|Killing the Goose...|
Chapter 38: Bleeding Ford Blue
The irony of my situation was that I could make Ford more than enough money to pay for its legal defense against me, and to win my case against Ford I had to do it. I would have done it anyway because, despite everything, I still bled Ford blue. I wanted the company to beat the socks off of the competition. The way Ford was headed with the use of its temps in roles formerly occupied by salaried employees and its devaluation of its most productive salaried employees it was headed for a fall. There werent going to be enough people left in the company who knew what they were doing or cared enough to do it well.
The first big job I led as a Master was a cast model for the Sable. The armature didnt fit the bridge and the scan was off from side to side by four millimeters. Thats a lot. I had one experienced modeler to help me when I needed at least three. The original deadline for finishing it was five weeks, which was pushing it under the best conditions. When I got ahead of schedule, with bad equipment, running changes and running static from the Sculptor who was leading the main model, the deadline was moved up a to four weeks. I finished it in three.
When Joe Seibold went on a three-week vacation shortly before the 93 Thanksgiving Day holiday, he left his Master Modeler Vic DeBono in charge as the acting Supervisor. Dave Turners studio in a Ford Facility called Commerce Park South was in deep trouble and Greg Arceri, the modeling Supervisor there, asked Vic to send over two modelers who could help them. Vic sent Dave Hackett and me.
There were three clayed-up armatures in the Commerce Park Studio, each with a different design yet to be formulated on each side for the new small Cougar and another small car. Bill Kowalski led the first model. Larry Paluschak led the second one. John Arzooian led the third. We were under a big time crunch to meet a full dress show date. We would have to work through the holiday to finish in time.
Hackett and I were assigned to Arzooians model. Our designer was a young new hotshot in the mold of Walied Saba and Song Kim. I could tell that the third prince was the designated winner because his job was the only one with thee Master Modelers. Two of his three Sculptors were several cuts above average and all of the talk among the top design executives about great young design talent were about him.
Hackett patiently gave me instructions on how to rough in a car. Arzoo impatiently told me that I was wasting time on irrelevant details. Suddenly I was back where I started years before with both of them. Fortunately, Hackett decided to take several vacation days and the holiday off and Arzoo let me do my thing just because he got tired of arguing with me. Within two days my side of the model was strikingly ahead of all the others. Arzoo turned over his side of the model to me and by the end of the next day both sides of the number 3 model were strikingly ahead of the others. John then turned over the whole model to me and he went on vacation. I worked all the way thought the holiday weekend, 12 hours a day, seven days a week.
I took full advantage of what the Sculptors could do without telling them how to do it. I couldnt have asked for better results.
Dave Turner decided at the last minute that he wanted to go in a more radical direction. The closest thing to what he had in mind was on the passenger side of Paluschaks model. The surfaces were so twisted and faceted that nobody on the model could figure out what to do with them. I figured it out and put it in. I wasnt afraid that Paluschak would get credit for my work because I didnt think either side of his model had a chance of winning and Hackett and Arzoo got back in time to see what I did. At that stage of the game my modeling approach was conventional and they could appreciate what they were seeing.
Paluschak confined his modeling to the rear quarter of the driver side. I was always conscious of the fact that working for him meant that he could influence my next performance review but I couldnt influence his. If Dave Turner picked my body side to go into production, Paluschak would get the credit for leading the model. When my body side did go into production a few years later I got no credit for anything. I was so upset with what happened that I couldnt stand to think about it. Dave Hackett had to remind me I modeled most of it. I honestly forgot that I did. Every time I saw it my blood boiled.
Paluschak never questioned my competence. He left me alone. When I needed technical information from him he gave it to me right away if he had it in his head. If he didnt have it, he got it.
During the full dress show with Jack and Fritz, Dave Turner puffed out his chest with pride in the wisdom of his decision to set a short full dress show date and called his process focused-modeling. He determined that focused-modeling was the way to go. The fact that one modeler me exhausted himself on sculpting two of the final three body sides, didnt figure into his assessment. I wondered what the winning model would have looked like if someone like me hadnt been there pull it off.
I got my answer when Turners Scorpio and Mercure came out in Europe. They were so ugly that I thought someone made them as a joke. So did the European and American automotive writers and the car-buying public.
When Joe Seibold returned from vacation he gave me my performance review. He gave me an EP. Dave Hackett waited outside of Joes office to tell him what I did on the Cougar. Joe refused to talk to him.
I saw no point in fighting it on my own because now I had more than a threat of litigation to do it. I had a lawyer. The litigation was already in progress and I had enough documents and witnesses to prove to any jury that I deserved an O.
If my attorney was as sharp as I thought he was the EP could work for me in demonstrating one of the mechanisms Ford used to discriminate against black modelers without the collusion of a bigoted Supervisor. Joe Seibold was not a bigot. He had nothing personally or professionally against me but he did have a ceiling on the number of Os he could award to his Masters. He was already committed to giving out more than the curve allowed and as the last Master in his group I was last in line to get mine. He justified the EP by telling me that no one was qualified to receive an O in his first year as a grade-8 Master Modeler.
To get around another EP I insisted on being allowed to take a class in electronic math modeling. With my new grade-8 title, which carried with it supervisory responsibilities and the status of an expert in surface development, I saw an opportunity to make major contributions to the evolving design process.
Ford was moving away from modeling by hand faster than the new priesthood of technicians could learn to use the new electronic technology productively or reshape it to more productive ends. The milling machines couldnt even reach some areas of the models that milling was best suited for. Modelers hired in the mid 80s were becoming cutter path gurus who couldnt see design elements on the tube that drove surfaces in the wrong directions because they hadnt developed enough of them in clay. Math model designers, as the math modelers now called themselves, didnt know enough about design, engineering, materials and assembly to know when they were creating circles for themselves to run around in.
As a math modeling leader, which I would be as a grade-8, I thought that I would be able to make decisions about when and where to use hand modeling or math modeling and milling. I thought that I would have a considerable amount of influence on the creation of new hardware and software to simplify the math modeling procedures for everybody. The only thing that bothered me was why Phil Hussar and Dave Connelly hadnt already done it.
I should have asked them.
I wanted to learn ICEM-Surf but the only available math modeling class was in the use of a fundamentally different software program called CDRS. Joe got me into the 1994 CDRS class. Before it started I was transferred to Greg Arceri at Commerce Park South as an assigned member of his team. He told me to lead a Word Car model for Graham Bell. Greg gave me one modeler, Dave Hackett.
As the job leader I knew that Greg was going to ask me to grade Hackett on his performance. But I also knew the Greg was going to ask Hackett to grade me on mine. I knew that Hacketts critique was going to carry so much weight that mine wouldnt count. Hackett and I got along fine. He let me make the leadership decisions and I went along with every suggestion he made to help me out whether or not I agreed with it.
I made one exception.
When the armature Hackett picked out for me at the Allen Park storage facility didnt line up perfectly with the grid lines on the surface plate of the bridge or the scale running along the rails, I wanted to find out why. Hackett wanted me to ignore the discrepancies. I tracked down the problem anyway with the help of a black man I knew in the Metal Shop named Julies Harron. Julies helped me before with a problem on the outside mirror trim of the original Taurus. My superiors said that my clay solution wouldnt work in metal. Julius proved that it did.
Here I needed to show that a serious problem existed with the bridge, rail and armature setup before anyone could solve it. Julies found it and solved it because he had experience with it in the 1970s that nobody outside of the Metal Shop had. He knew that the imperfect baseline was 2,000 millimeters away from where it needed to be to line up with the rail and the margin of error got progressively worse forward and reward of the 2,000 line. The surface plate had never been properly converted to the metric system so the plate and rails had to be modified. Shifting the baseline almost 6 farther back from the 0 baseline we used on our modified surface plates was the only way to make the 70s conversion from tenths of an inch to millimeters.
The fact that two black people were responsible for identifying and correcting the error was not entirely coincidental .
Julius Harron was the only black professional in the Metal Shop. I went to him because he was in charge of the one-man modeling equipment department inside of the Metal Shop. He beat me out for the job without knowing that I was the only qualified person in the company who applied for it when it was created shortly after I made grade-8.
The posted job description looked as though it was written for a Master Modeler using all of the shops for support and devising ways to use math modeling, scanning and milling equipment more efficiently. There were no black 8s in the shops. With my lawsuit pending, Ford could not deny me the job unless it put another black qualified employee in my place. Julius didnt apply for it. He was promoted into it. His promotion turned the post into a specialized but conventional Metal Shop function. It also took Julius out of the running for a grade-8 job in the regular department and out of the running for the next Metal Shop Supervisor opening.
If Purnell, Calvin or Leak had been in my place at Commerce Park South they would have noted the discrepancy I noted and put the breaks on the same way I did until they found out what was going on. The difference between an overwhelming percentage of white modelers and us was our experience with getting blamed for anything we were involved in that went wrong. We were therefore predisposed to pay close attention to anything we didnt understand up front and to clear the fog before we proceeded. We couldnt afford to bluff or to cheat.
The other models were too close to completion to change the setups on the surface plates and armatures. After weeks of fruitless efforts to find another way to synchronize the numbers, Greg, Graham, the job leaders and the scan technicians in the Design Center gave up. They decided, instead, to do all of their scanning in the Design Center.
Had I been invited to the meetings I would have urged that all three models be redone to keep bad data from being kicked around in the system for years or seeping into the tooling dies. Recommendations like that did not agree with Graham Bells concept of progress.
From the outset of my assignment to lead the modeling of the Word Car my concept of progress clashed with Grahams just as it had when I was modeling his wheels for the 86 Sable and his Crown Vic rear end. We had no conflicts with the Cougar because I had no say in the overall planning and little say in the information I could request to bypass unnecessary or counterproductive labor. The twelve-hour workdays and seven-day workweeks applied to everyone so the mental fatigue that ate into my productive time had the same effect on everyone.
The World Car was different. I was in charge of the modeling but I had little basic information to set my foundations. The timing schedules had not been established. The engineering package had not been determined. We didnt even have a wheel size or an overall length to work with.
We did get enough information to tell Julius that we had the wrong armature. I went with him to Allen Park to get the right one and we discovered that there were no more in stock. I passed the news onto Greg Arceri who saw to it that enough armatures in the correct size and configuration would be constructed to meet the companys foreseeable needs. While I was waiting for my new armature I took care of a few things for the company and for myself that couldnt wait.
Our workspace technically belonged to the company that supplied Fords contract modelers. That division of space shouldnt have mattered because, for all practical purposes, Ford owned the company. Ken Wanarski, a Ford Master Modeler when the facility opened in the80s, was assigned to supervise its operations. He set up the World Cars bridge. The workspace division somehow meant that I had to go to his secretary Marnie to do my typing. She was a white, redheaded Tammy.
I hit a snag with Marnie the first time I asked her to type something; my estimate of the supplies, people, and timing I would need at each stage of the modeling process. She questioned every item on the sheet then refused to type it without Graham Bells approval. The time and recourse estimate sheet was for Graham and the absurdity of getting his approval to type it before I presented it to him made no impression on Marnie. A secretary named Carol, who sat next to Marine in the same small room but worked for a different department volunteered to type it for me.
I ran afoul of Marnie again when I tried to use the copy machine to scale down the size of my Smartfellows logo. She immediately identified it as an unauthorized document and barred me from using the copier because the paper in the machine belonged to Ford. Carol broke open a pack of paper that she brought from home and loaded it into the copy try. I ran off my logo and put a dime on Marnies desk to pay for the ink.
Marnie was an equal opportunity obstructionist. I mention her only as an example of the petty nonsense everybody had to endure when dealing with ambitions temps like her angling for ways to appear dedicated enough for Ford to hire. Temps like Carol were as helpful as they could be. They were also rare. Most temp secretaries werent around long enough to know where everything was, who every body was or how anything they did contributed to the team effort. They didnt expect to be around long enough for the long-term fortunes of the company to mean anything to them.
A good Ford secretary with years of experience working for a modeling Supervisor would have spotted the error the Masters made in ordering the armatures. Errors like that cost Ford hundreds of thousands of dollars in wasted man-hours. Our Supervisors did not have permanently assigned secretaries. Therefore, nobody in the chain of procurement knew enough to see a red flag in time to stop and change course.
Ford was moving aggressively to lower salaries of its tenured secretaries and to replace them at every opportunity with younger, cheaper temps. Ford believed that its secretaries were over valued by Fortune-500 standards without taking into account the higher standards they had to meet for Ford to hire them. Ford hired most of its secretaries in the 60s and 70s. Their average age, like the modelers was over 40. My sister Sara, who had been a Ford secretary for over 20 years, was 52.
My CDRS instructor, Gary Morales, appeared to be in his middle 30s. He had a solid auto design background and a ground floor start in the development of the CDRS program. I was one of his weakest students. All of the clay modelers had a though time with the program initially because nothing in CDRS corresponded to the tools and techniques we used to model in clay.
We had to learn a new language. A line was only a straight line. A curved line was a curve. Hard points were scaffolding and curvature plots, rather than highlights told us how good the surface derived from the curves was going to be. We had to get the curvature plots right before we could get good surface highlights. The points that controlled the shape of the curves had no relationship to the points that defined them in clay. We couldnt even work with the curves in an optimum view. The ideal view was always at an odd angel to the line of vision. We could see it but we couldnt manipulate it. To draw a curve, we had to lock in one deceptive view then rotating the model to another deceptive view.
The engineers, draftsmen and designers had a much easier time with CDRS than the modelers did. The draftsmen and engineers didnt know enough about real world surface development to trip over the conflicts the modelers saw in the way CDRS joined sections of the model together and the way we did it. They didnt have the aesthetic sensitivity we had to know when a perfect CDRS surface sucked in the real world. The designers had the necessary aesthetic sensitivity but they ignored scaffolding that got in their way and they created designs that matched the limits of what they could do quickly and easily in CDRS.
Gary Morales told Greg Arceri that he was giving me a C for the course. Greg told me that he used that rating along with Graham Bells input that I was hard to get along with to lower to lower the O he said he was going to give me to an EP.
In the interim Gary learned that I was the modeler who worked out the surfaces on the 93 Probe and I could explain how to develop A-pillars better than he or his assistant Andrew Caleni could do it. I could also explain why it was essential to do it in a particular way to integrate the greenhouse with the beltline and the body side. From that point Gary and Andrew became as much my students as I was theirs. They learned that my difficulties with CDRS were rooted in the ignorance of programmers and users like him who built in brilliant solutions to problems that would not have existed if they had known what I did. Thats why I got into math modeling. And thats why Gary changed my C to an A+.
The A+ came to late to change my EP to an O but not too late to show how badly flawed Fords PR system was. I didnt have to be the best CDRS user coming out of the chute to make me an Outstanding Master Modeler. I just had to have a better understanding of it than other Master Modelers to show that I could do something they couldnt do at all. I did more that that. I showed why clay modelers in general struggled with math modeling in general and pointed the way to make CDRS and ICEM-Surf more efficient for everyone.
The Word Car project was canceled soon after it started. Dave Hackett spent most of his time moving clay around just to look busy. Nevertheless, before I went to class every day at the Design Center I came to work at Commerce Park South an hour early and returned for an hour after class to give myself four hours on the job instead of two. I designed and built a working model of a devise that measured increments on the rails precisely and locked the bridge at odd stations as well as even ones. Regardless of what model was put into the setup, now that it was going to get the right armature, the groundwork I laid would be an asset to anyone who followed me.
Being the only Master Modeler with a working knowledge of CDRS didnt put me in the best position to influence how Greg Arceri would use it. So, I talked Dennis Phinney into learning it.
Dennis struggled with CDRS in the same ways and for the same reasons that I struggled with it. I had more experience with it than he did so I was able to do more with it than he could do. But somehow he got to choose when to use it and I didnt. That might have been because of the project I got stuck with while he was in school, a project that would ultimately be used to prove that ICEM-surf was superior to CDRS.
Meanwhile, Ford workers in Minnesota had begun a class action suit for race and age discrimination though the law offices of Springer and Lang. An article about it appeared in the Detroit News/Free Press featuring a tiger of an attorney for the plaintiffs named Ross Pelzer. Marin Weisman advised Purnell and me to join the suit. Springer and Lang would take the lead. Martin would still be our attorney but it would no longer be a pay-as-you-go proposition for us. Springer and Lang would absorb the expenses and share in the customary 33.3% of the award if we won. I spent the 94 Christmas holiday answering Ford Interrogatories about my claim with specific incidents, names, dates and witnesses. I had over 100 witnesses including Jack Telnack, Red Poling and Don Peterson.
My CDRS work didnt begin right away. Gregs people were transferred to another building on Ford Road with a new Studio Exec. I didnt have a computer so all I did was model in clay. The project lasted only a few months in 1995 but that was enough time to throw me into another awkward situation with Dave Hackett.
Hackett were assigned to the same exterior model. He did one side; I did the other. We had common glass plains for the greenhouse and a common problem with head clearance points on the roof. The forward header points were too far forward and too high for us to make a good transition on the roof from the top of the windshield to the top of the rear glass, wherever it might have ended up. Hackett ignored the troublesome points and whipped in a good-looking roof. I did the best I could with a roof surface that cleared the points.
Hackett couldnt believe how bad it looked and couldnt resist instructing me on what a good roof section was supposed to look like. Of course, I didnt need the instruction. A man with two wooden eyes could see that my roof was unacceptable. That was the point in creating it. Hackett was focused only how bad by roof looked. I was focused on the lead-time involved in getting a roof into production that looked like Hacketts. Instead of having weeks of meeting and arguments with the package engineers about what we wanted verses what they believed we needed or making it one way while they drew it up another way, they could see it. No more discussion necessary.
The package engineers came in as Hackett took a short break. He was unhappy with them and I dont think he was in a mood to hear them sing the same tune. Gail Brocks group had been disbanded so these guys, all very young and very bright, were new to the sort of thing Gails people would have done without having to twist their arms. They hadnt run into this situation before. Dave Hackett and I had seen it many times.
They looked aghast at what their points forced the roof to do. When I drew the clearance zone on their drawing that we needed using their language to justify it, they agreed that they could do it. It just hadnt occurred to them that such small adjustment on their drawing made such a drastic difference in the roof.
When Hackett returned from his break about fifteen minutes after he left, my side of the roof looked better than his and he didnt hesitate to say so. The dower for me was the way he marveled at how quickly I was able to do it. Why on earth was he always surprised when I did what I always did every time I got the chance to finish what I started? Why was it so had for him to accept the fact that I knew what I was doing whether he understood it or not? Why didnt he see what I accomplished by playing it straight and getting everybody on the same page in fifteen minutes rather than fifteen weeks? Why was he always there to judge me?
The lawsuit gave me access to the low rating Hackett had given me before I got promoted. What he thought of my modeling ability from then on was an open question. We would go along for a while as though he thought of me as an equal. Then, Bam! He was teaching me the ABCs of clay modeling or patting me on the back when I showed him that I could write whole paragraphs in clay then teaching me the ABCs again. I never believed that he thought I was anywhere close to being his equal or the equal of any other Master Modeler.
Ford built a huge, Stalinesque building behind the Design Center called the Product Development Center (PDC) and Arceris group moved there with Gerry Folgmanns group. Engineers and math modelers worked on the mezzanine overlooking the studio. My workstation was four rows back. I got there through an entrance that didnt go through the studio. I sat between two draftsmen who did their work in PDGS.
Joe Marcella sat on my right. He was an ex-marine. We worked together on the Sable cast model and regarded each others professional abilities highly. Jim Savage, a former sailor sat on my left. Next to him was Jim Tudor, another outstanding draftsman and a former airman. We had a ball swapping insults about dumb marines, crazy paratroopers, crazier sailors and wimpy airmen.
We got so good at feeding each other setup lines that we couldnt miss hitting somebody. We never knew who the target was going to be or where the zinger was going to come from unless we got set up to slam ourselves but we knew it was going to be funny.
Hearing all of the laughter coming from our section of the floor every day, one might think that we werent getting any work done. The opposite was true. Coming to work was fun, as it had been during the most productive times in Taurus and Concepts. The fun didnt get in the way of our work because we didnt have to think about it. It flowed naturally, relieved stress and kept us mentally alert.
On the negative side of things, I was physically separated from the modelers and doing more and more work for the CDRS Supervisor Dave Delikta. I was wondering when I would get a chance to show the other Masters what CDRS could do so they could decide when and how they could best use it when Dug Gafga, the Studio Exec asked me to math model a surface for a new luxury model code named DN-101.
Some of the raw data was difficult to read on my small screen because the scan lines were wavy and the points that connected them seemed to indicate a continuous surface from one end of the body side to the other. I put in a continuous surface not knowing that the clay model the scan was taken from was sitting downstairs in the studio and it had a definite horizontal break line running through the body side. I noticed the surface break in the raw data when I was giving the math model a final going over. Knowing Dug Gafga the way I did I was surprised to see it considering the characteristics of the overall design. No big deal. All I had to do was add a curve for the break, split the surface and connect the split surfaces to the curve; a ten minute job.
Before I could make the change Dug walked up to my workstation with Dave Delikta, a couple of engineers and a frightened-looking ICEM-surf user from Germany named Angela. Delikta introduced me to Angela and told me that I would be working with her to see what we could do to merge the best feature of clay modeling. CDRS and ICEM-surf into one coherent system. It sounded like a good plan to me because each way of modeling had something going for it that the others didnt. Angela said nothing, apart from correcting Delikta soft g pronunciation of her name and apologizing for her poor English.
Angela shook my hand but she never looked at me. She looked only at my screen. I didnt know whether to liken her darting eye movements to a trapped animal looking for a way out or a drill instructor looking for misaligned socks in a trainees footlocker. She was obviously nervous but she had the bearing of a drill instructor. I didnt want to think Prussian drill instructor, but Id be lying if I said I didnt.
I told Dug what happened with the break line and what I was going to do. He looked it over and decided that a clean surface might be better than the break and told me to keep it the way it was. The CDRS model was supposed to be used only for engineering studies so it wasnt necessary to make the change. And if he wanted to use the clean surface on the clay he would be a step ahead of the game because I had worked out the highlights, something that normally took weeks. Everybody was happy.
I dont know when somebody started playing power games but I was the last to know about it. Ironically, if my rough CDRS model had been rougher it wouldnt have happened. What happened next should give you another insight into the political intrigue that kept driving the prices of Big Three cars higher when they should have come down. Similar shenanigans went on at GM and Chrysler.
Our engineers told Dugs lead DN-101 designer Vic Nacif that he had to make big changes. They told him he had to raise the hood at a critical point, move the centerline intersection of the windshield and the cowl rearward. Changes like these have other design ramifications that could have involved a change in A-pillar. Bill Kowalski, the Master on the clay model said that he couldnt make the changes in time for a design and engineering review.
Dug decided that the review didnt have to be made with the clay model if we could math model the changes and show the model fully rendered on an animated turntable in the new Studio 2000 showroom. Angela said that it couldnt be done in ICEM-surf. I said that I could do it in CDRS.
Angelas problem with ICEM-surf was that it worked with rectangle quilt-like patches. ICEM-surf had to combine all of the patches in a patch structure that bore no resemblance to the way I had to draw base curves and supporting section curves for my surfaces in CDRS. She had to start from scratch with the raw data.
I was already where I needed to be to start. In addition, CDRS had a more advanced rendering system than ICEM-surf. I could make the sheet metal and chrome shine and reflect like sheet metal and chrome. I could make the glass look like glass and I could put the model in a showroom environment. If I didnt have crucial information I could fake it.
I didnt have the information I needed to make the side glass. All I had on the glass was a horizontal line in the raw data representing where the bottom of the glass would be when it was rolled down. I didnt know where the A-pillar was going to end up so I made two of them. I didnt have time to make all of the technical adjustment on one of them so I just made it look good for the show. The DN-101 wheels hadnt been designed yet, so I used a wheel that I had designed in school. It was too small for the model but the animator, a man named Scott, transferred my wheel data into a program that allowed him to scale it to size in minutes.
The show was everything Dug hoped it would be with one animated turntable showing the model with the modifications and the other showing the model without them. Dug was happy with both models and the engineers could have without a fight what they said they needed. Angela and her American counterpart Carl were curiously disinterested in the presentation. They whispered back and fourth to each other and laughed. Angela left before the presentation was completed.
According to the plan it was now ICEM-surfs turn to carry the math model to completion. I went to Carls studio in the Design Center to make sure his group knew what was what with the glass and the A-pillars I used in my models. Carl referred me to Angela and Angela told me that it didnt matter because my patch structure was horrible and she couldnt use anything I did.
Patch structure? I didnt know what she was taking about at the time. It seemed to me that if she had to divide the surfaces in a different way than I did she could makes section lines anywhere she wanted them for her patches. She told me that she couldnt do that because nothing I did was right. She might have had a heavy German accent but nothing was wrong with her command of English and she made it clear to me that cooperating with CDRS was not on her agenda or Carls. Neither of them made it clear to Dug Gafga, Dave Delikta, Vic Nacif or Bill Kowalski.
The Studio 2000 show was on Friday morning. My conference with Angela was that afternoon. Between then and Monday morning someone, probably Dug, decided to have my modified math model milled in clay. When I came to work that Monday, Vic Nacif sent a modeler upstairs to ask me to come down and explain the irregularities in the clay model. I couldnt imagine what he was talking about because I didnt do a math model to be milled. I did two of them to be viewed side-by-side on a screen. It would have taken me a minimum of another two days to round up the missing data I needed for a math model constructed for milling. That would have defeated the purpose of using CDRS for the optical models.
The milled model was a mess. A deep groove ran through the body side where the man who set the cutter path picked up the wrong line. The break line that Vic expected to see wasnt there. The lines on the A-pillar crisscrossed. The side glass was too flat and the base of the windshield was in the wrong place. The correct information was on the other model and Dug Gafga wasnt around to tell anybody that he made the decision not to show the break line in the CDRS models.
Carl was the only person on the planet with access to my files and the technical know-how to transfer the one that was transferred to the man who made the ICEM-DDN cutter paths for the milling. He knew that the windshield centerline that Vic wanted was on my other model and the A-pillar on the milled model was fudged in to look good on for the optical show. His partner Angela knew that I improvised the glass surfaces because I didnt have the engineering data for the real ones. They knew but they didnt tell.
Carl and Angela did not work for Ford. They worked for ICEM.
While my head was still spinning with the appearance of the clay model, Angela breezed in and informed Vic that she had discovered my windshield was in the wrong place and she had done it correctly in ICEM-surf. As she breezed out, without looking at me, someone said, You know, she also got the break line in there. Someone else said, That Angela sure is sharp.
The Carl and Angela show did not hurt me on my next performance review because the engineers who asked for my revised CDRS model used it effectively for its intended purpose and the break line in the body side went away. But the way I got the review crippled me in my lawsuit.
After that act with the milled model I had a nasty confrontation with Carl and Angela with Greg Burnabi, the Ford Math Modeling Manager acting as mediator. A Ford ICEM-Surf user named Larry Lauth caught the last part of the shouting match. My Supervisor was still Greg Arceri. I was still a Master Modeler but Ford Personnel told him that a reorganization of PDC meant that I had to choose between design and engineering.
This is where Fords manipulation of my career path to undermine my case in the lawsuit began.
I had to make my choice immediately or stay in clay modeling full time by default. Gregs ceiling on Os meant that I had no chance of getting one from him if I didnt get one from the man I did most of my work for, Dave Delikta. I couldnt remain a Master Modeler by default without appearing to have failed as a Math Model Leader, a more prestigious job. If I chose clay modeling it would look like I made a big fuss over not getting the same chance that white modelers got to learn math modeling then squandered the chance I was given at great expense to Ford.
I strongly suspected that Fords latest reorganization was crafted to force one person into engineering. In practice, it adversely affected only one person in the company one black Master Modeler.
I had a choice, all right. The same choice a holdup man with a loaded gun to your head gives you when he asks, Your money or your life?
 The title of Supervisor and the role of a supervisor had profoundly different legal implications. A clay modeling Supervisor had formal management status. A supervisor had no formal management status. Thus, a pay grade-9 Supervisor separated a pay grade-8 supervisor from management.
 Most modelers considered any measurement that was with one fifth of a millimeter (.2) perfect because that was as close as they could measure with their eyes. My near vision allowed me to measure to within a tenth (.1) of a mill.