Update on machinist trainee

Well, things didn't turn out so well. Even though the guy working for me was learning, he just couldn't seem to get in a 40 hour week. We
had a talk, and he said he would do better. But finally, even though he was learning and enjoying it, he just was not dependable. I think he felt that after he had been here a while it was OK to start being sloppy about being on time and getting in 40 hours a week. It's too bad, but I fired him this morning. Maybe I was too lenient which led to his bad attendance. Whatever. He knew it was coming. I think he was surprised that I told him to leave at once. I think he was counting on at least a one week notice. I had considered that, but I know his heart would not be in his work and so the parts would suffer. I think that the next person I hire will need to have a little more experience. And if he or she turns out to be a good employee then I can start once again with the trainee business. Eric R Snow, E T Precision Machine
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That's a shame, I know you were pleased with his progress.
As an aside, were his absences for good reasons, or just unexplained?
For example, I know of one company that has a policy of only giving a half week of vacation if you start after the middle of the year. This is actually pretty thin if you are starting a household in a new area, and have to deal with new vehicle registrations, new utility services, new medical plans and so on.
Jim
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wrote:

That's nothing. A friend's employee disappeared without a trace for a few days. Finally returned and said he'd been in a *coma*. It might have been true since he couldn't remember the name of the hospital even though there's only one in town.
And I had one once who was AWOL and then came in for his final check. I asked why he hadn't returned any of my messages, and these were his exact words as best I can remember - "I was on a bender and figured you wouldn't take me back". Maybe he's a fortune teller now.
Wayne
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I once had a tenant who paid for his first month plus deposit cash. When his second check was due and then late, I started looking for him. I called his employer. He had just quit showing up. He hadn't been to the apartment for several days. I sent him his duly certified notice. I posted it on his front door as well. After about three weeks, untold time and legal expense, I finally found him.
When I asked for his key, he wondered when he could get his deposit back. I just stared at him. I finally responded, "Right after I get all of the rent you owe". I neved did get my rent.
His reason for flaking out on the world. His girlfriend had dumped him.
JW
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a guy working for one of my ex-employers didn't show up for work for about a week. phone calls and mail didn't get returned (well before email was available). into the 2nd week, someone went to his home to investigate. he was dead sitting in front of the tv for all that time.
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Charles Spitzer wrote:

That would be an acceptable excuse. Can't use it more than once.
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On Tue, 8 Nov 2005 13:30:59 -0700, Charles Spitzer

Yup. A former co-worker of mine did the no-call, no-show thing for about a week. Unusual but not unheard of, the guy had some problems.
His friends at the bar, however, also hadn't seen him, which _was_ unheard of. Cops broke in for a "welfare check" and he'd been dead for quite a while. I can't imagine it was real pleasant.
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Charles Spitzer wrote:

Don't know the exact detail, but some time ago at work I had a low priority project going with someone at a site in another state. Hadn't heard from him in a bit and when I tried to track him down I found out he was dead. It does indeed happen. One day it will probably be me.
Pete C.
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On Tue, 08 Nov 2005 09:48:23 -0800, Eric R Snow wrote:

As Dilbert (Scott Adams) once said. Mondays and Fridays account for 40% of the sick days during the week.
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That can depend a great deal on how long you are stuck with the starting wage, and where it goes from there. If there's a real concrete prospect of making better money when you have better knowledge, or have passed a probationary period, rather than an expectation that the company will never give you a raise once you are hired, there can be good motivation to get to the point of making good money, despite a low starting wage. An employee capable of seeing beyond the current week is generally good.
When the starting wage drags on for an exploitatively long period, one can expect high employee turnover (an employee capable of seeing that the coming week, month, and year are going to offer no reward for more work will think fondly of other jobs, and go look for them). There are certain local jobs which I'm certain suck (pay, boss, or otherwise), simply based on how frequently they are advertised, without any other direct information about them...
Could be any new trainee-prospect needs to spend 2 months doing janitorial-like tasks to see if he'll show the heck up for work regularly before being promoted to bothering to train. Akin to typical apprentice starting tasks in days of yore. Unlike the days of yore, you might want to point that out to them rather explicitly, and then think about what needs painting or cleaning.
Frankly, if I recall correctly some of the work Eric has posted pictures of, I'd be interested in working for him, but relocating is not high on my list of good things to do at present, and I don't have the sort of industrial experience expected for most such jobs anyway, having picked up a lot of casual machining experience in lab work over the years, and at home... (and worse yet, I've got college courses in welding).
Finding good employers is probably at least as hard as finding good employees, I fear.
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On Wed, 09 Nov 2005 05:19:55 GMT, Ecnerwal

Nearly 40 years ago my BiL got me an interview at the factory where he was maint. electrician. After I was hired, he asked which foreman I was to work under, then proceeded to tell me that this was the worst SOB foreman in the plant. At the end of a six week probation period, I had received four pay increments, received piece work bonus on each pay check, won a competition for promotion to lathe operator and handed in my notice as I had been offered employment in a more favoured field. When I left, my "SOB" foreman said that he was sorry to lose me but understood the situation and wished me all the best. My main memory of this experience was talking to, and learning from the sweeper on my shift - he had operated the lathe I was on for forty years and asked to stay on as sweeper since he had no other life than the plant. Gerry :-)} London, Canada
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I'm not sure what you'd consider a reasonable wage for someone that's learning, but in Washington State, where this incident occurred, the minimum wage is well over $7 hr. I can't help but think that's not bad money for an unskilled person.
Don't hesitate to make a connection between one's worth in production as opposed to wanting to earn a couple hundred bucks per hour. People in the US have had too much, for too long, and have lost their perspective. It's time for all of us to start realizing that unearned money is not in anyone's interest---including the recipient.
Harold
Harold
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Harold, please inform me about exactly which jobs are providing that elusive "unearned money." I've been searching for those for years. All the stories I hear along these lines seem to indicate that shortly after the trainee thinks he has one, he gets fired out the door.
Jim
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Harold and Susan Vordos says...

in
Not referring to just machinists, Jim. Workpeople in general. Do you feel a kid in high school, lacking skills of any kind, is worth over $7 hr to serve burgers? I don't.
Do you think a UPS driver is worth $28 hr? I don't.
These, amongst many others, are the people that are making it more expensive for all of us to live. They generally have no credentials that make them worth their pay-----and can easily be replaced with anyone off the street.
You want more pay----get an education, so you have something to sell. You don't want to go to school, or maybe you can't? Then learn a trade and get good at it. Make yourself into something that can't be replaced by anyone off the street. Only then are you worth more than minimum wage, which, in this state (Washington) is totally unreasonably high.
Harold
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Harold and Susan Vordos wrote:

That argument aside, a high school kid earning $7 an hour is being supported by parents.
In other words, the
no show up - no pay check - no eat & no place to sleep
connection isn't yet complete enough to sink in... it's more like ah, what's the big deal, can wait another week to buy that CD...
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That's free market economics Harold. If they could pay less, they would.
Seems like UPS has decided that if they pay seven bucks an hour, they get the druggie crowd who shows up at work whenever they feel like it. Or if not, then they don't.
Short of imposing wage caps I don't think there's much you can do.
It doesn't matter what *you* personally think a living wage is. The free market does that for the employer. Pay less, and your business suffers because you either get the loyal idiots that some have complained about, or the geniuses who all seem to have some sort of wing down over one issue of another.
You bet UPS drivers are worth that much. But not because I say so.
Because UPS HAS to pay that much to run their business.
Jim
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On 9 Nov 2005 13:15:25 -0800, the renowned jim rozen

I think probably that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters has something to do with it too.
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Harold and Susan Vordos says...

you
hr
It is becoming self leveling, thanks to the vast majority of jobs being exported to other countries. That's one of the *benefits* of unearned wages. You do recall the closing of many manufacturing plants, I'm sure. Your job goes south because it can be accomplished elsewhere for a more reasonable price. Lucky for some folks, their job can't be exported, but then corporations aren't yet finished coming up with creative ways to cut costs, are they?

From that I gather you'd like me to believe that such a business seeks those that will accept the highest of wages, secure in the knowledge that when you spend enough money, you get the best employees? Why don't they start paying a quarter million bucks a year, then they can attract people like Shrub? Sorry, Jim, I don't buy it. Sounds more like union propaganda than anything.
Unless workers come to terms with being paid a reasonable wage, things as we know them will collapse, it's only a matter of when. When us common folks that make little or no money (retired) can't afford to pay their wages, we quit using their services. The well dries up. I already refuse to pay for soft drinks at eating establishments. I'm not really interested in buying a 15 cent drink for a paltry sum of $1.25 (or more). I drink water, and my pocket and body are all the better for the decision. No, I don't miss it, and I do it even if the soft drink is included in my order. I've learned to like it. Interestingly, instead of adding a few cents to the register for time spent by the server, they now get nothing. The beginning of the well drying up.
The problem with paying a "living wage" regardless of qualifications is that young people coming up that have no drive won't lift a finger to better themselves, trusting gov to provide. Somehow we have to break that cycle----to encourage young people to become self reliant. Paying them what, to them, may appear to be a fairly large amount of money hourly isn't helping. I can see a kid thinking "hey, if I don't get an education or learn a trade, I'll be stuck in that damned $3/hr. job the rest of my life". Maybe I'm wrong, but it worked for me. I don't know anyone that was any lazier than I was as a kid, yet I had the drive to learn a trade. I knew for sure I didn't want to wash dishes in a cafe for the rest of my life (which is how I paid for my little 109 Craftsman lathe). No way you'd have convinced me I should have gone to college, though. My hat's off to those that have.
Harold
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Well said!
Tillman
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Not at all.
To put it another way Harold, what you are saying is akin to going into a bakery and saying "I want to buy a cake."
The guy behind the counter shows you one you like and you say "how much is it?"
Then he says "It's ten dollars."
You reply "it's only worth five dollars. You're asking too much. I'll only pay five dollars because I know what it's really worth."
And he says "that's my price. It's ten dollars."
It's a free market. He doesn't have to sell it for what you want to buy it for. You have to pay what he asks, or go without, or buy from another shop.
Same with labor.
Guy shows up at the shop. "I'm looking for a job, I need to get 25 per hour."
You say "this job pays only 7 per hour. You're not worth that much."
He says "thanks, but no thanks."
Because he knows he can get that much at the place down the street, same as the baker knows you cannot buy a 5 dollar cake down the street.
This is classic free market economics. What part of it would you change, and how? Again, UPS has a fully developed HR department that's paid a bunch to figure out exactly how to get the best employees for the smallest amount of money. It's what they DO.
If they went in to their boss and said "we just feel like paying a whole bunch extra so our brother-in-law can get hired into a tasty featherbed job," they'd be fired out of there so fast your head would spin. The go in there and give all those powerpoint presentations explaining exactly why they have to pay 28.000000 per hour in toledo, and they can get away with 27.99995 in tucumcari.
:^)
Jim
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