would make Dickens's Mr. Scrooge wince at the arrogance and greed shown by these managers, where no law seemed to be unbroken if doing so could hypothetically add anything to the bottom line.
And if you're thinking Boeing managers are perhaps more ethical now that Boeing's stock price and profits are ballooning still, I have some land I would like to sell you in Arizona.
Post-it from the Edge (of Boeing/FAA corruption) #2:
Documentation of a conversation with a Flight Test Airworthiness Inspector I used to work with before this conversation when I was banished to Flight Test as retaliation for turning Boeing into the FAA and for continuing to actually inspect instead of rollerstamp. He was at PSD for some flight test engine hardware inspection.--2/9/04, 8:20 AM:
(Flight Test Airworthiness Inspector) arrived in the 737 EBU (Engine Build-Up) receival area to B/S with me, a former close coworker. We were talking about the deletion of QA processes at the direction of Boeing management. (He) said, "It's the same as always. They're going to keep whittling down and whittling down until some major accident happens, then they'll say, 'How did that escape happen.' The FAA will do a major investigation and then we'll have a program put in place like the FOD (Foreign Object Damage) Program where everyone will have to wear T-shirts."
He was right, of course, but I think he gave the FAA way too much credit. As I had never told him or any of my coworkers of my intimate knowledge of just how corrupt the FAA was and how they covered for Boeing at the expense of public safety, he was under some illusion as to the impartiality of the FAA, as he had not learned the truth for himself, sadly. He still had the false belief that if he wanted to, he could call the FAA when he got fed up with the numerous extremely serious noncompliances he saw at Flight Test that Flight Test management ignored when he reported them to them. I saw his frustration at the lack of any real Flight Test management action to reign in the numerous abuses of Flight Test Mechanics while we were both in Flight Test together. He never to my knowledge called the FAA, although he and other Flight Test Airworthiness Inspectors threatened to. A frequent topic of conversation when I was in the Flight Test Airworthiness Inspector Lead's office was the improper (as they saw it) delegation of Flight Test Airworthiness Inspector functions to Mechanics which they thought was a violation of the FARs. They could have been right on that. I never researched it in detail, but they were the experts and should have known. These functions were delegated to Flight Test Mechanics, some of whom liked to say, "You'll never see that defect (on the airplane) from the ground when it is flying up at 30,000 feet."
Post-it from the Edge (of Boeing/FAA corruption) #3:
Documentation of a conversation with my QA supervisor--12/12/05, approximately 8:30 AM:
(My QA supervisor) comes up behind me (on his way to (name's) cube with (name) I believe) and looks at my computer screen, then says "We ain't got time for that. Shop is not going to work any overtime on these engines." I got out of my chair, to head to the Call Sheet to see what he was talking about. (I thought he had looked at the Call Sheet and found it had open jobs.) I told him I was working the Call Sheet. He walked away. I looked at the Call Sheet--it was up-to-date! More harrassment, obviously.
Post-it from the Edge (of Boeing/FAA corruption) #4:
A conversation with one of the better line inspectors I worked with--11/1/05, approximately 11:42 AM:
(The line inspector) asked me (just after (a) crew meeting as we were walking back to our areas), "So, have you been a good boy lately?" I asked him what he meant. He said he had seen me talking a lot with the (union) steward lately. I told him that I had been talking to the steward because management thought I was not stamping things off fast enough.
Actually, my corrupt management of the time was making an extraordinary attempt to try and CAM (Corrective Action Memo) me the three times it took to get me fired because they were unable to corrupt me despite many prior threatening attempts to do so, as they had corrupted other inspectors into being rollerstampers and not real inspectors, and/or they were trying to fire me (some six months before they succeeded in firing me) as retaliation for my reports to the FAA, and to obstruct the report I was working on at the time for other authorities, to protect themselves from having their habitual lawbreaking held to account by those authorities.
Post-it from the Edge (of Boeing/FAA corruption) #5:
A temporary "Team Leader's" statement to me--7/14/05, 5:57 AM:
"I'm going to put someone else on the shake."
I asked them why, and they said, "Because you're so very thorough, it wouldn't get done on time, when they need it."
"Team Leaders" are an abomination shoved down the union's throat during a down cycle contract negotiation when the company had the upper hand in negotiations, as people were being laid off at the time. These "Team Leaders" replaced the former leads, which were appointed leads based upon seniority, which afforded them protection from coercion that team leaders do not have as team leaders can be removed from their positions at any time for any reason without the union's consent. Boeing did not like the lead system because, in my opinion, such leads could not be corrupted as easily as team leaders could be because the team leader must essentially lick his manager's boots to keep their position, and they couldn't put an inexperienced bootlicker in a lead's job if they wanted to because you had to be the most senior person in the shop to get offered that job. With that knowledge, you can more fully understand what the significance is of the fact the above quote came from a QA team leader, and not a QA lead. Hopefully the union will step up and get rid of this abomination next contract, so once again highly skilled and experienced people that can do the right thing over their manager's objections without being "fired" will be required to hold these positions. As noted on this site, Boeing management has succeeded in corrupting leads as well, however, an ethical lead can keep their job in the old lead system, whereas in the team leader system, with management as corrupt as noted on this site, being ethical (like the above noted team leader was not in substituting knowingly a rollerstamping inspector for the what I knew to be unfortunately the last real inspector, me) can easily place your team leader job in immediate jeopardy as a result:
From 06:10, the same day, here are the notes I took while I watched the rollerstamping "inspector" they assigned to my engine "inspect" it. I also used quotation marks on "inspect" as it related to this rollerstamping inspector in my notes as shown below as they were one of the most notorious rollerstampers I knew at the time. This incident goes to show what Boeing management and their "Team Leaders" do when they want to "alter their processes (rollerstamp) to meet the delivery schedule"--they put a rollerstamping inspector on the job. This shows how they consciously coerce (this particular inspector was rollerstamping because they didn't care about doing their critical job and liked instead to surf non-work related websites and read novels in the ample time such rollerstamping allowed them, rollerstamping placed them in favor with management) these inspectors into rollerstamping and then use these corrupted "inspectors" to get "garbage out the door" as one of my coworkers said, without actually being inspected :
(I) saw (line inspector's name), on stand at L/H upper core area beginning inspection with no flashlight or mirror. Did not watch them after that much, but heard them and saw them talking to mechanics during much of the time they were "inspecting." At approximately 06:32, long after they had done their "inspection," (I) noticed all jobs had been stamped off, less the three that couldn't be done until the inlet was installed (final equipment list, fan cowl pneumatics, inlet job). At 07:30, watched (the same inspector's name) get under the engine, this time using a flashlight, but no mirror, supposedly inspecting the inlet job. However, they rolled backwards also looking briefly at the Integrated Drive Generator oil cooler area at the aft end of fancase (that job they had already stamped off). Entire "inspection" took about a minute or less, then they got up from creeper under core area. Did not see them look at Cowl Thermal Anti-Ice pneumatics job area or the rest (top 2/3rds) of inlet installation (before they stamped those jobs off as inspected).
Post-it from the Edge (of Boeing/FAA corruption) #6:
A mechanic's statement to me--4/25/05, 11:04 AM:
"With as much as you know about specs, you should be able to write a book about how big a joke this company is."
He was referring to the engineering specifications Boeing airplanes were supposed to be built to when he said "specs".
Post-it from the Edge (of Boeing/FAA corruption) #7:
Conversation with a fellow line inspector about another line inspector--8/24/05, approximately 12:30 PM:
I talked to (name) over the railing at the back of my desk. They told me how they had worked one day (I believe it was a day I was absent) with (name), and had seen them reading a book from 5:30 AM to 9 AM (the shift began at 5:30 AM).
Right after 9 AM break they looked at the job book for the engine the other inspector was "inspecting," and found most of the jobs had been stamped off. They were amazed, and stated that even if the other inspector had worked during break, they shouldn't have been able to stamp all of those jobs off. I said that the other inspector they were talking about seemed to have a talent for stamping jobs off quickly, and the inspector must skip over huge portions of the jobs to do it so fast. The inspector I was talking with said, "no wonder they are their golden child." The inspector meant that the noted inspector was our management's "golden child."
Post-it from the Edge (of Boeing/FAA corruption) #8:
Quote from (Name of fellow line inspector) regarding him becoming a rollerstamping inspector, 9/20/04, 2:50 PM:
"If they don't give a damn, I don't either."
He was referring to our QA management when he said "they".