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D_W

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As I get older and start to get worn down by pushing papers, I vaguely recall my youth working in factories between college summers, and for contractors who had small crews, but big enough that the boss wasn't always around.


This reminds me of those days. OK, they were mostly hard work, but at least I didn't have to work around people who thought humor was immature.
 

Jameshow

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As a student at a computer monitor repair factory being industrial packaging film tapped to a lampost on my birthday wearing only underwear!

Thanks guys!

Cheers James
 

Spectric

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We used to always believe in work hard and play hard, the enviroment was conclusive to design and development because the mind was not restrained by having to be careful about how and what was said, it was completely open speech and the stress was relieved by the humour and banter, no one took offence because we all new it was just fun. Even the woman took the same approach, and if you went a little to far they told you and that was that, a bit of cleverage and some knicker flashing never did anyone any harm!
 

D_W

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I think more typical now in the states in business is bosses detached from what employees are doing thinking everything is easier than it actually is, rigid pressure, criticism of anyone who doesn't bend to their reality and then the oddball comment here or there about how they're fostering a creative and open environment.

Not sure what production environments are like, but back in the 1990s, the US was somewhere between exporting jobs to mexico but also doing still a lot of US manufacture (the cabinet factory that I worked in is now out of business, but eased lending had re-doing kitchens booming - tons of honey oak cabinets...the hallmark of the 1990s here, as well as the early days of RTF white cabinets with MDF doors - yuck).

I have only a couple of neighbors now who work in higher end manufacturing, or worked. Their locations have been bought and sold and merged and so on and so forth and it sounds like the political games are common in them setting older workers to fail so that they can get them to leave voluntarily.

I did spend my first 8 years in a very large global consulting firm, and even much of their work has been outsourced to india now. Getting opposing directives from different groups was constant, and they literally did nothing to reconcile (the standards group would say budget couldn't constrain standards, you'd have to write the time off, and the finance group forbade writing off any time charges - when you asked which prevailed just to figure out what to do, they would say "those two requirements are not in conflict").
 

D_W

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I worked in the shop part of a cabinet factory - there was an office, but when you're on your feet all day sweating it out, sitting down and "doing nothing" doesn't feel right.

Once while I was in college, they were a person short doing order sheets for the day and asked if I'd work in the office. I went into the office with boots and a stinky shirt on and did what they asked. After being out in the middle of the hustle, sitting in a cubicle wasn't as relaxing as I thought - it was like sensory deprivation, going from working on real things to spreadsheets.

Now i'm the office person, 21 years has flashed by and I'm forced to forge things and come in contact with a belt grinder once in a while to get a dose of reality.
 

Sideways

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The most important attitude for a manager and (at least the senior/professional) staff is the confidence and atttitude to tell it like it is and to hell with the consequences, even if it gets you fired.
Very liberating for the individual and actually very good for the company.
Sadly this can be a big ask for anyone who depends on a regular wage from a company with weak management.
Once you've been laid off a time or two / you're retired and asked back / or if there are 2 wages coming in - just go for it.
I remember a (corporate) company director back in my youth encouraging us - "we're paying you for your professional opinion, be clear and forthright when you give it."
 

Robbo60

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The most important attitude for a manager and (at least the senior/professional) staff is the confidence and atttitude to tell it like it is and to hell with the consequences, even if it gets you fired.
Very liberating for the individual and actually very good for the company.
Sadly this can be a big ask for anyone who depends on a regular wage from a company with weak management.
Once you've been laid off a time or two / you're retired and asked back / or if there are 2 wages coming in - just go for it.
I remember a (corporate) company director back in my youth encouraging us - "we're paying you for your professional opinion, be clear and forthright when you give it."
I was asked for my projection for year end profit - so I gave it! MD didn't like it, the Accountant didn't like it! - So I asked them what number they would like and I could give them that. They didn't like that reply either. About 3 months later the HR Director asked me (hypothetically) if they gave me a years wages tax free would I leave? Easiest decision I ever made.
 

Sideways

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Shame they didn't ask you the follow up question : "then how do we get to (something sensible) ?"
 

D_W

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I was asked for my projection for year end profit - so I gave it! MD didn't like it, the Accountant didn't like it! - So I asked them what number they would like and I could give them that. They didn't like that reply either. About 3 months later the HR Director asked me (hypothetically) if they gave me a years wages tax free would I leave? Easiest decision I ever made.
In my last job, the workplace got steadily worse and more unrealistic with conflicting goals. The year before my last, I filled my four quadrant goal sheet out by saying "these goals are not completed because my primary goal is to leave before the end of the year". My supervisor gave it back and said flatly, no , you have to fill it out, anyway.

The next February after getting no raise for meeting my actual goals but not exceeding them by a hypothetical amount, I got another job and handed my resignation letter to my supervisor and told him I met my goals a little late but met them. Typically in a consulting firm, they ask you to leave right away for fear you'll collect information on clients , but they disrespected me by having me work to the last second on the consideration that no clients would follow me because I was day to day contact but not an account manager. Before my noncompete was up, two of my five clients voluntarily found me and moved. My three worst former clients stayed with the old place :)
 

D_W

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It was such a rotten place that when they would announce a layoff was coming, I'd beg to be on the list to get severance, but they would instead lay off people who wanted to be there, I believe for political reasons. They kept a ranked list of who would be laid off next at all times, and I told my wishes to the guy above my supervisor and he flatly said "If you ask to get on probation to be laid off, you'll never make the layoff list". Imagine a place where they won't sever people who say they hate it, just out of spite, but rather do the opposite.

(When I handed in my resignation letter, they did try to give me a giant raise after claiming a month before that there was no money in the pool for people who only met their goals, not even cost of living, which is sort of a traditional nothing raise here. I'm guessing the supervisors were sitting on the bonus and raise pools for themselves).
 
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Sideways

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I once took a job for well below my market value as I had a family to support and needed the continuity of income.
I explained at the time what I expected to be earning and that if I delivered on my contract, that I expected to be there in 2 years.
Annual review after 12 months of keeping my end client happy, they gave me a 3% rise.
6 months later, I left for an 80% increase in salary ...
I think the same :)
 
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