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Rules For Being an Employee

John C.

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2007
Messages
12,872
Location
Northwest
Occupation
Machinery & Equipment Appraiser
I'm stuck at home today so was raking up fir cones in the yard and I got to thinking about all the mistakes I've made when I worked as an employee for a company. Figured I would put them in a rules list for discussion and maybe clue some of the younger people on here of what you might be looking forward to. Anyway here goes:

John’s Rules of Being an Employee
1. Always do the job you were hired for
All your leverage with an employer is earned by you doing what you are supposed to do
2. Do not cost yourself any money by doing more than you were hired for
3. Do not put your health at risk doing something for your employer
4. Never become indebted to your employer
That will give the employer leverage over you
5. Never become loyal to your employer
They will never become loyal to you
Their first priority is to the business
Your first loyalty is to you and your family
6. Always have your eyes open for a better job.
7. Never go backwards to another job.
It needs to be better to move, IE: pay, better work, better atmosphere, etc
8. Always consider the total benefits package
Pay, training, medical, dental, retirement, profit sharing, 401K, etc
9. Never stay in a caustic atmosphere
10. Never break any laws for any company
 

skyking1

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2020
Messages
7,817
Location
washington
show up for work or call if you're not going to make it. I had two no shows today, no calls. one of them I'm pretty sure what happened but the other guy I hope he's okay.
Edit:
I finally got him on the phone he's all right but is having family problems, his father's health. Right up with there with your priority John c taking care of family.
 

Coaldust

Senior Member
Joined
May 9, 2011
Messages
3,476
Location
North of the 60
Occupation
Cargo Tanks, ULSD, RUG, Methanol, LPG
Wise and thoughtful insite, John C.
#10 is why I left my last employer. I was told to perform some illegal & unethical stuff. Higher-ups/leadership need subordinates to blame stuff on and be the fall guy. Especially when it comes to regulatory stuff like OSHA, EPA, Etc.. The corporate shield prevented people from going to jail years ago, but it’s more common nowadays to see individuals charged.

I’m tempted to post links to the multiple terminal EPA clean air act violations & fines, but the world is too small. They paid the price and maybe learned a lesson. Until next time.

It’s funny that we had to attend annual ethics training and sign agreements. We had an ethics department, full time staff and hotlines to call, but bad stuff still happens at the ground level.
 

Coaldust

Senior Member
Joined
May 9, 2011
Messages
3,476
Location
North of the 60
Occupation
Cargo Tanks, ULSD, RUG, Methanol, LPG
It’s easy to say as an individual, that you will be ethical, not do illegal stuff, do the right thing, until things get complicated. Companies will toss bonuses at you, raises, promotions and make it hard to speak -up or terminate. Even when you know in the back of your head, it’s just wrong.

The Sister company of my previous employer was involved in the SS El Faro disaster. A situation where the Captain was pressured to steam into a hurricane with a POS cargo ship. Afterwards, we had multiple meetings, training, consultants, seminars to talk about and change corporate culture. So a tragedy like that would never happen again.

I don’t know if it helped, unfortunately. We still had bad things happen after the SS El Faro incident.

One of these days I’ll share the story of when a brand-new, multi-million dollar MX facility burnt down when a manager told a driver to park a leaking and loaded gasoline tanker trailer inside the building.
It’s epic.
 

funwithfuel

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2017
Messages
5,640
Location
Will county Illinois
Occupation
Mechanic
1,2&5
1 you always wanna prove your worth, it's a slippery slope.
2 falls right in with #1
5 I watched my mom put 24years and 4 monhs into a company. Started at ground level, got into production and ultimately ran fork trucks for them. When they decided to move, they're like thanks, by. I learned then, where loyalty gets ya. My entire heavy truck career was that of a gypsy whore. I got around. A lot
 

BigWrench55

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Messages
1,176
Location
Somewhere
I am teaching those exact rules to my kids now. I got really bent out of shape when I found out that my stepson excepted money from his boss. I told him don't ever take money not earned or borrow money from your boss. He didn't think that it was a big deal and didn't understand why I was pissed about it. I had to tell him that when you allow your boss to give you money. You just let him put you in his pocket. And there will come a time he will lord it over you and want you to do something for him that you ordinarily wouldn't do for cheap or at all. My son didn't believe me and thought I was out of line. Well it didn't take long before his boss started calling in his favor. It got so bad that my stepson had quit because that one small favor turned into a never-ending " remember that thing I did for you?" It never gets old hearing that you were right and how did you know. I never took money not earned, but I have seen others do it and the result of. That was all I needed to see to know better.
 

skyking1

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2020
Messages
7,817
Location
washington
I'm coasting to the retirement day, so for me, many of these excellent rules no longer apply as much. The current employer has it's warts and lumps, but they NEVER question my safety operations. Today I had a guy just step down into the deep end of a trench full of shoring, like we had been doing it for a hobby or something. I was not too kind about letting him know that my ass was on the line for keeping everyone safe and he barked back a bit, and I think he even called the home office.
Later he came back to apologize to me. I expect somebody at the office let him know in no uncertain terms that I was looking out for him.
They backed my action as I expect them to do. If they fail to do so I will be looking for my next last job.
 

Bumpsteer

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2009
Messages
1,351
Location
Front seat on the Struggle Bus
Occupation
Mechanical designer
My grandfather explained it to me when I was young.
When the boss tells you to do something, you do it. Just keep your mouth shut and do it.
Proved to be good advice more than once.
One day l was doing my mind numbing production job...de-burring, inspecicting, washing and packing 1000 Chevette water pump impellers per shift
Foreman tells me the break room windows need washing.
I washed up and headed for the break room...got the windex and went to work...general forman walks in, gets a coffee and offers me a much better position. "I didn't want to draw attention to you on the machine floor".

Ed
 

aighead

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2019
Messages
2,594
Location
Dayton, OH
Our work is generally easy paced and manageable while not being crazy robotic, for a factory. All I want is for my team to be at work and do their job. They need to bust it when it's time. If we are behind you work hard and fast, so you don't have to all the time.
 

skyking1

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2020
Messages
7,817
Location
washington
the one I'm at is a family owned shop that the father has retired several years ago and the son doesn't have many years left before he packs it in. I'm thinking maybe 10 more.
None of the kids or nephews have any interest in it so it'll probably get sold and broken up long after I'm gone.
 

Midnightmoon

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2013
Messages
445
Location
Ny
Big one for me is accepting responsibility for your actions(if you mess up fess up) and if your not at work early your late
 
Last edited:

aighead

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2019
Messages
2,594
Location
Dayton, OH
We have a lot of longevity and debatable loyalty where I'm at. I just passed my 25 year anniversary, which I never expected but it's been a decent place to work. We did change ownership to one of the most recognized brands on the planet about 15 years back and it hasn't been as good, but it's still ok.
 

dadanddaughterexcavation

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 20, 2021
Messages
103
Location
NH
Occupation
owner/ operator at Dad and daughter excavation
I'm stuck at home today so was raking up fir cones in the yard and I got to thinking about all the mistakes I've made when I worked as an employee for a company. Figured I would put them in a rules list for discussion and maybe clue some of the younger people on here of what you might be looking forward to. Anyway here goes:

John’s Rules of Being an Employee
1. Always do the job you were hired for
All your leverage with an employer is earned by you doing what you are supposed to do
2. Do not cost yourself any money by doing more than you were hired for
3. Do not put your health at risk doing something for your employer
4. Never become indebted to your employer
That will give the employer leverage over you
5. Never become loyal to your employer
They will never become loyal to you
Their first priority is to the business
Your first loyalty is to you and your family
6. Always have your eyes open for a better job.
7. Never go backwards to another job.
It needs to be better to move, IE: pay, better work, better atmosphere, etc
8. Always consider the total benefits package
Pay, training, medical, dental, retirement, profit sharing, 401K, etc
9. Never stay in a caustic atmosphere
10. Never break any laws for any company
it took me a long time to learn rule 5. I love the list and I bet it will at least get the younger guys thinking!!!!
 

kshansen

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2012
Messages
11,225
Location
Central New York, USA
Occupation
Retired Mechanic in Stone Quarry
There are employers you can be loyal to. If you find one, and you're happy, drop anchor. My favorite contractor has operators that have been working for him for 15-20 years. Another bigger outfit i worked with had guys that were 40 year employees. Both are great companies.
I guess I'm one of those 40 year guys, actually first day at the place was June of 1968, retired April of 2015.

Just wish the company was the same when I retired as it was when I was first hired. Guess I should not complain too much as at one point the shop building had in the neighborhood of 25 people working in it or for it. That same building when I retired had just one, me!
 

John C.

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2007
Messages
12,872
Location
Northwest
Occupation
Machinery & Equipment Appraiser
That same building when I retired had just one, me!

I see that as you were the best of the lot, the most tolerant or the right combination of both. The key question I have is looking back, do you think you might have done better moving on before you were the only one left?
 
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