Blue collar, white collar.. my observations in the US and what about other cultures? - Page 2
Close
Login to Your Account
Page 2 of 5 FirstFirst 1234 ... LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 83
  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Norfolk, UK
    Posts
    18,746
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    14264
    Likes (Received)
    14277

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by converterking View Post
    After she found out that her daughter proposed to me, my future mother in law was the same way. I told her that she was the most useless person I ever met. Then she quit talking to me. I have been married to her daughter for over 42 years

    Some men would envy you

  2. Likes Dualkit, Oldwrench, toolsteel liked this post
  3. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Country
    SPAIN
    Posts
    3,399
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1891
    Likes (Received)
    1233

    Default

    Tyrones story was unbelievable!!!
    I'd heard gubmint places which were similar but nowhere near as lavish.

    When I started my apprenticeship (aerospace instrumentation company), one had to knock at the door of the drawing office and WAIT for someone to come and open it.
    Quite right so LoL!
    When I left the place, I was running the DO and it was all very different. We'd (me and a colleague) had knocked the walls down and it was encouraged for ANY issues to be brought to our attention to be sorted.
    Unfortunately management jumped on the project team bandwagon, and split the DO up assigning us to individual projects.
    It all went to shit - no overall control - no holiday cover - no organisation of the day-to-day issues like drawing changes because components regularly went obsolete yada yada.
    So I left.
    Ended up at a company working as Engineering Manager for a tier 1 machine & assy shop, working for the newly in charge owners son (2nd hand money...hmmm...).
    He couldn't run a bath.
    He couldn't make a washer on a lathe.
    It had been going since 1976, and 6 months after I started we went pop for the first time (in 2001).
    He openly called the guys on the machines "button pushing wankers" and I managed 5 years in total where we were always insolvent.
    After I left to work for myself it went again, and he traded/liquidated another couple of times before going for good.

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Australia (Hobart)
    Posts
    3,555
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    561
    Likes (Received)
    2698

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    Why don't you just page Gordon and PDW and ask for a fight about how much better their countries are??
    Australia sucks as a manufacturing place. Unless is was a one man business stacked full of CNC machinery I'd never set up to manufacture anything here.

    Mind you the blue collar-white collar class thing isn't particularly strong and the ability to go from one to the other across generations is piss easy for people with a modicum of intelligence and the willingness to work. My father was a fitter-welder and my mother a seamstress before marriage. My wife's father was an instrument maker. All blue collar jobs. Us children - couple or 3 PhD's and a pile of other university degrees and college quals so definitely white collar. I still like getting my hands dirty though and have a big personal machine shop.

    Of course we all managed to achieve this because our education system isn't so perverted with money as yours so I guess that's a plus. We're slowly selling out though.

    PDW

  5. Likes Scottl, Oldwrench liked this post
  6. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Waukesha, WI
    Posts
    1,700
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    385
    Likes (Received)
    526

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PDW View Post
    Australia sucks as a manufacturing place.

    PDW
    Why is that? Curious. I’ve only been to Australia once, 1988. Thought it was very nice. Based solely on visual observation I’d think it a good place to manufacture.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  7. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Country
    UNITED KINGDOM
    Posts
    2,041
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    948

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by barbter View Post
    Tyrones story was unbelievable!!!
    I'd heard gubmint places which were similar but nowhere near as lavish.

    When I started my apprenticeship (aerospace instrumentation company), one had to knock at the door of the drawing office and WAIT for someone to come and open it.
    I was recently talking to a guy who used to own a marine salvage and towing company. Five or six tugs and barges, etc.

    He was lamenting the fact that one of their customers donated a nice carpet to their office. As he said, they had never had any kind of distinction between the office guys and the dirty hands guys, but the carpet created an unequal feeling. Thirty years later and he still regretted it.

    Cool guy. 84 and still sharp as a tack.

  8. Likes barbter liked this post
  9. #26
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Country
    DENMARK
    Posts
    3,279
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4017
    Likes (Received)
    12716

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    I don't have a personal problem with you Gordon, matter of fact I even stuck up for you when you were banned. BUT it is really tiresome to hear you go on and on about how great Denmark is.
    Sigh. If you got that I write that "Denmark is great" from what I wrote then I understand why some of you get so worked up.

    I can only conclude that in your mind Denmark must be better than what you experience from what I write. Denmark isn't that different from many other countries.

    I've lost count of how many times I've asked to find a single post (a complete post and not just a quote from one) where I write Denmark is great or that the USA isn't.

    I'm not going to hold my breath waiting as I don't believe you or anyone else can find one.

    Until the day that happens I haven't a clue as to how you or anyone else can get what they do from my posts. It's almost as if it's a crime to be satisfied with one's life and country and write that. Everything here isn't perfect but I can't think of much I'd want changed. You should be pleased on my and our behalf. Surely it can't be something as simple as envy on your part?

  10. Likes JoeE. liked this post
  11. #27
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Country
    FINLAND
    Posts
    1,693
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    480
    Likes (Received)
    784

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by laminar-flow View Post
    So my question is, in other countries do machinist and mechanics have a similar lack of respect that I have noticed in the US?
    In here the divide between blue collar and white collar work is quite small compared to some other countries.
    And showing off with your money is generally looked down compared to US for example. But snobs exists everywhere, including here.

  12. Likes Gordon B. Clarke liked this post
  13. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Manchester, England
    Posts
    8,214
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1184
    Likes (Received)
    5179

    Default

    I should have said earlier that the major difference that existed in the UK in every shop I ever worked in was/is that " blue collar " workers didn't get paid sick leave and the " white collar " workers did. Given the chances of the blue collar workers getting injured at work is massively higher than someone who sits at a desk all day that difference really grated on me.

    At the company I mentioned earlier I didn't get sick pay yet my wife who worked in the offices did.

    I remember working at one place were one of the labourers was helping a truck driver unsheet his load. He was doing this at dinner time, off the clock, just to be helpful. He was that sort of bloke.

    Anyway he was up a ladder when the ladder slipped and he fell off, breaking his arm. He didn't get any sick pay and he was off work a couple of months at least.

    The following weekend one of the wages clerks was playing amateur rugby league and he broke his arm in a tackle. He got paid in full for all the time he was off work.

    I did my back at one point and I was off work for about 8 weeks. No company sick pay although the Government had a National Insurance scheme that gave you some money. In the end I had to return to work because bills had to be paid but my back was no better than it was when I first injured it.

    Re Barbters comments. The place had to be seen to be believed. They had everything. A gardener with his own greenhouse to grow the plants that were scattered around the office block ( and look after the Directors gardens I believe ), a green keeper for the bowling green plus a groundsman for the beautiful football pitches and cricket square etc, etc. Their own team of painters that were constantly on the go but only up to 6 ft off the ground, higher than that contractors were brought in. I believe the painters did more work on directors houses than they did in the factory.

    You could approach the factory from one direction by car down a narrow, secluded, winding road that was actually owned by the company. So hardly any traffic normally. One lovely Summers day the painters were painting the white lines down the middle of the company road when the Managing Directors wife came flying down the road in her Lotus Elan, scattering the painters and paint cans.

    The company had a " Safety Committee " that met monthly. Every department had a representative, as luck would have it I was the rep for the Maintenance Dept at the time. You had to do it in your turn for 6 months. The committee was chaired by the company Safety Officer, for Brits old enough to remember him the guy could have been the comedian Harry Worth's double.

    I'd been told of the incident with the MD's wife and the painters had instructed me to raise the issue with the Safety Officer. In the meeting I instructed the Safety Officer to raise the matter with MD and to ensure that his wife drove on company roads more safely ! I could see he was terrified but he had to do it.

    I think he did as he was told but it didn't do a lot of good because about 6 months later she rolled the car over and she was killed.

    On a funnier note on the first day of my employment you had to attend an induction meeting were various company managers instructed you in the rules and regulations of the company. Being a huge company at a time when jobs were plentiful there were always plenty of new starters each Monday. On this day there was about 20 to 25 people in the lecture room.

    Part of the set up was a lecture by " Harry Worth " the Safety Officer regarding health and safety. At one point he was trying to get people to wear safety shoes. You had to buy your own then but the company let you pay for them in small instalments.

    To show how effective the steel toe caps were he got two big guys to lift the large wooden table he was stood behind and place the end of one table leg on his toe cap. He then got the two blokes to sit on the table. He then invited a couple of women to sit on the table, then he invited a really big village idiot style young guy to sit on the table.

    The lad ran down the room and leapt onto the table, turning around in midair as he came to sit on the table. When he hit the table backside first his momentum shifted the table leg off the safety shoe toe cap onto the Safety Officers foot !

    Well, the guy started screaming the place down, " Get Off, Get Off ". It took several seconds for the people already sat on the table to realise what had happened and get off the table. Eventually they did and " Harry Worth " limped off to the First Aid room. End of health and safety lecture.

    Regards Tyrone.

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Country
    AUSTRALIA
    Posts
    48
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1
    Likes (Received)
    42

    Default

    Australia is as bad as any other western country with the perception of some sort of social ranking that parallels with your job. I own and operate a manual/repair machine shop and have several customers (Hydraulic shop, chroming shop, secondary process steel rolling mills etc) that I have a great and respectful relationship with. Their engineers are fantastic, we get along well and everyone is happy.

    But

    From time to time I do a days work in the local steel mill as a fitter ( or millwright as you call it ). The class divide there is interesting, there is no extreme segregation or anything like that ( we do eat in different lunchrooms, ours opened to the sight of a large 1950’s Craven lathe, theirs has views of a nice green lawn and buildings, their canteen over at the office buildings has better food also)(we were told our hot water taps would not be fixed and to wash our hands with cold water, the management hot water was fixed immediately)
    But engineers and management generally have little regard for tradespeople, let alone the cleaners, greasers and crane drivers. It’s the same everywhere, you guys know that. The lies, the bullshit, the deceit, the years of our guys fighting for a pay rise after years of stagnant wages, while management bonuses did not suffer, the tricks played on faithful and long standing employees, the sacking of good men by management that tricked them into working “insafely”, it is a humbling reminder that you are, in these large companies, just a number.
    I was banned from ever working in the slab caster ever again due to a mistake I made that lead to a large hydraulic oil leak, I take responsibility for it, but there was several others involved in why it happened. The manager doesn’t know who I am, what I look like, or how I work. He just banned employee 50434 from ever returning to plant #__ - Slab Caster. I don’t feel bad about it, but I wished at the time we could talk man to man about it, but I was strongly warned not to by some of his yes men who work under him.

    But when a suit sees you head to toe in black mill grease, holding big heavy tools and shit, they generally keep their distracting and interjecting comments on their made up safety rules to themselves - some of them.

    Our moment of joy is on the horizon though, after years of sacking almost the entire maintenance work force, swaying the balance heavily towards “professional staff”, and after then offering those sacked maintenance workers lower paid, intermittent and unreliable casual employment, many like myself have gone off to better things ( for the record I left of my own accord to run my machine shop, I wasn’t sacked or let go and won’t pretend I know how that feels) and now the mills primary maintenance contractor struggles to get labour for the various shutdowns and day to day maintenance work, so we now have some bargaining power against the buggers, and boy have we been using it.
    I’m looking forward to time they allow us to subcontract to them, everyone wins then.

    A moment of joy I guess for the greasy fitters, the burnt boilermakers, the fatigued riggers, the stinky plumbers, the crane drivers with cabin fever, the overheated furnacemen and the long gone and sacked machinists.

    Blue or white; I don’t care, so long as you’re working and looking after your fellow bro.

  15. Likes daredo222, tdmidget liked this post
  16. #30
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Australia (Hobart)
    Posts
    3,555
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    561
    Likes (Received)
    2698

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Themanualguy View Post
    Our moment of joy is on the horizon though, after years of sacking almost the entire maintenance work force, swaying the balance heavily towards “professional staff”, and after then offering those sacked maintenance workers lower paid, intermittent and unreliable casual employment, many like myself have gone off to better things ( for the record I left of my own accord to run my machine shop, I wasn’t sacked or let go and won’t pretend I know how that feels) and now the mills primary maintenance contractor struggles to get labour for the various shutdowns and day to day maintenance work, so we now have some bargaining power against the buggers, and boy have we been using it.
    And there in a nutshell you have your answer to why hell would freeze over before I set up manufacturing in Australia and put myself at the mercy of people like you and your mates.

    Make the most of your bargaining power because every time you ask/demand something unreasonable just because you can, you bring the day that plant closes one day closer to you. Hope you enjoy the results.

    Sure, white collar management can suck, seen it myself. I used to straddle the line as there was little my 'blue collar' staff did that I couldn't do myself (they were a hell of a lot faster though). I used to defend them to more senior management, FWIW. A lot of time you'd see me in the well stained blue overalls with a high viz vest on, something my boss never could get his head around.

    Glad I'm out of it.

    PDW

  17. #31
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Country
    DENMARK
    Posts
    3,279
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4017
    Likes (Received)
    12716

    Default

    I live in one of the 2 houses at the end of a small street. 11 houses.

    Both my next door neighbours own their own businesses. Next to one of them is a retired army major (female) and next to the other one a very good machinist. Long story short, we're a mixed bunch and I'm sure thinking "blue collar white collar" doesn't get thought about.

    More on subject but in work places the main difference between blue collar and white collar is how wages are paid. Blue collar with most is every second week and white collar once a month.

    Hmmm outside places like machine shops and construction and similar I'm not sure who is what. Most nurses, bus drivers etc. get paid monthly.

    Employment in Denmark | Shield GEO

  18. #32
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Manchester, England
    Posts
    8,214
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1184
    Likes (Received)
    5179

    Default

    I hope Barbter won't mind me mentioning this but he sent me a PM earlier requesting further information about where I worked back in the day and why the place closed.

    I composed a long and detailed PM in reply to him but when I pressed send the Internet gremlin bollocks took over and the message didn't go !

    So this is the jist of it Barbter. The company was called T&N, previous to that TBA Co Ltd, previous to that Turner Brothers Asbestos Co Ltd. I suppose no further explanation is needed now.

    I served most of my time in the EDD, that stood for Engineering Design and Development. It was a great place to work and learn the trade. Nice clean shop with decent machinery of all types. About 15-20 blokes, all top tradesmen. That's were I learned to scrape. We made one off prototype machines. If they were a success story they were subcontracted out for volume production.

    There was drawing office attached with about 30 staff, most of what we made was pretty complicated and in the main new developments.

    When I was about 19 things got a bit quiet in the EDD so I moved down to the maintenance, the money was better and there was much more chance to chat up the girls in the main factory etc. It must have worked because I met my first wife there !

    After about another 2 or 3 years it dawned on me just how dangerous asbestos was and I left as soon as I could get another job.

    Many years later (1990's) I got asked to go back there for another company. A guy had been replacing the gearing on a rubber calender and had had a heart attack and died ! So I got the job of putting it all back together again. It's a funny feeling picking up a dead man's work.

    The calender's were used for making gasket material. For car cylinder heads etc. It was called CAF which stood for Compressed Asbestos Fibre, so all you guys who were whacking away at cylinder head gaskets back in the day, that's what you were whacking into.

    Back in 1960's there was a whole shop with about 24 of these huge machines working night and day making gaskets. When I went back they were in the process of shipping them all out to the Third World !

    The factory itself, which back then was the biggest Asbestos factory in the World, lies derelict and abandoned now with only the nut cases and scrap metal thieves going inside. Nobody will pay the fortune it will cost to safely clean up the site so there it stands gradually falling down.

    I had a new GP at my local surgery many years ago. He bought a house about a mile from the factory. As soon as he realised his house was down wind of the factory and what they made there he sold up and moved away.

    Regards Tyrone.

  19. Likes barbter, daredo222, JoeE., Steven-Canada liked this post
  20. #33
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Norfolk, UK
    Posts
    18,746
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    14264
    Likes (Received)
    14277

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Themanualguy View Post

    Blue or white; I don’t care, so long as you’re working and looking after your fellow bro.
    Amen to that brother.

  21. Likes Greg White liked this post
  22. #34
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Eastern Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    4,151
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4461
    Likes (Received)
    4336

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by adh2000 View Post
    Why is that? Curious. I’ve only been to Australia once, 1988. Thought it was very nice. Based solely on visual observation I’d think it a good place to manufacture.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    My guess would be distance. Too far from resources, foreign customers etc.

  23. #35
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Country
    AUSTRALIA
    Posts
    48
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1
    Likes (Received)
    42

    Default

    Bugger me. You’re right. I should be thankful for earning an hourly rate as a tradesman fitter in a steel mill that is merely a few dollars above what one can earn at Bunnings. I should just shut my mouth while I watch the big end of town roll into the mills in their BMW’s and Audi’s, and walk out with their yearly bonuses that equal my yearly salary of trudging through dirt, grease, water, rain, oil, shit and hot steel.
    Not once have I, or my “mates” demanded anything more than an hourly rate that is deemed comfortable for both parties. We don’t get sick pay, annual leave pay, greavance pay, severance pay, shifts canceled at any time. break a tool? Buy it yourself. Need PPE? We the company don’t have it we thought you could get it yourself from Bunnings on your way home this arvo?
    Hourly hire fitters earn’t 10 dollars an hour more than I currently do 10 years ago. But your romantic reflections of your times in your stained overalls somehow denotes that your attitude to management is more holier-than-thou? Wake up and smell the roses - we’ve been sold out by white collar and big business and it’s people with your mindset that hold our wages back 20 years.
    I would’ve thought a fellow Australian would of seen the way our trades have been treated by business’s like BHP over the years? Or were you one of the underpaid suckers belting it out in a sweat shop while yelling at the TV when you see a union get something better for their workers, while your boss cracks the whip even harder on your back?
    I’ve been on both sides, I agree with the general concept of a Union, I disagree with things they have bargained for in the past. But all I want it to get paid at an hourly rate that is not LOWER as a causal than what my full time colleagues do. Something which does not happen currently.

    Again, this is why I left and now work for myself and provide my customers with a service they feel is great value.

  24. #36
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    14,910
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Themanualguy View Post
    Bugger me. You’re right. I should be thankful for earning an hourly rate as a tradesman fitter in a steel mill that is merely a few dollars above what one can earn at Bunnings. .
    Had to boogle that one...:
    Bunnings Warehouse | Australia's DIY, Garden & Hardware Store

  25. #37
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Country
    AUSTRALIA
    Posts
    48
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1
    Likes (Received)
    42

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    I figured you guys would’ve haha

  26. #38
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Manchester, England
    Posts
    8,214
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1184
    Likes (Received)
    5179

    Default

    Just refreshing my memory on the Internet and it appears that the later take over of " T&N " by " Federal-Mogul " caused the latter severe financial difficulties regarding compensation claims.

    Regards Tyrone.

  27. #39
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Manchester, England
    Posts
    8,214
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1184
    Likes (Received)
    5179

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Themanualguy View Post
    I figured you guys would’ve haha
    " Bunnings " opened a place in my home town of Rochdale. It didn't quite last 12 months. Having barbecues outdoors in the rain didn't quite have the same appeal as in Oz.

    Regards Tyrone.

  28. #40
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    494
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    236
    Likes (Received)
    381

    Default

    I don't care what perception someone has.

    If someone thinks I'm some blue collar hick I just take comfort in knowing I make enough money to be happy and I couldn't enjoy my work more. Chances are I make more money than anyone dense enough to think income means anything.


Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •