Yes, it seems that being a machine operator takes some survival skills. And it does! You have to be able to interact with fellow operators, managers, and even owners from time to time. And you better be ready, because they are.
First off owners, and or plant managers. Where I work I get to say hi and briefly chat with the owner on a weekly basis. I try my best to show him my good qualities and that I am on top of things. Every now and then he will throw some questions at me, and I better be ready. Most of the time it's basic questions like quantities or whats next on the schedule. But sometimes I get the hard question, "Why are we doing this?" So I have to be ready with the insight and quick wit to give him a worthy answer. Even if I have to defend myself and give my reasons why. Even if he doesn't agree with what I am doing, if I can give good reasons why, he will back off. His confidence in you will override any doubts he has.
Managers and or supervisors. These are the guys you really need to impress. They have to be able to depend on you at all times. The more dependable you are, the more valuable you are. Wink wink. Now I can go into pages and pages of what to do to be the best you can be, but Im only giving a quick and basic guide in this post. Part of being dependable is showing up to work. Yup, that's it, show up and get paid. Just showing up to work is half the battle, the other half might not be as easy. After you show up to work you have to give it 100%. Even if you don't want to be there, giving 100% at all times will benefit you, trust me.