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." This quote is from the section of my report noted in the first quote below that I deleted to make that quote shorter and I stated that I may quote later. This quote from that section details my history as an inspector at Boeing, and some of the other corrupt Boeing QA supervisors I've worked for over the years:
Before the 777 strut fitting incident, (my QA supervisor) had also had a similar conversation with me about, I believe, NCR..., on damage on 757 strut hinge fittings. I don’t remember that conversation as clearly as the 777 strut one, but it revolved also on what criteria I used to write up damage, and I had told him I wasn’t the only inspector writing up similar damage. NCR...was also written on similar damage to 757 strut hinge fittings by another inspector, (name), in the area.
(My QA supervisor) didn’t just give me his undivided attention. (Name) had told me that (my QA supervisor) had threatened to fire him if he would not stop writing up loose clamps. (Name) had his problems with him. A mechanic had "went off" way worse than any mechanic had ever done so to me, at (name), while he was inspecting the mechanic’s job. I witnessed it. After the mechanic left I told (name) that I would be a witness if he wanted to go to personnel with it, as no inspector should have to deal with that kind of behavior. About that time it seemed a lot of mechanics were testing inspectors ability to be verbal punching bags, and I told (name) it was time to do something about it. (Name) went to personnel, I believe, but however it happened, (my QA supervisor) came and got me and (name) and took us to the personnel administrator’s office.
The personnel administrator, whose name escapes me, asked (name) what had happened. He told his story, but every time I attempted to speak up and tell what I had seen to help (name), (my QA supervisor) would tell me to shut up. At the end of the meeting, after (my QA supervisor) and (name) left, I stayed and asked the personnel administrator if I could talk to her. She closed the door. I told her how (my QA supervisor) had told me not to write up valid defects to cut costs. I believe I told her much more than that about him, but the rest escapes me.
We also talked of his obvious lack of people skills for a supervisor, and she tried to talk me into the theory that it was his "east coast persona" that offended my more "let’s all get along, easy going" Northwest demeanor. I told her that I thought that was wrong, and that any Boeing Manager anywhere in the country should be adhering to the Boeing Management Traits, which included treating people with respect. I told her that I thought an ethics investigation should be begun on him for telling people not to write up valid discrepancies. I believe she was the ethics advisor for us at the time. We ended our meeting. I never heard from her again.
I believe shortly after that meeting, I scheduled a skip-level meeting with (my QA director) by email. We met on 3/17/99 in the morning. I had never met (my QA director) alone before, as he rarely would step out of his office and mix with us line inspection folk. I told him I had wanted to meet with him about (my QA supervisor). I ticked off the official list of the traits that a supervisor was supposed to have at Boeing, explaining how (my QA supervisor) failed all of them. I told him about the 777 strut fitting incident, and how he had told me not to write up damage unless I thought it would create a "stress riser." He asked me if (my QA supervisor) had provided me with the correct specifications to judge rejectable damage by, like I had requested. I told him he hadn’t. (He never did provide me with them, as I had been using the correct ones all along.) I told him about how I had heard he had threatened to fire (name) if he didn’t stop writing up loose clamps. He gruffly said he already knew about it. I changed the subject quickly.
I told him that I thought (my QA supervisor) should support me and his other Quality employees, and not always take shop’s viewpoint on everything. (My QA director) told me that three Manufacturing Supervisors had come to his office saying I was "excessively critical of the product", wanting to get rid of me. He said (my QA supervisor) had stood up for me against them. Knowing (my QA supervisor) well by then, I found that astonishing, but I wasn’t at the meeting, so I had to accept (my QA director's) word. I told him that (my QA supervisor's) sole focus on the cost of the product at the expense of Quality befitted a Manufacturing Supervisor, but I thought he was not fit to be a QA Supervisor. (My QA director) said that right now cost was the main focus, because of the production difficulties. He said he would get back to me later on the subject, and the meeting ended.
The Last Inspector