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Old 06-07-2018, 10:06 PM   #1
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A "puff piece" ??.....

Just came across this Nordhavn video showcasing the factory from a few years ago. It doesn't exactly give me the "warm and fuzzies". Seeing workers with number tags on and doing group jumping jacks.

Obviously it's a totally different culture and mindset but from a consumer POV I just don't love the video. Lol. At all.....

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Old 06-07-2018, 10:42 PM   #2
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Mr. SoH. Yup. Puff piece to be sure. Betcha that cost a few $$. Indeed a totally different culture and mindset. Morning calisthenics are more common, I think, in Asia than NA and possibly Europe but studies have shown that it increased productivity and a sense of teamwork.
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Old 06-08-2018, 10:49 AM   #3
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I don't see the problem... ???
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Old 06-08-2018, 11:57 AM   #4
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Well I know I'm probably being too critical. But I just found it a bit "off" seeing all the workers with their numbers on their chests and the morning ritual thing.

Then I was thinking of the multi million dollar price tags on the Nordys and the workers are probably making peanuts. Lol.

That's just me. Im weird with certain issues! Over analysis paralysis.
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Old 06-08-2018, 12:11 PM   #5
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Actually I was impressed. I think its great that a company promotes fitness. Especially during working hours.

I don't care for employees being numbered, but plenty of big companies do that these days. I was on a Chevron site not long ago, and everyone had bar codes on their hard hats. If you were caught with any minor safety infraction, you were scanned.
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Old 06-08-2018, 01:05 PM   #6
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Shop seemed clean and organized. Workers seemed to know what they were doing.
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Old 06-08-2018, 01:06 PM   #7
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Having been to the South Coast yard (the one shown in this video) in Xiamen many times, along with many other yards in China and Taiwan, I can say calisthenics and employee numbers are typical, along with providing meals in a "mess hall", dorms and napping under one's workbench after lunch. Also, this yard is cleaner, and more squared away than most. I work closely with managers and staff there and they are sharp, productive and take their jobs very seriously. Asian culture is dramatically different than the west, for too big a subject to cover here, and ship yards there are no exception.

I've written about, and photographed, my experiences in Asian boat yards and through my travels there on a number of occasions.

http://stevedmarineconsulting.com/ta...upm_export=pdf

http://stevedmarineconsulting.com/ta...upm_export=pdf (Scroll to "Dalian and Xiamen, China")

Several travel entries on China here Travelogues | Steve D'Antonio Marine Consulting

I can see how it might not appeal to some westerners, however, what would you expect from a builder other than portraying their own production facility in the best possible light? It's advertising.

Simply from an editorial definition perspective, a 'puff piece' is something entirely different, in the marine world it is an article or video (often boat reviews) published by a magazine that has the semblance of impartiality, but is in fact biased in favor of the manufacturer, often for one of two reasons (or both), either the author doesn't know enough about the process to be constructively critical, so he/she takes a safe route by offering nothing but praise, or the subject is an advertiser, and the publisher doesn't want to risk them pulling advertising if the piece contains anything remotely resembling criticism (to be fair, even if an author were to include genuine critiques, editors often pull them). In my experience the latter, pulling advertising, is very uncommon provided the piece is fair, authoritative and well-written, and sometimes they are not. In fact, if it is, and it includes some legitimate criticism, those about whom the piece is written often realize it has significantly more legitimacy and value than the puff piece, at which point they ask to buy reprints.

I worked for an editor who liked to say, "If an advertiser isn't threatening to pull ads every once in a while because of something we've written, we probably aren't doing our job". And, "They should be threatening to pull ads because of something we have written, rather than something we haven't written [about them]"

Some articles are intentionally "puff pieces", profiles about boat builders or marine equipment manufacturers, for instance, aren't intended to be an exposť. I've written many of these, and they are a far different animal than boat reviews.
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Old 06-13-2018, 06:33 AM   #8
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Thanks Steve. Lots of good info on your "travelogue", I'm still going through it all.
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Old 12-10-2018, 02:52 PM   #9
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SOP for major Japanese yards building real ships back when I was doing that kind of work.
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Old 12-10-2018, 04:36 PM   #10
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There was nothing at all in the video I found offensive. If there, I would ask questions regarding pay and hours worked per week and vacations and benefits but from what I've heard it's one of the nicer places to work. Calisthenics, lunch, naps are all good things to provide.

Cheoy Lee is interesting for one to look at as they have huge dormitories and provide meals and living facilities for all workers who want them. The vast majority of workers, including managers and supervisors live on the grounds. They have roughly 1200 employees. Note also solar arrays on the dorms. Here's a link to a photo of their facilities.

https://www.cheoylee.cn/?_page=facil...=main&_lang=en

Now it all takes us back to the days in the South and all the mill towns. Many of the major mills were into providing houses for employees which they would rent or sell to them. There were entire villages of nothing but mill employees. Results were mixed. In many cases the employees were treated well, were happy and felt fortunate. In other cases, they felt abused and taken advantage of. Most were around cotton mills or textile mills. Also known as factory towns in the NE. Everything was convenient and rows of basically identical homes plus community centers, baseball teams and more.

They began to be dismantled are transportation became easier. living in close proximity to the factory was no longer as important as more people owned cars. That's another benefit of working at a place like Cheoy Lee, not needing transportation. Now, can an employer take advantage? Yes. Because your lodging and meals and everything is tied to your job, you're far less likely and able to leave and they can use that to push you to do more or to get you not to complain or to pay you less.

I've seen the living conditions of employees in so many countries where the employer didn't provide anything and it's deplorable. I know in a couple of countries I've had manufacturing in the past, lunch was our most loved benefit. I even see the conditions of employees of factories we recently bought in SC. The floods highlighted it, with a huge amount of it being mobile homes but small and old ones. We've thought about how to help them into better housing with no answers surfacing yet, other than help them earn more. I definitely don't see dormitories as the answer there.

I suspect jobs at Nordhavn (and Cheoy Lee) are highly coveted by people who live near.

How intertwined into the lives of employees a company should be is debatable and I think has to be looked at on an individual basis. Certainly what we see in these China factories is nothing like you see in North Korea where it's complete indoctrination. In the US we see a few companies where religion is an overriding factor.
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Old 12-10-2018, 11:57 PM   #11
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FWIW, most sites in the Canadian oil sands do stretching after the safety toolbox talk. Not near as organized as the Asians, however.

I recall an occasional stumbling back to my ship through the Japanese shipyards during their morning calisthenics...
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Old 12-11-2018, 07:28 AM   #12
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The one thing that I found strange was the welding without eye protection.
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Old 12-11-2018, 07:31 AM   #13
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I don’t know if in Japan thev’ve modified the morning excercises before starting work I can recall seeing this in the Yokosuka Navy base shipyard each morning. The morning excercise about 30 minutes wasn’t so much for the indivduals health but so they could work hard and do a good job for the company. Poor work was a family disgrace and in some cases could lead to suicide. The shipyard USN supervisor told me they had never turned down a work request for the two years he had been assigned there. I ordered a pump impeller that was out of stock in the Navy supply system. Two months later the new impeller arrived . They cased it from stainless steel, machined it from measurements from the old impeller since no blueprints where available. It fit perfectly, how they machined the wearing ring clearances baffled us. The yard was also building a super tanker, no jobs turned down there moto.
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Old 12-11-2018, 08:06 AM   #14
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Greetings,
Mr. HdH. Thread drift: Perhaps if there was bit more of a "Live to work" rather than "Work to live" attitude from people here, the country would be more competitive on the world market without the continuing loss of jobs.
I've seen a constant loss of pride of workmanship over the years where "good enough" has become the norm rather than the exception. I think we've all experienced less than satisfactory results from "technicians". What REALLY hurts is the $$ charged for mediocre to poor performance with no recourse but to pay the bill and move on.
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Old 12-11-2018, 08:30 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by RT Firefly View Post
I've seen a constant loss of pride of workmanship over the years where "good enough" has become the norm rather than the exception. I think we've all experienced less than satisfactory results from "technicians". What REALLY hurts is the $$ charged for mediocre to poor performance with no recourse but to pay the bill and move on.
And the 30th generation in a row to say that. I see many young people who take great pride in their work. Think back. Didn't your parents make the exact same statements regarding your generation? Didn't their parents regarding their generation?
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Old 12-11-2018, 08:39 AM   #16
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Greetings,
Mr. BB. I did not say a good work ethic was gone, I said it was and is becoming less common. I've YET to find a reasonable good mechanic in FLL. $120/hr for pp performance is not my idea of ability or aptitude.
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Old 12-11-2018, 10:01 AM   #17
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Did anyone else get hooked on the 96 Rolls Royce Silver Spur video that followed? It was interesting in that the car was the height of qualities that should be sought out in the average car. The builders at Rolls concentrated very heavily on the quality of materials, workmanship, smoothness and quiet. I’ve always wanted to drive a Rolls to experience the grace and smoothness that they are known for.
Guess I’ll just have to settle for what I get w my older Avalon. But it makes little attemp to be quiet or smooth. It seeks mostly to be techey. But it’s not quiet or smooth. It does have a “solid” feel that’s quite luxurious. But nobody seems to care about smooth and quiet.
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Old 12-11-2018, 10:03 AM   #18
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And the 30th generation in a row to say that. I see many young people who take great pride in their work. Think back. Didn't your parents make the exact same statements regarding your generation? Didn't their parents regarding their generation?
I believe the first to put this in writing was Seneca, a contemporary of the Emperor Nero. Although it could have been a Greek or Babylonian a few thousand years earlier.
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Old 12-11-2018, 10:23 AM   #19
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Greetings,
Mr. BB. I did not say a good work ethic was gone, I said it was and is becoming less common. I've YET to find a reasonable good mechanic in FLL. $120/hr for pp performance is not my idea of ability or aptitude.
If you pay $120/hr for poor work then you need to take your work to someone else.

I'm not saying that there are not those who do work poorly. What I am saying is that it's no different than it's always been. Every generation believes in their hearts that today's workers don't have the same commitment they did. I don't share that belief that quality and work ethic have lessened. As one ages they tend to recognize it more and criticize it but their predecessors had the same opinions about them. Surely you recall your parents criticizing people your age when you were growing up.

I don't claim that all have ability and aptitude but then I don't buy that all did in your generation or your parents' generation or their parents'.
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Old 12-11-2018, 10:53 AM   #20
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Greetings,
Mr. BB. "...you need to take your work to someone else" Fully agree. Unfortunately I do not have the luxury of being able to afford the $120/hr to separate the wheat from the chaff and it really p's me off being taken to the cleaners.
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