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Old 03-04-2013, 08:29 AM   #1
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Assumptions

During our careers we all make assumptions from time to time, not because we absolutely have to, but often because our previous experiences and foreknowledge lends us the ability to assume certain things will or will not occur. Case and point is my project to remove asbestos at a certain facility, within which there were some items clearly marked Does Not Contain Asbestos. We were directed to remove this material over the weekend [at premium rate] so I re-directed my crews to be there on Saturday for a few hours so we could knock this thing out and keep moving. This is where my assumption went wrong. As an employer, I try to keep a steady stream of work going so that I do not lose my core group of workers, often “buying” jobs to keep them busy when I have to. Lately, we have had steady work at Davis Bacon Wage Rate, so the guys are largely content. I assumed that since the wage would be time and a half from a base rate of $22.97 per hour would be sufficient motivation for the twelve man team to show up with bells on bright and early. That was where I went wrong. I got a call at around 8:00 Saturday morning from my superintendent who was absolutely livid, asking me [as if I fucking knew] where the hell his crew was. Out of twelve men and two Supers, I ended up with two Supers and four workers. All of them were understandably pissed off. I called around, waking up various workers, using the Mrs. Anconas phone of course, and could not believe the lame assed excuses I was hearing. One kid, barely 21 and quite new to the crew, explained that he was going to a birthday party in the early afternoon so he didn’t want to just go in for half a day. A Birthday party??? What are you……fucking twelve or something? Another told me that he hadn’t yet done his taxes and had an appointment at 10:30 so it didn’t make any sense to come in for a few hours. When I asked him why he couldn’t come in at 11:30, because since he does the 10-40 EZ it can’t possibly take more than an hour to prepare the forms, he responded with, “It’s not worth it for just a few hours”. Sincerely……he actually had the balls to say that to me. Well, I nearly erupted after calling these ‘mokes’ and hearing absolutely nothing substantial that would justify blowing off a days wage at the high rate.

Is it me or are the stereotypes bearing themselves out about American workers? Seriously folks, what the hell is going on with our country?? Here is a group of individuals, largely in their mid thirties and early forties with a few greenhorns sprinkled in, guys who for all intents and purposes have achieved the highest station in life that they will ever achieve, refusing a days worth of high paid labor out of what amounts to sheer laziness. What does it say about the state of our People when two out of three capable men refuse what for many would have been a godsend of found money? At time and a half, the wage rate works out to $34.45 per hour, and for eight hours they end up with $275.00 for one lousy day of what truly was easy work. Folks, this is more money than a lot of guys make all fucking week, yet two out of three decided they simply did not need it or want to be bothered with scraping the bed off of their lazy back on a Saturday. Again, What the Everlasting Fuck?

The men who did show up ended up working 13 1/2 hours to finish what should have been done in four with the intact crew. Their windfall will be $465.00 gross pay for one long, hard day. I will be instructing them to rub that in the noses of the workers who blew them off on Saturday, and I will further let them know that for their continuing loyalty I will be rounding the wages off to $500 per man.

I fear that we have become a nation of entitled, spoiled, arrogant brats. Many in this country have become complacent and have lost the desire to achieve more than bare subsistence. I see guys with young families who are quite content with $600 a week in take-home pay, living in their rented hovels while drifting through life vicariously through their X-box. The real tragedy is that many of these same people are educated, smart folks, some of whom have attended and graduated with a college education. Perhaps it is time to have a look around to see if there are any truly hungry souls out there, people who will be grateful for a job that pays four times the take-home pay of a fast food joint.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:44 AM   #2
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Well, they must not have needed the money that badly.

I've got a brother in law who works as an operator at a local industrial plant. We never see him during holidays because he's always working. He never passes up the holiday pay.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:47 AM   #3
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Bug,
These aren't even skilled workers, they are simply asbestos abatement workers. Most of them are paycheck to paycheck, so when we are slack for a week they mostly starve until the next check. I simply cannot wrap my brain around this phenomenon. Central Florida is a wasteland of unemployment, and here on the Space Coast it is worse than most areas with the notable exception of the south Miami/Homestead area. Again, the guys with young kids and wife are the guys who surprised me the most, since a few hundred clams is a nice little buffer for them.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:51 AM   #4
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Better you find out now about the work ethic of these guys than later. With unemployment arround 8%, there should be enough replacements waiting?
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:17 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ancona View Post:
Is it me or are the stereotypes bearing themselves out about American workers?

The men who did show up ended up working 13 1/2 hours to finish what should have been done in four with the intact crew. Their windfall will be $465.00 gross pay for one long, hard day. I will be instructing them to rub that in the noses of the workers who blew them off on Saturday, and I will further let them know that for their continuing loyalty I will be rounding the wages off to $500 per man.

I fear that we have become a nation of entitled, spoiled, arrogant brats. Many in this country have become complacent and have lost the desire to achieve more than bare subsistence. I see guys with young families who are quite content with $600 a week in take-home pay, living in their rented hovels while drifting through life vicariously through their X-box. The real tragedy is that many of these same people are educated, smart folks, some of whom have attended and graduated with a college education. Perhaps it is time to have a look around to see if there are any truly hungry souls out there, people who will be grateful for a job that pays four times the take-home pay of a fast food joint.
The bottom line is that they are simply NOT HUNGRY ENOUGH. Or to put it a different way, they are overpaid for what they do on a normal workday. Sounds crass, but that is the bottom line.

None of those excuses make sense to me. However, if I had been one of those employees, I would have refused to come in, too, BUT YOU WOULD HAVE KNOWN THAT THE DAY YOU HIRED ME and would have not made the assumption that I would show. You would have not even wasted your time calling me.

For those that did show, bumping their pay for their loyalty is great. And any time that you can, push more money and benefits their way. As for the rest, you need to start looking for replacements as someday they might cost you your livelihood.

Those with feeble excuses (birthday party???) need to wake up before they find themselves working for minimum wage somewhere. Maybe if that happened, they would wake up. As it is, they have NO clue how cruel the world around them is, although with the crap going on, they will find out soon enough the hard way.
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:23 PM   #6
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Right on Merlin.....right on! They are indeed overpaid at NASA and CCAFS. The Davis Bacon Wage Rate Act has done nothing but poison the attitudes of thousands and thousands of local workers who have become spoiled by the extreme salaries to be earned by working there rather than in the commercial world. Here in Central Florida, a track hoe operator earns 15$ an hour with no benefits. At the Space Center he earns $31.65 an hour for straight time and is guaranteed a minimum of 2 hours just for showing up.
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:20 PM   #7
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I'm just a produce clerk (15 dollars an hour). My morbidly obese co-worker has worked for this grocery for 26 years (the only job he has ever had). For the entire 26 years, he has come to work whenever he feels like it, disregarding the schedule. Whoever HIS co-worker is has to unload the truck and do the heavy work (throw bins of bag potatoes, etc.). That is usually me. I used to say something about it (you don't have much of a work ethic, maybe I should start coming to work an hour late each day, etc.) But he doesn't care; he actually had a fit one day and told me F U. He gets 20 dollars an hour; at the end of the day he sits in the break room on the clock and watches tv for an hour to make up for the hour he was late. Other than the new boss telling him he was overpaid and could easily be replaced with a minimum wage high school student, no one has ever said anything to him. I have accepted that that is the way it is. After six to seven hours I'm tired and go home. You don't get that fat by working. The only way I can reconcile it is by realizing that folks like that are not going to do very well in a collapse. And I lived in Fla. ten years. LOTS of white trash there.
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:21 PM   #8
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Wow, I always go for the extra holiday shift. In my previous job overtime meant standard pay rate, but you could charge more than the regular 40hrs, and folks were happy to get it!

Ancona, were you calling these guys on obamafone?



Go down to the local big box hardware store, lift your hand in the air. You'll have half a dozen guys show up who will work for half the pay and have it done by 11 am. No wonder some want to build a fence.
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:30 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Jay View Post:
The only way I can reconcile it is by realizing that folks like that are not going to do very well in a collapse.
They won't survive. Darwin will be laughing at them from his grave.
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