First-time readers, this blog is set in the future (sometime after the year 2020).  Each entry assumes there has been a 5th revolution in the US — the Revenge Revolution.  More about Revenge Revolution and author, Entry #1.  List and general description of entries to date.  Annual assessment whether Revolution plausible.

Note: most characters appear in a number of entries, with many entries building on previous conversations.  Profile of characters.  You’ll catch on quickly.  Thanks for your time and interest…and comments. 

Scene: Jordan still in Charlotte and on limited work schedule while recovering from prostate surgery. Jordan calls his office and talks to Gelly, his assistant. Earlier Jordan and POTUS began conversation about rebuilding US manufacturing and the middle class. Series starts #177; conversation with POTUS, #179.

Jordan: “Gelly, could you do me a favor, please?”

092615_2031_Characters7.gifGelly: “Yes, but only because you are so helpless.”

Jordan: “C’mon. I’m not helpless. I’m just a little slow getting around that’s all.”

Gelly: “I must say. Your recovery seems to be progressing more quickly than I anticipated. You pleased with progress?”

Jordan: “I’m pleased with progress and so is the doctor. I just need to make sure my expectations don’t race too far ahead.”

Gelly: “OK, so what do you want me to do?”

TurtleneckJordan: “POTUS called me at home. By the way, did you tell him about my surgery?”

Gelly: “I’ll never tell. And he certainly doesn’t need me to tell him what’s going on in your life.  Isn’t that what those agencies are for?”

Jordan: “We had a nice chat about the technology used in surgery.”

Gelly: “Only guys would talk about the machines and software used to cut them open and remove parts. OK, I’ll stop and listen.”

Jordan: “What we never got around to was a story I had promised to tell him. He said to call when I was feeling better.”

Gelly: “So, now you’re feeling better and want me to find out a good time for him to chat, right?”

pajamas-cJordan: “Yes, please. Earlier in the day is better for me. Thanks.”

Gelly: “I’ll make sure Little Jordan is not in his jammies when POTUS calls.”

Jordan: “You’re tough, Gelly.”

Gelly: “I harass you because I like you Jordan. When I stop harassing you is when you should be concerned.”

Next day Jordan receives call at home.

Jordan: “Jordan Abel, may I help you.”

white-house-clip-art1POTUS: “He doesn’t get it. Relax dude.”

Jordan: “Alright, Mr. President, I’ll relax. I’m just so programmed to answer the phone a certain way.”

POTUS: “I hear you. Gelly said you were ready to tell me the second story, which is about how one person can make a difference. If you have time, I’m ready. Is this another Buick story?”

Jordan: “Yes. Here’s the background. Buick spends lots of money modernizing an old Buickassembly plant. Production then resumes but quality lags.”

POTUS: “How bad was it?”

Jordan: “Second worst plant in North America.”

POTUS: “You mean 2nd worst for Buick?”

Jordan: “No, 2nd worst of any assembly plant in the industry. That’s all domestic plants down chartand all foreign-owned plants.”

POTUS: “Quality was that bad after all the money was spent modernizing the plant?”

Jordan: “Yes.”

POTUS: “Big problem.”

Jordan: “The main character in this story works in the Buick service department. Mid-level salary guy but his family is…”

POTUS: “…Let me guess. This is Flint and he’s the first of his family not working on the assembly line? How’d I do?”

Jordan: “Dead on. The family is 3rd or 4th generation hourly worker and 2nd generation UAW.”

POTUS: “What happens next?”

Jordan: “He comes to my office and borrows a report with all kinds of quality data and report-clipart-McLxyjKqi.jpegconsumer rankings. Like a JD Power report but it’s developed internally and has much more detail.”

POTUS: “Is he supposed to have the info in the report?”

Jordan: “No reason he can’t. But unbeknownst to me and any other department head, he takes the report and meets with the UAW.”

POTUS: “The same UAW guy you talked to. You know, the one whose son you mentored? Wasn’t he president of the UAW local?”

Jordan: “Probably but the same guy but I’m not 100% sure. Whoever he talked to, he reminded them his family had worked in the plant since Buick was founded in 1903. He also told them assembly linethe ratings were not Buick’s but from customers. Finally, he told them that if quality did not improve, the company was likely to close the plant and move production elsewhere.”

POTUS: “Close it, even though they’d spent all the money modernizing the plant?”

Jordan: “His analysis was spot on.”

POTUS: “What happened?”

Jordan: “I’ll tell you the results. How the idea was communicated with the rank-and-file, I have no idea…nor frankly, do I want to know. But what happened is quality started to improve quickly.”

POTUS: “Then what?”

Line chartJordan: “Within 18 months, the quality of the plant went from 2nd worst in the industry to 2nd best…and within a whisker of being first.”

POTUS: “in just 18 months? Really?”

Jordan: “Really.”

POTUS: “This guy get some kind of award?”

Jordan: “No one even knew about it or talked about until a few years later. Management knew that quality turned around but no other exec I talked to knew exactly what happened.”

POTUS: “So one guy did all this on his own?”

Jordan: “One guy started the ball rolling. But when you step back and think about, this Trust Meguy had more credibility with the UAW than the entire management team. They trusted him.  He wasn’t a suit.  He wasn’t out for some political gain…or some promotion. In fact, he risked getting demoted for going outside the system. But he didn’t worry about personal consequences. And he had credibility because of his family history.”

POTUS: “Quite a story. I keep shaking my head. Just one guy who did this on his own. Wow.”

Jordan: “One guy. No committee. No incentive other than trying to do the right thing and save jobs for his family and other members of the community.  And he’s not from guernsey-cow-9751central casting.  He’s overweight and low-key — in some ways reminds you of a Guernsey cow.  I mean that in a positive way…but you get the idea.”

POTUS: “Interesting profile for guy that made such an impact.  Did GM keep the plant open?”

Jordan: “The plant stayed open for another probably 20 years. They shut it as part of Pile-Rubble-186270the bankruptcy, and then demolished it. 100 years of automotive assembly history turned into a pile of rubble.”

POTUS: “As a country we’ve got to change. Stories like this one make me inspired by the effort of one individual. The story also makes me sick because 100 years of effort by a lot of people got tuned into a heap.”

sad-face4Jordan: “I still get upset with the ending to the story.”

POTUS: “What are we going to do, Jordan, to help rebuild US manufacturing? And get those middle class jobs back to Flint and many other locations.”

Jordan: “You want to talk now or later?”

POTUS: “I’ve got to run. And you probably need some rest. Let’s chat some more soon.”