Thursday, January 8, 2009

New Blog

I am discontinuing the blog new blog can be found at:

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I’m going to back-up here and talk about my Dad.

My Father, Vance, served in the Navy during World War Two. While growing up in San Bernardino he had earned an electrical degree at a local college. Along with his degree he was an avid “Amateur Radio Operator” (HAM). When World War Two broke out he enlisted in the United States Navy. With his qualifications from civilian life, the Navy sent him to Oklahoma A&M from which he graduated as an Ensign. He was then assigned to Treasure Island California as an instructor in the use and repair of radar and radio equipment. By VJ Day he been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and transferred to the “Great Lakes Naval Station” in Chicago and put in command of the radio and radar training division.
Upon returning to California, his brother, Nelson, was able to steer Dad in the right direction so he could hire on with Otis. Nelson was a longtime Otis employee. Starting as a helper he worked his way through the ranks to become a service manager in Spokane, Seattle and finally Los Angeles. Dad started as a typical "Grunt" in the Construction Department for Otis in LA. With his electrical background he was able to work his way all the way up to adjuster. He started out adjusting the smaller jobs like 10/20U's and hydro freights in way-out places. He traveled all over the western United States and Alaska. As time passed he moved on to the class A installations such as Autotronics and 80U's. He tired of traveling and never being home. He asked Otis for a Service Job. In two months he was back on the road adjusting elevators. . . the job he loved.

In the early 60’s Elevator Maintenance Company (EMCO) recruited him. Working for EMCO brought forth a wealth of experience due to the diversity of equipment they built, bought and installed. Haughton bought EMCO a couple of years later and it wasn't long before he became "Chief Adjuster". Dad adjusted everything from the old damping motor series field control, to regulator generator and onto tach feed back systems with 1092IC Group Supervisory System. You name it, if Haughton shipped it out the back door; he fixed it, adjusted it and turned it over to the customer. His work was cut out for him. Haughton was experiencing severe growing pains. They were moving from the way elevators had always been built to the beginnings of the way elevators are today. "Nothing Worked" Everything had to be fixed in the field from governors, safeties, motor control and supervisory systems. Dad fixed it all. He nursed every new product the company came out with, made it work, made it reliable and made sure the service department could keep it running well.

My father's greatest attribute was teaching. He not only taught union school but he taught his helpers well. Most of his helpers went on to become adjusters, route men, service managers, superintendents and even successful company owners. He always took the time to answer questions and made sure that they were understood.

The end of his career was not pretty. His eyesight was beginning to fail. Being the proud stubborn man he was, he refused to take a service route when offered by the company. The company didn't make a serious effort to utilize his wealth of talent. There is an old saying "What Have You Done For Me Today" Never mind the years of dedicated service, problem solving and loyalty. The man Dad worked for had always represented Dad's ideas as his own for his own benefit. He never said a word when Dad was screwed. This man was not only Dads boss but also a man who Dad considered his friend. I don't want to start this story on a negative note. My Father did retire in 1989, built his dream home in the desert and lived there until he passed in 1998.