In my experience, one of the by-products of assembly line work, day in and day out, was boredom. I learned to do the tasks I was responsible for then spent my time being “creative”: reading books out of sight in unmonitored restrooms and stockrooms; sneaking in moves on postal chess cards or games on boards setup in toolbox drawers; and wandering around under the pretense of seeking parts, special tools, test equipment, or inspection, expeditors, supervisors, etc. More to the point, though, I “mapped” the factory floor and noted where my work fit in the flow of operations; met with people whose work preceded or followed mine and negotiated how we could do it differently so it remained in compliance with inspection standards, but helped all of us; and learned to interpret rumors and observe how changes in production schedules and shop floor layouts in different areas indicated potential layoffs or overtime. This knowledge became seeds of my authority that would sprout and grow over time in keeping with changes in the scope of my responsibilities as well as gaining deeper insights into the dynamics of larger more complex systems.