Blue collar, white collar.. my observations in the US and what about other cultures? - Page 3
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  1. #41
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    If anyone asks me if I went to college I tell them no but my employees have. 4 years after high school I was making 150k a year as a CNC programmer. No debt, bought a 3000 sq ft house put a lift in the 2 car garage and bought even more cars. Not bad for a blue collar job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fmari --MariTool- View Post
    If anyone asks me if I went to college I tell them no but my employees have. 4 years after high school I was making 150k a year as a CNC programmer. No debt, bought a 3000 sq ft house put a lift in the 2 car garage and bought even more cars. Not bad for a blue collar job.
    When I was in my first year of college a family friend who owned a plumbing business tried to get me to drop out and work for him. Had I done so I probably would have made far more money in the early years although I suspect I also would have spent more on "things".

    One of the most shocking things to me over the years is how many PhD level researchers have complained to me about their lot in life due to working ridiculous hours for what otherwise would be good pay. This phenomenon, commonly known as the Salary Trap, is far more common in the white collar world than many would think.

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  5. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottl View Post
    One of the most shocking things to me over the years is how many PhD level researchers have complained to me about their lot in life due to working ridiculous hours for what otherwise would be good pay. This phenomenon, commonly known as the Salary Trap, is far more common in the white collar world than many would think.
    Pretty much. What they *didn't* say, though, is that they'd do it for free in a lot of cases. It's the intellectual curiosity driving them far more than anything else. My first wife is a classic example - world leading researcher, utterly single-minded and not at all motivated by money. Admirable but - tiring.

    I never had that drive. I'd get to a certain point and get bored, want to pursue some other interest. So I'd re-train and go. Ended up spending most of my working life designing & building software for scientific sampling & engineering then going out to the pointy end in the field to break it and fix it. Hence the high value I place on welding, machining and the like. When there's a whole shipload of scientists paralysed because their new boffin toy isn't working and you're 2 weeks minimum away from port, you'd better be able to sort it fast....

    As for Aussie unions and employers like BHP, allow me to summarise by saying that they deserve each other and they deserve to go broke together. I'll shed no tears at all. That may be sad for Australia, but just like shipping and the MUA, when a union turns from being a support organisation for employees into a major parasite, business simply stops. China, Indonesia and India aren't far to our north and we can always ship raw materials there, bring finished goods back.

    Remember days in the 1970's where every tradesman - boilermakers come to mind - had a tradesman's assistant to carry his tools and demarcation disputes were rife. The UK has a *lot* to answer for as most of the union guys were ex-Poms who came out here to fuck us up as they'd done at home.

    PDW

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    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.
    When I was nineteen my friend got promoted to running the shop side of a small plastics factory where we worked. He had bad teeth and asked to be put on the same dental plan with all the office guys. The owner refused.

    So I unionized the place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDW View Post
    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.
    Slightly different take, in that in a fair negotiation, both side's bargaining will produce an outcome that reflects the value of the labour, i.e. supply and demand....provided the company is able say thanks but no thanks and hire all new when things go to the unreasonable. That's what missing - everyone should be expected to demand as much as they can but there needs to be a counterbalance. Demands wouldn't get to the unreasonable. It would have to be extreme for it to happen as the disruption to business would be significant. Now that would have kept a lot of manufacturing here.

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    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?
    I have never wanted to wear the "White Collar".

    The pay cut was too severe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDW View Post

    As for Aussie unions and employers like BHP, allow me to summarise by saying that they deserve each other and they deserve to go broke together. I'll shed no tears at all. That may be sad for Australia, but just like shipping and the MUA, when a union turns from being a support organisation for employees into a major parasite, business simply stops. China, Indonesia and India aren't far to our north and we can always ship raw materials there, bring finished goods back.

    Remember days in the 1970's where every tradesman - boilermakers come to mind - had a tradesman's assistant to carry his tools and demarcation disputes were rife. The UK has a *lot* to answer for as most of the union guys were ex-Poms who came out here to fuck us up as they'd done at home.

    PDW
    I couldn’t agree more. Trades assistants were an absolute luxury in the eyes of some, and that attitude is what brought our manufacturing to a dead end.
    I’ve heard many similar stories, I work with men who believe we still should have a personal TA. For some jobs it is good to have a second person, and for some departments it is a must to have a second person for safety - areas of high carbon monoxide, down in oil cellars, up on cranes etc. But a full time TA is garbage, and you are Absolutley right in saying it was the lazy pom union delegates that fucked it for all of us in those years.

    We live and work in a different time however, I as a “mechanical tradesperson” are expected to perform rigging, dogging a crane, crane driving when requested, welding and fabrication, forklift driving, drive trucks, any machining and of course the work of the fitter/millwright. I have no issue doing all of the above, in fact I enjoy working on my own and doing the whole job whenever I can. But to end up being paid less than what a fitter earned 10 years ago? To do this for $33 an hour when a full timer gets $38?. Or a Bunnings door greeter gets, say $28 an hour?

    You wouldn’t shed any tears because you’re probably close to retirement age judging by the comments I’ve read of yours here and on the Australian metalworking forum.
    I’m 26, and have a whole working life ahead of me. I would like to think my next 45 years of work will be paid at a rate that allows me a comfortable life and retirement thereafter, not struggling to make ends meet like some of my colleagues, while the corruption and bonuses paid to management are ridiculous. One particular manager received a $1m bonus, you think that’s fair? To blame the high steel price on the working class, cut their wages and conditions, but then slip his $1m BONUS into the product pricing? That was one manager, of one department out of 20 other departments, who knows what the other bonuses were. Then of course the foremen, the engineers, plant managers, then the board, then the CFO, then the CEO. Where does it end? I’ve seen the car of this particular manager, brand new BMW parked everyday in a no parking zone, but who’s gonna tell him, no unity between workers now to stop him from sacking whoever dare question where he park his vehicle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    When I was nineteen my friend got promoted to running the shop side of a small plastics factory where we worked. He had bad teeth and asked to be put on the same dental plan with all the office guys. The owner refused.

    So I unionized the place.
    I got a grin on this one.

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    In resent years I would say last 15 or so I have had a couple of bosses which will say there definitely is a line between management and employee. They can never be friends for example even though partners being on equal par I guess can be.

    My Father hired many people to work for him and he could handle the balance well.

    These fellows were very demanding types as time working for them went on and they also got rid of a fair amount of people in the shop too.

    When someone mentions that opinion in management I know what to expect and moving to another place is a solid option too.

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    I dunno, it seems to me these days that "blue collar" folks are doing pretty good.

    We had to re-tile the bathrooms in our condo in Miami which meant pulling the toilets and a plumbing permit. The city would only allow certain plumbers to do the work. Called a couple, got the cheapest guy, talked him down a bit since I did most of the work. Had them all prepped, cleaned, wax pucks in place, he came and put the toilets on, signed the paperwork and was gone in 15 mins. He was maybe in his mid 20's. Cost? $650 U.S. dollars!

    I started college for flying when I just turned 19, it was partially subsidized but I had a fair debt after three years. My first job in 1982 I worked six days a week teaching people to fly, 10-12 hrs. a day in the summer. I lived below the poverty level. Did that for two years, got a job up north for similar wages and hours but flying bigger, shittier airplanes into shit gravel strips mostly in shit weather. Did that for another 2 years then flew at a commuter for similar wages and hours for another year. Finally got on a major airline at 26 and was on "flat" pay for four years as a second officer (sitting sideways) on the 727. At 30 I got layed off for two years and drove a taxi at the airport to make ends meet. Finally got a right seat at 32 and started making some decent cash, got a left seat at 45 and did pretty good retiring at 57 with 30 years in.

    Who did better in the long run? Betcha that plumber in FL. Who got to wear a nice white shirt and tie?

    Who the fuck cares!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon B. Clarke View Post
    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.
    You begged Spirit to delete most of your posts.

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    I don’t think I have to report on the situation in this country. There are still medieval believes alive with many people here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDW View Post

    Remember days in the 1970's where every tradesman - boilermakers come to mind - had a tradesman's assistant to carry his tools and demarcation disputes were rife. The UK has a *lot* to answer for as most of the union guys were ex-Poms who came out here to fuck us up as they'd done at home.

    PDW
    So you blame your problems on immigrants. Did you ever stop to think why the Aussie workers followed their lead? Just because somebody says jump doesn't mean you have to do it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by camscan View Post
    So you blame your problems on immigrants. Did you ever stop to think why the Aussie workers followed their lead? Just because somebody says jump doesn't mean you have to do it.
    I blame all the problems in Australia on immigrants. Until you bastards settled here life was one long bucolic bliss trip.

    Nowadays - I can do you a really good price on a lightly used bridge.

    On a more serious note, I can fully understand the desire of the cream of the working & middle class to abandon the UK for Australia after WW2. The pity of it was that quite a few of the dregs managed to slip in as well. Them with the desire to stop anyone rising above their position in society. We still have the dregs of it all playing out today, with references to Tories when there has NEVER been a Tory Party in Australia, and the Labor Party has long since abandoned the blue collar workers for the white collar inner city voters.

    PDW

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDW View Post
    I blame all the problems in Australia on immigrants. Until you bastards settled here life was one long bucolic bliss trip.

    Nowadays - I can do you a really good price on a lightly used bridge.

    On a more serious note, I can fully understand the desire of the cream of the working & middle class to abandon the UK for Australia after WW2. The pity of it was that quite a few of the dregs managed to slip in as well. Them with the desire to stop anyone rising above their position in society. We still have the dregs of it all playing out today, with references to Tories when there has NEVER been a Tory Party in Australia, and the Labor Party has long since abandoned the blue collar workers for the white collar inner city voters.

    PDW
    Don't blame me because you allowed my m and f in law in. They asked and you said yes please. You only charged them £10 each to get there,and that included all their luggage and furniture,including their car.
    It may not have pleased you but I got a hell of a lot of satisfaction from it. THANK YOU AUSTRALIA.

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  22. #56
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    of my peers I grew up with some went to a college, some went to the trades, and a few others did truck driving type jobs. all of us in the trades were hammered when 2009 hit.but the ones complaining about money and home life the most are the college guys and the dead enders, truck driver types. I think blue collar skilled trade jobs will pay more in the generation than 90 percent of the white collar work. at least around where I live. its next to impossible to hire someone to do a job that is muddy and hard on the body, at any rate, they can tell me what they want per hour, and I have to think about it, not the other way around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by idacal View Post
    of my peers I grew up with some went to a college, some went to the trades, and a few others did truck driving type jobs. all of us in the trades were hammered when 2009 hit.but the ones complaining about money and home life the most are the college guys and the dead enders, truck driver types.
    Speaking of snotty, what's wrong with driving a truck ? You think that's simple, no skills, no brains ? Try it some time.

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    Speaking of college types, as a prototype "machinist" contractor I was at a lunch with a bunch of the science and engineer types when the senior engineer told a story of a contest to guess the length of a roll of sheet metal in the room at the end of the seminar he was attending. He described how everyone else guessed and tossed the required bill down the center to be awarded later to the correct guess. They could measure the ID, OD, and thickness so he said that instead of going out to get some beer and take in some jazz with the rest of the people, he stayed in the hotel that evening and used calculus to figure it out and put in a calculated guess and ended up winning the drawing. The other engineers were all grins and were in awe at his efforts.

    A minute later after everything settled down I said that I like beer and jazz, so I would have just done a 2 minute volume calculation and gone out that evening...

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  26. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Keeley View Post
    I dunno, it seems to me these days that "blue collar" folks are doing pretty good.

    We had to re-tile the bathrooms in our condo in Miami which meant pulling the toilets and a plumbing permit. The city would only allow certain plumbers to do the work. Called a couple, got the cheapest guy, talked him down a bit since I did most of the work. Had them all prepped, cleaned, wax pucks in place, he came and put the toilets on, signed the paperwork and was gone in 15 mins. He was maybe in his mid 20's. Cost? $650 U.S. dollars!

    I started college for flying when I just turned 19, it was partially subsidized but I had a fair debt after three years. My first job in 1982 I worked six days a week teaching people to fly, 10-12 hrs. a day in the summer. I lived below the poverty level. Did that for two years, got a job up north for similar wages and hours but flying bigger, shittier airplanes into shit gravel strips mostly in shit weather. Did that for another 2 years then flew at a commuter for similar wages and hours for another year. Finally got on a major airline at 26 and was on "flat" pay for four years as a second officer (sitting sideways) on the 727. At 30 I got layed off for two years and drove a taxi at the airport to make ends meet. Finally got a right seat at 32 and started making some decent cash, got a left seat at 45 and did pretty good retiring at 57 with 30 years in.

    Who did better in the long run? Betcha that plumber in FL. Who got to wear a nice white shirt and tie?

    Who the fuck cares!!!
    Must be a FL thing. I had a toilet replaced, that I purchased, for just a bit over $200!

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    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    Speaking of snotty, what's wrong with driving a truck ? You think that's simple, no skills, no brains ? Try it some time.
    One of my extended family is a truck driver. Really nice guy too, do anything for you. Doesn't drink, excellent work ethic, rarely has an accident.

    Thick as 2 short planks with it.

    PDW


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