Work secrets not passed down

Biker1mike

Well-known member

Equipment
B6200, Kubota 2030 Front Blade, King Cutter 60" finishing deck
Jan 11, 2022
1,158
1,248
113
Gallatin, NY USA
From chuckle thread. Dawn detergent.
In a past life I had notebooks that were double signed and stored in IRON mountain for mega years. I had a personal notebooks that were not signed and still stored. Then I had knowledge that was passed down and that I passed down , but , none of it was ever put in writing. You know, these windmills are not worth fighting etc etc.
When my company stole our pensions the 'wink and nod' data started to be a tad more controlled. When the MBA's decided to layoff folks based on age and salary the well kept secrets of the old folks dried up. I, like most of my peers, stopped teaching the new comers what we had learned over time . Little secrets that even the tool vendors did not know about where no longer shared.
Dawn detergent in certain concentrations could clean up the internals of a certain tool and get detection limits that were well below industry standards. Never to be published but well worth the respect of our peers ( and serious dollars to us and the company).
The MBA's and managers without technical backgrounds let that type of ingenuity slip out the door.
The area failed shortly after the old folks saw the writing on the wall and moved on.

So thank you Dawn and vending machine coffee. Another secret that dies with a few of us.

How about you other older than dirt folks ? Left handed monkey wrenches may exist in my universe.

The hood fires and ruined equipment was never our fault !
 
  • Like
Reactions: 5 users

GeoHorn

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
M4700DT, LA1002FEL, Ferguson5-8B Compactor-Roller, 10KDumpTrailer, RTV-X900
May 18, 2018
5,370
2,824
113
Texas
Yep. When Scabs were hired for us experienced-pilots to train as our own replacements…. we were slow-to-learn…but we finally figured it out…that teaching these inexperienced wannabe idiots how to get from A to B ...carrying unsuspecting public passengers riding in poorly-maintained airplanes…was NOT in anyone’s best interests.

When 20-years later I had one of them apply for a job in my flight dept…. I didn’t let him know that I knew his scab-background.… Nor did I automatically refuse to hire him…. but I did ask him to describe his background experience.… and I did ask him about his time at that airline.

He remarked that it was one of the worst places he’d ever worked and couldn’t wait to find employment elsewhere.….which told me he didn’t “get” the real message. He merely took advantage of others.
And no… I didn’t want that kind of guy with those kind of values working alongside the rest of my guys.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

fried1765

Well-known member

Equipment
Kubota L48 TLB, Ford 1920 FEL, Ford 8N, SCAG Liberty Z, Gravely Pro.
Nov 14, 2019
6,052
3,874
113
Eastham, Ma
Yep. When Scabs were hired for us experienced-pilots to train as our own replacements…. we were slow-to-learn…but we finally figured it out…that teaching these inexperienced wannabe idiots how to get from A to B ...carrying unsuspecting public passengers riding in poorly-maintained airplanes…was NOT in anyone’s best interests.

When 20-years later I had one of them apply for a job in my flight dept…. I didn’t let him know that I knew his scab-background.… Nor did I automatically refuse to hire him…. but I did ask him to describe his background experience.… and I did ask him about his time at that airline.

He remarked that it was one of the worst places he’d ever worked and couldn’t wait to find employment elsewhere.….which told me he didn’t “get” the real message. He merely took advantage of others.
And no… I didn’t want that kind of guy with those kind of values working alongside the rest of my guys.
"one of the worst places he'd ever worked"

A Continental scab ???
Nothing is lower!
Once a scab,....always a scab!
"Scab" does not wash off!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

NCL4701

Well-known member

Equipment
L4701, T2290, WC68, grapple, BB1572 box scrape, Howes 500, 16kW IMD gen, WG24
Apr 27, 2020
2,440
3,414
113
Central Piedmont, NC
I’m not far from retirement but not quite there yet so I’m pleading the fifth on this one. 🤣
 

WDF

Member

Equipment
Kubota L2501 HST/FEL
Jan 4, 2021
87
76
18
Central Florida
I've been in a couple situations where I've been asked to train my replacement. The answer is always no, and last time I said no I was mentally prepared to walk out. Management backed down. Nothing I have is written down, and it won't be either.
 

SAR Tracker

Well-known member

Equipment
LX2610HSDC, FEL, LX2963 Snowblower, BH77 Backhoe, forks
Nov 17, 2020
193
287
63
Central Oregon
In my shop in the military, we had a "20 year drawer". Anything that was left over after a job - nuts, bolts, lightbulbs, gears, valves, ANYTHING could be found in this drawer. Made repairs to equipment on the ship in minutes, rather than the DAYS (if we were lucky) it took to get a 1/4"-20 bolt out of Supply. Life was good in the late 70's.
Time passed.
I later had a job with Dept of the Navy, as an Elevator Inspector on USN ships (think aircraft elevators on carriers). We often had need of misc hardware to make a repair or adjustment on a piece of gear. But no more 20 year drawers in the shops. These days any nut, bolt, lightbulb - ANYTHING has to be ordered from Supply so the Bean Counters in Washington can "track the expenditures". Life sucks today for the sailors that maintain the Fleet.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

mikester

Well-known member

Equipment
M59 TLB
Oct 21, 2017
3,047
1,570
113
Canada
www.divergentstuff.ca
In my shop in the military, we had a "20 year drawer". Anything that was left over after a job - nuts, bolts, lightbulbs, gears, valves, ANYTHING could be found in this drawer. Made repairs to equipment on the ship in minutes, rather than the DAYS (if we were lucky) it took to get a 1/4"-20 bolt out of Supply. Life was good in the late 70's.
Time passed.
I later had a job with Dept of the Navy, as an Elevator Inspector on USN ships (think aircraft elevators on carriers). We often had need of misc hardware to make a repair or adjustment on a piece of gear. But no more 20 year drawers in the shops. These days any nut, bolt, lightbulb - ANYTHING has to be ordered from Supply so the Bean Counters in Washington can "track the expenditures". Life sucks today for the sailors that maintain the Fleet.
$100K/yr Bean counters are needed to keep track of the $10,000 toilet seats, and $200K/yr HR personnel are needed to keep track of the bean counters
 

old and tired

Well-known member

Equipment
L2800 HST; 2005; R4
I'll retire in a year... it's gonna be a rude awaking for them, what and how I got things done. Funny part, I can not help or talk "shop" with them for 6 months or I lose my pension.

The connection with other workers is what makes things run smoothly and on time. Piss anyone of them off and things get ugly fast.
 

BruceP

Well-known member

Equipment
G5200H
Aug 7, 2016
834
349
63
Richmond, Vermont, USA
One of the ultimate "Work secrets not passed down" is the COBOL software programming language.

Much of the world's banking systems run on COBOL because this was THE language of IBM computers for many years (long before Microsoft existed).

Long story short.... many of the older programmers who understand COBOL have been retiring over the past several years. COBOL is not even taught in schools any longer.

There is a VERY REAL shortage of folks who even understand how to read the millions of lines of code which support the world banking system.

Casual observers may wonder why the COBOL was not re-written into more modern software..... The answer is "If it works.... DO NOT MESS WITH IT". It took literally decades to perfect the code and it would take decades longer if rewrite was attempted. The banking system is VERY wary of introducing untested software into the mix.

I used to write software for a living.... WRITING the code was pretty trivial... however, the hours of testing by various teams as well as REAL WORLD operation took months before the code was considered 'robust'. Latent 'bugs' may not show up for YEARS after when unique situations arose.
 

fried1765

Well-known member

Equipment
Kubota L48 TLB, Ford 1920 FEL, Ford 8N, SCAG Liberty Z, Gravely Pro.
Nov 14, 2019
6,052
3,874
113
Eastham, Ma
I'll retire in a year... it's gonna be a rude awaking for them, what and how I got things done. Funny part, I can not help or talk "shop" with them for 6 months or I lose my pension.

The connection with other workers is what makes things run smoothly and on time. Piss anyone of them off and things get ugly fast.
"I cannot help or talk "shop" with them for 6 months or I loose my pension"

Seems impossible to believe!
Where is that written?
 

GreensvilleJay

Well-known member

Equipment
BX23-S,57 A-C D-14,58 A-C D-14, 57 A-C D-14,tiller,cults,Millcreek 25G spreader,
Apr 2, 2019
9,431
3,836
113
Greensville,Ontario,Canada
I didn't bother telling the new kid( bosses pet) as to why it'd be a bad idea to bypass the safety circuits on the X-ray spectrometer....heck he's getting $5K more than me ( late 70s ).

bzzzzzzz. pft...POOF !!

I did get an all expenses paid,all day trip to YYZ to pickup a new, $10K tube and a couple new printed circuit boards ( as the old ones had been FRIED.....)
 
  • Haha
Reactions: 1 user

old and tired

Well-known member

Equipment
L2800 HST; 2005; R4
"I cannot help or talk "shop" with them for 6 months or I loose my pension"

Seems impossible to believe!
Where is that written?
I will now put you on my Ignore list... :ROFLMAO:🤪👏
 

Attachments

  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Mark_BX25D

Well-known member

Equipment
Bx25D
Jul 19, 2020
1,611
1,140
113
Virginia
There is a VERY REAL shortage of folks who even understand how to read the millions of lines of code which support the world banking system.

COBOL is certainly alive and well, but training is still available.
 

GeoHorn

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
M4700DT, LA1002FEL, Ferguson5-8B Compactor-Roller, 10KDumpTrailer, RTV-X900
May 18, 2018
5,370
2,824
113
Texas
Hard to believe that some of those people work for 0 dollars per year. I wonder where they get their benefits from.
Those are usually Volunteers, or Interns. My sister did this and rec’d college credit toward her political science degree. They must be listed as “employees” by law in order to meet liability/responsibility requirements and are subject to ethics codes.
 

NoJacketRequired

Active member

Equipment
B7510 & LA302 FEL & B2782 blower, B7510 & B2781 blower, B2410 & B2550 blower
May 25, 2016
415
47
28
Ottawa, Ontario
It was three years, one hour and twenty-seven minutes ago that I retired. Today my wife and I spent some time talking about what we missed about work. For me it was simple. I miss the paycheque. And NOTHING else.

My employer had been purchased by an American firm and that began the race to the bottom, the race to find the lowest common denominator in the treatment of employees. We learned that the big bosses were all-knowing and infallible, and that any advice we had, advice that came from decades of learning on the job, well, that advise we had better keep to ourselves because it was just plain wrong. If it didn't come from the high-dollar mucky-mucks from the US parent company then it wasn't worth having. My long-tenure colleagues and I would look at each other in meetings and roll our eyes, knowing the latest announcement being made or the latest "this is how we do things" lecture would end in disaster, as it invariably did. When these "big ideas" failed, they failed because we low-life salary guys didn't work hard enough to implement the bad idea. Like 60+ hour weeks represented not working hard enough.

When I left I was gentlemanly; by industry standard I should have given two week's notice of my retirement but instead, out of a sense of respect for my direct manager, I gave two month's notice. More than enough time to hire a new person to replace me and for me to train them prior to my departure. Two years after my departure the hiring requisition to replace me was still sitting on the company president's desk, unsigned.

As long as we continue to actively devalue the contributions of employees, especially long-tenure people who literally built the business, "working for a living" is going to be unrewarding, at best. As long as we devalue long-tenure employees, those folks who know how the business runs will quietly hold their hard-won knowledge to themselves. Employers who treat their long-tenure employees like liabilities that have to be shed as quickly as possible will learn, painfully and slowly, the real business value of the guy they just encouraged to walk out the door.

As for my last employer, good bye and good riddance.

Now it's time for a nice glass of wine and some homemade bread before I go out and cook steaks on the Kamado Joe. Yeah, retirement isn't such a bad gig at all!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

NCL4701

Well-known member

Equipment
L4701, T2290, WC68, grapple, BB1572 box scrape, Howes 500, 16kW IMD gen, WG24
Apr 27, 2020
2,440
3,414
113
Central Piedmont, NC
It was three years, one hour and twenty-seven minutes ago that I retired. Today my wife and I spent some time talking about what we missed about work. For me it was simple. I miss the paycheque. And NOTHING else.

My employer had been purchased by an American firm and that began the race to the bottom, the race to find the lowest common denominator in the treatment of employees. We learned that the big bosses were all-knowing and infallible, and that any advice we had, advice that came from decades of learning on the job, well, that advise we had better keep to ourselves because it was just plain wrong. If it didn't come from the high-dollar mucky-mucks from the US parent company then it wasn't worth having. My long-tenure colleagues and I would look at each other in meetings and roll our eyes, knowing the latest announcement being made or the latest "this is how we do things" lecture would end in disaster, as it invariably did. When these "big ideas" failed, they failed because we low-life salary guys didn't work hard enough to implement the bad idea. Like 60+ hour weeks represented not working hard enough.

When I left I was gentlemanly; by industry standard I should have given two week's notice of my retirement but instead, out of a sense of respect for my direct manager, I gave two month's notice. More than enough time to hire a new person to replace me and for me to train them prior to my departure. Two years after my departure the hiring requisition to replace me was still sitting on the company president's desk, unsigned.

As long as we continue to actively devalue the contributions of employees, especially long-tenure people who literally built the business, "working for a living" is going to be unrewarding, at best. As long as we devalue long-tenure employees, those folks who know how the business runs will quietly hold their hard-won knowledge to themselves. Employers who treat their long-tenure employees like liabilities that have to be shed as quickly as possible will learn, painfully and slowly, the real business value of the guy they just encouraged to walk out the door.

As for my last employer, good bye and good riddance.

Now it's time for a nice glass of wine and some homemade bread before I go out and cook steaks on the Kamado Joe. Yeah, retirement isn't such a bad gig at all!
Good thing you had the option to retire to extricate yourself from that mess.

My employer isn’t as bad as that but it ain’t exactly a picnic either. We’re going through a necessary transition that’s either taking us up or down. Not clear which yet and probably won’t be for a couple years.

With our defined benefits retirement I basically have the option to leave in 9 months if I so choose. Not sure if I’m more looking forward to retirement or just having the option to walk out whenever I feel like walking. Leaving early results in draconian reductions in benefits so I WILL make it at least 9 more months.

I feel for my co-workers who have 5 to 10 years before they have the option to leave. The new people aren’t invested to the point the can’t go elsewhere. The people with 15 to 25 years in are too invested in the retirement system to leave but still have a long way to go. It’s a great retirement benefit but we also refer to it as the “golden handcuffs”. They lock at about 15 years and you’re stuck unless you’re OK with taking a huge blow to your retirement.

Was telling a long time co-worker recently I kind of feel like when there’s a cluster of chaotic mess no one is sure exactly what to do with they pull me out of a cell, toss me into it, and get out of my way. Then when it’s over they lock me back in my cell of procedure, metrics which are about half BS, and “best practices” with instructions to shut up and not cause issues until the next crisis. My co-worker said he’d never thought of it like that, but it was spot on for at least several years.

They’ll be fine without me. I know I’m not really very important in the grand scheme of things.
 

chim

Well-known member

Equipment
L4240HSTC with FEL, Ford 1210
Jan 19, 2013
1,700
780
113
Near Lancaster, PA, USA
I was fortunate to work for a good employer. Gave them 6 months notice. Retired from a larger electrical and HVAC construction firm at the end of September 2021. Started there in 1973 as a journeyman electrician and had all sorts of opportunities and challenges. After being there for about a year, I was running electrical projects (big schools, the new county courthouse, etc.) Later I managed a fair amount of mechanical work (prisons, pharmaceuticals, hospitals) and even some GC stuff.

When I was around 60 I got tired of the driving and dealing with some of the goofy customers. Driving between one and two hours each way wasn't uncommon. Except for a brief stint near Pittsburgh in the mid-80's (I'd bet Skeets knows where Ambridge is) there was no away from home work. The position of facilities manager opened up, so I took that and spent the last dozen-ish years there managing the shops, doing some CADD and oddball tool design for our rail division, renting and buying equipment and enjoying life in general. We had fab shops for electrical, piping, some sheet metal and a little precast concrete.

As a tinkerer it was great to have all sorts of tools and materials to play with as desired. Nobody cared if I spent an afternoon here and there getting tips from our in-house weldors or whatever. I was able to take the L3200 there and use the shop (and get some assistance) for a couple months to build a cab. Heck, the company rollback even transported it.

Left on good terms, and they still take care of me if I need a little steel, some pipe, wire or tools. There's a group us retirees (five currently) who have a monthly breakfast to keep in touch with each other.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 5 users