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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by hobbyman View Post
    Many people have zero aptitude simply because they have never been exposed to things mechanical.
    One of the more astonishing was a draftee who asked the GI next to him to show him how to apply polish to a boot.

    Wasn't a stupid person. Wise enough to ASK, after all.

    He had simply grown up in a household that could afford to employ servants. Never had to give a thought as to HOW his footwear was always in good order.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottl View Post
    What you describe is unfortunately a symptom of societal changes. Where once many people did a lot of their own home repairs, etc. gradually "working with your hands" fell from favor and became looked down on. If you asked a typical bunch of elementary kids how many want to be machinists or mechanics very few hands would raise.

    There have probably been millions of words written about this subject yet every year it seems to get worse.
    I think this accelerated by the the virtualization of technology. Once upon a time magical things were made of cast iron and you could see and feel how just about everything worked and could picture how it was assembled and how it would be repaired. Now magical things are made of silicon and electrons and repairing something means throwing it away and buying a new one, or downloading an update.

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    Not sure exactly how to put this into words.....This is why guys like you and (hopefully) me have jobs that pay $3-$5 or more / hour more than guy #1 and #2 make. Often times here I get mad because it seems that something will run great for months and then someone gets the notion that since everything is running so good....lets put employee "X" over there. And employee "X" screws the whole thing up and instead of looking at employee "X" and saying" Wow, you are stupid as f..k..." They come back to me and say "I thought you had proven this process.....apparently you need to revisit it".
    It sometimes seems like its a challenge to them......"this process is idiot proof.....lets see if we can find someone who is a bigger idiot"....lol
    But honestly......it is what makes some people worth more than others. I would love to have nothing but super stars......not gonna happen tho...
    good luck

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottl View Post
    What you describe is unfortunately a symptom of societal changes. Where once many people did a lot of their own home repairs, etc. gradually "working with your hands" fell from favor and became looked down on. If you asked a typical bunch of elementary kids how many want to be machinists or mechanics very few hands would raise.

    There have probably been millions of words written about this subject yet every year it seems to get worse.
    I agree with what you have written. I would just like to point out that this whole process started quite a while ago. I am 50 years old and did not know that tool makers, machinist' etc even existed until the guy down the street opened a shop in his garage when I was about 16
    Last edited by toolsteel; 01-12-2018 at 03:09 PM.

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    Another point to add, programming.

    I had an engineer friend ranting over a programmer.

    He said "did you ever watch a programmer ?"

    They type a bunch of code, hit return, and say "Oops, let me try again"

    On and on, until they get it "right".

    But some things have to be right, first shot, and always.

    It's almost like they are looking in the back of the book for the answers.

    I see allot less "Critical Thinking" and plain ole "Planning" going on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    Another point to add, programming.

    I had an engineer friend ranting over a programmer.

    He said "did you ever watch a programmer ?"

    They type a bunch of code, hit return, and say "Oops, let me try again"

    On and on, until they get it "right".

    But some things have to be right, first shot, and always.

    It's almost like they are looking in the back of the book for the answers.

    I see allot less "Critical Thinking" and plain ole "Planning" going on.
    Dealing with one of those as a customer can be challenging. They can revise millions of lines of code with a few minutes of work, while we are moving finite pieces of metal around, adding and subtracting in small increments, the programmer thinks it should all be much faster and cheaper.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mud View Post
    Dealing with one of those as a customer can be challenging. They can revise millions of lines of code with a few minutes of work, while we are moving finite pieces of metal around, adding and subtracting in small increments, the programmer thinks it should all be much faster and cheaper.
    Yup, with parametric modeling I can change many things, very easily.

    However, this leads the customer to endless tweaking, and few times
    I have had to "freeze" the design, as the deadline was fast approaching.

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    Many people have zero aptitude simply because they have never been exposed to things mechanical.
    You guys must have seen that Liberty Mutual commercial.. "Yeah Dad, I know
    what a lug wrench is"... "Is this a lug wrench?"

    In one way I want to smack the kid... In reality, that Dad needs an ass woopin' for
    never teaching his kid how to change a tire...

    When I was 3 my Mom got a flat tire in the driveway.. Her friends brother was around, so
    he was going to change it.. He got the jack out and then they went inside to shoot the shit.
    I managed to get the jack in and actually got the car (a little Fiat) jacked up with a shitty
    scissor jack.. (this was back when it was OK to let your kids play outside)
    Of course I knew nothing about putting it in gear, emergency brakes or chock
    blocks and the car rolled and destroyed the jack.. I didn't even get in trouble.

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    Back decades ago when I worked for the man and was training and supervising people the saying I and one of my top guys used was "Hitting the wall". It seems with enough data you can pretty much rate any task on level of difficulty and most times any guy who can do a task with a level of 7 on a 10 scale, can easily do or be trained to do a task with a level of 6. Unfortunately with many people there is a wall they cannot go through no matter the effort or training, they have reached their peak. The strange thing is the wall can pop up out of the blue and without warning. I have been involved in training quite a few people, the accepted rating for my era and area working for the man had 6 levels Machinist class A,B,C, and operator class A,B,C. I have seen people go from operator class C to machinist C in record time only to never progress past that stage. I have seen solid B-grade machinist that will never be an A.

    Moral of the story, a good manager needs to realize there are people who have limitations, and not to try to advance someone past their wall. Those people need to never be given a task past their ability as it will just lead to scrap, low efficiency and a discouraged employee.

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    I disagree with the whole people are dumber/less skilled/less mechanical

    People have always been dumb and non mechanical

    One data point, driving a stick shift. buncha news articles about death of the manual transmission. 1968, 50 years ago, about the same ratio [over 90 percent autos] at least by the one graph I could find., of cars sold with autos.

    Since cars became a commodity, how many people actually did their own work? It has always been very small, that is why there are a lot of repair shops. Sure in my circle of acquaintances we do, but that is not the median in society.

    You might think of the American farmer who can do everything and is self reliant, we have not been a majority farmers for 150 years

    150- years ago, your average city/town dweller, did they shoe their own horses? hell no. Most of them couldn't read. They knew their narrow trade,and might have mechanical aptitude within that trade, but not elsewhere.

    Its a myth

    Our range of knowledge, hell I would say our range of required knowledge, is higher now than ever. It is merely not in the areas that mechanical people such as ourselves think is valuable.

    While my kids will certainly know how to drive a stick, it will probably be a pretty worthless skill, as would be changing your own oil in an electric car, or shoeing horses.

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    And to my way of thinking, this is a management issue. Tony should report back that there is a lack of supervision on the floor, rather than the employee is incompetent

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    Another point to add, programming.

    I had an engineer friend ranting over a programmer.

    He said "did you ever watch a programmer ?"

    They type a bunch of code, hit return, and say "Oops, let me try again"

    On and on, until they get it "right".

    But some things have to be right, first shot, and always.

    It's almost like they are looking in the back of the book for the answers.

    I see allot less "Critical Thinking" and plain ole "Planning" going on.
    correction:


    They type a bunch of code, hit return,

    sell it to a half million customers

    and say "Oops, let me try again"

    On and on, until they get it "right".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobw View Post
    You guys must have seen that Liberty Mutual commercial.. "Yeah Dad, I know
    what a lug wrench is"... "Is this a lug wrench?"

    In one way I want to smack the kid... In reality, that Dad needs an ass woopin' for
    never teaching his kid how to change a tire...

    When I was 3 my Mom got a flat tire in the driveway.. Her friends brother was around, so
    he was going to change it.. He got the jack out and then they went inside to shoot the shit.
    I managed to get the jack in and actually got the car (a little Fiat) jacked up with a shitty
    scissor jack.. (this was back when it was OK to let your kids play outside)
    Of course I knew nothing about putting it in gear, emergency brakes or chock
    blocks and the car rolled and destroyed the jack.. I didn't even get in trouble.
    You must have been like Bam-Bam on the Flintstones, I wouldn't think a 3 year old would have the strength to crank a jack.

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    There are still plenty of mechanically inclined people. They become electricians, plumbers, ect and make double what a production shop pays. A production shop is stuck with the leftovers. You get what you pay for. The global economy has kept wages too low.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dualkit View Post
    You must have been like Bam-Bam on the Flintstones, I wouldn't think a 3 year old would have the strength to crank a jack.
    '68 FIAT 124, it was dead-easy, just sloooow. Ratio was such the crank-handle wasn't much thicker than 10 Ga galvanized iron fence wire. OTOH, Fiat's DID get heavier with age from all the Oxygen they greedily added to their Iron so they had greater storage capacity for water and road-salt.

    Shudda kept the jack when I traded the rust.... 'er "Fiat", for the '72 BMW Bavaria.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonytn36 View Post
    How do you folks deal with this? I'm not the supervisor, I'm engineering. All I can do is report my personal observations to management. But this incompetence is driving me nuts.
    Move west young man . . . we are hiring automation engineers and you can work among peers who will make work and life far more enjoyable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gustafson View Post
    I disagree with the whole people are dumber/less skilled/less mechanical

    People have always been dumb and non mechanical
    I generally agree. But, things used to be a lot easier.

    Somewhat, we are now limiting ourselves because it's easier to know what you don't know. My Grandfather built his own house back in the 1940s. My grandmother still lives there. He didn't have a national code book or a county inspector or permits or insurance. He just bought some wood and started nailing it together. I'm sure it's not "to code", but it worked. If it didn't work, he just put some more wood and nails in until it did.

    It used to be a lot easier to be confident in your abilities because no one looked over your shoulder and told you you were doing it wrong. It's still possible in some places, but not not nearly as many.

    Most people in the world are like my wife before we were married. When her car needed work, she took it to a mechanic. When her lawn needed mowed, she hired some neighborhood kid to mow it. When the bath room needed a remodel, she hired a contractor. She went to work every day and did something she knew how to do. Everything else was outsourced.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gustafson View Post


    In your description I see less of a failure of the employee but in management, you do not put people in places where they can cause destruction when you know that is what they will do.

    The employee does not know his limitations, his supervisor should
    I am currently in this situation. And, it is very difficult! I have a guy (who happens to be my brother in law) helping in the shop.
    He has become a pretty good parts swapper. Unfortunately, I think that is about as far as he "should" go.
    He does not have the mechanical aptitude, or attention to detail to ever be a set-up guy. And he is way to confident, or has no fear of consequences?
    I don't know how to describe it correct really? But, he scares me!
    He wants me to feed him more and more knowledge. But, it seems every time I show him something new, something bad happens.
    So then I am left standing there like: "gear down big trucker!"
    How am I supposed to tell him, and his sister! that I don't think he has what it takes? It is not an insult. It's not personal (I love the guy!)
    He just just isn't programmed that way. It sucks for me. I would blame it on his up-bringing (like a lot of guys here are doing).
    But, his brother is quite mechanically inclined. He is a bit of a hack. But, mechanically inclined none the less. So I can't blame his daddy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobw View Post
    You guys must have seen that Liberty Mutual commercial.. "Yeah Dad, I know
    what a lug wrench is"... "Is this a lug wrench?"

    In one way I want to smack the kid... In reality, that Dad needs an ass woopin' for
    never teaching his kid how to change a tire...

    When I was 3 my Mom got a flat tire in the driveway.. Her friends brother was around, so
    he was going to change it.. He got the jack out and then they went inside to shoot the shit.
    I managed to get the jack in and actually got the car (a little Fiat) jacked up with a shitty
    scissor jack.. (this was back when it was OK to let your kids play outside)
    Of course I knew nothing about putting it in gear, emergency brakes or chock
    blocks and the car rolled and destroyed the jack.. I didn't even get in trouble.
    My mom has a picture of me putting front brakes shoes (drum!) on the front of an early 70's green Dodge Dart when I was about 8 years old.
    Dad was proud! It wasn't long after that I was changing tires (on a tire machine) and spin-balancing, for him at his service station.
    It is very-very hard to find young people with mechanical aptitude these days!

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  27. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewlsey View Post
    Most people in the world are like my wife before we were married. When her car needed work, she took it to a mechanic. When her lawn needed mowed, she hired some neighborhood kid to mow it. When the bath room needed a remodel, she hired a contractor. She went to work every day and did something she knew how to do. Everything else was outsourced.
    Most people don't have much free time anymore. They are either forced to work overtime or attend other activities.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelieking71 View Post
    It is very-very hard to find young people with mechanical aptitude these days!
    Fair enough, but the environment has changed.

    LOTS of them are crackerjack at all manner of 'puting devices, for example. Too much so for their own good, quite often.

    WTH - when I was teaching myself to make explosives, any damage was "local". Ruint a garbidge can once is all.

    "Kids" today can take-down a retail store CC system or a Bank two continents way and - worst of all - feel not the least bit of remorse about the inconvenience to thousands caused. Their whole lives have become remote and "virtualized", the concept of personal responsibility included.

    That last part - amorality, basically - is actually scarier than whether they can fix a leaking coolant line or bathroom faucet or not.

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