When people come to take a tour of the Eminence Speaker plant, I often hear them express in one way or another how astonished they are at all of the processes and the amount of information and work that go into producing a loudspeaker. Granted, a speaker is made up of a few basic components but these components are very specific in their design and purpose. Just to give you and idea of the nuances of each design, Eminence has produced more than 8,000 unique speaker designs since its beginning!! Not 8,000 speakers, but 8,000 unique designs! That is quite an astonishing thing if I do say so myself!
Behind each of those designs are the brains and brawn that make Eminence such a unique place to be. From the engineers behind the draftsman’s desk to the men and women stamping out cold, hard steel, Eminence is built upon hard work and dedication. This month’s Employee Highlight exemplifies both of those traits; hard work and dedication. Paul “Bear” Bryant used to say, “I’m no miracle man. I guarantee nothing but hard work.” Sometimes you need a miracle, but most of the time hard work will suffice. Rodney Tingle is a hard-working and dedicated employee, to say the least. His Supervisor, Linda Gregory, has this to say about Rodney: “Rodney is very dependable. He is always at work, always does what he is asked to do, and does a great job with all he does.”
Rodney and I sat down one morning not too long ago to discuss his time here at Eminence.
JM: Rodney, how long have you been here at Eminence?
RT: I’ve been here about 2 ½ years working in production.
JM: Where did you work before coming here?
RT: I worked for Roby’s Door Service hanging garage doors. I did that for about 18 years.
JM: What brought you here?
RT: Well, with the economy being so slow, houses weren’t being built like they were before. We went from installing 7 or 8 doors a week to around 2 doors a week. Things just got slow. I applied at the Employment Plus temporary service and was referred by a friend to come work here.
JM: JM: Have you worked in production the whole time you’ve been here?
RT: Yes. I’ve worked several different jobs in production but have worked in the production department since I was hired. I’ve helped out in other departments, but my primary department has been production. I started out working on the assembly line in seated positions but I didn’t like sitting the whole time. I moved to the round table so that I could be a little more active and move around a little more.
JM: JM: Do you enjoy what you are doing?
RT: I do. I never thought I would be building speakers for a living but I do enjoy it. I always thought they were built by machine. I didn’t realize that they were built by hand.
JM: Are there any things that you come to know quickly in production?
RT: The main thing that you learn is to pay attention to your job. You can potentially mess up an entire order by not paying attention. You need to check your own work. You are responsible for your work, not someone else. There are some jobs that look easy until you try them. They aren’t always as easy as they look.
JM: Tell me a little about your working environment and your peers here.
RT: It is a good work environment. The people make it a good place to work. If you have a problem, you let someone know and it’s usually taken care of. I am the only one left in my hiring class. You can usually tell when someone is brought in whether or not they will stick around. I don’t like to train people on jobs and then have them leave. If you keep your head on straight and show some patience, you can work here.
JM: What is one of your favorite things about working here?
RT: I’d say it’s the people. We help each other out when help is needed.
JM: Rodney, thanks for taking the time to talk with me today.