Chaos at Audit Time - Why can't people just follow timelines?

Am I the only one that goes through this at audit time?

  • YES - You fool, get a life

    Votes: 5 100.0%
  • No - We never had that problem

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Maybe- Just never noticed

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .

Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
Trusted Information Resource
Re: I just need to know I'm not alone..

Edith said:

Why can't people just follow timelines? Why wait till the last min???

(See Steel's reply and add to it 'human nature' and 'quality is a low priority in the company culture'.)

Ok thanks for listening, I needed that... 17 hour days are just getting to me..

(Working 17 hour days is nuts. No one should have to do that except in an emergency on rare occasions. Others putting off their work until the last minute does not constitute an emergency, IMO.)

Is it just me???:frust: :frust: :frust:



Randy Stewart

Don't Ask!!

We just went through Surveillance #10 for TE and #1 for 14000.
You are not alone and this can be a good thing, really. I had one of our plant managers (6 days before the audit) tell my boss that he didn't think I spent enough time at the plant so he may have a few issues come up (passing the buck before the audit even happened). He ended up with 2 minor documentation issues that were caused by last minute changes he did. The last minute cram sessions happening haven't changed over the years, but the system has. Now that people understand what is going on and have a grasp on our processes, it doesn't need the last minute grooming before a auditor shows up. Not everyone needs to know the Standard, but they need to know the processes & procedures. So you do end up with people getting stressed over the "standard" and want you to look over their area. If the internal audits or reviews are happening and personnel know their procedures, it's not an issue. It is still the same "Do you do what you say you do?".


I know, its bad but...

Hi there,

Randy, it's exactly what I am talking about. Today I thought ,you know what the ****, I will book 30 lines have people conference in on a question and answer period for 4 hours (Because I have nothing better else to do, and all the workshop/ training I did in the last 9 months went to waste)

So they all call in, and they're bringing up issues all over the place which I never heard of until now, so I asked them, "What are you going to do about this in such a short time". They're response...
"Well you never told us that we had to look at this".

Is that what's going to happen? We get a minor, and it will be the quality manager's fault for not telling them? It has to get better then this? How do I communicate to the employees and the manager's that it's not one person's fault but we are in this together?

I feel I have gone above and beyond, which is why I have been sacrificing my own time. I do it because I believe in it. Plus if I stop then they may think that I lost interest.. Paranoid maybe, but that's another thread!

PS. Guys, the fact that I know I am not alone really helps, and really cheered me up. In fact, after reading all your responses, I went into the CEO and said, "You know we'll be ok, and we're not alone!"

:) :)

Randy Stewart

It's not over

It's just something you have to get use to Edith. You can look forward to it every 6 months or so, depending on your surveillance audit schedule. I try to take a couple days off around 2 weeks prior to the audit and take a comp day after the audits (we schedule our Environmental and TE stuff the same week for all 3 facilities) because I will have put in 60 - 70 hours those weeks. I can't complain, I do the same thing with Christmas shopping. Although I tell myself each year that I'll do it differntly next year I still end up maxing the credit cards and shopping on Christmas eve.

Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
Trusted Information Resource

This might not work, and maybe you've already tried it, but we know for sure if we do nothing different then nothing different will happen. Maybe it is worth a shot.

After the audits are over and the company takes a collective sigh of relief, schedule a meeting with your boss or the CEO - whatever at the most relaxed time you can. Ask his/her secretary when the boss is in the best mood, and schedule it then. In a very calm and non-accusatory way, explain to the boss how many 70 hour weeks you had to work, the considerable stress that was placed on you and your co-workers, etc. due this last-minute crap. Depending on the bosses personality, either ask him/her for their help in drafting a plan to prevent this next time (some bosses like to show how much they know) or offer him/her a plan in writing as to how you'd like to start x-weeks ahead next time to prevent the last minute panic. It might now work, but it might be worth a shot. If you get ignored and told that "that's your job" you have 6-12 months to look for another job on YOUR terms if you want.

Kevin Mader

One of THE Original Covers!
Sadly, the news generally gets worse by the second and third surveillance audits. Then, three weeks becomes three seconds, or as Marc put it, if at all.


In spite of information on the intranet and messageboards around the entire facilities....

The most common reaction to a surveillance audit around here is: Whut? Have they been here again? ( Not counting the people actually interviewed, of course... ) Actually, internal audits attract more attention.



Tried that!

Mike S. said:


In a very calm and non-accusatory way, explain to the boss how many 70 hour weeks you had to work, the considerable stress that was placed on you and your co-workers, etc. due this last-minute crap. Depending on the bosses personality.....

I won't go to the 70 hours, no way that's going to happen. But, I have complained about the workload and non-participation by co-workers. Quite simply, the response was: "You're Quality and that's why your here. You'll just have to work late nights and weekends. (Laugh) Hey, look at me. I put in 12-14 hour days here and when I'm travelling."

It's true. He's usually the first one in and the last to leave. But, if I were making triple my salary, you can bet I would make the necessary adjustments to keep my job, too. I call it apples and oranges when I hear this stuff. Also, the quality/type of "work" has a bearing on things. Some people stay late to look good. Seeing them reading the news on the Internet or reading a trade magazine does not qualify for "meaningful work". No, you are not alone. :bonk: :ko: :smokin:


It is not just you; This past August 2 weeks before our transition audit to the 9001:2000 standard it was like folks came out of the woodwork, woke up and wanted to be informed; needless to say we had been holding meetings since early spring providing them with ISO info, attempting to prepare them for what lies ahead.

It's all in what we do. :bonk: Not very encouraging, but truthful.


Re: I just need to know I'm not alone..

Well everyone....

So it happens we are now coming up to our surveillence audit in 4 weeks.... BUT GUESS WHAT!!!!!!!

I'm on Maternity leave :vfunny: :vfunny: :biglaugh:

So, we shall see how the chaos pans out this time... One thing for sure, I will change my home phone number and turn off the cell phone, once it all passes...

You guys have been great as usual.. It's nice to be back home at the Cove!
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