What's going to happen when us old farts retire?

I went to some required training on working in the vicinity of energized unguarded equipment at work. Those of us who get to do these things had to attend. The room was pretty well packed with about 40 folks, another session in a couple weeks.

The interesting thing as I looked around was everybody looked like me. Well, they were short and tall, some a lot skinnier than me (ok, a lot), but everybody was 40 to 55, male, etc. It looked a lot like a NAMES meet, only a little younger and fewer beards.

What the heck's going to happen when we all retire, maybe 5 more years for me?

By the way, I'm not an electrician. I just have to get in cabinets to program my vfd's and stuff. I designed the cabinets and had them checked by an electrical engineer, all IEC, finger safe, etc.

Pete Keillor

Reply to
Peter T. Keillor III
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I know exactly what I'm going to do when I retire. I'm 46 now, and expect to be 53 when I retire. I plan to sell this place and buy an automotive garage/small warehouse/small factory building, convert part of it to living space, and use the rest of it as a large workshop. Currently my interest is in building hot rods as a hobby (wanna put a 472 ci Caddy motor in a Nash Metropolitan, etc.), but my interests change over time. All of my interests require a large workshop, however.

Maybe I'll even find a wife who doesn't mind living in a converted factory!

Reply to
Artemia Salina

I meant what's the company going to do, but yeah, I know what I'm going to do when I retire. I'll be 54 tomorrow which means I'll have my 85 points (eligible for full retirement). However, I have a senior in high school and the wife's not close to retirement, so I might as well work as long as I can make it fun and ignore the more ridiculous parts.

Three bad days in a row, and I'm history. Lots of projects are waiting.

Pete Keillor

Reply to
Peter T. Keillor III

"Artemia Salina" wrote

Why do that when you can hire young attractive female helpers who would LOVE learning things in a converted factory? And maybe give an old fart a lesson or two. ;-)


Reply to

NAMES meet, only a little younger and fewer beards.

We'll just send everything over to India, Pakistan or wherever to get it worked on or duplicated.

Seriously though, I think that the law of supply and demand will take care of the problem itself as I've watched it do in many other professions over the years.

When "our kind of" skills become needed badly enough over here for doing things which can't be accomplished by an overseas worker the compensation rates will be driven up enough to induce younger folks to enter the education channels for whatever it is "us guys" now do.

I've watched the same thing happen in the fields of nursing and physical therapy more than once. Right now there's a serious shortage of professionals in those fields and their salaries are soaring.

What does bother me is that we are graduating kids from high school and many colleges with very poor intuitive math skills and an near total inability to estimate answers. That's not a good trend. It's fine to be able to compute an answer to 10 decimal places with a hand held calculator, but that answer could be off by an order of magnitude because of a stupid logical error and a lot of our recent high school graduates won't even realize how ridiculously wrong their results are.

Me, I'm not going to "retire" until G-d makes me. I'm 68 now with a 17 year old high school senior son and a 21 year old daughter who hasn't yet made up her mind about what she really wants to do with her life re college, so SWMBO and me are still plugging away keeping the income stream flowing for their sake. The two older sons, ages 38 and 40 are doing great on their chosen professions (one author, one chipmaker), and making me proud to have sired them.

Besides, I've seen too many cases of active guys (like me) quitting the workforce and croaking within the year.

Jeff (Who's still having fun every day...)

Reply to
Jeff Wisnia

Hmmmm, lessee now. I retired eight years ago, but, about a week before that, the plant manager came into the gage lab and we sat and talked for about an hour. One of his comments, "In another week there's going to be over 180 years of combined experience walking out the door and we don't have any way to replace that." His comment referred to the fact that it had been twenty years since the company had trained any apprentices, other than one toolmaker that was retiring a month later than I did. Most of the men on the machines, the "wheel turners and lever pullers", had not trained anyone for at least twenty years. The local tech schools only taught CNC machining, and for lack of trained people and ISO, our tool room was considered obsolete. (ISO 9XXX in it's many perversions is costing this country big time, in that things that the toolrooms did for the last eighty years, they do not meet ISO standards to do the same work today. Crawl to the international market and go broke in the process.)

But, what's going to happen, the small shops, where people are still being trained, will be see their people sucked off as fast as they can train them, meaning that the small shop will be either broke from training costs, or broke from not being able to get the people they need to stay in business. In the end, unless the big companies start to look ahead, looking at the "bottom line" now is going to cost them dearly in the long run. It costs money to train people, it costs even more for those people to get the experience, but those in the boardrooms are blind, they think it can go on forever and they won't have to absorb the training cost. One way or another, if they want trained people, it will either cost them now, or cost them dearly later.

Reply to

Currently my interest is

If you can wait till I've got my 85 points in at about 5 more years, I'd sure like to help on the Nash Metro. There was a guy that ran one with a blown and injected 427 Chevy at Bluegrass Dragway, Bowling Green, Ky. back in the '60's. Relocated the steering sector and sat in the back seat. As I bear witness, it was a sight to behold. I've got a source for a 500 c.i. Caddy, too.

Garrett Fulton

Reply to

They will outsource all the work to China.


Reply to
Karl Townsend

Not all - mine and others went to India. I hope to get another next week, but at what rate and benefits I still am not sure. Martin

Reply to
Martin H. Eastburn

That'd be wild, wouldn't it? Here's a guy who dropped an 800 HP (not a typo)

406 ci motor in a '54 Metro:
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photo from the bottom of the page. It's nice but I'd want more of a sleeper.

Know any good engineering books on making chassis?

Reply to
Artemia Salina

You have to have a hobby that keeps your (mind, body, ???) active. The croakers just retire, sit around and die.

My old man never had any hobby, so when he retired, mum said, "good we can catch with the relations" and since all their parents were 1 in 10,

11, 12,13 kids, that is a lot of catching up to do.

I think he regrets not having a hobby but he has lasted 8 years so far {:-).

P.S. he retired at 65.

Reply to
Terry Collins

Won't matter - it will a problem for the Chinese to deal with... Seriously, it is a worldwide problem - the trades (of all sorts) are seen as sexy, or pay well enough. Perhaps a better way of putting it - the supply and demand thing only works one way and companies can't/ won't put up their pay rates to suit the shortage. Geoff

Reply to
geoff m

Doesn't matter. It is this quarter's results that count, and the management won't have to deal with the problem then, as they will be in different jobs. G

Reply to
geoff m

No reflection on you Peter, but you work for a big company, a week after you're gone they won't know you were ever there. Things will either be done by calling someone in or training someone else. It may take them longer, it probably won't be done as well as you would do it, but they will lower their standards and live with it.

Or you could come back as a supplemental : )

Reply to

Most likely the second!

Not all occupations are the same. Here's a (true) story.

76 year old lady has been working as a specialist at a large famous hospital for many years. One day she gets called in to her boss's office, and is told that they are eliminating her position. She's been laid off, her last day is such and such.

Because the hospital administration has no clue about what she does, or how to replace her, this makes perfect sense. As you say, large organizations operate under the 'a person is only a cog in a machine' rule - which says that you can replace any worker with any other worker - and get within

50% the same performance on the job.

A week goes by, and she is planning her retirement.

Then she is called back in - apparently the management there did not realize that her replacement has to be board certified, and the certification exams are given only annually. And that the last time the hospital tried to send somebody in to get certified, they failed the boards three times. Ah. And that the doctors who rely on this service are now starting to sweat.

So they ask her to stay on for an extra three months. OK she says.

Then a few weeks later, she is asked to come talk again.

Seems like they cannot find *anyone* to even apply for the position. All the other similar specialists in the field in the area are a) happily employed and b) getting on to retirement age themselves.

So they want her to stay for another year or so....

So the question is, if this were *your* mother, and not mine, what would you tell her?

That her administration is too stupid to work for? That she should squeeze them as hard as she can, make 'em squeal? That she should just quit, retire, and enjoy herself? Negotiate some kind of deal involving a large corner office and a huge pay raise - maybe a personal assistant?

I dunno, it's a whacky world and it's getting whackier.


Reply to
jim rozen

Shoot, I'm counting on it. I'm a one-off. They didn't have anybody like me before, and they won't when I leave. I hope they keep making money so they can pay my pension. That's the primary reason I'm concerned about the greying of the gearheads / detail freaks / guys who know how to make things work.

More and more, in the search for efficiency and reduced cost, the corporation is pushing for "work processes" which are so standardized there are few chances to screw up. The unrecognized corollary is that there are few chances to create, innovate, or think. Lots of the bureaucrats we're raising are totally nonplussed by anything outside the "system".

Oh, well, I suppose the old farts always despair of the new kids. I hope I'm wrong to be concerned. Still, I'm glad my kids aren't interested in working there.

Pete Keillor

Reply to
Peter T. Keillor III

Or retired with their own hefty buyout packages. Gerry :-)} London, Canada

Reply to
Gerald Miller

At my workplace, as the old native born white guys die or retire, Vietnamese, Iranian, and Russian emigrants are taking over the more technical jobs. The less technical jobs are mainly going to black women (bonus points for double minority). No Mexicans yet, though there are lots of them in the community now.

They haven't new hired a native born white male in 13 years. Just checked the company roster for this last, surprised me a bit it has been that long. The white guys I think of as the "new guys" have all been here more than 13 years. Guess that really makes me a geezer.

When I started here 36 years ago, it was all native born white guys, and one black woman. (Melissa Mack, I still remember her name.) I can't *pronounce* the names of half the people working here now. There isn't a Billy Bob or Joe Frank among them. Makes you wonder where all the young native born white guys are finding jobs.

But the company is still doing ok. Revenues continue to grow. Profits aren't quite as high as in the past, but they're still good. The company's stock continues to go up. Wages are flat, but I'm not too worried about my pension. Ky and Akbar, and the others, will still be here keeping the machines running, and the money rolling in.


Reply to
Gary Coffman

Acting on the principle that stupidity should be its own punishment, I'd tell her to hold the hospital up for everything she possibly could.

OTOH, maybe she's sick of working for morons by now and just wants out of there.

Damn! Tough choice.


Reply to
Rick Cook

My father was an RF engineer. They retired him at the mandatory age of 65. He spent the next 15 years working for the same company as a contractor and making more money at it than he had as an employee.

They'd bring him back tomorrow if he'd go.


"Peter T. Keillor III" wrote:

Reply to
Rick Cook

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