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Quitting time, getting burned out

Discussion in 'Personnel' started by 390eric, May 10, 2015.

  1. 390eric

    390eric Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    274
    Location:
    pittsburgh PA
    Well guess this a little rant and seeing how your company does things. Here is a little background on me. I do mostly site work, bulk dirt moving. Been with the company almost 9 years coming up in June. I started with a shovel in a ditch, just was given a brand new kobelco 485 excavator. I'm our main operater for loading trucks. I'm good not the best, probably better than I give myself credit for. I come to work everyday on time and stay till I'm told to go home take care of the equipment clean greased everyday. Not a scratch on my hoe and trying to make sure it stays that way. I take pride in my work and try to improve everyday. I ran my first job last summer. Got done wasn't the best but a lot of that was due to the company having too much work and spread too thin. The owners son is my main boss. We never know when we are going home it bugs me. Might work ten hours might work 11 or 12 or till the cops show up for noise ordinance. I don't really have a problem with it but it would be nice to know sometimes to plan things. You ask in the morning how late and he treats you like crap. Just trying to plan my personal life. Not asking to leave early just want to know so I plan. I work 6 to 7 days week usually. I'm single got my own place so I need to take care of it. Just hard to find energy to do laundry sometimes. I love my job but guess just getting burned out there. Well to get to my point of this was wondering how a lot of the places you guys work operate with quitting time and stuff like getting paid to clean tracks and grease. Seems like he has been skimming time off of us for that too lately. And I also know that what we do is very weather dependent. I get you gotta make hay when the sun is shining.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2015
  2. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Messages:
    9,240
    Occupation:
    Running what I brung and taking what I win
    Location:
    Alabama
    Well this is the way I run my small outfit.

    Maintenance, cleaning tracks and greasing are all on the clock, part of doing business.

    I try to give my guys 40-50 hours a week, I know the overtime is important to their bottom line and the company's, through production.

    I don't like to work saturdays but we do if we need to catch up because of weather or just behind on the job in general. I haven't worked a sunday in many years and refuse too. What little you gain in production on a sunday will be eaten up the following week through physical exhaustion and brain drain. Just my opinion.

    As far as scheduling goes, I communicate with my guys and let them know the schedule for the job we're on and what we have coming up. I talk to them and let them know when we need to be balls to the wall or just production as normal.

    When someone needs off for vacation or personal time that's OK as we all need it, just let me know in advance not the day before. That's something I won't put up with - lack of prior notification for a scheduled time off. Now emergencies happen and one has to go when they arise, that's not a problem. It's the "Oh yeah I'm not going to be here tomorrow or the next few days because of "whatever not an emergency sort of thing", right at quitting time the day before.

    Just my $.02.
     
  3. 544D10

    544D10 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Messages:
    166
    Occupation:
    Lucas & Mercier Construction Co.
    Location:
    Oceanside, CA
    I'll work 8 to 10 hour days but it's totally up to me as the bosses leave after their 8 hours.

    All maintenance is done on their time.

    As far as getting burned out... I'm sitting on a patio on the beach in Maui and have one more week here...
     
  4. 390eric

    390eric Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    274
    Location:
    pittsburgh PA
    That is something I don't get in this industry. All you hear is safety safety safety. But how is it safe when the guy in the machine is on his 14th straight day of 12 hours shift. Plus your travel time to and from work. And the guy in the ditch is died tired. How is that safe? Truck drivers are only allowed so many hours on the road for that reason. I have seen guys fall asleep in the machine. I had the one fall asleep while setting a manhole. I don't understand. The most important thing to safety is a clear mind and good rest and it's the one most overlooked
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  5. 544D10

    544D10 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Messages:
    166
    Occupation:
    Lucas & Mercier Construction Co.
    Location:
    Oceanside, CA
    Safety is preached and drilled constantly at work but bottom line is it's a business and they don't make money if work doesn't get done ahead of schedule and correctly.

    I like the saying: Safety costs money, how safe do you want to be?

    My company spends tens of thousands every year and scaffold and other PPE such as hard hats, ear plugs, safety glasses, gloves, masks, cleaners, ect.
     
  6. qball

    qball Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Messages:
    1,072
    Occupation:
    local 150 operator
    Location:
    il
    After 25 years doing this, I don't put up with much.... If you can't tell me how many hours I'm working, I'm going home at 8.5hrs. Hate working Saturdays... I pretty much won't work more than a 10 hr day except for the occasional emergency. Work to live, don't live to work.
     
  7. kshansen

    kshansen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Messages:
    7,996
    Occupation:
    Retired Mechanic in Stone Quarry
    Location:
    Central New York, USA
    Well it looks like very big companies and many of the smaller ones like 390eric works for are the same.

    They look at people just like their machines, want them to work when they need them than don't give a hoot about them when not needed.

    Where I just retired from they are a major international company and just this year they decided that they needed to install time clock in the quarry. Used to be equipment operators would come in and start their machines up on a cold morning and then hang around the shop till start up time. Now as they have to punch in everyone crowds into the lunch room where time clock is located and waits to punch in. Then at night same thing as there is only a 2 minute window on either side of quitting time to punch out everyone has to be there waiting for the clock.

    Then there is the guy who lives less than a half mile from the quarry gate, they decided they need him to work at another plant about 30 miles away. They are providing him with a company truck to travel to the other location but will not allow him to take the truck home at night. He has to get in his own truck, drive less than 1/2 a mile to the shop then get in the company truck to go to the other plant. His driveway is only a matter of 20 feet from the company property line but truck has to be on company property at night!

    As I said I retired, 4/23/15 and just today was told I "probably" won't see paperwork about health insurance offer in retirement till end of May. This is after being told it would be mailed out the week after I retired. So I have no idea if I still have insurance through the company or not. And to rub salt into the wound they keep referring to my retirement date as my "termination" date. After 45 years one would like a little nicer term used for their last day on the job!
     
  8. buckfever

    buckfever Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2010
    Messages:
    813
    Location:
    southwest pa
    We work 5 10's and Saturdays are 8 hours. We don't expect our guys to work off the clock but do want you there ready to go to work at 7:00 not getting out of your car and grabbing your lunch box at 7:03 ( just a little petpeeve of mine). Like CM said Sunday's are always off just because of the stress that we all go through during the week you need one day to decompress.

    My crew will work from sun up till sun down if we need to but I always try to give them a heads up if it's going to be a long day. I know where your boss is coming from a little. He has a deadline to meet and is willing to do whatever it takes to get it done on time he just has to be reminded that while it is his name on the side of the equipment and his responsibility to get it done not yours. Running you guys into the ground just makes for a unsafe and less enjoyable work atmosphere. Working with a crew that is burned out and miserable sucks.
     
  9. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Messages:
    5,251
    Location:
    indiana
    Yeah , Keep up the good work 390erik.

    To put things in perspective you need to first realize how good you have it now ........ Single young feller working your but off . Hell ... That's the easy part .

    Get hooked up with a nice girl & have several kids . Then if you still don't like your job go out & start your own business .

    After a few years all you will want to do is work on the job site till dark . LOL! :D
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2015
  10. movindirt

    movindirt Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2013
    Messages:
    671
    Location:
    under a shady tree
    During the summer I usually work 60-70 hours, 6 days a week. Haven't had many people complain about noise, right now with the rain pattern we are in, its raining 2 days a week, gotta work long the other 4 days or everything will fall behind pretty fast.
     
  11. dirtfan

    dirtfan Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2010
    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    Southern Ohio
    I have been supervising earthwork crews for over 25 years and operated equipment for 15 years before that. What I have learned over the years is that people need time off to rest and recharge. In the Midwest, summer time is production time, when the weather is bad everyone is at home "rocking", a normal work week is 10 hours for 5 days, with 8 on Saturday when the schedule requires it, with Sundays off. There may be an occasional late night when rain is coming and you have to get a fill up or an undercut filled, but that is the exception rather that the rule. When someone needs off for whatever (Dr's app, personal business), just let me know a couple of days ahead of time.

    I have tried the 12 hour shift thing, it works for a couple of days but after 2 or 3 days in a row, everyone gets tired and grumpy and makes things unpleasant for the whole crew, and safety becomes an issue when people are tired also. When everyone is tired and worn out the stops for porta-potty and water breaks become more frequent, the production per hour worked goes down, even the best and most dedicated operators will fall into this after several days of 12+ hours per day. So my experience is, keep everyone rested and on a decent schedule, and the employee as well as the company will be better off.

    If you are in the southwest (desert regions) the weather may not be such a problem and a more "normal" year 'round work schedule may be the answer?????

    Had a company owner say one time that, ""if the people don't make any money then the company won't make any money, but everyone needs a day off now and then"".
     
  12. Old Junk Man

    Old Junk Man Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    119
    Occupation:
    retired
    Location:
    11143Hwy 90 West Pocahontas Arkansas 72455
    Best Job I was ever on the operators worked 4 ten hour days. Usually had a three day weekend unless it rained out. them we worked Friday. And the crew where happy and got as much done in 40 hours as if they worked 60. the mechanics had to work if something was broken or needed maintence. Nobody quit. Everyone showed up on time and very few accidents or breakdowns. Working for folks who hire relatives is the worst. You usually wind up with too many bosses. If you are drug free and have any smarts. Drive truck. Over the road is great for single guys. Local jobs for county and city drivers are pretty good and usually have good benefits. Operating equiptment is fun at first. It becomes boring after a short time. that equiptment will wear out your knees, back and arms in twenty years. If your not happy after 9 years what are you staying for. You not advancing just getting older.
     
  13. oldtanker

    oldtanker Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    Messages:
    454
    Occupation:
    Ret
    Location:
    vining mn
    Not being a boss nor an employee I'm going to offer an observation anyway! Even the military has gone to "predictable duty hours". Before that started we did physical raining at 6AM then worked to "end of mission". Most often 5:30 PM or so. Thing of it was last formation was supposed to be at 5PM. So everyone was standing around waiting for the 1SG to hold that formation. Then you have to stand there and listen to him talk. The later consistent quitting time was the lower moral was in the unit, AWOL's and booze related incidents went up. If a vehicle was not operational ready and parts came in you worked until that piece of equipment was off the dead line report. Didn't matter that even if the balloon went up we'd have days if not weeks before we could even thing about rail loading our tanks if we were even taking them with us. When peoples attitudes go down problems come up. I think it's counter productive. In 94 they started with predictable duty hours. If we were supposed to get off at 5PM that meant OFF, not standing in formation. Made one heck of a difference.

    So if you are that unhappy it's time to look for a new job.

    Rick
     
  14. RonG

    RonG Charter Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Messages:
    1,833
    Occupation:
    heavy equipment operator
    Location:
    Meriden ct
    I worked for a company for a few years who was very nice about paying for overtime.They allowed me to save it up for a rainy day and use it as straight time toward my 40 hours if I lost a day because of bad weather.I usually worked alone and kept my own time.I used my own truck and went straight to the job site in the morning after calling in in case something had changed or I needed to move some equipment or had to get a fuel delivery for example.
    I did have a company gas card and they bought my gas.
    I like working alone when I can,I like doing site work,the job super will bring me a print and I'm off.Unfortunately the company folded soon after I left.Maybe it was time.Ron G
     
  15. mikebramel

    mikebramel Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,598
    Location:
    milwaukee
    The Human Resources department is all about utilizing your resources as a human..........
     
  16. Oxbow

    Oxbow Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Messages:
    859
    Location:
    Idaho
    390eric, are you still working for the same outfit?
     
  17. 390eric

    390eric Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    274
    Location:
    pittsburgh PA
    Oxbow, I am not with them anymore. I left the end of August. My goal has always been to get in with a minicipality or a utility company. I have a great friend who is high up in human resources at the biggest natural gas company in PA. Well now I'm an operator for them. I miss running the big toys and doing site work, but I love my new job, the benefits the opportunities to advance and well the pay is pretty good too. I'm a different person, I enjoy work a whole lot more and enjoy my life a whole lot more. I'm happy with the decision and the chance I got. I keep in touch with a lot of the guys I used to work with. Sounds like the old company is going to hell. Moral is pretty bad and I know a lot of guy are looking for work elsewhere. Think I left at a pretty good time.
     
  18. Oxbow

    Oxbow Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Messages:
    859
    Location:
    Idaho
    Congratulations on the new job Eric, it sounds like a great one!
     
  19. 390eric

    390eric Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    274
    Location:
    pittsburgh PA
    Thank you oxbow. It is and it's nice learning new things. I never really did much gasline work.