Facilities Conference, Part 1
February 7, 2008
I know I may be posting this rather late, but it’s been really difficult to write entries during the conference. The days have been really full of presentations from a variety of people, and they have (for the most part) been very interesting. I’m currently on the flight back from Texas to Kentucky, and I have some time now when I’m not really tired to write something.
Below is my entry concerning the first full day of the conference
Toyota North America Facilities Conference, Day 1
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas (TMMTX)
San Antonio, Texas
The first day of the conference was quite a busy day. The conference began at 7:30 AM with a free, hilariously unhealthy breakfast. However unhealthy it may have been, the price was right, being free and all.
At 8, the presentations for the conference began, with mixed results. It’s funny the little things you pick up from presentations. For example, I counted 18 audible cell phone rings during the day (not counting overly loud vibration motors). For the record, at 21, I was by far the youngest person at the conference. Maybe it’s silly for me to notice a thing like that (I started counting in the morning after 3 phones went off in a 5 minute period), but it just seems to be incredibly disrespectful to the presenters.
Seriously. At least fake interest. I know not all of the presentations were the best, but I did make a conscious effort on each to at least pick up something useful.
Actually, I think the most useful bit of information I picked up was learning how Reverse Osmosis water filters worked, at least at a high level.
The morning was mostly informative meetings about the various workgroups that are a part of Facilities Engineering, such as Major Breakdown and Compressed Air groups. The end of the day, however, consisted mostly of request presentations about help with projects and issues at various plants. Most of this stuff is probably uninteresting to the majority of people outside of Toyota, but the presenters were quite good, and the presentations had a good amount of pictures. I like pictures.
This night also had an official dinner, which was paid for by the company (I think; it was paid by someone who wasn’t me). The food was acceptable; salad, London broil and some kind of fish (Mahi Mahi I believe). The drink system was… different. Instead of an open bar like the usual case (at least, from what I’ve heard), we were issued two “drink tickets” that could be exchanged for drinks. Any drink after that needed to be paid for out of the person’s pocket.
I ended up with a total of 5 drink tickets at the end of the night. Why is not important.
Speaking of drinking, and this is what I’ll close on here, some of the employees down here could make college students blush. I am, by no means, a heavy drinker, but I do like to think I’ve got a decent tolerance to the stuff. Some of these people, though, could probably drink me and a few friends under the table and wake up with no hangover whatsoever.