Is It Just Me Or...

. has the space-time continuum been disrupted creating faster years? Am I alone in the perception that in spite of all my efforts to remain mainstream, you know.

Columns From: 11/1/2000 Modern Machine Shop, ,

...has the space-time continuum been disrupted creating faster years? Am I alone in the perception that in spite of all my efforts to remain mainstream, you know...cool, teen-agers indeed communicate with their peers in ways I simply don't understand?

How come when I think I look really good—all dressed up, snappy-like—my kids ask if I got my outfit from the really old Old Navy store?

Can someone reassure me that my generation was privy to the best music ever made and that it's not possible to improve upon those great songs? Please give me comfort in knowing that my children's music will never be resurrected as nostalgic or considered easy listening.

Doesn't everyone think the new Beetle, new Mini-Cooper and the new T-bird are all great ideas? And wouldn't you agree that perhaps a new Corvair should be considered? After all, and with due respect to Mr. Nader, the car was cut down before its prime by a cheap publicity stunt. "Un-SUV At Any Speed"...Hmmm...I wonder?

And, in the world of metalworking, does anybody really think the lowest bidder on a job is necessarily the best way to go? Why is it OK for a customer's company to make profit on its products, but a supplier is constantly pressured to reduce its margins under penalty of loss of contract. And where is the loyalty? A supplier company invests in equipment, refines processes, trains workers, meets deadlines and performs incredible feats only to face a competing bid that promises a couple of pennies per part less and poof, you're gone. Does this just not seem right?

As the Web and all its wonders permeates our daily lives, are we looking at a future where interpersonal relationships, dealing face-to-face with fellow humans, will be relegated to special occasions? Does anyone else sense that we may be seeing a workplace schism that's creating camps comprised of information systems people and those who are not?

Will somebody tell me how we're going to perpetuate the art and science of manufacturing, and its attendant wealth production, without a reliable source of properly trained and interested student-types? And, when did acquiring a skill or skills become inferior to acquiring a degree? Why can't the message of "manufacturing good—food service bad" get passed on to the counselors who are directing students into various career paths? Let me know what you think.

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