Yesterday was certainly fun-filled. Our branch had a quality audit, so in my official capacity as ‘Guy Who Deals With Quality Stuff in the Office’ (I have a plaque on my door which says so – well okay, maybe I don’t), I spent the entire time digging out files and trying to explain to the auditor how things work here. The first part was easy enough, but describing our business in terms that this outsider could understand ended up being a frustratingly fruitless waste of time. The guy had a background in manufacturing, so he had trouble bending his tiny mind around the concept that we produce designs, not jumbo jets.
“Where are your inspection and test records?”, he asked.
“There aren’t any”, was my immediate response.
“What? Why not? That’s a serious problem!”
“I see. So are you saying that we should inspect and test our drawings? Keep records of things like, ‘Are they flat enough?’; ‘Are they printed on paper, versus clay tablets?’; ‘Are they printed in ink, not blood’ and so forth?”
“No, no. That’s not what I mean.”
“Well then, what should we be testing and how?”
“I don’t know!”
And shortly thereafter:
“I want to see your safety records.”
“So I assume you’d like to see something along the lines of, ‘Number of paper cuts per week’ or ‘Annual hot coffee spillage episodes’ perhaps?”
“Oh, just forget it!”
The auditor ended up issuing us a single (minor) Nonconformity Report and fled – clearly relieved that his ordeal was over. Maybe this is why I’m ‘Guy Who Deals With Quality Stuff in the Office’.