Thursday, October 27, 2005
Ford Motors Monitoring Workers' Toilet Time 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
Apparently, there's a good reason Ford is the nation's "No. 2" automaker:
The Detroit News reported Thursday that management at the company's Michigan Truck plant in Wayne, Mich., issued a memo in which it said too many of the factory's 3,500 hourly workers are spending more than the 48 minutes allotted per shift to use the bathroom. The extra-long breaks are slowing production of the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator sport utility vehicles that are built there, the company said.

"In today's competitive environment, it is important that Michigan Truck plant immediately address this concern to avoid the risks associated with safety, quality, delivery, cost and morale," the memo said, according to the paper's report. The paper reported that the memo also warns that Ford supervisors will begin collecting weekly data on the amount of time workers spend on bathroom breaks and "respond appropriately."

Workers interviewed by the paper said that management is trying to divert attention from broader problems at the nation's No. 2 automaker, including soft sales of the large SUV's made at the plant following this year's run-up on gasoline prices.
Yes, by all means, get workers off their asses - literally - so we can make even more Lincoln Navigators and Ford Expeditions. But seriously, 48 minutes? Hell, I could watch an entire hour-long TV show on DVD (minus commercial breaks) or read the Trib from cover to cover if I sat on the throne that long. One possible solution: install Asian-style squat toilets at Ford. Nobody could linger for 48 minutes over one of those unless they had glutes of steel.

APROPOS: A humorous (and educational for the uninitiated) slideshow that demonstrates "How To Use Japanese Style Toilet Bowel." [sic] After I clicked to the last slide, I couldn't help but think, "Oh, No! MR. BILL!"