Civility in Forum Posts



Open Apology

As I mulled over this exciting week in the “Cove” it has become apparent, thanks to Martin’s no frills charge relating to my 30 years of incompetence in the Quality Profession, that he may be right. But, I wasn’t always incompetent. When I began as an Inspector in 1966, things were different. You learned all you could about the product, the system as it was then and moved on. The key to success was to do a good job, show some ambition and through normal progression, you advanced. Times have changed. We now have certain educational requirements, which cover the whole spectrum of what a good Quality Professional should be. Books, courses, certificates, etc. With these changes came a new breed of Quality Professional with respected credentials that over time become a necessity to excel in the field. You no longer just have to learn the company culture and fit in, you are tasked with the almost impossible task of changing it to meet more specific requirements. My entire working life can be summed up as A Quality professional with ever increasing roles of responsibility in the Quality arena. That’s it. No plan, it just happened. The Cove members are made of many individuals who have those “proper” credentials or other experience that have put them on top of their game. Kevin, Db, Lucinda, E. Wall, Steelmaiden, ISO Guy, Carl, all the other Daves (including the Aussie Bloke) all the other moderators, and many more too numerous to mention. Your posts are serious, thought provoking and certainly do not indicate incompetence in your field. Don’t be offended if I left you out. But, I can’t leave out MG. MG has all those things mentioned above, plus the stubbornness of some you other members. That’s a good thing.

I was one of the first to welcome this young gentleman from across the pond. We exchanged some private messages and e-mail. There were some private jokes. Basically, while I had to have it pounded into my incompetent head, I agreed with his subsequent posts. But, more importantly was what did I do to change this relationship to what it has become?

My time here in the Cove has been one whereby I gained, and will continue to gain, the knowledge to keep up with the latest interpretation problems with the new standard. My posts, for the most part, HAVE shown disdain for the tie wearing, narrow minded, manicured, polished, egotistical, holier than thou Quality Professionals that I’ve run across in my travels. I have also been sarcastic and engaged in very unprofessional behavior when I sensed someone was exhibiting some of those traits I mentioned above. But I felt I was meeting their fire with my kind of fire. What I felt doesn’t matter. What matters to me is that someone posting to a thread should not have to worry about getting boiled in oil by someone who probably misread the intent of the post and decide to chime in with some criticism or ill placed humor. It stops here. It will be difficult. I subscribe to all the threads, so when there is a new post, a “new message” pops up on the screen. All work ceases and I read it. When I see it’s a thread in which I was actively engaged, I just had to fire off my two cents.

So - to all offendees, if my posts made you feel uncomfortable I apologize. Grampy is hanging up his whips, darts and barbs. Because I’m not as competent as I should be, I’ll be doing more posts reading and less posting. But, I’m not leaving. And, I may still post a joke in the humor thread when I feel like it. So there. Oops, watch that you Knuckle Head!
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Al Dyer


Don't beat yourself up too much, save some for us! eek:

Don't go too far, you have been and am sure will be a voice in the cove. We all have bad days, I should know!:


Fully vaccinated are you?
Ummm, wow!

I haven't really been following everything that's going on - I honesly can't say I'm even sure where this came from but there must be one doozy of a thread I've missed.

The bottom line is we all have personalities and personal biases. That's what the Forums here are all about. I personally see ISO 9001 as out of hand, have always pointed out QS-9000 was a vague customer requirement that sucks eggs when you try to interpret it with respect to your business and have other wise slammed things I prsonally feel need some slamming. On the other hand, there are good things about ISO9K and QS-9000. There are some here who undoubtely believe in the 'Miracle' of ISO 9K. So - we all get together and bitch and moan.

Some of the individual forums are more - well, lets use the word scientific - than others. It's hard to get too many interpretations of calibration requirements or how to do an R&R. So there is less controversy. Other forums are more open to interpretation issues.

Up to this point, what I have called 'Dart Throwing' has been - as best as I can tell - at a level we can live with. The whole idea is to trade opinions and ideas. If people are going to do that, there are going to be spats. But - we learn from these spats, if we're 1/2 smart. It is why I visit news sites all over the world on the internet - different ideas on the same topic. I may not agree with what a certain news source says, but it does give me another side of the story. If I don't know both sides, I'm ignorant. You all know I'm a liberal democrat - but I do visit sites which are very pro- conservative republican. It's no different here. My expectation is that if people choose to get involved in a thread in a forum they do so knowing the 'risk' that someone will say they're full of :ca:

As to all the degrees and certificates and such - hey - I was 24 when I started college with a biology major and chemistry and anthropology minors and it was 1978 when I got out at the ripe old age of 28 - and in those days I was - literally - the oldest guy (an all male school) in the college. Good ol' Westminster! I stumbled into quality assurance by accident several years later. Luckily it was in a military manufacturing environment and 'quality' systems became my specialty. I stumbled upon ISO 900x around 1992 and was lucky enough to get a company to let me 'help' them through implementation for cheap. One led to another and - fortuitously (QS-9000 was a gold mine through 1999) - the company I did that first ISO implementation for had to do QS and they called me. And from that, this site was born. Bottom line is we all come here from different situations, different companies, different ages, different backgrounds - you name it. All our opinins and interactions are from different perspectives. Some came through the ranks, some are kids (well, to me they are) in college looking for info. There are some people who flaunt their 'credentials' as some type of proof that they are correct in what they say and in their interpretation - which we all know is not a truth. There are lots of idiot auditors, as an example, who are certified (or whatever the RAB calls it) as 'lead' auditors. There lots of personalities (more commonly called people) who visit here. Bottom line is we're all here from different places but with the same intent - getting information and share ideas and experiences. Well, I guess we share a few files here and there, too. I bet there aren't many people here (except the kids, and I doubt even them) grew up thinking: "...Wow! I want to be a quality assurance manager when I grow up..." and focused on achieveing that goal.

While I admit to having done the CQE thing some years ago, I never kept it up with the required CEUs and such. I've done the Lead Auditor course twice - 1994 and 1998 - but I have no RAB certificate for auditing. That doesn't mean I can't audit nor does it mean I don't understand what (in this case ISO 9001) is about. You folks may remember the very intense exchange B Hartley and I had in (broken link removed) I'm not all that hot on the validity of many 'Certificates' which proclaim competence.

To me - it's all about growth and understanding - and you do that by knowing both sides and participating. Actually, worse than the B Hartley thread was between you and I with the August culmination where we climaxed (so to speak) as I was going through the server changes and software changes in a bad business climate. You and I got through that - you'll get through this. I'm sure you remember I was so frustrated I almost actually did shut the site down. But here we are - and with 'technologically advanced' forums software! Avatars, personal messaging, the 'buddie' thingie (which I still haven't figured out) and all. A whole new dimension.

And yes - the world is changing. So - what's new? Did it stop sometime that I'm not aware of (which is highly possible being a 1960's 'hippie' who inhaled. If this is the case, someone please clue me in... What year is this?)?

I liked this:
> I have also been sarcastic and engaged in very
> unprofessional behavior when I sensed someone was
> exhibiting some of those traits I mentioned above.

Well, we've got joke threads and road kill recipes. I've twisted your teat a few times and you mine. Everyone decides what their level of input will be. When I think of you I think of the word Frisky.

When I started this site I was hard coding everything at first, and quickly found a 'visual' editor (there weren't many then and they were nowhere near as sophisticated as they are now). Back then I was traveling most of the time and did the site at night in hotel rooms (see - this is me in a room where I 'holed up' for about 6 months in Royal Oak just north of Detroit). Now, I've never claimed to be a smart business man nor have I claimed to be a web site professional. The few old timers here will remember everything was pretty radical from the beginning. While I did (and still do) see the site as my 'calling card', so to speak, I never approached it like a big company would. The site was/is more my toy than a 'business' site. When I started it I could afford it, I wanted information from others and I liked helping others. And I liked expressing my opinions. Well, I think it was around 1997 or 1998 - I got an e-mail from someone. It said something like "...Your web site is very unprofessional. I won't be visiting again..." I e-mailed back "...And your point is?..." I've had e-mails telling me I'm using the wrong font here or that my artwork is crappy. Well, folks, you're at a 'backwoods' site - we're sorta loose here. No one is imposing their will on you, such as by putting a gun to your head, that you have to come back. You like it - you come back. You don't - you don't come back.

My point is different people have different thresholds for what they consider 'professional'. Witness If we were all 'professional' all the time it wouldn't be the Cove Forums!

I think we can handle your continued participation. Place might get boring without the 'energy' factor here and there. Heck - what would I do without energy to kick around now and again? I'd have to focus all my wraith on Al - and that wouldn't be fair to Al, would it Al? :thedeal:

Let's keep 'Dart Throwing' to a minimum. I suspect some other apologies might be appropriate here from those who took it to the personal level. There's no room for personal insults.

Atul Khandekar

hanging up whips? Don't !


I completely agree with what Al has said here. And like Marc I seem to have missed the thread that prompted you to post this one. I always thought most of your posts have initiated and fuelled a healthy debate in the forums and I for one have always enjoyed it. So keep it up (please!)

Al Dyer

You wouldn't do that to a poor, right-leaning, Libertarian would you? I'm a delicate introvert and need to be treated as such.:thedeal:


A less barbed hook?

And how many fish will you catch that way?:p

Energy, sweetpea, take your zoloft and chill today. I'm sure that you'll be back to your old self tomorrow and that will be a good thing. You are not incompetent, and tempers willing, those sorts of remarks won't be carelessly tossed out again.

P.S. Ohmigod I'm flattered that you mentioned my name as someone with "credentials" or "experience", but yowzas I have neither! Talk about incompetence....:) that would be me!



Like you sir, I began as an inspector, and tester in 1984 after 11 years as a machine operator. I was trained on MIL-45208 and 45662. My mentor was of the old school, and had little tolerance for ignorance, or for little minded people.
(The story is told of a meeting with a particularly troublesome nuclear power company inspector. When this inspector declared,"I'm here to make a name for myself." Earl's response was a completely deadpan, "That's not the name you want to be known by".)

My "education" is a AAS in machine design, and a couple of ASQ certificates. Like most others I stumbled into quality, and have been stuck ever since. (It's kind of nice 'cause nobody else knows quite what we do) There are few who have the ability to do what we do every day. It takes a unique set of talents to do it right.

But enough about me:vfunny:

You should stick to your guns. Yes you occasionally get a bit verbose, but I think much of the misunderstanding has more to do with the limitations of the forum.

You are not afraid to express your opinion and argue points. But I have also seen you change your mind, and admit when you were wrong. In my opinion sir, you are a fine gentleman and a major asset to this community.

Professional ethics is an area which can easily raise someone's ire. But those of us who have been in this profession for a while know that it is critical that we keep a firm eye on the bottom line. That we must keep our eye on the "core processes" and not get hung up on the details. We need that "reality check" here every bit as much as all the scholarly input available.

I'd take your kind of "incompetant" experience anyday over a dozen college trained, inexperienced people who had never smelled the inside of a manufacturing plant.

Hang in there.


P.S I am curious to see if another person on this board is as much a gentleman as you are.
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Aaron Lupo

Energy, I have no idea what has been going on or what happened, but I for one have always enjoyed your posts. I to have written posts that have made people less than happy, but you know what that is my opinion if they don’t like it then they can leave it. I hope you don’t stop posting as much as I want to get as many opinions as I can on a subject, then it is up to me to sort through the ones I like and don’t like. Try not to let one person’s comments turn you off from this post, as it is a very good source of information. Keep up the thought provoking posts!


Super Moderator
Trusted Information Resource
Hey energy, my man!

Of all the phrases I could think of to describe your input into our forum, incompetent would not be on the list! Your experiences are valid and sometimes I think necessary for the "New Quality Professional" so that they may see where and how the quality field has evolved.

I am very flattered to find myself on your list, but don't think for a minute that I came to where I am through the University. My major was architecture, and while that was a major help in learning to read and comprehend specifications, customer requirements and project management, the quality world was foreign to me when I started. I take a few classes every now and then, I pick up a book to learn about some "new" trend or another, and then I usually say to myself "Well, that was interesting, how does that apply to real life?" Too many of the kids that I interview from the colleges think that just because they have a degree, they should come in and become a supervisor or manager right off the git go. Sorry, education is only the first step. I am a graduate of the School of Hard Knocks, and d@#mn proud to be where I am. I might not know every formula off the top of my head, but I can sure find them if I need them!

I think education is a good thing, it gives you a lot of information that you'd otherwise have to discover on your own and puts you a step ahead of the guy on the street. But, eventually everyone learns that life is not like school was, the problems not so clear cut and nicely defined. They'll still come to us old dogs to ask that all important question...."Have you ever seen this before, what did you do about it?" :agree:

Keep up the good work, you are often the voice of reality in our parellel universe. :vfunny:

E Wall

Just Me!
Trusted Information Resource
Hey there Big Man!

You sometimes are a :bonk: knucklehead, but aren't we all?

It takes someone who is very mature of mind (really...I'm not digging at your ancientness ;) ) and self-confident to offer not an individual but open apology as you have. Kudos to you!

If anyone had the time and was so inclined I'm sure there is enough :evidence: to be found here to nail quite a few of us to the wall regarding our sometimes run-away fingers posts! We're all (supposed to be) grown-up enough to handle a little critism (even if we feel it is unwarranted) without throwing nails, darts, or books out of pure temper tantrums - But hey, sometimes the little kid in us has a way of sneaking out!

From time to time it really is okay to plead temporary insanity! So I'll join in and add my appologies to anyone who feels I offended them in some previous post-life too :) or for any time I've gone off the deep end of posts.

What a great way to clean the slate on Monday morning!
Best to all - Eileen
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