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The grouchy old mechanic

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Twister, May 11, 2019.

  1. Twister

    Twister Member

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    Occupation:
    Field Mech.
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    Mid central
    Well when I was younger, I told myself I do not want to be this guy. I'm 51 now, and dealing with the younger guys that operate the equipment at work, I'm well on my way of becoming one. This mainly stems from, them having total lack of common sense & not much will to want to check things out, when they have an issue with a machine. I'm talking about the easy stuff that you can see with your eyes. IS this just me, not being patient enough? I've have been told by other co-workers that at times, I can be a a$$. I sure don't want to be, but when you just don't use your head, I'll be the first to let you know it.
     
    Camshawn, td25c, Buddy and 1 other person like this.
  2. willie59

    willie59 Super Moderator

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    Your post implicates that there was an "a$$" in your youth that you pleaded to yourself not to be, but that a$$ has now influenced you in you later years. That's how it works. Don't fret being labeled as an a$$ by your young counterparts, but rather, be consistent, be real, be honest, teach the real lessons of do's and don't(s) with the craft, just don't be an a$$ doing it. Yes, you'll be considered an a$$ by the youth, but they'll get it one day...just like you did. Carry on.
     
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  3. Ct Farmer

    Ct Farmer Well-Known Member

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    My family invented being grouchy and old. Seriously we are born with it. I have a newspaper clipping describing my great-great grandfather as "being of poor disposition".

    However, we have all been very hard, thorough workers that did whatever it took to pay the bills and provide. Calling out those that appear to be slackers is a common trait. I try to help the new guys and give them some wisdom but when they repeatedly make the same mistakes or leave work for others to do all bets are off. I have little or no use for them. Forever.

    Some guys take your knowledge as an asset others view it as useless. I know I've learned more from those that have been there and done that then from anything else.

    Just my 2 cents - don,t risk losing a good job because of a slacker - let them lose theirs.
     
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  4. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

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    Always tell yourself when you get into something like this that you get paid by the hour (or however) and these problems are job security for you.

    What gets us all crossways is when we know there is more pleasant/more important work we could be doing than the job we are stuck with now. Just take each job as it comes. If the boss doesn't understand this then you might have to walk, if he does understand it then you are in good shape.
     
  5. Twister

    Twister Member

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    Occupation:
    Field Mech.
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    Mid central
    Thanks to all you guys for your excellent replies! It lets me know I'm on the right track & that I do need to work on being more patient too. Again thanks to all.
     
    old-iron-habit, funwithfuel and td25c like this.
  6. Mother Deuce

    Mother Deuce Senior Member

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    New England
    I work with a grouchy old mechanic.. he is a little older than I and has spun wrenches his whole career. When I first went to work with him I was running our 333 Deere. I pulled the stick and it had probably a gallon to much oil in it. We were working on a public water supply so dumping a little without a catch pan wasn't happening. Grumpy showed up and sang to me awhile about road calls and time out of the shop. He did give me credit for not running it however and calling him. I am at times not the Queen of Good Nature myself and my tenure in our happy little fraternity make me prone to be the grouchy old operator sometimes. As we were nearly done entertaining each other with our levels of grumpyness he cracked a smile. I realized that he wears his grumpy like overalls. So do I. We are great friends now and I just call him when I have something wrong now... tell him what I think it is and he tells me what he thinks it and how to fix it. The following morning (for simple stuff) at about 0400 I will pick up the parts and install them before we start. Gets us going and the shop keeps rolling. I pretty much love my grumpy mechanic and I wouldn't have it any other way.
     
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  7. thepumpguysc

    thepumpguysc Senior Member

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    Occupation:
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    Location:
    Sunny South Carolina
    Once u get that label.. U always have that label.. ask me how I know..
    I tried to change once & it didn't stick.. & all I heard was.."how come your not being an a-hole"??
    Is VERY HARD to be kind when your at the top of your game & u see the same people w/ the same problems day after day.. & u give them the same answers to fix said problem, day after day..
    I said.. I get paid to do a job, what do u get paid to do.?? IF its fixing a machine, why are u asking ME..??
    The job was given TO YOU, NOT ME.. & the foreman is right where u left him, sitting on his azz in the office.. go talk to him..
    I had this 1 guy who couldn't get a bolt started.. THIS happened on EVERY JOB.. no kidding..
    & he would walk around FOR DAYS until he got someone to screw the bolt in for him..
    I asked him once, WHO took it out.?? He said, ME.. I said, if u took it out, it mus'.nt be THAT HARD to get it back in.?? Well, it "musta been" cuz he walked around for DAYS until someone did it..
    When EVER someone talks about me theres ALWAYS A "BUT".. They'll sing my praises till the sun goes down.. BUT.. he's an azzhole.!!
    Don't ask me a question u don't wanna hear the answer too.!!! Do u think I can rebuild this pump>>
    NO, your an idiot..!! Lol
     
  8. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

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    I decided years ago worrying about what others thought was a total waste of time. The older you get you naturally loose patients especially when you've been around the block a time or two.
    Just remember with young mechanics, operators or what ever {you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink}. Plus this day and age it's easy to be labeled an a$$hole because
    everyone is so damn sensitive. I believe everyone should have spent 1 year of boot camp with R. Lee Ermey.
     
  9. funwithfuel

    funwithfuel Senior Member

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    58a0fb084bccf_Goofbolts.thumb.jpg.d4de4291a5a0b57aa59471331671a757.jpg

    You know, if you guys stocked the right fasteners, he might not have had that problem.
     
  10. funwithfuel

    funwithfuel Senior Member

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    The older I get, the more I dislike people and love my wife and dogs. There's days where I feel if hate was equal to population, I'd be China and India all rolled into one.
     
  11. grandpa

    grandpa Senior Member

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    This year will mark 74 years of business in a sand/gravel/construction business that my father started when he returned from WW2. I learned from him. I learned there was the right way, the wrong way, and the old mans way. That said, I've since trained two sons in the business. Now this year a 14 yr old grandson will take his place in my training program (He will be feeding a big screening plant}. I am looking forward to this as soon as school releases. As problems arise through out the summer I will teach him to address the problems and will take the time to explain why it happened. We will learn about each other and I am sure by the end of summer he will be happy to go back to school. I am also sure the good and the bad will stay with him the rest of his life. When this kid was 5 he was in the shop with me and took a ball peen hammer and hit a front axle cover and breaking it. I got out the tools and a stool and told him to fix it he broke it... well we had a hell of a round. Between the tears and the grease we finally got a new one installed. Ever since that day he's called me the grumpy grandpa...lol. By fall I maybe the A$$hole grandpa...... time will tell.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
  12. Tinkerer

    Tinkerer Senior Member

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    I worked alongside many a**holes through the years. Some of them were foremen. Very few of my co-workers wanted to be around them or work for them. The foreman that were the jerks got a lot less production compared to the decent ones.
    I told co-workers hundreds of times "Just be cause he is having a bad day don't let him make your day a bad one "
    I cannot imagine spending my life in the frame of mind they had.
     
  13. Twister

    Twister Member

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    To me, part of our issues with young people today begins at our school systems. They teach kids on what to think, NOT how to think.
     
  14. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    All of us can be aggravated and maybe become a bit harsh in any type of situation. My dad was part of the WWII generation that basically saved the free world. Both he and my mother wanted their kids to be the best that they could be and if that meant a gruff voice that was a little louder or maybe a crack in the back of the head when you didn't apply your self to something, then that was the price of being a parent. When I started my money earning life in the berry fields with the Japanese farmers who lived through the displacement of WWII I noticed a complete difference in communication skills and attitudes. It was many years later that I learned of their life histories and I'm always still in wonderment how they could talk to preteens and teenagers about something that wasn't done right or that they needed to have done differently. Never raised their voices, never said a mean word or put down anyone. The conversation was about teaching and training and not about put downs or bad feelings.
    I understand the methods of the WWII generation because you had to learn quickly and get things right the first time as in many cases it meant people's lives later on. You learn the teaching skills of a drill instructor. I've been in the military and know how effective those training methods can be, but at the same time I look back at those Japanese farmers and understand that maybe there are better ways to increase understanding or provide motivation. I try pick my times to be harsh now. Sometimes in the heat of the moment I become the dragon that people don't want to be around. But at the same time most people recognize that my motivations are from experience of making the same mistake.
     
  15. RZucker

    RZucker Senior Member

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    I'm grouchy and have a short fuse too. But I have learned if you don't intimidate operators/drivers too much, they are more likely to report small problems before they are major issues. Sometimes they will actually fess up to making a mistake too.
     
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  16. petepilot

    petepilot Senior Member

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    most of what is called teachers can`t think themselves
     
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  17. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

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    I hear you there. I live in a town that has gone wine-o nuts. 130 some wineries, on wine tasting weekends here comes the snobs. Most privet jets I've counted at the airport on a weekend {14}
    carrying a full load of attitude. Funny how people get wound up over a bottle of {Who Hit John}.
     
  18. Twister

    Twister Member

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    Wow thanks to all that took the time to write about their experiences & thoughts. It really has had a calming effect on my nerves. Has opened my mind back up a bit. I know I do have it in me to be patient. As one experience I've had with a young man that became my helper, right out of high school. The owner of the Co. Called me and said he has a young man he wanted to help by giving him a job, he asked if I could use him, I said sure. Things went good, he was good help. Then when 6 months or so went by, he would open up his paycheck while we were heading to a job, usually on every Friday, then would grunt and carry on to himself. I finally had to ask what was wrong? He told me that his pay wasn't enough, and that he should be making what I was making, beings he was doing the same work I was doing. I didn't say a word. I did think to myself, wow how disrespectful towards the owner / boss, that went out of his way, and made a position in the Co. Just for him. Then the moment finally came, we were called to work on a pc300. We get to the machine I get the truck stopped, he bails out comes over to my door and was waiting. I swing open my door and handed him the service manual for that machine, and said here you will need this. He asked what's this for? I told him if he wants to make what I make, then he should be able to go to the structure & function part in the manual. Go into the throttle control, read how & what's involved in that system to make it work, as this is the complaint of the operator has. Then being up to speed in your mind on what it takes to make the throttle work, then you can make a logical decision on where to start looking / and or testing to find the problem. It was at that moment that it all came to him, kind of like him holding a empty plate, and I was there to dish him a heaping plate full of re-ality. He said I can't do that, as he handed the book back to me. I said all of this with a cool calm tone, not condescending in any way. He realized this mechanic work was way more, than just turning bolts,nuts& screws. Not to mention, No more grunting about his paycheck.
     
  19. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    Last edited: May 12, 2019
  20. AzIron

    AzIron Senior Member

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    If your approach is always calm but clear cut there is nothing jackassly about it

    I am still on the younger side of the crowd so I have not been worn out by new kids the way some of the older guys have but I get the point a lot of young guys out grow there britches they kinda need put back into there place

    I worked with 2 guys in a truck shop they were awesome to learn from if you wanted to learn apply yourself and follow the rules if you didn't want to learn then stay in your lane cause they would watch the bus mow you over and then have a good laugh