LLPOH’s Short Story: Through Fault of Their Own

67 comments

Posted on 24th January 2013 by LLPOH in Economy

The other day, I made a statement that my experience is that people lose their jobs through “fault of their own”, and that those that say that many people lose their jobs “through no fault of their own” do not know what they are talking about. I believe that this attitude of “through no fault of their own” is reflects a major shift in the attitude of the populous – that people do not want to face reality, and that they need not be responsible for their own actions. To me it is similar to the way teachers can no longer grade papers in red pen for fear of offending the child, and that the child that finished last in the race still gets a ribbon or prize. People are afraid of acknowledging what is true – people do not lose their jobs for no reason. And those that do lose their jobs have played a significant part in the loss of their jobs.

I have literally fired thousands of employees in my career. A great many of these I firings I have done personally, and many more I was a senior decision maker. Following are some random examples of firings I have been involved in. Some of them reflect mass terminations, while others are examples of individuals being fired. I lost no sleep over any of these firings. They all occurred through the fault of the employee:

– 1700 workers who lost their high paying union jobs because they failed to acknowledge that the company was going broke and that they needed to accept a pay reduction if they wanted to keep their jobs. Only after the plant closure was announced did they come to their senses and agree to accept the cuts. But it was too late. The plant closed, all of them lost their jobs, their property values plummeted, as they lived in a small town where almost everyone owed their livelihood to the plant, and the town went into depression.

– The workers who lost their jobs because they missed too much work

– The workers who lost their jobs because they failed to return from vacation on time, “because they felt like a few more days in the sun”

– The workers that lost their jobs because they refused to obey safety regulations

– The guy I fired because he blocked my maintenance men from taping up an electrical wire that had come loose from its mooring, saying that only electricians could do that work. Government inspectors determined I had acted prudently (he reported me after he was fired), and had done the right thing.

– The guy I fired for dumping a carload of trash onto my parking lot

– The guy I fired for abusing a customer who came to pick up goods

– The guy I fired for writing obscenities on a part and then sending it off to a customer

– The guy I fired for throwing parts around in a fit of anger

– The guy I fired for dropping a very expensive piece of equipment when lifting it with a forklift. I had just told him not to do it, and to wait while I organized a proper means of lifting the equipment. He thought he knew best, and caused around $10,000 worth of damage. When asked why he had done it, he simply shrugged. I had him thrown off the property on the spot.

– The guy who took a blow torch to a $2000 bit of equipment because he couldn’t get the chuck loose, destroying the specialist equipment.

– The guy who left the valve open and drained $3000 worth of chemicals on the floor, and almost caused an EPA disaster

– The guy that went to the car race and called in sick.

– The guy I fired for climbing 20 feet up scaffolding (and so jeopardizing me personally should he have fallen and killed himself)

– The people I have fired for abusing and threatening other employees

– The guy I fired who called in sick who was actually running his own business on the side

– The myriad folks I have fired for theft

– The folks I have fired for malingering

– The people I have fired for throwing things in the plant (amazing how often this one has happened)

– The people I have fired for refusal to follow instruction, due to them “knowing better” and their methods “being better”. (If they are going to breach work procedures they best get this right, as mistakes cost me money, and if they get it wrong they get fired. If they approach me or a manager first, then they are OK – I am almost always willing to give an idea a try. )

– The lady I fired for shooting her boyfriend on my site. (I would not have really cared one way or another if she shot him of-site, as he was a cheating scum-bag, but I cannot let employees run around shooting other employees in my plant. I just can’t do it).

– The guy I fired that laid hands on me when he didn’t like his job assignment

– The guy I fired who came in and worked overtime when I told him he was not so allowed. He told me he would be in anyway (what the fuck???) as he needed the overtime and it was his right. I advised him against his decision, but he thought he knew best.

The above were all clear-cut cases of having lost their jobs through “fault of their own”, in my opinion. I have many more examples, but these are the ones that come to mind. Now let’s take a look at those times I have had to reduce the size of the workforce because of drop in sales or as a result of having to make a company viable that was losing money because of a bloated workforce. The reductions in these instances have ranged from a few persons at a time to hundreds. The argument many folks would make about these cases would be that these people lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

But I disagree. Why? Because I know how the people were chosen that lost their jobs. I chose them. And this is the criteria I used:

– Who missed the most work?
– Who is the most skilled?
– Who is the most willing to work overtime when needed?
– Who was the most likely to refuse overtime?
– Why did they refuse overtime?
– Who causes problems with other employees?
– Who is flexible when it comes to asking them to do or learn something new?
– Who is undertaking outside training to improve their skills?
– Who is argumentative when asked to do something?
– Who is happy to train other employees?
– Who reads and writes the best, and can do math?
– Who is the most cross-skilled?
– Who would be the most difficult to replace?
– Who treats the business as it is his or her own?
– Who keeps a neat work area?
– Who obeys all safety regs?
– Etc.

I actually create a matrix, where I rate each of these attributes on a scale of 1 to 5, and weight them according to the value each has to the company. For instance, cross-skilled gets a higher weighting than does who is undertaking outside training. I add up all the points for each employee, and thus create a ranking. If I have 100 people and need to reduce that number by 30, I take my ranking and count up thirty from the bottom and draw a line. Those 30 go.

Notice what I do not do? I do not go by seniority, and experience means very little to me. I care only about what the person can do for the business, and who have shown they will take care of the business.

And so there you have it – the 30 that have it lost their jobs through fault of their own. They did not compete well enough. They did not care for the business well enough. They did not train themselves well enough. They did not come to work often enough. And never have I seen a situation where all 100 were good “employees” – far from it. The thirty in this example would have been poor to marginal employees. And so when push came to shove, through “fault of their own”, they lost their jobs.

There have been a few times when people have indeed lost their jobs through no fault of their own, and I grieved over it, and regret it. And each time it was similar to this: the people were mentally or physically handicapped in some way. I have a history of trying to employ people many would think to be unemployable. I do it because I think it is right. If I have 100 people, there will be a handful of folks employed that are generally considered unemployable. So long as they are willing to give a good effort, I will try to employ them and find valuable work for them – cleaning, low skill, repetitive work, work where I can tolerate minor quality mistakes, etc. But if I need to reduce the workforce down from the 100 people, I cannot absorb the cost of employing these people because they become a greater percentage of the workforce as the size of the workforce drops. And so I am left with no alternative but to let them go in those situations. It is extremely stressful for me, as I know they will not be employed elsewhere. I try to rehire them when opportunity allows, but that has infrequently been possible. These people do lose their jobs through no fault of their own.

There are other reasons I consider that people lose their jobs through their own fault. For instance, they allow unions to destroy their companies. They vote for people that do not support their interests. They buy imported product in preference to local made – when I looked at the make-up of the vehicles driven by my employees last week, which I do often, the imported cars vastly outnumber the locally built. This all puts pressure on their companies, and causes job loss, indirectly at least, and directly at times.

When I interview people for work, even in tough economic times, the numbers that show up inappropriately dressed is appalling. The number that wants to dictate terms of employment to me is astonishing. The number that vastly overestimates their market-value is horrifying. These people remain out of work through “fault of their own”.

The idea that people lose jobs through no fault of their own is wrong, and it is dangerous, and it promotes the idea that people do not need to be responsible for their own actions and decisions. It is make-believe. People must take responsibility for themselves, and the idea that people are unemployed, or lose their jobs through “no fault of their own” serves to tell them that they are not responsible for themselves, but rather that some greater force is at play, and that there was nothing they could have done to change the situation. As I have shown above, out of the thousands of people that I have fired over the years, all but a handful controlled their own destiny. They lost their jobs through “fault of their own”, and I am not going to coddle them by saying otherwise.

67 Comments
  1. MethodMan says:

    Nice post.

    I have noticed somewhere along the line UE “insurance” went from fault to no-fault. You may have done the firing, but I bet HR gave into paying.

    When I think “no fault of their own,” I think natural disaster, and even then….

    21st January 2013 at 7:33 pm

  2. BUCKHED says:

    So no fault of their own…like the engineering folks at my company who were all fired…because it was cheaper to hire engineers in India. Damn it…if they’d have just taken a 50% pay cut they could have kept their jobs !

    21st January 2013 at 7:49 pm

  3. AWD says:

    My God, if the liberals ever heard about you, you’d be crucified. Each person is the same and all have equal rights. How dare you keep somebody who is a superior employee? People have the right to call in sick whenever they please, the have the right to screw up, abuse other employees, dress like slobs, get tattoos all over their bodies and work overtime at their convenience.

    My favorite peeve is people who lose their job “through no fault of their own” when their plant shuts down and moves to China. Yet, they drive a Toyota, shop at Wal Mart, and have a house full of imported crap. That shipped has sailed, you can’t even by made in America products anymore.

    People feel more entitled now to everything than they ever used to. I’m utterly amazed and shocked at the people who feel entitled if not superior to healthcare workers because they get free healthcare, and are therefore entitled to get whatever they want whenever they want. Our society is suffering from entitlement disease. it’s wiped out all respect for business owners, professionals, entrepreneurs, and everyone responsible for employing others. They’d just as soon spit on you as look at you.

    21st January 2013 at 7:54 pm

  4. Muck About says:

    @LLPOH:

    What a lovely post. Not a single person lost their job because of someone else’s failure (except perhaps the union example.)..

    I managed a union shop for three years and vowed I’d never do it again (and didn’t!).

    Luckily I changed jobs about every two-three years and went all over the world in the process so if I got in a really bad situation, I knew that as soon as I trained the hungriest, most talented guy I had to take my place when I left, it would only be a matter of time before the phone rang and someone would cry and whinge about how they needed a trouble shooter and away I went, leaving the hungry, talented younger fellow to shovel the shit!

    I’ve never been a “long haul” worker. I worked over 45 years in probably 35 different positions from an electronic technician to Section Head to Project Manager and every time I changed positions it was with the most wonderful feeling of “new” and “challenge” and “fresh problems to solve” or whatever you wanted to call it. When the “new” was gone and the problems solved and things went to routine, that was the time I vanished to something else and even in a new field of endeavor a half a world away.

    I gave up counting the countries I’ve worked in long before I retired and merely consider myself a citizen of the world just like I used to considered myself capable of doing “almost” anything and doing it to the best of my ability. Now I’m too old to bother but it was really fun while it lasted!

    I’ve never been laid off or fired but I have scooted out from under dip-shits of varied degree when we struck sparks (or worse) (including the president of a company!). Fortunately, in my line of work, one’s reputation precedes ones self sufficiently so that starvation is never a problem!

    May not be that way now.

    Anyhow, a good post that should be included in every tech-school curriculum.

    MA

    21st January 2013 at 8:03 pm

  5. Leobeer says:

    Buckhed,

    So what is better, being unemployed or working for low wages ?

    21st January 2013 at 8:07 pm

  6. Eddie says:

    A long long time ago, in a galaxy far away, I worked for a company you might have heard of….I won’t say their name, but their initials were/are GE. I was once headed for a low level management job with that company, but God intervened by making me run my motorcycle into a fence row…and the rest is history, as they say. (Okay, maybe it was me, just exercising my free will.)

    You remind me of the guys I worked for…who weren’t a bad lot. The world is full of people who deserve to be fired…for any number of reasons. Somebody has to do it.

    I have personally fired people for: missing work (always number one), gross incompetence (some people just can’t be trained to do anything), drug problems (a no-no in my business), and (for want of a better term) shit stirring. Shit stirring is a huge problem in health care offices, where women are in the majority. One bad apple can definitely spoil the efforts of a whole team.

    But I still maintain that in an economy where Walmart puts local businesses out of business, where a growing population competes for fewer and fewer jobs, and where formerly healthy small businesses are going belly up right and left, deserving people still get laid off for no good reason.

    Me? I was never, ever fired for no good reason. In fact, I was never fired, not even once.

    But nothing, in my opinion, brings out the best in anyone like having their own business. I wish we lived in the kind of country that this one was…once, way back when…before income tax…when any man who wanted to have a business could do so. Before OSHA, before sales tax, before unemployment tax, before all this bureaucratic red tape that makes the playing field totally unlevel for the little guy.

    21st January 2013 at 8:10 pm

  7. Davossherman says:

    I used to really disagree with you on sick time. I no longer do. Good post.

    21st January 2013 at 8:27 pm

  8. JIMSKI says:

    A year ago we fired a guy for what the industry calls a wheel off. This means after a mechanic touched the wheels during service IT CAME THE FUCK OFF THE CAR. Towed back and inspection found loose lugs leading to the wheel off. Get out.

    Unemployment found for the employee. It seems you have to have a company policy to not kill your customers AND a training program to ” proactively prevent the employee from improper actions leading to termination”.

    Well fuck me for thinking an ASE master tech might know how to rotate a set of tires.

    21st January 2013 at 8:32 pm

  9. TPC says:

    “When I interview people for work, even in tough economic times, the numbers that show up inappropriately dressed is appalling. The number that wants to dictate terms of employment to me is astonishing.”

    When I interviewed for this position I wore a suit and tie, everything neat and pressed. It didn’t fit me particularly well, but it was all I could afford and I didn’t have enough for a tailor.

    Anyways, I was THANKED for my professionalism during the interview. I thought being polite (Yes sir no sir), prompt (15 minutes early on the dot) and well dressed groomed was required to get a job these days.

    I was stunned to say the least.

    21st January 2013 at 8:39 pm

  10. LLPOH says:

    I am surprised I am ot getting crucified. I am of course with AWD and Muck and Leobeer. And half-way with Eddie. And totally in opposition to Buckhed.

    He talks about the Indian engineers being 50% cheaper. I know Indian engineers. They suck – a more pedantic, beaurocratic, soft-ass bunch of do nothing pussies there never was. So what does that tell me about the American engineers? Damn, that lot was a sorry bunch. If one US engineer isn’t worth two Indian ones, then there was something else going on.

    Walmart only exists because people buy from Walmart. The Sth Koreans can only sell cars because people buy them. People make choices every day that result in people – some times themselves, sometimes others – losing their jobs. Companies will not take jobs overseas just for tickles and giggles. You want cheap shit they are happy to supply. You do not understand buying cheap imported crap costs US jobs? Too bad for you – you made your choice when you bought the cheap shit.

    You voted Democrat, and didn’t pitch a stink when all the anti-business regs came into place to injure local business? That was a choice, too. Didn’t skill up? A choice. Won’t meet the market rates? A choice. The world is full of choices. And when people make a series and ongoing range of bad choices, well, it has repurcussions. For one, people lose work.

    Muck – always love your stuff. AWD – really well said. Leo – a man after my own heart, every post I think you have ever made.

    Eddie – I forgot to mention all of the druggies I have canned. I really don’t give them a thought. I really do disagree with you re Walmart – Walmart does no such thing. Local people put local busineses out of business by buying from Walmart. For instance, there are some mega-suppliers of tools and equipment around my factory. Where do I get my stuff? From my local supplier – t costs more, but so long as he stays open I get A grade service, they know me and I do not have to deal with every new pimply-faced kid that gets hired, and I win in the end. I need service, and I need continuity, and lower price isn’t everything. When someone buys from Walmart, they are killing a local business. Bad choices have repurcussions.

    21st January 2013 at 8:42 pm

  11. LLPOH says:

    TPC – you should just see the crap that crawls and slithers through the door, and expect that their prospects are not affected by their tats, their jeans, the metal in their faces, their stubble, their 350 pounds of blubber, or their purple fucking hair. These dipshits think that I should just ignore that, and not discriminate against them for them showing off their individuality. And they wonder why they are long-term unemployed.

    21st January 2013 at 8:45 pm

  12. LLPOH says:

    Davos – I remember our three day bloodfest fondly! Wish you were around more. Anything in particular (an experience?) change your mind?

    Jimski – isn’t that a hoot! A tradesman, with years of experience and training, must be given written instruction written to a 2nd grade reading level, complete with diagrams and photos, instructing him to tightenthe wheel nits. And it must also point out that if he doesn’t tighten them that he wil get fired (if that isn’t pointed out, he gets a do-over, because he didn’t know that it was a firable offense, and anyway, people can make mistakes). What a fucking joke. I do not believe in mistakes. I understand that mistakes happen, but, as I have said before, if one of my people make a mistake, there are consequences. Every time. No exceptions. No “it could happen to anybody”. Fuck that. I do not pay people to make mistakes. Want to fuck up, do it at home. Cost me too much money and it is all over.

    One other thing – I am a master at getting folks to quit, when it is preferable to firing them. A quiet little fireside chat is often all it takes. I have an incredible bedside manner, as I am sure you all have seen. In manufacturing, it is the strong that survive, and the weak get eaten.

    21st January 2013 at 8:53 pm

  13. LLPOH says:

    TPC – folks can learn from your example. It is the effort that counts. And the respect it shows to yourself and to the potential employer. Attaboy!

    21st January 2013 at 8:55 pm

  14. TPC says:

    @LLPOH – Thats pretty much what his reply was.

    He also mentioned pants down around knees.

    I don’t understand it.

    21st January 2013 at 8:56 pm

  15. BUCKHED says:

    Nope..LLPOH..the company admitted the Indian Engineers were lousy but there were a couple of US trained ones that could correct the mistakes when proofing prints,processes etc….they were just cheaper and the company had little restraints on what they could do to them .

    Leo…hmmm..I guess it’s better to turn our nation into a third world shithole in order to compete with the low wages in other third world shitholes….then again we’ll be there soon as the banks etc are are done with us…..so it all works out in the end .

    21st January 2013 at 9:06 pm

  16. Dave Doe says:

    I have seen people unjustly fired. It does happen – but not very frequently. Hard to say what the ratio is but 100 (Justly) to 1 (Unjustly) sounds reasonable.

    In the non-union hourly ranks, it can be pretty easy to fire somebody in a union shop but generally they deserve it. Managment doesn’t seek to get rid of good workers for no reason. Little recourse for the workers in most states (right to work – at will employment – see ya).

    In the union ranks, you can’t terminate without a reason and a first offense isn’t enough unless it rises to the standard (like theft, sleeping on the job, wreckless endagnerment). However, I have seen some ridiculous stuff excused because management didn’t want to fight the union.

    In the management ranks, things tend to get a lot more political and I’ve seen some things that just weren’t right. Nobody to backstop those decisions though. I have seen people sue and collect for wrongfull termination (more power to them if they’re wronged).

    21st January 2013 at 9:18 pm

  17. John A says:

    Interesting post and comments. Unique. Thanks, LLPOH. Just curious about your business: What product(s) does (did?) your company manufacture? You never really talked about it.

    21st January 2013 at 9:20 pm

  18. Chronic Agitator says:

    Thank you for your posts, LLOPH, I appreciate your experience and moxie.

    21st January 2013 at 9:21 pm

  19. LLPOH says:

    Buckhed – just what is your answer? Trade barriers? Fact is, the US worker is overpaid for his/her skills and talents, but wants to maintain world-leading standard of living. It ain’t gonna happen. Only the best skilled can command the best wages.

    The US has lost its advantages, and has propped up its standard of living via debt. My calcs are that the average wage needs to fall to around the mid $30k level. The current $50k level is being driven by debt. Wages will continue to fall until such time as skills set = compensation. It is not yet there. That is the truth of it. As wages begin to align with skill set, there will be a gradual increase in jobs flowing back to the US. It is starting to happen in manufacturing, albeit very slowly. Just wanting high wages is fairy tale stuff. The market will in the end dictate US wages, and it is happening.

    One intersting problem is that the more wages drop, the more welfare looks good. It is going to be a collision like nothing ever before. Wages will drop, tax take will drop, more people will want to go on welfare as why work if you can get as much on welfare, etc. And their will be enormous turmoil. The US is in a very bad way re all of this.

    21st January 2013 at 9:25 pm

  20. LLPOH says:

    I expect that inflation will be the way that US wages are brought into line the world market rate. It is happening already.

    Dave – there are folks that are unjustly fired. Asshole bosses exist, for sure and certain. Re unions – I have managed the turnaround of a number of union plants – including some especially militant ones. I never had an issue firing a union member. The union cannot prevent it in any way – they can threaten strikes, but that is it. And given the plant was in major problems, that would only result in the plant closing down. So they generally back down, if you are firing someone for good reason. If you are firing someone for bad reason, they get pretty irate. I usually have a good reason.

    John – I tend not to identify exact products, as that would likely identify my busienss. In general I supply to a range of large manufacturing companies, and supply low volume high engineering products with good barrier to entry. Medical, automotive, transport, etc are some of the industries I supply.

    Buckhed – maybe that was all there was to it. I do not base any decision soley on cost. That is a fool’s errand. Selling or buying on price is the road to hell. Quality and service are the roads to success, in my opinion. But some people are stupid, and buy on price.

    CA – moxie? I suppose. If it is there it grew out of being in charge of turnarounds. what I found is that almost every company that was going broke was doing so because they refused to make the “hard” decisions. It was easier to kowtow to unions, it was easier to hide non-productive employees than fire them, it was easier to fiddle the books than tell the truth. If you run a business as a business – that is, to make money – consistently, then it is much more likely that the business will remain viable and continue on. When emotion comes into play, and when hard decisions are ducked, the world turns to shit. No backwards steps – make every decision based on what is good for the business, and not what is easy or good for the employees. sometimes the two align, sometimes they do not.

    21st January 2013 at 9:39 pm

  21. Dave Doe says:

    The foreign worker debate is a tough one and would require a book (or books) and has.

    One thing that needs to be considered (and seldom is) are the wages versus the local currenecy strength and what it can buy. US Wages maybe high, but with the inflated dollar and the high tax load (Federal and State Combined – all taxes), the actual take home is not too far out of line in my opinion. Inflated Real Estate values play an important role in that equation despite historically low interest rates.

    Foreign workers make a lot less (on a currency adjuted basis), but generally can buy the same quality of life a US worker can after taxes in their local currency.

    Believe it or not, there are now many people who think there are better places to live than the US, especially for high skilled workers. However, I am not one of them. We have our problems, but you need to travel to Brazil, China, Europe, Russia, other shit holes with no rule of law and even less faith in government to get a true idea of what the real options are. Still, we would be smart to fix our own shit.

    21st January 2013 at 9:41 pm

  22. Dave Doe says:

    LLPOH, overall a very good article and I agree with the basic tenets.

    I just wanted to point out that some people have been unjustly fired – so you should always consider the facts. I think this supports your overall point that most people had it coming and earned it.

    Our dealing with Unions probably vary. Unions in trouble like the recent Hostess standoff are just shooting themselves in the foot. Once they destroy the business (or convince the bankruptcy court to move on), they have just screwed themselves.

    However, I dare you to try and fire a United Steel Worker or IBEW member in a reasonably successfull business without cause without a shitstorm. You better have your ducks in a row or they’ll be reinstated by the work contract without your consent (and flip you the bird while they’re at it). You have been warned :) (But, you really don’t need the warning based on your experience.).

    21st January 2013 at 9:57 pm

  23. Jmarz says:

    Great post. Thanks for sharing.

    21st January 2013 at 9:58 pm

  24. marissa says:

    @ Dave

    I’ve lived in some of those shitholes. In many ways the quality of life is better than the shithole that is the US.

    You might want to get out more often to do shithole comparisons–you would see that we are racing to the top of shitholedness very quickly.

    America, full speed ahead in the race to the bottom.

    (I will admit however, that we do have some of the best plumbing in the world. Plumbing is our greatness.)

    21st January 2013 at 10:02 pm

  25. LLPOH says:

    Dave D – I understand your point re unions. But as I have said, I never have had a problem firing union workers. I never fire anyone without cause, and I always obey the letter of the law and the contracts. I have NEVER lost a dismissal case or had anyone reinstated. Never. I fire for just cause, and I obey the law. Unions do flex muscles when businesses are profitable. However, I have never seen them stand up hard for someone who deserved to get fired. It is assholes that fire without cause that make the real problems. But some unions do some really stupid things at time – think Hostess – and there are very, very few good managers around that know how to deal with them.

    Jmarz -where you been. Good to see you around.

    21st January 2013 at 10:15 pm

  26. SSS says:

    I love LLPOH’s posts. I bet it takes a day for a liberal who reads them to decompress.

    22nd January 2013 at 1:35 am

  27. Llpoh says:

    SSS – it is kinda like what the mob hitmen say in the movies: “it is just business, nothing personal”.

    And that is really the crux of it – it is business, and it is not personal. I do what is best for the business. I try to treat people honestly and fairly, but in the end I make decisions based on what is best for the business.

    Bad employees or excess employees are bad for the business. So they are excised. It is tough on the excisee. But my loyalty and duty is to the business.

    Almost ever failing business I was sent in to save forgot that was the case, and had let other matters cloud the decisions being made. In reality, what I did was quite simple. I put the business first. And saved a number of businesses from going broke. And many, many jobs exist today that would have otherwise disappeared forever.

    To paraphrase RE, I save those I can. But they have to be worth saving – from the business’s standpoint. Otherwise, they have to go, or the ship will sink.

    22nd January 2013 at 2:08 am

  28. napari says:

    The corollary to this is I was never out of work for very long. Yes, I did collect unemployment, but only for as long as it took to find another job. I’ve never understood, and still don’t to this day the concept of not being able to find a job. I ALWAYS found one. It wasn’t always pleasant, but at least I got a job.

    22nd January 2013 at 2:52 am

  29. Leobeer says:

    Buckhed, Let’s try this concept. If the workers were paid less, then the goods would cost less to make, which should in turn sell for less which would then make the product more competitive with imports. This would mean more product gets sold and in time should boost the nation’s economy.

    I live in a third world country and certainly don’t consider it a shithole. Recently my car had a nail in one tire. I took it to the repair shop and the tire was repaired for a massive total of $2.50 US. I gave him $3 for his fine service. I am told the guy has been in business for years and he certainly didn’t look like he was suffering. Things cost less here because people work for what we consider low wages. Generally speaking there is very little unemployment and most get enough to eat.

    22nd January 2013 at 4:53 am

  30. ragman says:

    Ll: another good one. The very concept that an employee should show up on time, give 100% effort, dress appropriately for the job, treat customers with respect, &tc has become foreign to Americans. I should say a lot of Americans. Govt workers are the worst(sp). When you first started posting about your experiences, I thought you were a little harsh. No more. The laziness in this country is appalling! Look at our country and the results of this overall selfishness is readily apparent. Once again, thanks for the thought-provoking post.

    22nd January 2013 at 6:38 am

  31. Bostonbob says:

    Llpoh, Another great article. I sent this to my college aged son whom my wife and I dropped off at UMass studying his second year of Chemical Engineering. I have had lengthy discussions with him about making himself a critical component wherever he works and he will always have work. I have a brother who works at a University in North Carolina doing design build projects on campus. He has no seniority, but he has managed to keep his job while others have gotten laid off. His trick is to take on the worst most complex build outs that none of the other managers want to take on. His advantage is that he worked in the private sector and not for the University systems his whole life, so he treats each build out as such and insures that these projects come in on schedule and on budget. The other managers who have only worked at the university tend not to like him.

    22nd January 2013 at 9:54 am

  32. ThePessimisticChemist says:

    @Bostonbob – Tell your son to cross train (more than he already is….ChemE ewwwww).

    10 years ago a scientist could be “pure” in their field. Organic chemists didn’t do ChemE, Biochemists didn’t do inorganic, and none of them knew much Biology.

    China and India forever changed that. While they typically aren’t quite as good as their American counterparts (I’ve met brilliant chinese chemists and horrifyingly stupid American ones), the gap is shrinking every day. Our quality in education continues to go down, whereas theirs creeps upwards. Not only that, but they aren’t loaded with obscene student loans so can work for less than an American one. Not only that, but for a lot of scientists (less so your son) the work can just be outsourced to their cheaper labs in China/India.

    They have next to EPA/OSHA compliance issues, cheaper instruments/reagents, and the aforementioned cheaper labor.

    Cross train, and take those internships as much as possible. Working for a university professor’s research is an OK start, but its nowhere near as good as the training he would receive on the job.

    Background: I got my Biochem/MolecularBio degree in 2009, and just finished a MAS – Chemistry, which focused heavily on real world issues (inspectors, scale up, etc). All facets to my degree (bio/chem/business) were important to my success, but known were as integral as the 1.5 years I spent working for free for a contract lab.

    Millenials don’t have a shot unless we cross train, work hard (for cheap/free) and network network network.

    Good luck to your son, ChemE sucks to do but it is still the strongest degree to get out of the sciences. Its lost a little momentum, but if it doesn’t all fall apart he should have no trouble finding a good position.

    22nd January 2013 at 10:16 am

  33. ThePessimisticChemist says:

    next to no* EPA/OSHA issues.

    22nd January 2013 at 10:19 am

  34. Bostonbob says:

    TPC thank you for you advice I will forward to my son. He has had the good fortune to have a neighbor who has his Phd. in Materials Engineering take him under his wing so he has worked the last three summers (yes since he was in 11th grade) in a science lab for a international company as an intern and has had to report his work to the Vice President of R & D. A quick story, after he finished school for the year in 11th grade he thought he was going to hang out all summer and play video games. I received a torrid call from his mother, something to the effect that if I did not get home soon I would have one less child to have to feed when I got home. Needless to say when I got home, I dragged him out of the house to save his life and proceeded to take him to my office on the North Shore. In the office there were still a haf dozen people still working at 8:00 PM and as I explained to him they were still working so that our company would survive so that I could continue to have a job. I them drove him to each of our jobsites ranging from the North Shore to Cape Cod explaining to him that this work allowed us to have a house and all the neat stuff in it. I told him to be up dressed and ready for work at 5:45 the next morning he was going to have the pleasure of working with the toughest construction manager we have, and that if he was not up and dressed I would drag him out to the truck in his pajamas and leave him at the job sit for the day in them. He was up bright and early, maybe not so bright. I left him at the jobsite at 6:30 AM, with a lunch and water, I am not a complete bastard. I directed him to break off snap ties in the basement then sweep the entire house, when that house was done move to the next one. We had an inexhaustable supply of this work for a 16 year old. A snap tie is a metal rod used in the forming of foundaton, they are tough to break off. The prefered tool is a braking tool used to twist and snap them, my son did not have the strength to do this so he had the good fortune to use the 2lb hammer. At the end of each day, I woul pick him up at 6:30 PM, he would be blowing gray cement dust out of nose and fall asleep on the ride home. After two weeks he found an internship with our neighbor and was released from this wonderful job I bestowed upon him. I don not think I was unduly harsh and he learned a great lesson on what he did not want to do for a living. To this day he keeps a couple of snap ties prominently displayed in his desk next to his computer.
    Thank you,
    Bob.

    22nd January 2013 at 11:31 am

  35. ThePessimisticChemist says:

    @Bostonbob – If only more parents would focus more on preparing their child for adulthood, rather than making sure they get to be a kid as long as humanly possible.

    Mine did it by accident, you by purpose. Either way people like your son are few and fare between, and he’s lucky to have had the experience he did.

    22nd January 2013 at 12:07 pm

  36. TeresaE says:

    I just love your stories, well, life-experience-sharings, LLPOH.

    I’ve only been fired once. I totally deserved it. Had I not been fired, I would have fired myself, because I HATED that job. Funny how it worked out, I got let go with a bunch of people in a downsizing, and I got to draw unemployment for the first time ever. Win for me. They are long gone now.

    When it comes to the people I’ve fired, there was one time where the people in NO way deserved to be let go. The year was 2001, it was a start-up telecom and we lost 90% of our funding (business was not profitable, which was planned for, what wasn’t planned for was the fact the IT economy shrank by half on 1-1-2000), due to Cisco yanking it.

    I found out I was firing 75% of our company the same day I found out my mom was terminal. Due to my own mental status (grief over mom, worry over my own now unneeded job), I had tears in my eyes during the meetings telling the very people I had hired that they were being axed.

    Which meant that as far as firings go, they went smoothly. The Indianapolis manager relayed to me that he would have been screaming his ass off (he quit a job to take the management position, which didn’t last six months, he had the right to be pissed) if not for my grief.

    My favorite firing, and subsequent appeal to the unemployment agency to deny unemployment, was when I managed 13 malls/kiosks for a seasonal company. One of the malls was “mine,” (we were paid by the item sold, or min wage, our choice) and I had hired a college kid to work about 16 hours a week (I literally worked every other hour the mall was open) and trained him to be my assistant and help train the staff we would hire for the second half of Christmas.

    The weekend before Thanksgiving he was supposed to take over for the owner, close Saturday and then open (by noon) Sunday, while I went on a pre-planned weekend to Chicago.

    My pager goes off at 10:30 Sunday morning, my kiosk was not locked and it appeared half my stock had disappeared from the time the manager had last seen it on Friday (it was a non-related, adjacent kiosk where the manager & I had made friends and cross-trained each other so we could go to the bathroom without worrying about theft or lost sales). I called my boss, called the kid.

    I get back into town around 9 pm and drove directly to the little asshat’s house. I was really praying he was in the hospital, or dead.

    Nope. Mommy answered the door and preceded to scream about how “unfair” the job was, how “hard” it was, how “underpaid” her little darling was. I asked to speak to him, nope, no go.

    So, I left a note informing him that not only was he terminated, but that I would be back with the cops the next morning after I did a more thorough accounting of my stock and could prove the number of items he stole. Unless, of course, he had the balls to bring back the stolen items and apologize.

    Amazingly, he did. Also amazingly, he asked for his job back. I bit the inside of my cheek to keep from laughing in his face.

    Firing people you like sucks. Firing people that truly had no fault in their demise sucks. Firing people that have ass-screwed you already is a relief. I wonderful, beautiful, better than Xanax, relief.

    Thanks again LLPOH.

    And Muck, you sound like me except I’m not as skilled, nor world-traveled. I fix, enhance, get bored, then find another challenge. At least that has been my background. The only thing I disagree with is your comment that this should be required reading for tech schools. This should be required reading for ALL schools, starting at about the sixth grade and re-introduced annually.

    The public school teachers would never allow it. Somebody might expect them to behave that way too.

    22nd January 2013 at 1:00 pm

  37. card802 says:

    This should help the job situation

    Subject: Americans With No Abilities Act

    President Barack Obama and the Democratic Senate are considering sweeping
    legislation that will provide new benefits for many Americans. The
    Americans With No Abilities Act is being hailed as a major legislative
    goal by advocates of the millions of Americans who lack any real skills or
    ambition.

    “Roughly 50 percent of Americans do not possess the competence and drive
    necessary to carve out a meaningful role for themselves in society,” said
    California Sen. Barbara Boxer. “We can no longer stand by and allow People
    of Inability (POI) to be ridiculed and passed over. With this legislation,
    employers will no longer be able to grant special favors to a small group
    of workers, simply because they have some idea of what they are doing.”

    In a Capitol Hill press conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate
    Majority Leader Harry Reid pointed to the success of the U.S. Postal
    Service, which has a long-standing policy of providing opportunity without
    regard to performance. At the state government level, the Department of
    Motor Vehicles also has an excellent record of hiring Persons with No
    Ability (63 percent).

    Under the Americans With No Abilities Act, more than 25 million mid-level
    positions will be created, with important-sounding titles but little real
    responsibility, thus providing an illusory sense of purpose and
    performance.

    Mandatory non-performance-based raises and promotions will be given to
    guarantee upward mobility for even the most unremarkable employees. The
    legislation provides substantial tax breaks to corporations that promote a
    significant number of Persons of Inability (POI) into middle-management
    positions, and give a tax credit to small and medium-sized businesses that
    agree to hire one clueless worker for every two talented hires.

    Finally, the Americans With No Abilities Act contains tough new measures
    to make it more difficult to discriminate against the non-abled, banning,
    for example, discriminatory interview questions such as, “Do you have any
    skills or experience that relate to this job?”

    “As a non-abled person, I can’t be expected to keep up with people who
    have something going for them,” said Mary Lou Gertz, who lost her position
    as a lug-nut twister at the GM plant in Flint, Mich., due to her inability
    to remember righty tighty, lefty loosey. “This new law should be real good
    for people like me. l finally have job security.” With the passage of this
    bill, Gertz and millions of other untalented citizens will finally see a
    light at the end of the tunnel.

    Said Sen. Dick Durbin: “As a senator with no abilities, I believe the same
    privileges that elected officials enjoy ought to be extended to every
    American with no abilities. It is our duty as lawmakers to provide each
    and every American citizen, regardless of his or her inadequacy, with some
    sort of space to take up in this great nation and a good salary for doing
    so.”

    Some observers offered the opinion that we may have already kick-started
    this program by having a POI in the White House.

    22nd January 2013 at 1:27 pm

  38. Llpoh says:

    Bostonbob – nothing like a little motivation to get an internship! I tell you, I did some of the worst jobs in the world working my way through college. The summer I spent pumping shit out of interstate rest area septic tanks was particularly memorable. It wasn’t so much the work I remember but the asshole
    people laughing and making fun of us workers. I had a bad temper back then. Some of them were quite lucky. It is one reason I do not allow anyone to screw with my workers. Not from inside the company, nor out. Work is deserving of respect, no matter what kind it is. When an employee disrespects his or her own work, that is when I have a problem.

    Good stuff Teresa. Great life experience you have. The kiosk story sounds like just another day at the office when you have employees!

    Tpc – nice advice.

    Card – no kidding, I have been waiting for legislation mandating I hire the first asshat that walks through the door. Nothing would surprise me.

    22nd January 2013 at 3:05 pm

  39. Dorkus Maximus says:

    I grew up in a factory/meatpacking town. In the 70″s (probably early 80’s too) we had a lot of strikes that got pretty violent. Labor HATED management. Their houses got vandalized. Their car windows got smashed. Their children got harassed in school.

    So, surprise surprise, evil management moved the factory jobs overseas and brought in mexicans to work the packing plants. The employees who failed to speak up against the tactics of their labor bretheren are at fault for their job losses.

    22nd January 2013 at 3:57 pm

  40. AWD says:

    I’m glad I don’t have a business….

    Size_Matters_Big_Government.jpg

    22nd January 2013 at 4:19 pm

  41. IndenturedServant says:

    LLPOH,
    I’ve said it before but you sound like the perfect boss to me. An employee knows what is expected and is treated fairly. What more could an employee want?

    I had my own successful business for about four years. It was a business I could do all on my own and left plenty of time to pursue another job that paid more than my own business. Both jobs paid very well! When that ended I considered getting into business for myself but I decided to become an employee again because I could make almost as much money without all the bullshit associated with ownership/management. I have a low tolerance for bullshit. A little less money is well worth the peace and freedom that being an employee brings. Nearly every business owner I know is a slave to their business and I would be no different.

    Over the years I’ve found that employees can often create opportunities for themselves if they pay attention and work hard. Anything that makes the owners/bosses job easier will get you noticed. Like many here, I’ve never been fired and usually receive standing offers to come back anytime. I’ve quit a couple of jobs because the management and/or businesses were train wrecks.

    My friends and acquaintances think I’m nuts because I like to work. They are the ones who are nuts IMO. They hate their jobs and never get ahead but I see no point in hating something you will spend the better part of your life doing. If you have to work, you may as well enjoy it! I also see no point in pissing away everything you earn on useless shit. If you can’t keep a little for yourself, what’s the point?

    Work is easy and while it might not always be fun, a good job sure makes your time off more enjoyable.

    22nd January 2013 at 4:49 pm

  42. Bostonbob says:

    Llpoh my boss and I had a running joke about how do you punish the guy pumping out the ports-johns. I mean we always treated him well since he already had the worse job on the site. BTW one of my old bosses started one of these companies, he was a senior VP of a major Boston construction company, but atleast 1 day a week he goes out and pumps his own toilets. I have a great deal of respect for him he was an excelllent boss. My first job on the books at, at 13, was cleaning a restaurant on weekends, they often had $1.00 pitchers of beer. You can only imagine what the bathrooms looked like. Back then you could smoke, pulling cigarette butts out of the urinals before rubber gloves were ubiquitous was real fun.
    Thank you,
    Bob.

    22nd January 2013 at 4:58 pm

  43. llpoh says:

    Hey – this is the first article I can remember writing where the comments section wasn’t covered in pink. Either I am going soft in my old age or the contributors and readers are getting smarter. Unlikely I am going soft.

    hsc3733l.jpg

    BB – I have cleaned a few toilets. One job was cleaning schools during summer. The stuff I found/read in the girls bathrooms traumatized me for years. Girls are FAR more vile and nasty than boys. Boys do not know that, as they have never seen wht the girls write on bathroom walls. Boys might write “call Lisa for a good time”, but the girls describe in total detail exactly what good time Lisa will provide, complete with diagrams, names of partners, etc. They can be real little bitches.

    22nd January 2013 at 6:43 pm

  44. AKAnon, AKA government (non)drone says:

    Llpoh-Outstanding post, and follow-up comments. Not that I expected any less,To comments in general-very nice. That has been a pleasant surprise.

    I have not had the burden of doing a lot of firing. In the mineral exploration game, most projects were short duration, and the folks who didn’t work out simply were not called back for the next project. I myself was initially hired on a 2 month contract at one gig-I left 4 years later, only because the industry was tough at the time and I sold my soul to go work for the State of AK.

    Since working at the state/union, firing has been very difficult and painful, but to my surprise, not impossible. There are a bunch of hoops to jump through to minimize the likelihood of the problem coming back, but “been there, done that”, and no regrets. I don’t enjoy firing folks, even the losers, and we bend over backwards to get our “problem children” to fly right. But sometimes enough is enough, and it can be done, even in a gov’t union gig.

    22nd January 2013 at 11:31 pm

  45. Novista says:

    llpoh

    A fine job, nothing to take exception to.

    In other areas that you mention, however, I do have some experience in the “fault of your own”. Or not, as the case may be. Most times you see it coming, especially in broadcasting, less often in computers, at least from what I saw.

    So, back in the day, a small staff builds WXIX-TV and all seems to be going well, until the fire the chief engineer — actually, they just don’t want him at the station any more and would he please go to Atlanta and build that one? Yeah, we didn’t need another clue and in no time at all, most of the engineering staff left and some production people too. I typed out my resignation and two others the same day. Heh.

    That station lasted three years and they sold it at a loss. Those were the days, of course, when TV was a ‘license to steal’ and any diversification was sure to be a winner.

    Years later, did not see this one coming, just called in to be told the station is ‘restructured’ and your job no longer exists. But it turned out that one was only thinning the herd in advance of a hostile takeover they knew was coming. And a good many people were gone a few weeks later. Heh, including the mastermind who had a contract with the new company.

    A third station had succumbed to a takeover but I had already given notice when the announcement was made.

    I’d gone to a production house interview for one position and ended up being offered the chief engineer slot. Brought in a major upgrade to state-of-the art videotape (Sony) equipment and etc. Our GM goes to head office Sydney one day and we never see him again. WTF? they bring in a new GM who assures the staff that no one need worry about their job. Of course not, why worry about the foregone conclusion, and axes fall and finally the sale is announced to #1 market leader in TV commercial production.

    There is a danger coming from way down #2 to technically superior and the account execs flocking in.
    Nothing beats competition better than buying them out. I was told the owners had the audacity to ring up telling anyone to find my engineering drawings, they had some difficulty figuring things out. Well, I have always left paid for work behind, signed, just to annoy them. If someone else trashed those drawings, it was on their back, i never suggested it.

    Another one I didn’t see coming was a computer outfit, Australian head office of a U.S. company. The CEO had hired several hotshot sales engineers toward the end of the second year I was there, flew them to Boston for a sales conference. A month after they returned, they pulled the plug, somehow having got themselves into Chapter 11. Quelle surprise.

    23rd January 2013 at 2:39 am

  46. Reverse Engineer says:

    “I have literally fired thousands of employees in my career.”-llpoh

    Well Bully for You! Was that Wholesale or Retail firing? Numerically speaking, with a 5 day work week, if you fired one person every day, just to fire 1000 people would take 4 years of your working life. So clearly you fired En Masse, and you knew the personal story of everyone after careful review of the Human Resources file.

    Only on TBP can you BRAG about Firing People and get pats on the back for it.

    [mg]http://gifsoup.com/view7/3874078/vomit-1-o.gif

    RE

    23rd January 2013 at 2:55 am

  47. Reverse Engineer says:

    “I have fired literally thousands of people in my career”- llpoh

    Was that wholesale or retail firing? Numerically speaking, with a 5 day work week, if you fired one person every day it would take 4 years of your working life just to fire 1000 people. So clearly you fired en masse and knew the personal story of every worker after carefully reviewing their Human Resorces Personel files?

    Only on TBP can someone BRAG about Firing People and get pats on the back for it. UFB.

    vomit-1-o.gif

    RE

    23rd January 2013 at 3:01 am

  48. Llpoh says:

    Re – not bragging. It was what it was. They were the cause of their own termination. It was me that had the job of recognizing that their jobs were no longer in the interests of the company.

    A company exists for the owners. Employees are employed to serve the interests of the company. End of story.

    23rd January 2013 at 5:13 am

  49. Reverse Engineer says:

    “A company exists for the owners. Employees are employed to serve the interests of the company. End of story.”- llpoh

    Needless to say, I do not agree, so it is NOT EOS. ;)

    IMHO, a Company exists to serve the needs of a community an individual cannot fulfill. So a bunch of Fishermen might form a Company to Build Kayaks no one of them can build on his own, at least not so well anyhow.

    In the end, the Company exists for the benefit of its customers, those who use or need the product of the company. Those who manage the company are servants of the customers.

    Companies are Large Project things Individuals cannot do on their own. As they are necessary to do large projects, competent individuals such as yourself can be selected to manage the company for the best interest of the whole community.

    RE

    23rd January 2013 at 5:33 am

  50. Llpoh says:

    RE – I do not know what it is you describe but it is not a company. EOS.

    23rd January 2013 at 7:07 am

  51. Reverse Engineer says:

    “RE – I do not know what it is you describe but it is not a company. EOS.”-ll[poh

    Ignorance is no excuse here.

    Its the type of “company” formed in tribal societies for the purpose of creating large capital equipment such as fishing boats no individual can produce by themselves. It was the most common type of any creatd prior to the advent of the Capitalist meme. Such companies existed for millenia prior to the current monetary based system.

    It is sad that considering you have Native ancestry you are unware of such cooperative organizations. The main qustion is whether your igorance is willful or just stupidity. I suspect the former, your prose indicartes you are somewhat intelligent, so I can only conclude you willfully ignore history.

    RE

    23rd January 2013 at 8:02 am

  52. napari says:

    I thought the whole CONTEXT of this post was to provide a counter to the liberal mantra of justified entitlements “through no fault of their own”.
    This might be were its taken to a whole ‘nother level and the original CONTEXT gets lost in the melee. I hope not because a valid point was made and should not get over shadowed.

    23rd January 2013 at 8:32 am

  53. Leobeer says:

    “Those who manage the company are servants of the customers” — RE

    It’s symbiotic. A company can’t survive without customers. Customers can’t get the product (or service) unless the company is profitable enough to survive.

    I lectured my employees constantly to “not piss off the customers”. That said, there was a line that the customers couldn’t cross and most knew where it was. I had competitors and had to do it better than them and did. Not for one minute did I ever consider my business to be for the needs of the community. It wasn’t for the benefit of my employees either although they thought they were doing me a favor by coming to work. My only motivation was for profit and I did it by working hard and by being honest.

    23rd January 2013 at 9:08 am

  54. jmarz says:

    llpoh

    I’ve been real busy lately with business, new home, personal/professional development and in general, life. I’m learning the hard part of life is to find a healthy balance with business and family and everything else. This is going to be a challenge for me but hopefully, I’ll find the right balance and be content with it. I have already accepted that my drive and ambition to build something great in business in my lifetime will come at a cost and sacrifice.

    Man, your posts are awesome. It’s too bad you don’t live in Texas. I’d love to meet with you sometime and pick your brain on business related concepts, ideas, and experiences. It’s hard to find other sharp people who are really passionate about business that I can sit down with and have good business discussions. I’m trying to find a mentor but it is hard. I do meet with an extremely successful small business entrepreneur about once or twice a year but he doesn’t live in Texas and just travels here for biz from time to time so it’s hard to develop a close relationship. Most of my mentoring has come from my self application and reading massive amounts of quality content via books and online. I feel like a mentor would take me to a whole different level faster than my self application and studying of business related literature. I guess I just need to be patient.

    Anyway, I’m doing well and hope all is well with you.

    23rd January 2013 at 10:52 am

  55. Llpoh says:

    Jmarz – all the best. Ou are doing the right thing now. Do the hard yards when you are young, get skills and experience, be financially prudent, and hopefully, though there are no guarantees, when you het your forties or thereabouts the dividends will be paid. Keep your chin up – sometimes mentors find you. Thanks so much for your kind words.

    RE – seriously, we are not tribal. Not yet anyway. I know about co-ops. But you are saying that tribal co-ops are the way to go. Who is being ignorant or stupid? You are proposing dark- ages organization for the modern world. It will not work. And those co-ops are not companies. But then you know that and are being an ass. They are what you want to see replace companies. Good luck with that.

    23rd January 2013 at 2:57 pm

  56. ThePessimisticChemist says:

    This place is as good a question as any to ask this question:

    I commonly see the following statement put forward “We need Mexicans because they do jobs that Americans WONT”

    Is it that American’s won’t do the job? Or is it that we won’t hire American’s for the job because then the employer has to pay a shit ton of extra fees over the actual worth of the job?

    Lets say a job is worth $8/hr to an employer, max. Now, if they hire a legal worker then it comes out to be a lot more than just $8/hr….something like $10/hr? Anyway, by hiring an illegal worker they can get away with paying less than the maximum they would have to pay for an actual citizen.

    Maybe the problem isn’t laziness, but that we A) have too many other costs tacked on and B) minimum wage isn’t being used effectively to manage the labor pool.

    With unemployment so high, they should be lowering minimum wage not raising the damned thing.

    23rd January 2013 at 3:43 pm

  57. Novista says:

    TPC

    The anecdotal evidence from out west I’ve read is the few Americans that turn up as itineranl pickers (i.e., off the books) can’t last a day. Tomato picking just ain’t worth it to them. This was after a crackdown on illegals.

    23rd January 2013 at 8:16 pm

  58. llpoh says:

    TPC – the Mexicans will do work that the average citizenwill not, as the average citizen can collect enough welfare to survive and so is able to turn his or her nose up at picking beans. If it were a matter of work or starve, you would suddenly see all of the illegal Mexicans displaced by Americans, and they would return to their countries of origin, in my opinion.

    Fact is, most employers do not get relief from the add-on costs when hiring Mexicans, as that means they have to pay them cash, and cash is not easy to come by.

    23rd January 2013 at 8:27 pm

  59. Reverse Engineer says:

    “But you are saying that tribal co-ops are the way to go. Who is being ignorant or stupid? You are proposing dark- ages organization for the modern world. It will not work. And those co-ops are not companies. But then you know that and are being an ass. They are what you want to see replace companies. Good luck with that.”-llpoh

    Au contraire, mon ami! In fact precisely the opposite is true, the for profit capitalist model is going broke as we speak.

    Were it not for Goobermint subsidies and bailouts, the aerospace and automotive industries would have gone belly up years ago, along with all the suppliers to these companies. Similarly the construction and real estate companies also are going broke, kept floating another day only by rolling over their loans with bankster funny money.

    The days of leechfuck capitalist pigmen extracting profit from the resources of the earth and the labor of others is just about done now. I don’t seek to place the model on the “modern” world, but on the post-modern one coming down the pipe. In fact the company I started, Doomstead Diner, Inc is so designed.

    You think you can continue to extract a profit in the automotive bizness? Good Luck with that. :P

    RE

    23rd January 2013 at 8:29 pm

  60. Colma Rising says:

    It’s high time for a new pinky ring and some new $150 sunglasses….

    And some high-end hippy cigarettes.

    Waiting on my scholarship check. I think I’ll forgoe the new laptop.

    I also have some terms for employing my excellence for the Boomer boss who’s obviously milking my graces untill he can get a government check….

    24th January 2013 at 8:58 pm

  61. TeresaE says:

    TPC, great question.

    Years ago, after Clinton’s Secretary of Labor had made such a statement, some group looked into into the “truth” that illegals do jobs Americans don’t.

    The truth is, there are NO jobs that “Americans” won’t do. Every single job that illegals are being exploited for, had good percentages of Americans doing them too.

    The problem is that we “Americans” HAVE to obey American laws. If we work to support our families we have to have health insurance – or we pay cash. We have to buy our own food from the taxed and regulated grocery, we have to pay for rent in apartments that have to comply to zoning & federal law, we have to have car insurance and plates on our vehicles, we have to work under a system that automatically steals 7.65% from both ourselves and our bosses. We work under a system that has layer, upon layer, upon layer, of rules and regulations or we can’t work at all.

    The illegals have none of these problems. They live in the black market, illegal apartments, stolen goods, drug trade, prostitution, welfare fraud, emergency room doctoring. They don’t care about insurance, or legal registrations, they will just ditch the vehicle and disappear into the night. It’s a lot cheaper there. And they aren’t able to be tracked. Government forced responsibility for wrong-doing only applies to us idiots that live in the light.

    But, as usual, we miss the point. The reason that illegals get jobs has more to do with the EMPLOYERS, than the workers.

    Most businesses that employ illegals are nothing more than modern day slave holders. The Democrats continuing to encourage illegal immigration is nothing more than the equivalent of the Democrats before the Civil War screaming about profitability and costs instead of human dignity.

    Companies (slave owners) that employ illegals (slave) have unfair trade advantages over the companies that are non-slave owners. There costs are remarkably lower than their competitor whom is forced to follow the laws.

    Shocking. Not.

    What is shocking is that the average Democrat is too stupid to see the truth. Nancy freaking Pelosi’s companies have been busted numerous times for employing illegals.

    21st Century slavery is what it is. There are horror stories – nationwide – about illegals being killed while working and buried in the back forty. Companies setting up entire worlds where at the end the week the illegal owes the company money for subsistence living and 16 hour days. The horrors are documented and numerous, but the MSM refuses to bring these realities to the public. You would think that the bleeding hearts would be all over this shit. Instead, they bang the drum and want to encourage even more of it.

    Two Americas. One for the connected, one for the rest of us. Ours is shrinking.

    25th January 2013 at 9:18 am

  62. IndenturedServant says:

    RE said:
    “Au contraire, mon ami! In fact precisely the opposite is true, the for profit capitalist model is going broke as we speak.

    Were it not for Goobermint subsidies and bailouts, the aerospace and automotive industries would have gone belly up years ago, along with all the suppliers to these companies.”

    Well no shit Sherlock! But the industries you pointing out here do not participate in free market capitalism and they have not done so for quite some time! Take away the subsidies and the business models of these industries will change to fit the market.

    Take the airline industry……without subsidies they will no longer offer 19 flights daily from Denver to Vegas where each flight is 80% empty. Remove govt interference from the auto industry any and the $75/hour take home pay of UAW’s will reduce to the point of sustainability. Nine hundred color options on cars might be reduced to 20.

    The fucking govt taints and eventually destroys everything it touches.

    In free markets, employees do in fact exist to serve the interests of the business owners like llpoh said! If you hired me at your business and I came in changed everything to serve MY needs instead of the needs of your business, how fucking long will you keep me around?

    25th January 2013 at 11:33 am

  63. IndenturedServant says:

    I wanted to ad that unsubsidized businesses survive only as long as they continue to meet the needs of the customers. Subsidies simply promote living beyond ones means and that applies to business and individuals equally.

    The current so called “free market” is more like a poker game where some of the players are working together, some players are cheating individually and so are playing honestly by following all the rules. Guess who is going to get crushed first!??

    What we are witnessing is the collapse of the corrupted, subsidized market. Austerity is coming whether we do it willingly or not.

    I don’t blame llpoh one bit for finally pulling the plug. When the business or profits no longer meet the needs of the business owner, its game over.

    25th January 2013 at 11:49 am

  64. Thunderbird says:

    llpoh: Good post and good comments.

    We have become a totally government regulated economy with the largest corporations getting unfair advantage over the small corporations and companies. Homeland Security is now an added cost and impediment for business. We have too many laws to comply with. These laws have become a noose around the neck of business. All this extra cost and impediments is sucking the lifeblood out of our economy. Unions are now the target for their employment policies but the government policies are worse to deal with because their policies are written from statutes that we cannot seem to change or sunset.

    Looking at the bigger picture global corporations and banks could care less about nationalism. They put their money where it works best for them. They could care less about workers and their policies show it. Their local management only follow the directives of the people that count the beans who only look at the bottom line rather than what it takes to create a profitable bottom line.

    What I see going on is the vision is dimming because these bean counters have run out of ideas. Local employees that have sweat in the game along with good ideas are not listened to. Corporate management is becoming brain dead because their own policies are now working against them; because the economy has changed and they have no idea what to do, because these management teams have eaten their own shit (their own policies) and don’t know how to change the script. It is the same way with government.

    A good way to explain the shit happening is to look at the candy manufacturers. Years ago candy bars were made by many different companies that competed with one another. All these different companies were bought up by only a couple of corporations then quit innovation. Because they have a monopoly they don’t have to compete. Now what they do is figure out schemes to use less quality ingredients so more money can be extracted out of the customer for the stakeholders that have no sweat equity in the business other than their money. Fast food and corporate restaurants have also become this way. The airlines have become this way. Monopolies and government regulation have ruined innovation. It has also ruined the attitude of the employee. Look at the unemployment rate? One would think with unemployment this high companies can easily find quality employees. I would submit that one reason good employees are now hard to find is because of corporate policy. Corporate policy is cold. The corporate style looks at it’s employees as they and us. Much of the management have poor social skills. Because of this problem with management they ruin the sense of loyalty to the company that is needed from the employee.

    So llpoh, when it comes to getting good productive employees it is a two way street. This is sorely lacking in the corporate world. Without good employees a company is nothing but a dunghill with it’s days numbered. I expect in the days ahead many of these dunghill corporations are going to be in the news as the latest casualty of our contracting economy.

    25th January 2013 at 3:39 pm

  65. Llpoh says:

    Teresa – I think you would be surprised at how many illegals work at ” regular” jobs.

    IS – good points.

    Tbird – much of what you said I agree with. Corps act as they do because the sheeple do not make smart choices, and the corps exploit that fact. Caveat emptor. But the buyers are too stupid to beware.

    25th January 2013 at 6:38 pm

  66. TeresaE says:

    LLPOH, not shocked at all. I’m an accountant, I realize the boon the government gets when an illegal works a legal job. Which is the exact reason why the Dems refuse to back, support and market the e-verify for SS numbers.

    Illegals working legal jobs would be an easy fix. What continues to horrify me is the treatment of people in the non-regulated jobs. Just like hookers make easy murder & fraud victims, so do illegals.

    If a person breaking our laws doesn’t get his tax money “back,” I could care less, that was his choice.

    But being sold into slavery while risking everything for a better life is evil. Complete evil and I hope the Dems that believe in Heaven are given a full explanation before being judged.

    26th January 2013 at 10:59 am

  67. Thunderbird says:

    TeresaE: Many people no longer have a belief in God so they can’t see past their life; they have no conscience. Man are they in for a big surprise when they leave this world. All one can do is pity them. But it sure makes life rough for the rest to tolerate them and their evil ways. But we have to stand up to them because of the denial spirits they are, they will lay in the road in front of us and tell us to go around them.

    26th January 2013 at 12:26 pm

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