Friday, December 15, 2006

a Wagen for Folks

Wolfsburg, Germany. (exclusive to P0300Press) - The ashen and Teutonic atmosphere in Wolfsburg was disrupted today after a Volkswagen assembly line worker submitted a improvement proposal in the form of a completely-built car. Like most others, Volkswagen AG encourages their snappy Nike-shod and blue smock-clad workers to submit improvement proposals. When accepted and implemented, submitters are rewarded with an hour off of his/her 29 hour work week or free currywurst with pomme frites and mayonnaise in the assembly hall cafeteria for a week.

Currywurst, pomme frites, mayonnaise, in VWAG cafeteria No. 1a, 27kl.9aumlaut

23-year old Axel Aggregatentraeger, lead hand on Golf V front subframe shift VK/FwAgG-54.2/B saw an opportunity to improve a .50Euro locating pin on a lifting appliance. After many failed attempts he realizes the vehicle subframe itself needs to be revised. The new subframe then requires a new engine, the new engine required a new front hood, and on it went for months. Before he knew it, amongst the hundreds of empty cases of St. Pauli Girl in the living room of his second floor-walkup on the Heinrich Strasse, Axel had built an entirely re-engineered Golf V. The project being much to the chagrin of his Turkish immigrant neighbors, Axel commented that “I made it worth their while by buying lots of parts from them, that they smuggled out of the factory“. “The only problem I had was wiping their lardy fingerprints off the upholstery bits” he added.

Axel, who is known affectionately as “Kleiner Einstein” (“little Einstein”) by his colleagues, was hired by the Volkswagenwerk after he had made several thousand trips to various assembly halls around the werk as a pizza delivery boy. “His talent was noticed immediately” says 54.2/B shift supervisor, Hans Getriebeschalter. “Each pepperoni slice would be placed in precisely-staggered 50 millimeter radius increments, spaced exactly 3 millimeters apart ...a true German, if you know what I mean. Installing our engines and subframes requires the same accuracy”.

Unfortunately, the jubilation of Axel’s co-workers was short-lived when the engineering staff rejected his proposal. The reasoning was that Axel’s closet-engineering prowess failed to meet the very stringent "minimum complexity standards" imposed on all VWAG engineers. An ueberengineering spokes-diety stated that, “Axel’s arrangement of parts would have make it too easy for dealership technicians to perform routine maintenance on the car”. With a bespectacled scowl typical of most native Niedersacheners, he also mentioned that, “Volkswagen requires a minimum of 86 computerized control modules communicating with each other via 3 discreet CAN-Data Bus on each car. Axel used only one... this is unacceptable, and besides, the colour was absolute scheisse”.

Axel’s valiant efforts where further thwarted when his Union Steward insisted the strict VWAG improvement submission protocols be followed, and that the car actually be retooled to fit inside the suggestion box. Undeterred, Axel says he is planning a facelift of his
suggestion, “in about 4 years”.

Axel and co-worker, sober, for now

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