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Rules For Being an Employee

DMiller

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2010
Messages
15,049
Location
Hermann, Missouri
Occupation
Cheap "old" Geezer
Are days and times I reminisce when I was a side job contractor, made loads of money, my own boss to a point, and the day I said enough was as the powers that be were deciding that ANY half Trained Burger Flipper could do what I had been doing for less than half my charge fee. Most of them ended up selling out as could not keep up the machines and could not afford the Shop rates or hauls to those shops. The mentality is still there by these people that they can get quality for a dime on a dollar expense ticket, still failing themselves.
 

Steve Favia

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
152
Location
illinois
Occupation
Retired local 150 Operating Engineer
I was very lucky,worked for a plumbing contractor that kept trying to cheat on my fringes,finally had enough quit went on the out of work list.It was the end of the season, so I was dispatched to a large mechanical contractor that needed another operator for a couple weeks figured that would be better than nothing, that turned out to be almost 30 years,they were under the building trades agreement,instead of heavy highway,a little more an hour and all overtime was double time.With my sewer and water experience they soon supplied me with a truck and took care of all their forman plumbers fitters etc.Made up for of the crappie contractors I previously worked for thank god.
 

Dat kennels

Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2021
Messages
11
Location
Norwich Norfolk Broads
Occupation
Crostwick Kennels
Guys , remembering old times was called up to large gas refinery in Norfolk UK to machine a 42 inch gas pipe that ran at 2200 psi line pressure !
been up there for a few days when I received word third hand that the boss wanted to put the workshop dogsbody with me ( nice bloke but even he said that was way out his pay league ) by now i knew their game dip me out and replace with workshop handyman !! quickly phoned wifey and told her to unplug the phone from the wall socket the thing with UK phone outlets remove the phone socket and the phone still rings from the callers end but no no ring or phone our end ( don"t try and kid a kidder ) never took him boss was hissed still chuckling 30 years later LOL LOL LOL
 

kshansen

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2012
Messages
10,654
Location
Central New York, USA
Occupation
Retired Mechanic in Stone Quarry
The mentality is still there by these people that they can get quality for a dime on a dollar expense ticket, still failing themselves.
Like near the end of the time we were still doing our own rebuilds in the quarry shop. They wanted me to more or less bid on an engine rebuild. I quoted what I felt it would cost this included rebuilt starter, alternator, air compressor along with turbo, fuel pump and injectors. As I recall the place they sent the engine the only components they replaced or exchanged were the fuel pump and injectors!

Now if I had good records that showed some of those other components had been replaced a short time back I might have reused them. 90% of the time when we got an engine in the shop it was obvious from the build up of dirt that it had been ages since those had been replaced.
 

barrelroll

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2016
Messages
73
Location
Alaska
Occupation
Mill Mechanic
The only thing an employer owes you is a paycheck for the hours you've worked. If you expect any more you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

I've worked with a lot of people who say they've been there X years and think they are owed something. These are also some of the worst employees who really don't have anything desirable going for them to go somewhere else.
 

cuttin edge

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2014
Messages
2,449
Location
NB Canada
Occupation
Finish grader operator
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
I like this. I have been lucky enough to have a great employer. This will be the start of my 24th season with them. There have been rough patches, although sometimes self inflicted. I might be a big baby, but I need to be told I'm doing a good job now and again. It's nice to hear sometimes.
 

KSSS

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2005
Messages
3,946
Location
Idaho
Occupation
excavation
This thread is a good read for me, it makes me appreciate who I am working for. I break most of these rules and they make it worth my while. It is a small outfit and I do it all for them. I run the shop truck, lowbed, dump truck, grader, and all the other equipment as needed and am pretty good at all of it. I never have to worry about having something to keep me busy and never have to worry about getting time off when I want it. They take care of me the best they can and I take care of them as best I can. Some days it seems like too much but the next day comes and I don't mind getting up early and starting over. I take Sunday off though, that is important to me. Thanks for giving me a reminder of the real world!

That is a great post.

I partially disagreed with several of John's rules but #5 I think is the most substantial. Every business runs different and certainly there are circumstances that would make that advice sound. However, loyalty is important in any relationship from personal to professional, but it is a two way street. I view it like this, both employee and employer work on a systems of debits and credits. Each party does things that create a credit with the other, an example would be the employer gives the employee time off he may not have earned yet to attend an important personal event. That credit that the employer earned by allowing the employee to take off becomes a debit when it is used by the employee when he agrees to work OT on a day that he had something planned. Simple examples, but hopefully it conveys the point. Much like your bank account, you can only pull debits when you have earned enough credits. When both employer and employee work together for the benefit each other, you can create a great working relationship. Lack of effective communication is usually the cause of bad blood. It is the responsibility of both to communicate when things are not going right. Also it is important to communicate a job well done (employer) and showing appreciation of keeping me on when it was slow (employee). As pointed out, that is important to almost everyone, regardless of whether they admit to that or not.

Sometimes hard choices need to be made from an employer. What can appear as being disloyal, may in fact be a necessity. No different when an employee leaves for something better. It may look like a disloyal move by the employee to the employer but is just a natural move to improve your personal position.

Communication and a proven track record of loyalty and looking out for the other party, helps to prevent these types of misunderstandings.

If you find yourself working in an environment that is not loyal to you, you should look for something else. If your hiring employees that are not loyal to your operation, you should hire a replacement. Mutal loyalty is important, no relationship succeeds without it.
 

Zewnten

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2018
Messages
374
Location
Earth
The only thing an employer owes you is a paycheck for the hours you've worked. If you expect any more you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

I've worked with a lot of people who say they've been there X years and think they are owed something. These are also some of the worst employees who really don't have anything desirable going for them to go somewhere else.

Have a guy like this. Posions all the younger employees and now they're seeing every management mistake as malicious. Don't get me wrong the management of this place probably couldn't handle a lemonade stand, but some of them are trying.

Honestly I'm thinking that the new generation of people managing businesses their dad started aren't cut out for it and all they see is their share of the dividends, next year being in business be damned.
 

Shimmy1

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2014
Messages
3,736
Location
North Dakota
Are there rules for a employer as well?
Probably. But you'll never see them posted here, because if they were they'd be shredded. Most employees today either think they know better than the boss, or believe that they should be offered a chunk of the business to stay around long-term.

As KSSS said, an employee/employer relationship is a two-way street. If an employee gets to make the "rules for being an employee" then an employer should get to make the "rules for being an employer".

How about this. Instead of sitting around bitching and complaining about why each of us thinks the other side is wrong about something, let's have an honest discussion about real scenarios in the workplace that cause disagreement or resentment between the boss and the worker. Employees can go first. Maybe hearing opinions on these things from people who are in similar positions but who have zero personal connection might help each side understand things a little better.
 

John C.

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2007
Messages
12,856
Location
Northwest
Occupation
Machinery & Equipment Appraiser
I've been employee, boss and an owner. I put the original post together from the perspective of being on all sides. Where is your perspective from?
 

BigWrench55

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Messages
1,176
Location
Somewhere
There really isn't anything to discuss in my opinion. It's business...
Employer exploits labor to make money.
Employee exploits his company to make money. If neither can get the other what they want you part ways. Quit or fired whichever side of the coin you are on It's the same thing. It only gets personal with me. Is when the employer expects loyalty, dedication, and sacrifice without reciprocating.
 

DMiller

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2010
Messages
15,049
Location
Hermann, Missouri
Occupation
Cheap "old" Geezer
Worked for employers that were ruthless to employees, those that were complacent of employees, Union and Non where seems smaller is not always better nor is larger numbers or bean counter companies. Been self employed where cussing the boss was DAILY, cussed many bosses as required stupid decisions be followed argue less then shrieked when it was shown stupid as to just doing as told and not thinking but thinking for self not being allowed. All too many want it Their Way until that fails then want it done right until that costs too much, then look to cheapen the bill hiring base employees and sending the high payroll to the curb or offering next to nothing for incentives.

Is a balancing game, employer incentives SOME considerable, payrolls, employee efforts with SOME freebies, accepting issues arguing for benefit of Both from Both Sides. Can be quite a headache at times.
 

Truck Shop

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2015
Messages
13,177
Location
WWW.
Where is your perspective from?

I've owned {no employees}, employed and managed mainly. Which being in a management position
puts you in the middle. I just asked the question to see what kind of replies would pop up first.
There are unwritten rules-same as unwritten for employee.
 

aighead

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2019
Messages
2,254
Location
Dayton, OH
I'm lower middle management and I'd just love if more of my team appreciated how easy they've got it. Some do, but the work and environment is very nice. The workload is reasonable but there are folks that are quite lazy, if they show up at all.
 

John C.

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2007
Messages
12,856
Location
Northwest
Occupation
Machinery & Equipment Appraiser
As a boss or an employer in service businesses, I've found that you make lots of money from about 10% of your employees. You make some money from about 70% of the other employees and 20% cost you money. Some of those 20% are people being trained or are administrative personnel that you have to have. Usually there are 1 or 2% that are wasted. They are there because they are family, maybe required by regulation or even just someone's friend. You can't touch them. You try not to treat the 10% any better than others as that just messes with the heads of the 70%. Problem is you have to have some other way to reward them or they will leave, particularly now.

I found management to be a different kind of challenge. People problems will drive you crazy a lot faster than technical problems.
 
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