A Mordecai-Type Amazing Experience

A Mordecai-type amazing experience story is recorded in the bible. The story is of a man named Mordecai recorded in the book of Esther. Mordecai was a Jew who believed in his God and worships only his God. This is what all faithful Jews believed and practiced according to their faith in the God of Abraham.

The story is about how God rewarded him because he feared only God and not any man. Because he feared no man, he did not bow to the most powerful man, Haman. Earlier, Haman had commanded that every man to bow to him.

And because Mordecai did not bow to Haman, evil was determined against Mordecai and all the Jews in the Kingdom to destroy them.

The story recorded that because of Mordecai faith in his God, he saved himself and the whole nation of Jews when God intervene miraculously.

Instead of Mordecai being destroyed, it was Haman, his family and his friends that were destroyed.

In the end, from this amazing experience, Mordecai was honored by the king and rise to a high and exalted position amongst his Jewish people.

Lead-up to amazing experience – A major crisis-level challenge 

Obstacles in our way may seems like a mountain without faith

The story started when a couple of emails came in to my manager. These emails have come from top management, giving my manager instruction to release me for an assignment. This assignment is to help the organization to pull through on one critical project for one major customer.

The organization top management had just finished an important meeting with the customer. This customer is one of the major customers and was seriously unhappy with the non-delivery of one order. They were upset that the delivery of this order had failed to meet agreed delivery expectation that was committed. Even after a few more slips in the delivery dates, it still could not delivered. It was now causing terrible grief to their planned offshore campaign.

Emails that kick-started my involvement with this project and an amazing experience:

An Email from Director A
Email from Director B
Copy of email from Director C
Message from my manager to confirm accepting assignment and confirming involvement

It was a disaster before this amazing experience

Haphazard is a recipe for disaster

In a top management meeting, the GM had committed on one ultimate final delivery date. This was after failing to meet a few earlier delivery datelines. In addition, the organization was also accepting to paying a huge financial penalty for the non delivery of the order.

Offshore campaigns are planned ahead based on delivery commitments of all necessary equipment and all resources.  Such resources and equipment are from different suppliers and committed to be available by certain dates to meet the campaign schedule. So if there are any delays by one party it will cause all these offshore resources to be on stand-by with high daily expenses incurred for non utilization.

Everyone in the organization, especially the top management, was feeling so much heat and pressure from the customer that it has been elevated to crisis level and the whole organization management has to be roped in to help in all ways to solve this major challenge.

This is the context in which this amazing experience happened.

Safety First is a way of life. This is a Safety Fail moment

Underlying cause and reason

The order to be filled is not complex but yet it failed disastrously. The manager put in charge of the project is a mismatch to the job. He has very little ground experience and exposure to such kind of re-manufacturing work.

Although there is an operating Internal Procedures that would have provides him with the proper guidance on all the technical requirements. However he chooses to ignores this Internal Procedures and set about getting the project done according to his own understanding.

Specifically the Internal Procedures is written to help whoever in fulfilling and doing the job correctly.

This leads to him unable to get every part past the Customer’s appointed Verification Inspector. The reason was not meeting the Specifications’ requirements.

Words have consequences

3 years earlier, before he was promoted to this manager position, he has once proudly says to a colleague of mine;  “that he can take over my job and easily does what job scope entails”. Now that the Lord God has showed up, putting him to the test over what he had proudly claim.

He was now given ownership of this project but whichever ways he turned it, he is not able to deliver. It was an epic fail and now the organization’s top management has to step in to deliver on his behalf.

Productivity and innovation
Experience and challenges leads to innovation

Prior work experience a part of this amazing experience

It seems surreal that in such a big organization that they do not have many candidates who are able to pull this through.

So I was given such honor to be named as the “good-to-have” guy for this assignment.

James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

In the directors-managers level management meeting, a couple of the directors identified me to the team as the “good to have” resource to be roped in to help.  Many of them are project managers whom I have worked with previously, have good rapport with and knew my work track record well.

So the matter of the fact is that my extensive experience, exposure and the necessary skill sets in doing such kind of works do plays an important part of my reputation.

Risky undertaking
Improvisation but without Safety First

Doing good for the department is part of this amazing experience

At that time, in the year 2011, I was already transferred to a different department and performing a different function. I am no longer having any involvement with such kind of order activities. In fact I have been asked to relinquish fully the old job role in the year 2006 by a new Head of department. This is due to political reason as well as inter-department rivalry.

Unsafe work practice
Risk with using worker without knowledge and experience

In the month of February of year 2005, the international codes (19th edition) governing the manufacturing of products by my organization was released.

For this 19th edition, the related annex, Annex J, was withdrawn from being as part of technical requirements that organizations have to comply to. In its place an organization Internal Procedure was needed to ensure technical requirements are being complied so as to prove the integrity of items as being fit for service.

So prior to leaving the old department, I have written and put in place an Internal Procedure according to the requirement of the 19th Edition. It is a document to provide guidance on mandatory requirements for all repair and re-manufacturing works. And this contribution is part of the amazing experience in this whole journey.

This should leave the department in good shape to whomever takes over the repair and re-manufacture works.

Re-starting the works afresh from the beginning

The order has been accorded urgent and top priority organization-wide. Many of those support function managers were to attend morning toolbox meetings without fail. These managers were to provide all the necessary resources and support without fail.

Directors were chairing toolbox meeting twice daily and whatever operational meetings. Top management team were  brief on progress status update twice daily. They in turn would provide updates to the customer, being kept in the loop.

Everybody connected with this order now are busy or appears busy as this is now the big guy’s project. They have to ensure the big guy’s success so that they too would do well.

I jumped in immediately and went about providing guidance and direction to the whole team. In addition, one of my role is doing the actual physical verification once more of the complete set of components.

One important task was making sure that verifications were properly recorded and documented. This is to ensure that all  requirements are fully complies with before assembling these parts.

While doing all these, it is now apparent to me that there is contention by the whole team on what is considered meeting technical requirements. The team has no idea about the Internal Procedure as it was not being used. At the same time, the whole re-manufacturing activities has no international codes being followed as well.

All the previous re-manufacturing activities on every part were not QC evaluated to meet Code and Standards’ technical requirements.

Why the Mordecai story is related to this amazing experience

Mordecai had once overheard two palace chamberlains plotting an assassination on the king. He passed on this information to Queen Esther and the attempt was thwarted. This act of Mordecai, saving the king’s life was known to the king and recorded in the king’s book of records. On the night before, God intervene on behalf of Mordecai.

A miracle and an amazing experience

Similarly to the Mordecai story, God’s hand and special favor can be seen when something amazing happened.

I started to appraise the ground situation. From here I concluded that the parts accepted by QC were not meeting technical requirements. This was the main cause of why whole order failed to execute successfully.

One evening while thinking about how to explain to the organization about technical requirements being the main root cause, something happened. Strangely I was led back to re-read a copy of the latest edition of the International Code and Standards.

This was in preparation for a presentation to top management with regards to status of execution and what had being accomplished.

As I opened the latest edition, I was so surprised to see one major change from the edition that I have read in the past. This was such a major change that it totally changed the whole scope of requirements back to the same requirements years ago. This change was that Annex J – Repair and re-manufacture requirements has been inserted back in the latest edition.

This clearly means that our organization has to comply to all technical requirements in this Annex J in order to pass the acceptance test. Indeed this was my Mordecai-type amazing experience and a miracle from God.

Mystery of past failures was revealed

With this piece of crucial information, I then explained to the team the real reason why the earlier team was not able to execute successfully.

It was because the team was not ensuring each part to be re-used in the equipment meets the requirements per the API Specification. For this reason, the parts were being rejected and the team was going around in circles. They failed due to not having the knowledge about Codes and Standards and Technical requirements.

After this revelation, taking care of the rest of the job is easy.  It is much easier when everyone in the organization were convinced without a doubt on what went wrong all this time leading up to the crisis.

What more can I say except that I was full of thanks to God for this amazing experience and honor from Him.

Updated edition on 7th-April-2021

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