I got fired, the slacker got me
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  1. #1
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    Default I got fired, the slacker got me

    I’ve posted before about arguing with one person, the shop manager that I hired and have wanted to fire for almost two years. A management reorganization put him out of my reach. Last week he caught me off guard.

    I was out at a jobsite where we often work from 7 am to 10 pm or so and I got a text from one of our young engineers that some valve flappers had come in for a couple of customers having trouble with a pump that the manufacturer made a design change that doesn’t work well. Two weeks early I looked at the problem and came up with a solution of grinding away the rubber on the bench grinder, which the shop manager saw me do.

    So I wrote a text explaining what I needed done and sent it to the young engineer, along with photos and who they should be shipped to. My coworker says to me “You are going to get pushback from the shop on that. He saw me doing it for the other job and told me I would get in trouble for it”. So in a moment of weakness I included the shop manager on the text. One minute later he pushed back saying the manufacturer had already molded a slot in the flapper. I responded “Yes I know, that doesn’t work either. Please just do what I asked.

    One minute later he copies ONLY my response to me, the young engineer, the head of engineering, and my boss the owner! 4 minutes goes by and my boss texts to the five of us “We really have a problem with Gary’s attitude!” No phone call asking what the problem is, and no mention of the photos and polite instructions and who they were for.

    Yes, I totally lost it and gave my boss a reaming about the “Whiney Ass Kisser” he was defending.

    Last week I was in the shop and used the band saw, the guy gave me grief for coolant on the floor. I investigated and found HE drilled hole in the tank for a pipe and didn’t install a fitting!

    A short time before he buggered up a 1/4-20 thread on the mint SB Heavy 10 and said the lathe couldn’t make that thread! I went out with him saw the compound set wrong, and he engaged the halfnut at the wrong time. I cut a perfect thread. I needed a second one a week later. 5 year apprenticeship and 30 years experience and he buggered that one up too. I had to fix it at a jobsite.

    He made a tap guide fixture that was out of plumb by at least 5 degrees and wobbled too.

    Got the shop Snap Jaws because they constantly change soft jaws. He wouldn’t even try them. Said they were dangerous to use because they didn’t work with the vise lifting fixture. He was right because he drilled the bolt hole spacing wrong on the fixture!

    He did some plastic pipe welding which we do a lot of, it was awful. He welded some aluminum, it was awful even after he brought in a paid teacher on company time to teach only him. I had repeatedly suggest he get someone else to do it, and we couldn’t send customers his work.

    He cut fittings into plastic tanks and wouldn’t listen to me on how to do it even though I’ve done dozens. I spent the weekend at midnight repairing his shoddy work.

    The tool boxes have wrench organizers, every wrench in a loose pile, he says ‘people’ don’t put things back, him and 2 others.

    Another really good mechanic quit after two weeks working with him. Another good one quit two weeks later because he couldn’t stand him.

    His son worked for us one summer and I saw him as a slacker working in the shop with his dad. My boss hired him as an engineer anyway. The kid was then working under me and absolutely hitting it out of the park! I sat him down to find out how I could be so wrong. His dad is an extreme micromanager!

    See a pattern here? You guys warned me, and I was in fact being very careful not complaining to the boss about the guy with brown lips. It wasn’t enough.

    The next couple of months should be interesting at the company. They have 4 jobs in startup right now. One is 100 miles away, one 180 miles, one 20 miles and one 3000 miles. They fired the main guy doing the startups, one of two. One has leaks everywhere, one has a tank too big to fit in the building, one is way behind and has a 2700 a day penalty clause. Three jobs already running are having problems.

    I am under no illusion that my two replacements will not let the company fail. Unless of course a couple of others talking about quiting leave too.

  2. #2
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    Oh,
    And yeah I need find another job.

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  4. #3
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    Well. it sounds like you are WAY better off being out of there. Maybe after everything goes to shit there and they see the guy for the problem he is they will be calling you begging to come back. Time for a raise if they do, assuming you could stomach it.

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    I wish you luck, but you likely won't need it. People that can do stuff usually do well. All the best!

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    I didn't catch your other thread about this situation so I'm only going off what's been said in this one. Now I'm not trying to add insult to injury but sometimes as hard as it is to do biting your tongue is best. Not saying I'm capable doing so myself but it's the just. Good luck on finding a new place to work.

    Brent
    Last edited by yardbird; 11-08-2019 at 10:21 AM. Reason: Edited post

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    Quote Originally Posted by yardbird View Post
    I didn't catch your other thread about this situation so I'm only going off what's been said in this one and I'm trying to add insult to injury but sometimes as hard as it is to do biting your tongue is better thing to do. Not saying I'm capable doing so myself but it's just better to do. Good luck on finding a new place to work.

    Brent
    Humans. Fractious and unpredictable f***ers.

    And yah find 'em in EVERY workplace, if only as customers and suppliers, even in a "one man" business. Of ANY kind. Not just manufacturing.

    Nearly half a century ago, my next-higher, a superbly competent Executive VP lost an internal battle he didn't see coming in a similar manner to the situation the OP described.

    Blindsided, as it were.

    Dave said as he packed up to depart: "I hate being f***ked by AMATEURS!"

    "What I MISSED was that S__ had been forty-seven years the Son-in-Law in service of the company his Father-in-Law founded and two Brother's in Law ran.

    "He survived that and went beyond after they expired or retired as the firm was sold to OUR company?"

    "He was no amateur at all."

    Do keep in mind that no matter how technically savvy, how loyal, nor how good one's hands-on WORK, wisdom, or exercise of judgement?

    The "interpersonal skills" - or lack-thereof - can be what get's you f***ked.

    By "amateurs" or otherwise.

    That may not pass for "just and proper".

    It pretends, and exceedingly well, at being "reality", though. Most anywhere....

    Even so.. we can learn.

    Anything that does not kill a person has at least the potential to make them stronger.

    et tu?

    I did say "humans"? Flexible and unpredictable f**kers, too, yah?


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    It seems to me that you worried about what the other guys was doing more than what you should have been doing, Why were you spending time fixing this shitty work on the weekends? Why do you think he should listen to your advise and get frustrated when he didn't. I would have let him bury himself. I think your frustration with him got the best of you and that cost you your job. I think you have a lot of pride in your work and it sucks dealing with the ass kissers of the work shop but time always seems catch up to this guys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawnrs View Post
    It seems to me that you worried about what the other guys was doing more than what you should have been doing, Why were you spending time fixing this shitty work on the weekends? Why do you think he should listen to your advise and get frustrated when he didn't. I would have let him bury himself. I think your frustration with him got the best of you and that cost you your job. I think you have a lot of pride in your work and it sucks dealing with the ass kissers of the work shop but time always seems catch up to this guys.
    You do get the part about when he doesn't finish work or does it poorly that I am the one they call to fix it? You do get that it IS a shitty business, we built waste treatment plants that never get a day off? Since he isn't qualified to fix it I get to travel out of town away from my family for weeks at a time until the problems are solved. I am salaried and don't get a dime extra for this. Does this sound fair to you? Would you be trying to fix this problem?

    ALL of the company's products and special manufacturing equipment were designed or purchased by me. So when something doesn't work properly it reflects on me not him. A few days before my firing my boss was going off about us not testing a part I designed before putting it in a job. When this employee walked away I showed my boss the dated drawings indicating I had requested the part be tested 6 weeks earlier. Here was that part welded to a tank, that clearly was not made to the drawings, and included a change to the internal cavity that would keep it from working. They had already shipped another one to a jobsite, untested. Got the picture?

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    The problem in finding another job is a terrible mistake I made 45 years ago. I didn't finish college and every job I have held since was in management or engineering. But without that degree it looks like I am unqualified. As if programming a computer in college on punch cards is somehow more relevant than the fact that I use SolidWorks 2019, program the latest PLCs, program and make parts on a CNC machine, read, about 10 industry magazines a month, and participate in professional forums like this one to make sure I am 100% current. Oh yeah, I am 66 too.

    I was hired at the last job because I built systems for my previous employer sold by my last employer and he was really impressed with how well everything I built worked and how I supported the customers. I got that previous job while working 4 part time jobs after my employer closed from a lawsuit. By working there part time in their shop I was able to show them I could handle the engineering position.

    So I think I am going to have to hit the streets and visit potential employers and maybe beg for some part time work to demonstrate my abilities.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob F. View Post
    Well. it sounds like you are WAY better off being out of there. Maybe after everything goes to shit there and they see the guy for the problem he is they will be calling you begging to come back. Time for a raise if they do, assuming you could stomach it.
    In 50 years I have never seen a boss go against his own ego and admit that kind of mistake and hire someone back. I have seen a previous employer make that mistake firing someone else and put the company in bankruptcy in just 2 years. I even quit a job once after because after fixing the problems with the companies products the boss wanted me to lie about delivery dates to make more sales. About 10 years later I worked there part time when I was between jobs. They offered to hire me full time but I declined. I can't see that happening here. My former boss is a salesman with an enormous EGO!

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    Hope you made some good contacts in your travels and relations with customers. It is amazing how a brown noser who is a screw up can play politics and get in a position where the higher ups think he is a valuable employee. Pretty sure he is much more than a brown noser, he is probably proficient at plagiarism and back stabbing also.

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    Rule #1 The boss is always right

    Rule #2 If the boss is wrong refer to rule #1

    As mentioned, sometimes it's better to bite your tongue rather than confront someone who has the power/influence to make your life miserable. Rather than be confrontational just walk away and let him fail by his own misdeeds. Don't try to correct, confront, or offer an opinion on a situation he has created, but rather keep silent and concentrate on your responsibilities. In most cases sooner than later the owner will realize who is actually creating the problems. Then it's their choice as how to resolve them.

    If the problems started when the new person was hired and continue to follow that person around it should be fairly obvious as to who is causing them.

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    If you're 66 years young why do you need to find another job or if you do could you find something local that doesn't require travel with less responsibility? How much longer were you planning to work at this company?

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    Quote Originally Posted by garyhlucas View Post
    In 50 years I have never seen a boss go against his own ego and admit that kind of mistake and hire someone back. I have seen a previous employer make that mistake firing someone else and put the company in bankruptcy in just 2 years. I even quit a job once after because after fixing the problems with the companies products the boss wanted me to lie about delivery dates to make more sales. About 10 years later I worked there part time when I was between jobs. They offered to hire me full time but I declined. I can't see that happening here. My former boss is a salesman with an enormous EGO!
    Lot of that "ego" shit going around. A person could be wise to Try not to roll in it, nor PUBLISH it globally if that has becomes a bad habit.

    As with shit in general, near-as-dammit impossible to get it off.

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    Sorry to hear about your firing.

    In my experience when companies are run by "mismanagers" EVERYTHING becomes about politics and "kissing up".

    These situations happen in every work sector and have become far more common as society in general has declined. I know a highly skilled person who specialized in the pension management field. Attention to detail is critical as mistakes can result in severe economic liability to the clients. "Management" kept hiring young incompetent ass-kissers and then holding her responsible for their work. They said the failures were because she "wasn't training them properly". All of these nitwits were buddy-buddy with the boss. The problem was compounded by lousy software written in India to save money. She got some relief when she got a new competent boss, but after a couple of years another reorganization shuffled the deck again and it was almost as bad as before. Fortunately she had reached retirement age so she chose to do so, despite pleas from management to stay on.

    Although the trend is spreading it is not a new phenomenon. This topsy-turvy world is caused by a socialist mindset among younger management, as detailed by Ayn Rand in the novel Atlas Shrugged, written in 1957. In the novel one company decided to pay workers according to their needs, rather than their productivity. As a result the slackers invited relatives to live with them so they could get paid more while the smaller group of productive workers labored harder for increasingly smaller wages. This is fully in line with the socialist slogan popularized by Karl Marx.

    "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs"

    Not a good way to run a company OR a country.

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    Man Gary - that sucks! I am sure sorry to hear of your situation! You sound like a guy that gets stuff done. The problem for you will not be finding a job, it will be finding a job that pays you what you deserve to be making without that stinking degree. I am praying for you.

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    Now repeat after me. .......Their problems, are not my problems....

    Go on vacation or do something to get it off your mind. Then get back in the game.

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    I wouldn't be so sure about your boss never trying to hire you back, sales men with big egos usually see making sales as even more important than being right. They can also usually preform the mental gymnastics necessary to decide it wasn't their call to fire someone.

    Have you looked into finishing your degree? I believe there are programs to help people who have lost jobs go back to school to get more education.

    One place I worked for was a large family buisness that had mechanical engineers and mechanical designers. They were all in the same department and did the same work the only difference was the engineers had degrees and were salary and the designers were people who were formerly blue collar workers who moved into design and were hourly. Perhaps look for a place like that.

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    Gary,

    You might go to or contact the people at the various sites where you got them back up and running and ask for letters of recommendation. Hopefully there are a few places that value competence and hands on work experience.

    You might also take a long look at your financial situation and see if you could retire from day to day work, draw Social Insecurity, and do some $2.00 a minute consulting. Talk to the Social Security people to see how much you have coming.

    I started SS at age 63 because I was sick of the race to the bottom locally in my profession. I had a paid for house, paid for vehicles, no dependents. I did a little home repair and maintenance for 10 years and then did wood turning for amusement. I am now 80, sleep well, and in decent health.

    Paul

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    I havent seen the other post, but sure sounds like a bad deal. Hate to hear it, best of luck finding a new gig. I would be getting ahold of people you have worked with in the past etc


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