This quote is also from my first report to the FAA local MIDO office, when I was naive and chose not to believe all those press reports about the FAA being the "handmaiden of the aviation industry" and a "tombstone agency."
Anyway, (name) I believe was the QA Director at the time I was banished from the floor for writing up too many discrepancies. He would come into the Liaison Engineering office occasionally and ask me if "they were keeping me busy." I said yes. I’m not sure if I told him the real truth. I was keeping myself busy. He transferred later to be head of Sonic Cruiser Quality (and then even later, when that program ended, he became head of 787 Quality). I saw him at the PSD Family Fair showing off the Sonic Cruiser model. He asked me even then the same question "are they keeping you busy", when we talked. No one checked on my performance of my auditing duties. They didn’t care because it was just a "make-work" job.
Anyway, I told you about what (QA supervisor's name) said to me about the subject, that he had only "heard rumors" why I was sent to the office. Once again, I never fully grasped, because I didn’t want to, the real reason I was in the office, until that meeting, when (QA supervisor's name) explained all the details of the real BCAG Quality System. Then it was all perfectly clear. On 12/18/01, when I was still ignorant, we had an all hands meeting with (name), who I would learn after the meeting, was the highest Quality person in BCAG, V.P. of Quality, just below where, organizationally, Quality conjoined at the hip with Manufacturing, literally, in (name), V.P. of Manufacturing and Quality, in that order (functionally, I would later learn on 1/11/02, Manufacturing and Quality conjoined at the hip, literally, in every single QA Supervisor in BCAG).
Anyway, I arrived to the meeting late, as I’d forgotten about it, and I missed her presentation. I was at the Q&A part. Toward the end I raised my hand and she called on me. I still didn’t get it. I said, "We have probably the worst QA Manual in the Boeing Company." I told her that it hadn’t been revised in a year and a half, and that things that should be in it were missing, that it was hopelessly out of date to the way we did things and vice versa, and that we had Quality Assurance Change Requests (QACRs) (I had written them, but I didn’t tell her that) that were sitting on people’s desks for over a year, and never submitted for incorporation.
I told her that I had heard that we were holding off on all changes to our QA Manual because of the new BCAG-wide QMS manual that would replace it was coming out in 2003, 2004, or 2005. I asked her if that was true, if we should not be making any changes to our manual as I had heard. She said that what I had heard was wrong, and that we should still continue to keep our manual up-to-date. I asked her, "can you tell your underlings that." (name), my QA Director, and her direct underling, sprung up out of her seat. She began to explain the situation to (the QA V.P. for BCA).
Yikes! I knew I had severely screwed up. I had expected (the QA V.P. for BCA) to confirm the rumor I had heard that we should not be updating the manual. But no. Instead I had embarrassed my Supervisor, (name), on whose desk my QACRs were languishing, if he had not round filed them yet, and my Director, (name), along with the other QA Planning, CAU, Completed Records Supervisor. (The QA Director) told (the QA V.P. for BCA) that there was a freeze on the manual. (That was way back just before the last ACSEP audit.) I could tell she was grasping for straws to get herself out of the situation I had put her in. The QA Planning, CAU, Completed Records Supervisor, whose name I should know but don’t at the moment, jumped up and tried to help her explain what was happening with the manual in relation to DCAC changes and the upcoming ACSEP audit.
They couldn’t tell (the QA V.P. for BCA) the real reasons none of my QOI QACRs had been processed--that that project was just "make-work" for me, and they didn’t want to add them to the manual because we might have to comply with them, at least for a few weeks at ACSEP time. Anyway, (the QA V.P. for BCA) asked to them to answer my concerns in more detail, to me personally. That was the end of the Q&A session, and everyone had our customary birthday cake after (my QA supervisor) presented some awards. (My QA Director) came over to where I was sitting and actually spoke to me personally. She reiterated what she had said to (the QA V.P. for BCA) to me about the manual, then, out of the blue, brought up the subject of an email I had sent her on 11/07/01 about CORRS data that I had never gotten an answer to.
The email was information I had sent her just after one our all hands meetings with just her, in which she had mentioned CORRS data, the data on how many defects PSD was producing. The email said that I thought 95% of all rework-type defects were not reflected in that data, as we just hung tape and had the mechanics fix the defects on the spot without documenting them in the NCM System--"verbal pickups." It also stated that I thought only 20% of all defects, MRB-type and rework-type, were reflected in the CORRS data because of this and that she should view the data with suspicion because of this. It said how pretty much every supervisor and director of QA had been told about this problem (undocumented defects) and none were willing to address it because of the impact to shop it would have. She said that somehow she had deleted it, and wasn’t able to respond to it, and didn’t know what to do about it, but that we would schedule a meeting right after the holidays to discuss it. The QA Planning supervisor then came over and told me what was going on with the manual.
Anyway, after the holidays, (my QA Director) never arranged a meeting with me like she said. I had feared retaliation right after the holidays for that debacle I put my management through in that meeting with our V.P. Maybe (my QA supervisor's) meeting with me on 1/11/02 was part of that, not really a meeting disciplining me for a Sunday I worked on 10/14/01. Maybe it was the only thing he could find to get me for. I think that removing me from the production floor because I was writing up defects and/or disobeying (my former QA supervisor's) direction to let shop install the parts they wanted to without a drawing change or NCR is a very serious offense.
The Last Inspector