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
That's a shame, I know you were pleased with his progress.
As an aside, were his absences for good reasons, or just
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.
please reply to:
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
please reply to:
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.
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...
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.
please reply to:
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
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
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
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
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.
please reply to:
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