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Hiring a Mechanic -or- How Not to Get the Job (JohnNY)

JohnNY Member Posts: 3,206
Matt, thanks for the words of encouragement. I know you and lots of others are going through the same thing and, you're right, it's bewildering because many of us are from the same school, so to speak.
My father
and brother pushed me to be good at this trade at a very young age.
I wanted to cruise around on my skateboard all day back then but that just wasn't gonna happen.

Maybe that's what I'm looking for and can't seem to find now: Someone with the drive to show up every day and learn and do something that's not a lot of fun, but is rewarding for other reasons, whatever they may be, to that person.

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Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
Plumbing in NYC or in NJ.
Take his class.


  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,206
    I can't believe it.

    I've had an ad in a local paper for three weeks and have spoken to at least 20 people who are calling themselves "mechanics".

    NOT ONE of them knows what a Hartford Loop is.
    NOT ONE of them knows how to vent a fixture.
    JUST ONE of them can tell me what a spill switch does.

    Most said f**k at some point during the phone interview.
    Still more said s**t.

    They LOVE to say "I know heat. I did baseboard."

    Two that sounded good didn't show up for the interview we scheduled.

    I'm a B Division union shop and can't get anyone worth talking to from the hall either.

    I'd ask what I'm doing wrong, but I don't want to believe it's me.

    Please tell me you're all having similar experiences.

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    Plumbing in NYC or in NJ.
    Take his class.
  • Given some of what Gordon and I had to work with

    before we started All Steamed Up Inc., I'm really not surprised you encountered these bums. That's one reason we haven't hired anyone- seems a waste of time and money looking for people who don't seem to exist.

    Just out of curiousity- I wonder how many of them could have passed a background check and drug test? I'd bet maybe one at most.

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  • tim smith
    tim smith Member Posts: 2,619

    My favorite is when you set up an interview and they don't show up, don't call. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAargh. I feel for you. Just had an apprentice work 1 day and did not show up the next, no call. Got an email a couple hrs into the day saying decided he did not want to do this and please send check to address on appliction. I can't believe people sometimes.
  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
    I dread

    the hiring process, John, more than a prostate exam. It seems that everytime I have to do it, my faith in society drops just a little more. This is what's out there, and it's a grim scene.

    You get guys that are laid off from the union, and "are waiting for the call back". They are commanding a huge salary for a very specific skillset. You get kids with piercings, tattoos, and the latest in hip hop fashions.
    Motivation seems to be something from the old days.
    The first f-bomb or s-bomb I hear and they are done. You have guys from other companies that have bad habits ingrained. You have applicants that motor on about how good they are, instead of shutting up and listening to how your company operates. Better they do it now, than hearing it if they get hired. You get druggies, drinkers and thieves that hide it well at first.

    You know, the same old song.

    It starts with the high schools. Vocational schooling is looked down on as the place for the slow kids. My high school had at least 8 IA classes when I went 26 years ago. Now, it has none. Impressionable kids, growing up in increasing urban areas, have nothing to do after school as far as mechanical activities go. Can't even work on cars. Breaker points? What's that? Nothing is made to tinker with anymore in our throwaway society. We are not producing self starting mechanics anymore. When hiring time comes around, it's blatantly obvious.

    I'm ruminating, sorry. It's tough John, I feel your pain.
  • Tim P._2
    Tim P._2 Member Posts: 47

    Why get a job when you can play Xbox all day.

    In all seriousness, I think this stuff comes in waves.

    Myself and a lot of my Gen X peers/friends are raising kids now and looking at youth today.

    Let me tell you that the concensus seems to be that there is no way in you-know-what that our kids will grow up the way a lot of these kids entering the workforce did.

    I know you can't predict the future... give it another 10-15 years, I hope you can't prove me wrong!

    There was an email we gen x parents were passing around to each other a while ago... There were about a dozen things relating to youth today.. eg if you can't keep your pants around your waste, I can help, I have a nailgun... If you pull in my driveway and honk your horn, you better be dropping something off, because you sure aren't picking anything up.. I forget the rest..

    And yes, there are a lot of good kids. I suppose it's becuase the bad ones are always making the papers..

  • mikea23
    mikea23 Member Posts: 224

    Kids today dont want to work and if they do, they think a six figure income is after the second week.

    Our industry doesnt help labor, materials and insurance keep going up and our rates stay the same.

    So with the prices the way they are we cant compete for the best people. So we end up all looking for the same men and that man normally is the best of the worst.

    I am lucky to have a few good guys but it took years and we still have 3 or 4 positions that are like a revolving door.

    Mike A
  • Josh_10
    Josh_10 Member Posts: 787

    We decided not to hire experienced people unless they inquire and qualify.

    My company will grow as our apprentices mature. Sure some of them will leave, but those who stay will be our future.

    I have yet to find anyone worth hiring that has experience.
  • Leo Galozo
    Leo Galozo Member Posts: 16
    Same here Josh

    1 guy just passed his 18 month, and now he runs the infloor loops. we just hired another 20 year old, no experience, but he seems to like to get his hands dirty. From my experience, I find that sometimes I want to control everything that the employee does. So when I hired Evan 18 months ago, I decided to train him the way my brother-in-law trained me, i.e. worked with him for a year, then threw him off the pier! He has sunken quite a few times in the last six months, but the kid is getting the "stroke" of things quicker then I expected. As I said, I basically let him handle all loop placement and S/R's now.

    I think sometimes we as owners have to back off a bit and let our employees have more responsibility. That is what most people crave I believe.

    Leo G
  • Perry_3
    Perry_3 Member Posts: 498
    A few lessons from other businesses...

    And some personal ones too.

    The greatest question I have ever found for finding people who are willing to invest themselves (not saying it always works... but it sure sorts a lot of deadwood...).

    "Tell me something you do as a volunteer activity or a cause you are actively involved in?".

    Now, you have to be willing to listen to someone pasionately pipe up about something of an oposite viewpoint than your own... But, I hired them back when I was in the position to hire them. They had a feel for helping people or for spending time in a cause... A lot of people do not. Give them a little flexibility occasionally so they can go support their chosen activity - and they will give a lot more back.

    Another area to look at: People getting out of the military. They tend to know how to work for a wage. It may take some time for them to adjust to being a civilian again... But they are generally quality people.

    I agree that in many cases its better to train someone from scratch. Find someone - or some gal - that has a mechanical or technical aptitude and run with it. One of the contractors I hire at the plant for outages is 1/3 staffed with gals (these are "road trip" positions - and they get pleanty dirty). Most people who work for this company is in their mid 30's and older. Really sharp people who know how to work.

  • Darrell
    Darrell Member Posts: 303

    Don't give up on all the kids in this generation...I have three of them and I am very involved at their highschool. I'm here to tell you that there are some very talented kids out there who are willing to do what it takes...if somebody is willing to show them how. I often hear the stories from them..."he treated me like he had to correct all the bad habits of all the losers he has ever known...he never quit screaming long enough for me to ask what he expected...he thought I could read his mind.

    I have a son who will be twenty in April, and is looking forward to hopefully serving a union apprenticeship...knowing that there will be some hazing, and grumpy old farts who seem to feel it is their mission in life to toughen up the new kids. He is a good hand, good company, good with people, no tattoos, no drugs, no smokes, no booze, church going, quick to learn and eager to be about do so. Not one of you would be sorry if you hired my son. I'd kill to have him work with some of you and learn what you know. And I'd vouch for some of his buddies too.

    The irony is that the journeyman he gets paired with will likely have tattoos, piercings, smokes, booze, foul mouth, girly mags in his lunch box, bad attitude...

    It is a frustration...the schools don't have the Vo/tec stuff they ought...and a kid can't legally get a construction job in the summer...he can't handle power tools, sharp tools, be around heavy equipment, can't be on the roof, etc, etc, etc. Just when is a kid s'posed to learn just what he wants to do? Or if he decides he wants to go to College, just how is he s'posed to pay for it?

    Jeez! Maybe I had too much coffee today!

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  • The Wire Nut
    The Wire Nut Member Posts: 416
    As an observant relatively new parent...

    I have to wonder how many of those kids have had parents active in their lives. Or did these kids spend their time being babysat by TV, Gameboys, IM, questionable friends or the street?

    Did the parents work 24 * 7, perhaps in a frantic scramble to maintain a "modern" (read materialistic) lifestyle or feel that "quality time" was sitting on the couch, quaffing 6 packs and fighting the kid for the remote in the battle to watch the WWF or "The Man Show"?

    Did their folks get involved in the schools, spend time helping do homework, or taking the kid to a library, museum, concert, show, trade show, their job, or just involve them in their or any hobby?

    I suspect that the good, motivated kids have come from families that interact and support each other, or have had siblings or grand parents or even a teacher who was willing to nourish, encourage and support.

    And the "good" kids are surrounded, nay, bombarded by the materialistic and hedonistic messages of our consumer based society. It must be hard to balance the conflict between a work and education ethic and the endless push of the "easy" life...

    And yet, we are one of the hardest working, and most "productive" (in terms of GDP) societies in the world. We take the fewest vacations, and work the most hours... Which is pretty amazing considering that the statistics take in all the slackers too!

    I know that becoming a parent, especially at the advanced age of 48, made me examine my entire work lifestyle and decide on my priorities...

    I guess turning 50 does make you a curmudgeon after all...

    "Let me control you"

    Lost in SOHO NYC and Balmy Whites Valley PA
  • mtfallsmikey
    mtfallsmikey Member Posts: 765
    .02 from someone experienced in the trades

    I would dearly love to give up my 144 mile per day commute (and lose some of my great pay in the process!)but no one in my area wants to pay experienced people a decent wage! A lot of contractors in my area complain about not finding good help,truth is all of the good help does what I do...commute to the Metro D.C. area where the pay is better. The problem is contr's. in my area not charging enough to pay techs good money. If I lived near Charm City, I would love to go to work for Steamhead. even though I've had a lot of experience with low-pressure steam, i'm sure you guys could give me quite the education! Wish I knew the answer...had the same problems when I was in business.
  • Joe_91
    Joe_91 Member Posts: 8

    ...as a side note, I was at a big SuperWalmart (in McAlaster Oklahoma) the other day. Loads of customers, approximately 15 checkout lines, but only 3 lines manned. Long lines of waiting people.
    The guy I was in there with cornered a manager on the way out about it, and was told that they can't hardly find anyone out of all their applicants who can pass their drug screen, and said they can't legally hire them if they flunk the screen, so it limits their pool of employees to choose from.

    Before I got out of Junior High School, I'd been in woodworking, printing, machine shop, and auto mechanics. I LOVED printing because of all the big, heavy, intricate machines and processes (Linotypes in particular. If you ever saw one operate, you know where I am coming from!).

    I couldn't get enough of that class. I took that class 3 hours a day in my senior year. Got a job in a print shop in my junior year and stayed at it for 3 years til I went railroading in '76

    All boys took those 4 classes. I think the teachers actually liked teaching what they taught, at least it seemed that way to me.

    Years went by and the auto mechanics, machine, and woodworking shop were all eliminated and the area they occupied turned into a "computer lab". The print shop was still in use because the school system got a lot of stuff printed there, but they got away from all the manual operations, i.e. hot lead type setting (went to computer typesetting and photographic processes, which is what is in use in the industry today).

    As a kid, I was fascinated with all things Industrial- power plants, big machinery, railroads, road construction...you name it. I know I peppered my parents with unending questions on "how does that work" and "what does that thing do".
    My dad worked at a state hospital and they had a big, old power plant for steam heat. If I went with him to work, I had to stop by the power house. 3 huge boilers, big brick chimney, lots of brass gauges, and appropriate old men "firemen" tending the boilers. I wore them out asking questions! I'd walk around the powerhouse peering in the back of the furnaces watching the huge sheets of flame from the burners thru the blue glass viewing ports! The brick lining of the furnaces would be glowing yellow....Ah, big steam....
  • mikea23
    mikea23 Member Posts: 224

    why do contractors work so cheap then complain that they cant find good men. If we where like any other industry our prices would reflect demand,labor,insurance but for the most part we dont.

    Dont get mad at me but the vast majority of contractors are poor business men. Some of them very good contractors but very poor business people. years ago plumbers made a good honest living but today we work longer hours more expenses and at the end of the day there is no money to pay the help more. So some guys do something worse they fire the help and just have a one man shop. Then they make 75K a year and think that they are doing good when in fact the cheaper rates are killing the industry.

    We all need to wake up. If contractors dont start operating like other business do we will always be in the same position. We can all still do a great job but make a good living at the same time. AND BE ABLE TO PAY THE HELP AN HONEST LIVING.
    Mike A
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 5,919
    Johnny it IS NOT you.

    I left the local in the early 90s when it got slow to attend college. I returned about 5 years later when I decided I wanted to get my plumbing license. Man! how things had changed. Gone were the hard-a-- old timers who had trained my class...the hard-core WW II and Vets of The Frozen Chosin....The men who had very high standards and could be down right mean if you didn't do the job right. I had one foreman who would belittle you in front of ANYONE with things like: "...EVERYTHING you touch turns to S---!....what are you stuck on stupid...what's your major malfunction Sweeney?????? are you freakin retarded???" You wanted to cry and cry and crawl in to the nearest tree-stump. If you were worth your salt, you sucked it up...got really p.o.'d at him and mostly yourself and worked your hiny off to prove him wrong. Today's generation will not hesistate to tell you to go blank yourself and remind you of their rights. This is what made me the worker and mechanic that I am. When they did develop a MODICUM of respect for you, they would give you a project and leave you alone....to get it done right or hang this was as a 2nd or 3rd year apprentice. When they came to see how you made out they would inspect EVERY facet of the job with the brutal eye and scrutiny of a Marine Drill Instructor. They scared the heck out of you and you feared disappointing them. THe men I worked with were perfectionists, but once you proved yourself, they trusted you and would send you out for a cold one at afternoon break. Fast foward 5-6 years: When I returned to work a few more years with the union to get my time in for the license, they turn was a complete 180. 40-something big mouths with earrings, moderate skills, and a throw-it-in mentality had filled ALOT of the supervisory positions. Quality work was a thing of the past. The guys who could throw it in the fastest were their pets - regardless of the mistakes and poor quality. The schools had no problem cranking out kids to fit the bill. God forbid anyone had a beer at afternoon break and Osha people roamed the job sites "handcuffing" us. As with much in our society today....all the really important qualities in a person discounted and the secondary ones exalted. The non-union sector was no better. Since I have been in business, I have been through more than 10 helper/apprentices. Out of 10, only two were worth keeping and training. The first: I paid him top dollar, full health benefits, all the training seminars he wanted...did ALL The right things. After a little more than a year, he took a civil service job because "the business was too hard." He was a good one. The second stayed for over 4 years. He came in as tabula rasa (latin for blank slate) when he left he was a top-notch technican with expertise in ALL facets of the trade. He took everything i gave him and more. He turned out to sneaky. I tolerated a few lapses in ethics and morality trying to be "realistic." The final straw was when We all attended a certificiation seminar for a state-of-the-art product. A few weeks later, whilst checking the company's website, I found that I now had a new competitor on the product line....MY OWN EMPLOYEE! The rest had SOME decent qualities, but NONE had the several essential ones in one package, i.e., ambition, smarts, showing up on time, physical toughness., and a desire to stay in the trade. After banging my head against this wall for several years....running expensive ads, conducting countless interviews and trying guys out, trying the highschool career night and Boces route...even trade temps agencies, I have given up trying to find young folks to train. If one comes along....I'll give it a shot, but I Won't let my business be held hostage to a lack of labor. We trimmed back, and are VERY selective about the work. Clients are actually happier to have "the boss" doing the work again....because in most cases...NO ONE cares like we do! The industry is in a crisis and I don't see it getting any better anytime soon. The only plus side that I see is that more mom-and pop shops are cornering their markets again. This is not good news for guys like you who are trying to build a nice workforce. EVERY contractor that I speak to has the same problem. The one exception, is ones who can find LEGAL recent immigrants who are grateful for the opportunity and will work their hinys off. Unfortunately, from what I have seen, today's kids want it ALL now and are not willing to pay their dues -
    so to speak. They really hate working late...although it is a key part of the trade. Its not even the $$$ they have told me. Any blue collar kid with a good head on his shoulders will jump to civil service when it comes in and have the "best of both worlds'" Some of the really smart and ambitious ones will even get enough years in the trade to actually get a license. They'll do their cop or fireman gig, which covers the bennies and w. LOTS of comp time. Then they do their respective trade on their days off. I know many guys like this. On an average, they are making 80-120 K a year w/ bennies. NIce!!!! Can we blame them? Sorry for the rant John, but i feel your pain. Just because you offer the best to your prospective employees does NOT guarantee quality legit prospects - despite what some assure us of. The rah-rah speeches that we often here and read about are great at motivating US, but the end results are often frustrating and dubious. As I said, I see these as a crisis in our trade, and Think you just have to keep your goals very realistic, i.e., don't expect to be able to add several new techs a year. If you could just get one good one every 2-3 years AND be able to keep 'em I would be happy. There are a very small handful of good recruits and you will have to lure and attract them from your competition. The companies that I have seen that ARE having some success are usually 3rd or 4th generation outits that have their trucks and buildings paid for and have some nice capital to invest in their own training programs and centers. I salute them. God bless them, but for most struggling first generation outfits like mine, it is a real tough row. John, keep your head up, don't go crazy with adverstising. Talk to the B.A. (Donald D?)in your area and tell him to keep an eye out for the cream of the crop in the classes...that they will have a great opportunity and be able to learn from the best and make a lot of extra money if they are ambitious. If you get one decent guy every few years, count your blessings, do everything you can to keep him or her, and don't EVER lose your vigilance. I don't have to tell you, but just because you have done EVERYTHING right and the employee SEEMS happy, there is ALWAYS uncle Gus at Sunday dinner and the guys at the supply house filling their heads with enticements and resentments. Many American have spoiled their kids and we are all going to continue to pay the price. The one exception I see today is kids in the Military. THESE are America's Best! It would behoove you to try to obtain lists of soldiers that are soon-to-be rotating out of the service - especially ones in the plumbing and heating shops. Develop a relationship with a local recruiter too. Two guys that come to mind...who are having success are Scott Milne and Dan Foley - talk to them. Hope for the best...prepare for the best. Mad Dog

    p.s. If I had come across a top-notch shop back then - with all the inherent opportunities - that you and your brother run, I would have jumped at the opportunity.

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  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 5,919
    Nail on the head, Alex

    You are already a great parent because you have seen what went wrong and won't do it with your kids. I am raising ours the same way. Mad Dog

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  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 5,919
    You are right mike.......BUT

    Just because you pay top dollar doesn't not translate in to quality applicants and employees, but yes, youy are right...fellow low baller contractors bring the whole trade down. Mad Dog

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  • jp_2
    jp_2 Member Posts: 1,935
    the Paper boy!

    ever see a paper boy delivering papers on his/her bike? Nope, parents drive them around in cars !
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 2,983
    2 way street

    I can't agrue with you john except i myself have found more employers that where F.O.S. when it came to the hows and why they operate the way they do and all i know is that most of them are major corner cutters with no company tools but at least 2 homes loads of toys (boats ,harleys and such)and supply no power tools and are cheap at which point i have left the offices .In my area it's down right depressing the heating side of the bussiness is very cut throat to such a point that i my self may find myself after over 24 years in the bussiness of heating /a/c just leaving it all behind and getting out of the trades all together .What i will do is truely unknown except i know i'm at that point where i cannot work for some one and i'll be dammned if i,m gonna show some one what i know i have been doing that for years and it has brought me absoultely nothing except former employers calling for free help why cause no one wants to pay someone for knoweledge that they cannot pick apart every day plus half of these guys are all about bottom line money in there pockets not about true quality and workmanship or ensuring that there worker are living a some what comfortable lifestyle sorry for the rant but here and see lazyness all the time but the corner cutting reqlly kills me peace and good luckc clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • mikea23
    mikea23 Member Posts: 224


    If the industry had more competitve wages the better quality applicants would come.

    I have a close friend who works as a lawyer in NYC makes a very good living but hates it. He Likes to work for me on the weekends. He says over and over if he could make a decent wage working with his hands he would give up his current job and even take a pay cut but 50K a year will not support his family on LI. There is alot of smart people that like to work with there hands but cant afford to do so. Years ago those people are the ones that became plumbers. We had a higher skill rate and pay scale compared to other trades for the most part we where more profesional. This is not the case today some plumbing mech work at the same wage that the landscaper or sheetrock guy do. We will never over come this till we charge proper fees.

    Small shops are great but when your overhead is low you are less likely to look at profit and loss statments. Therefore they dont charge the proper fee. This hurts our industry more then anything.

    Mike A
  • Mikey, have you considered

    starting your own company? We did, and wish we had done it sooner. If you know steam and live in an area with lots of older buildings you'll have plenty of work.

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  • Mitch_4
    Mitch_4 Member Posts: 955
    All of this illustrates

    why I stayed a one man shop...quality is to my standards, no one has stolen materials or used the truck for unauthorized acitivity and all training seminars are appreciated.

    tried expanding...wasn't worth it headaches, hassles, lack of anything resembling ambition... and being in a forced air market means I rarely need help hauling in and out the old / new beastie.
  • Mitch_4
    Mitch_4 Member Posts: 955
    could you

    expand a bit Mad Dog? I feel you are holding back..:-p.

    see my point above.. I too trained under the biting lash of perfectionists..the kind who's eyes are more accurate than a level and can tell you "it aint straight!!" from 50 paces

    Still can picture his beet red face clenched around that old stogie as he ripped me a new one...

    Ah the good ole days
  • mtfallsmikey
    mtfallsmikey Member Posts: 765
    I thought you knew my story, Steamhead, so..

    Here goes...I'm a 3rd gen. plumber, Granddad was a steamfitter in D.C. right after turn of the century. Moved to Fla. in 1917, started/ran at the time the only mech. cont'r. in Central Fla. Dad moved to Winchester, Va. just before WWII, started his biz in '47. My bro and I grew up in Dad's biz, did HVAC, Plbg.,some electrical, gas work. Dad retired in '87, dissolved his biz, started my own, did that for 11 yrs.got burned out, then came to Reston to work for a defense cont'r for 7 1/2 yr, then took my current job as chief engineer for a large real estate property mgt.co. in Reston. We did new/remododel work of all kinds, lotsa hydronic work, lotsa service on residential / multi-family steam. Even got to play with some old coal stokers when I was MUCH younger. I appreciate the encouragement though, but I'm getting too old now to go back into it again. My body has suffered from the 30 yrs. of boilers, attics, and crawl spaces. And as some of the posters have stated in this thread, I could not make the kind of money being a one man band or having a handful of employees as I do now, especially with having good bennies. As well as learning so much from all of you here, I wish for and pray for success for all of you. It takes a special breed to own and operate a biz, I've been there, and at times I miss it and some of my old customers.
  • The Wire Nut
    The Wire Nut Member Posts: 416

    Hey Mad Dog, you need to slow down and use the return key on your computer once and awhile! Makes reading easier... ;-)

    As an aside, I have nothing against piercings, though I would never have one myself, I already have too many holes that leak too many things... Some of the smartest and hard working people have piercings, some multiple and in places I don't even want to contemplate...

    Sometimes the inner peacock trumps our common sense. I learned the hard way that it's what you wear on the inside that makes you who you are, not the clothes on the outside...

    Joe's post brought up an interesting point, that of "curiosity". It seems he was lucky enough to have parents that would take the time to encourage and positively respond to his curiosity and questions.

    I think today's entertainment culture kills curiosity rather than fosters any intellectual growth. People are amazed and even shocked that our almost 2 year old has not watched 5 minutes of TV yet (well, 5 minutes of Elmo at the hair cutters but he went back to screaming and crying after that time period). Not that I'm a Luddite, but I think my curiosity and abilities were allowed to bloom because my parents refused to allow a TV in the house (I grew up in the '60s and a bit into the 70's).

    They were "old-fashioned" and believed in reading, working hard and bettering your mind. Although I resented it at the time, it gave me, and my siblings, the ability and skills we have today (well, after getting through the angst and rebellion of youth)....

    Today's society, our culture and economy often require both parents to work, and put in long hours, long commutes and then require home work and even weekends.

    After all that who has the time or energy to engage your kids?

    I don't have the answers. I just hope that I can keep my boy engaged and curious. He's just starting to ask questions, generally "What's that" and generally 17 times in a row, and I love it!

    End of rant...

    "Let me control you"

    Lost in SOHO NYC and Balmy Whites Valley PA
  • mikea23
    mikea23 Member Posts: 224


    I cane tell you by experiance that what happens with employers is when they start out they want to be everybodys friend give them the best stuff and so on. Then after some time and replaceing everything on the truck and countless bs you become cold and heartless and unfortanatly the good guys suffer.

    I have three guys I treat like gold the others must prove that they are in the same league before they get that treatment. It may not be fair but Lifes not fair. I expect people that work for me to always look out for the good of the company that includes going the extra mile and giving 100%. The only thing in life that should be more inportant then your job is your family and god. Without your job there would be no late night at the bar or drinks with friends or nice nights out with the wife. Alot of mech think its just a paycheck but that attitude will cost the company not only money but customers.

    I fired a top mech the other day his skills where topnotch but his atitutude stunk. All he cared about was himself. Then one day after I was looking at profit and loss statements with my acountant he had the guts to tell me that I make to much money. I just spent 3 hours trying to figure out why I wasnt making money. Sure I get a decent salary but after that the company must still make a profit. Then he tells me he lost my cordless screw gun and has no drop light. This is why employers get to be so cheap they have no choice. Its either cut back on manpower lower salarys cutback on tools or close the doors.

    I am not sure who you worked for but in most cases things are done for a reason and alot of those reasons you wont understand till you get on the other side. I dont like being firm at work but I have to be with the overhead of this business and stress if you give an inch some guys take a mile not all but most do push the line. When I here a Mech tell another one that he should'nt do that it will hurt the company I no I have a good man. Your responsibilty at work is to produce a profit and do a good job at the same time. If you do that in most cases you will be rewarded and if not its time to move on.

    Mike A
  • Didn't know that.....

    I sometimes wonder if Gordon and I could ever work for someone else again, now that we've had our own company....

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  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 5,919
    Body piercing on Men.......

    Is not my cup of tea. My pop told us, if we ever came home with earrings, he'd rip them out of our ears. That goes in my house too. No eyebrow rings or nose piercings for the lasses either. I can understand musicians and pirates having them, but most everyone else...why? Most earring-wearers I have spoke to...just did it "becuase it was cool." I think nothing looks more ridiculous than a 50 year old with an earring. Hey, its America and you can do what you wanna do, I just happen to be Old School. Any employees I have had have been asked to remove them. I know plenty of great guys that wear earrings. Also, some of the toughest men I have ever known have multiple earrings, I just think its silly. Mad Dog

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  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 5,919

    If one REALLY wants a job or position and wants to put one's best foot foward does the smarter person remove the earring and pentagram medallion from around one's neck? Then why not reflect that best-foot-foward approach to life everyday? America is A free Country,,,we are free to make good impressions and not so good impressions. Mad Dog

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  • GaryDidier
    GaryDidier Member Posts: 229
    Work for someone else again?

    I doubt it!!

    Gary from Granville
  • mikea23
    mikea23 Member Posts: 224

    mad dog

    How about the guy that walked in my office clean cut dressed nice then got hired and showed up two weeks later with a nose ring,lip,8 or 9earrings and a purple and green mowhawk. He was great.

    But like I said before we are looking for the best of the worst
    Mike A
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 5,919
    I hope he was sent home to change......

    and then docked for the time or did you just can him right there? I believe in 2nd chances in most cases. Mad Dog

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  • mikea23
    mikea23 Member Posts: 224

    Fired on the spot How can I send that into a Northshore of Long Island home. and if he was that dumb to show up like that he wouldnt have lasted long anyway
  • hvacfreak
    hvacfreak Member Posts: 439
    What it is...( HF )


    This is THE attitude of most of any construction labor pool ( union , non union , whatever...lol ). I have to say that , in some ways I'm happy about this. And the guys that post pictures of awesome work here ( I have some shortly ) should be too. We're not a " dying breed " ...we're a dying thought process. I like to " capitalize " on this fact ( wheather bidding " side work " or working for " the man " ). -Whateva

  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 5,919
    Even though many of the kids in some of those homes

    Look the same or worse. It does NOT matter. The first thing that goes wrong...they will blame "that greaser, hippie, punk...." I hope he learned from that. Mad Dog

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    Devo meets Dubya.....oops, don't want to wake The Lovely Naoko.....

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  • Jay C._2
    Jay C._2 Member Posts: 5
    Hey John!

    Hey Bro,

    I gotta tell ya, reading your post really struck a chord with me. I gotta tell ya, as a B Division journeyman, I could'nt agree with you more.

    I came up working for an old school, no BS old timer who would drink all night, run pipe all day and become physically abusive if your work was'nt plumb, level and sqaure. But do a good job and he was the first to buy you a sandwich and a cold one and say "Good job!" I'll miss that old timer to the day I die, and I'm here to tell you that the work I see coming out of some of the "apprentices" they send me is enough to make me puke!

    I don't know, maybe I'm just a dinosaur in a young mans world, but it seems to me that this trade was once the sport of kings and is now a playground for the slackers and faint of heart. Kind of makes me sad.

    Any way, I digress, What I really wanted to say was thanks for having the cajones to stand up and speak the truth. If I'm ever up your way I'll buy the first round!

    Keep the faith,

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