Running Scared On GM’s Cadillac Assembly Line–Jumping In Over Your Head, Part 1
I was 19 years old, and terrified.
I’d grown up in Rocky River, Ohio, where my mom taught school and coached the 9th-grade boys wrestling team. At the age of 12, I got my professional start as a welder in my dad’s 5-person machine shop. Intimidating for a little kid, I guess, but it didn’t scare me because as my dad said, “Not only did I not know anything, I didn’t suspect anything.”
Then when I was 17, my dad said, “If we’re going to grow into a big 10-person company someday, we’ll need a real engineer to run things. You should go to college.” My dad loved to drink a boilermaker or two after a hard day at the factory, so Purdue University (Go Boilermakers!) seemed like just the place for me to study Industrial Engineering.