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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 2:22 pm 
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The old chestnut of the 'low-balled contract', except applied to time instead of money? That seems rather plausible from the outside.

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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 2:28 pm 
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Calder wrote:
I wonder if the production schedules are deliberately massively over optimistic? After all at least part of Musks success is getting Wall Street to invest in his schemes. I expect marketing is at least half the reason behind his dates.


Let's back off the loaded language like "schemes", what Musk does is getting investors to invest in his companies. When you use the word schemes, you make it sound like he is a con artist.

With Musk's Silicon Valley tech background in software, yes he has over the years set dates that are very, very optimistic. Part of that was him not understanding developing a manufacturing product versus software. The other part is for investors, customers, and employees. He sets an ambitious schedule to raise the bar and get things done. He originally wanted to launch a DragonV2 capsule to Mars on 2018 and soft land on the surface. That isn't possible because of multiple issues, the new date is 2020. If SpaceX can soft land a DragonV2 on Mars in 2020 or even 2022 that would be incredible. He said he wanted to see the first flight of ITS (Interplanetary Transport System) by 2024. Well, that isn't happening either. If SpaceX can develop and get flying a fully re-usable SHLV (Super Heavy Launch Vehicle) before 2030 that would still be an incredible and impressive accomplishment.


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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 2:43 pm 
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brovane wrote:

Development of Space Hardware is notorious for scheduled slippage.

With all due respect, I've actually tried to develop space hardware. I'm well aware of just how hard it is.

Quote:
Is there an instance of an Orbital Class LV that has ever done its first launch on the date that was announced at the beginning of the development program? Has Boeing ever developed a new piece of space hardware and delivered it on time?

Doing this sort of research is surprisingly hard, because except in the case of programs that are well-known for being behind schedule, the original dates tend to get buried, press releases taken down, and so on. I admit to sort of stacking the deck with the 737 MAX, which was the first project after the 787 and 747-8 (both seriously late), but I didn't know what the announced target was when I started looking.
The EELV seemed the best comparison candidate. I found a document from early 1998, stating that at the time (the award for systems development had just been made) the medium variant would first fly in 2001, the heavy variant in 2003. These values are, respectively ~3.5 and ~5.5 years away. The actual first flights were August 21st, 2002 for the Atlas V, March 11th, 2003 for the Delta IV, and December 21st, 2004 for the Delta IV Heavy. So, rounding to the nearest quarter, we have actual schedules of 4.75 years, 5.25 years, and 7 years. The factors by which they were off are 1.36, 1.5, and 1.27 respectively. These compare pretty favorably with SpaceX, where the factor is pretty much always 2.

Calder wrote:
I wonder if the production schedules are deliberately massively over optimistic? After all at least part of Musks success is getting Wall Street to invest in his schemes. I expect marketing is at least half the reason behind his dates.

SpaceX is privately held, but yes, I do think that's a lot of it.

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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 7:21 pm 
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ByronC wrote:
Doing this sort of research is surprisingly hard, because except in the case of programs that are well-known for being behind schedule, the original dates tend to get buried, press releases taken down, and so on. I admit to sort of stacking the deck with the 737 MAX, which was the first project after the 787 and 747-8 (both seriously late), but I didn't know what the announced target was when I started looking.

Max is also a derivative airframe, so it does make part of the job easier, but ISTR reading an article that put certification within a few days of the predicted date.

What kills me with so many of these projects is that one sees massive schedule slips and delays and technical issues, but then management and marketing come down on the next project and say "well, this time everything's going to go smoothly and get done faster without having to work as much!". And then marketing goes out and makes promises without bothering to find out if they can be kept first.

We can all guess what happens next. It seems that institutions like aerospace companies are reluctant to learn from their past mistakes and are determined that if we just do the same thing again this time, it'll somehow work out.

:facepalm:

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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 8:09 pm 
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ByronC wrote:
brovane wrote:

Development of Space Hardware is notorious for scheduled slippage.

With all due respect, I've actually tried to develop space hardware. I'm well aware of just how hard it is.


Then why would you use the 737 Max as your example? You know better, that is why I called you out on it. :)


ByronC wrote:
brovane wrote:
Is there an instance of an Orbital Class LV that has ever done its first launch on the date that was announced at the beginning of the development program? Has Boeing ever developed a new piece of space hardware and delivered it on time?

Doing this sort of research is surprisingly hard, because except in the case of programs that are well-known for being behind schedule, the original dates tend to get buried, press releases taken down, and so on. I admit to sort of stacking the deck with the 737 MAX, which was the first project after the 787 and 747-8 (both seriously late), but I didn't know what the announced target was when I started looking.
The EELV seemed the best comparison candidate. I found a document from early 1998, stating that at the time (the award for systems development had just been made) the medium variant would first fly in 2001, the heavy variant in 2003. These values are, respectively ~3.5 and ~5.5 years away. The actual first flights were August 21st, 2002 for the Atlas V, March 11th, 2003 for the Delta IV, and December 21st, 2004 for the Delta IV Heavy. So, rounding to the nearest quarter, we have actual schedules of 4.75 years, 5.25 years, and 7 years. The factors by which they were off are 1.36, 1.5, and 1.27 respectively. These compare pretty favorably with SpaceX, where the factor is pretty much always 2.


Let's apply that to Falcon 9 Development. We can compare it to EELV since both the COTS contracts and EELV was developed most hands off by the government with the companies involved having significant 'skin in the game'.

The first COTS Phase 1 Development contract award was to SpaceX in August of 2006 and the F9 first flight was in June of 2010, so F9 development took a little less than 4-years or 46 months in total.
First F9 Dragon flight was in December of 2010 52 months and First COTS Demo flight was in October of 2012 so 74 months.

So in a little more than 6-years SpaceX developed a brand new LV (New Engine to), new Spacecraft(Dragon) and docked it with the ISS and then brought cargo back to Earth. I cannot find fault with SpaceX achieving all of this in 74-months even if Elon thought it could be done in 37 months.

It took SpaceX a little less than 3-years development time to go from the v1.0 to the v1.1 of the F9 which significantly increased the performance.
It took another 2-years to go from the v1.1 to the FT version.

In about 5-years time frame SpaceX took the F9 and increased payload performance to LEO by over 100% and developed a fully re-usable 1st stage and received EELV certification. I cannot find fault with this either.

So let's not get hung up on that they missed the scheduled date that Musk had announced via Twitter or a press conference.

I would love for a reporter to ask Shotwell the next time she discusses a date at a press conference "Mrs. Shotwell, is that an Elon reality distortion date or date that you set?"


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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 10:10 pm 
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Or he gives a wildly optimistic schedule and then pushes his people to meet it.

As they say, "when someone is screaming at you, you generally find a gear or two you were not aware you had."

Belushi TD


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PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 1:45 am 
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gtg947h wrote:
ByronC wrote:
Doing this sort of research is surprisingly hard, because except in the case of programs that are well-known for being behind schedule, the original dates tend to get buried, press releases taken down, and so on. I admit to sort of stacking the deck with the 737 MAX, which was the first project after the 787 and 747-8 (both seriously late), but I didn't know what the announced target was when I started looking.

Max is also a derivative airframe, so it does make part of the job easier, but ISTR reading an article that put certification within a few days of the predicted date.

Yes. But so were v1.1 and FT. I grabbed it because it was the first project I thought of that had gone reasonably well. I didn't realize it had gone that well, but the 737 has always been a good program.

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What kills me with so many of these projects is that one sees massive schedule slips and delays and technical issues, but then management and marketing come down on the next project and say "well, this time everything's going to go smoothly and get done faster without having to work as much!". And then marketing goes out and makes promises without bothering to find out if they can be kept first.

We can all guess what happens next. It seems that institutions like aerospace companies are reluctant to learn from their past mistakes and are determined that if we just do the same thing again this time, it'll somehow work out.

:facepalm:

There are a lot of days I'm astonished by the Dilbert Quotient at work, despite having been there for a year and a half. Monday was the worst in a long, long time.

brovane wrote:
ByronC wrote:
brovane wrote:

Development of Space Hardware is notorious for scheduled slippage.

With all due respect, I've actually tried to develop space hardware. I'm well aware of just how hard it is.


Then why would you use the 737 Max as your example? You know better, that is why I called you out on it. :)

I used it because it was the first thing that popped into my head which would make my point.

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Let's apply that to Falcon 9 Development. We can compare it to EELV since both the COTS contracts and EELV was developed most hands off by the government with the companies involved having significant 'skin in the game'.

(Snipped)

My problem is not with their rate of development in reality. SpaceX is doing a very good job, and I didn't mean to suggest otherwise. But I don't think it's a good thing to always ludicrously lowball your schedule estimates. And I think it contributes to their culture of eating engineers.
(Note that my criticism was in terms of schedule vs actual, not actual development time.)

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I would love for a reporter to ask Shotwell the next time she discusses a date at a press conference "Mrs. Shotwell, is that an Elon reality distortion date or date that you set?"

So would I.

Belushi TD wrote:
Or he gives a wildly optimistic schedule and then pushes his people to meet it.

As they say, "when someone is screaming at you, you generally find a gear or two you were not aware you had."

Belushi TD

That works OK so long as it's done in moderation. Moderation doesn't seem to be something Musk understands very well.

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PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 6:20 am 
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Belushi TD wrote:
Or he gives a wildly optimistic schedule and then pushes his people to meet it.

As they say, "when someone is screaming at you, you generally find a gear or two you were not aware you had."

Belushi TD


Heh, heh, heh you gentlemen crack me up. You talk about cracking the whip. Try accounting and see what being pushed is really like. Have any of you seen the way people working for a CPA firm who have not yet been certified work? Have you ever met CPAs and/or Ambulance chasers trying to make partner in a prestigious firms? Have you ever been under the gun to complete a deal in Venture capital?

I don't doubt you folks are pushed and at times pushed hard but I am getting the feeling what I am really reading is this current generation of millennials who are the victims of an education system and a liberal dominated societies that do not value individual achievement and hard work. That is what I am getting from all this "bitching" about just how hard and unfair real achievers like Musk are.

I got news for you, their not your mommy and their not really nice people and they expect a lot of you BUT if you can't cut it your free to go and find a nice, pleasant, cushy job that probably will not pay as well and will not challenge you. Maybe you can go into the Public sector and deal with the political A$$ kissing and be bossed by no nothing, well connected political hacks? See how quickly that rots your soul and destroys whatever pride and ambition you had in your profession.

I swear to God, at times I despair that this entire generation is going to die on your knees because YOU have no moral compass and you are too damn soft.

But ....... I could be wrong
:lol: :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 9:52 am 
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Senior...

Try getting a car project to Start Of Production in time and on budget, if you want "hard"... thousands of engineers working eighteen hour days all flying around the world to get half a million units per annum production fully supported, fitting together right and all working ;)

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PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 10:19 am 
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Craiglxviii wrote:
Senior...

Try getting a car project to Start Of Production in time and on budget, if you want "hard"... thousands of engineers working eighteen hour days all flying around the world to get half a million units per annum production fully supported, fitting together right and all working ;)


You might even have some accountants in there working hard: after all someone has to record all the pay for those engineers!


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PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 11:24 am 
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David Newton wrote:
Craiglxviii wrote:
Senior...

Try getting a car project to Start Of Production in time and on budget, if you want "hard"... thousands of engineers working eighteen hour days all flying around the world to get half a million units per annum production fully supported, fitting together right and all working ;)


You might even have some accountants in there working hard: after all someone has to record all the pay for those engineers!


So now your bitching about OT pay or bonuses depending on your salary, incentive and fringe structure agreement?

Wah, Wah, wah the bad man is mean to me and he makes me work? Surely David your better than that
or have I misjudged you?
:lol: :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 12:42 pm 
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OSCSSW wrote:
Belushi TD wrote:
Or he gives a wildly optimistic schedule and then pushes his people to meet it.

As they say, "when someone is screaming at you, you generally find a gear or two you were not aware you had."

Belushi TD


Heh, heh, heh you gentlemen crack me up. You talk about cracking the whip. Try accounting and see what being pushed is really like. Have any of you seen the way people working for a CPA firm who have not yet been certified work? Have you ever met CPAs and/or Ambulance chasers trying to make partner in a prestigious firms? Have you ever been under the gun to complete a deal in Venture capital?

I don't doubt you folks are pushed and at times pushed hard but I am getting the feeling what I am really reading is this current generation of millennials who are the victims of an education system and a liberal dominated societies that do not value individual achievement and hard work. That is what I am getting from all this "bitching" about just how hard and unfair real achievers like Musk are.

I got news for you, their not your mommy and their not really nice people and they expect a lot of you BUT if you can't cut it your free to go and find a nice, pleasant, cushy job that probably will not pay as well and will not challenge you. Maybe you can go into the Public sector and deal with the political A$$ kissing and be bossed by no nothing, well connected political hacks? See how quickly that rots your soul and destroys whatever pride and ambition you had in your profession.

I swear to God, at times I despair that this entire generation is going to die on your knees because YOU have no moral compass and you are too damn soft.

But ....... I could be wrong
:lol: :lol: :lol:


That's all well and good, till you push people too long and it gets someone killed. We saw that happen a few years ago. One wonders how many near- or fatal screwups happen in hospitals when the staff works punishing hours (interns, for one) and fatigue causes errors in judgment.

A push or a surge to get a project out is one thing, but sustained long hours with high pressure really kills productivity after a while as tired burned-out employees just don't get as much done and start making more mistakes. It also destroys your employees' health, leads to high turnover (causing further productivity drops as your experience leaves and you have to train more new people), and in the end probably costs you even more money than you're saving by not staffing up properly and setting a realistic schedule.

Unfortunately, this lesson keeps getting forgotten and has to get re-learned every so often.

From a personal standpoint, I did the long hours for a few months on end. It was hell on my marriage and my health; thankfully we didn't have a kid then. I'm not doing that to myself or my family again if I can help it. I'd rather take the less prestigious job with lower pay if it means I get to see my son grow up.

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PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 1:32 pm 
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David Newton wrote:
Craiglxviii wrote:
Senior...

Try getting a car project to Start Of Production in time and on budget, if you want "hard"... thousands of engineers working eighteen hour days all flying around the world to get half a million units per annum production fully supported, fitting together right and all working ;)


You might even have some accountants in there working hard: after all someone has to record all the pay for those engineers!


Well that's all they do, account for things... oh don't forget List Makers and List Chasers, otherwise known as Project Management ;)

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PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 1:34 pm 
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OSCSSW wrote:
David Newton wrote:
Craiglxviii wrote:
Senior...

Try getting a car project to Start Of Production in time and on budget, if you want "hard"... thousands of engineers working eighteen hour days all flying around the world to get half a million units per annum production fully supported, fitting together right and all working ;)


You might even have some accountants in there working hard: after all someone has to record all the pay for those engineers!


So now your bitching about OT pay or bonuses depending on your salary, incentive and fringe structure agreement?

Wah, Wah, wah the bad man is mean to me and he makes me work? Surely David your better than that
or have I misjudged you?
:lol: :lol: :lol:


Me bitching? Far from it. I thought keeping 60 year old aeroplanes flying in a commercially competitive state was hard, but this is something else. Last project had 3 nervous breakdowns and two divorces just in my department.

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PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 4:15 pm 
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Your arguing with, don't you? :lol: :lol:

I was raised by a North Atlantic Commercial fisherman skipper/boat owner and he was a sweet heart compared to his father, my grandfather.

My first war was Nam and my first tour was in-country on the Perfume river during Tet.

I worked in the Venture Capital and international Energy businesses.

And my Civlant Jobs were worth it. I was well compensated, I own a pretty nice house No Mortgage,
I put two daughters through college (no college loans for either) and I now live a very comfortable retirement
and a new home is in the process.

AND

I'm still here and reasonably sound of mind and body

And you want to cry on my shoulder about how rough YOU have it and how it effects your marriage and health?

I have a niece who is an RN at Children's Hospital Oncology unit. SHE does 12 hour shifts and still manages to take good care of her own 3 year and 6 month old. She does not Bitch and feel sorry for her herself. The closest I ever heard her complain was when she lost three children on a single shift. You want to know what her complaint was?
She wished she knew a better way of comforting the parents. That gal has more balls than all of US (yup including me) here put together. She is what I call a hero and I've seen some pretty brave folks, NOT ME, do some pretty dangerous things.

Well Me Laddos ;) you've come to the wrong SOB for sympathy.

I have no sympathy but I do have advice. Go to sea and pit yourself against what Mother nature has to offer, within reason. You'd be surprised how problems are knocked down to manageable size out there.

I really did expect better from you guys. What the Hell; underway tomorrow about 9:30 and all will once again be right with the world.

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PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 4:39 pm 
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Well this thread turned out to be more entertaining than I expected it to be. :lol:

I'm finishing up a twelve hour shift now by the way. I wouldn't do it just for the sake of it, it's not that fun, but you gotta do what you gotta do to stay afloat you know. *shrugs*

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PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 6:53 pm 
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OSCSSW wrote:
Belushi TD wrote:
Or he gives a wildly optimistic schedule and then pushes his people to meet it.

As they say, "when someone is screaming at you, you generally find a gear or two you were not aware you had."

Belushi TD


Heh, heh, heh you gentlemen crack me up. You talk about cracking the whip. Try accounting and see what being pushed is really like. Have any of you seen the way people working for a CPA firm who have not yet been certified work? Have you ever met CPAs and/or Ambulance chasers trying to make partner in a prestigious firms? Have you ever been under the gun to complete a deal in Venture capital?

I don't doubt you folks are pushed and at times pushed hard but I am getting the feeling what I am really reading is this current generation of millennials who are the victims of an education system and a liberal dominated societies that do not value individual achievement and hard work. That is what I am getting from all this "bitching" about just how hard and unfair real achievers like Musk are.

I got news for you, their not your mommy and their not really nice people and they expect a lot of you BUT if you can't cut it your free to go and find a nice, pleasant, cushy job that probably will not pay as well and will not challenge you. Maybe you can go into the Public sector and deal with the political A$$ kissing and be bossed by no nothing, well connected political hacks? See how quickly that rots your soul and destroys whatever pride and ambition you had in your profession.

I swear to God, at times I despair that this entire generation is going to die on your knees because YOU have no moral compass and you are too damn soft.

But ....... I could be wrong
:lol: :lol: :lol:



Did you mean to quote me when you wrote this? I don't believe anything I have said in this thread can be construed as whining. The post above was commenting exactly what it said. I was not talking about my experience at all.

Belushi TD


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PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 7:05 pm 
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Or a thousand page agenda packet I'm supposed to vote on the next day....

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PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 10:41 pm 
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Belushi TD wrote:
OSCSSW wrote:
Belushi TD wrote:
Or he gives a wildly optimistic schedule and then pushes his people to meet it.

As they say, "when someone is screaming at you, you generally find a gear or two you were not aware you had."

Belushi TD


Heh, heh, heh you gentlemen crack me up. You talk about cracking the whip. Try accounting and see what being pushed is really like. Have any of you seen the way people working for a CPA firm who have not yet been certified work? Have you ever met CPAs and/or Ambulance chasers trying to make partner in a prestigious firms? Have you ever been under the gun to complete a deal in Venture capital?

I don't doubt you folks are pushed and at times pushed hard but I am getting the feeling what I am really reading is this current generation of millennials who are the victims of an education system and a liberal dominated societies that do not value individual achievement and hard work. That is what I am getting from all this "bitching" about just how hard and unfair real achievers like Musk are.

I got news for you, their not your mommy and their not really nice people and they expect a lot of you BUT if you can't cut it your free to go and find a nice, pleasant, cushy job that probably will not pay as well and will not challenge you. Maybe you can go into the Public sector and deal with the political A$$ kissing and be bossed by no nothing, well connected political hacks? See how quickly that rots your soul and destroys whatever pride and ambition you had in your profession.

I swear to God, at times I despair that this entire generation is going to die on your knees because YOU have no moral compass and you are too damn soft.

But ....... I could be wrong
:lol: :lol: :lol:



Did you mean to quote me when you wrote this? I don't believe anything I have said in this thread can be construed as whining. The post above was commenting exactly what it said. I was not talking about my experience at all.

Belushi TD


I just reread YOUR posts Belushi TD in this string and NO I do NOT mean to include YOU or Craig as one of the millennials "Whyiers".

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PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 11:54 pm 
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Folks have different expectations these days. Work-life balance is more important to more people than it used to be. Working in a 24/7 operation in an industry that's notoriously bad at work-life balance is an eye-opener for people when they first get here, and that kind of life isn't for everyone. I think that's one reason we like hiring ex-military - they're used to working long strange hours.

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