Thursday 5 November 2009

What Gives With This Generation?

It's a hard thing - working for others when you've worked in your own business for most of your life. You tend to compare.  You tend to compare a lot. You have to tell yourself  "...self, don't worry about what others are doing.  Focus on what you will be doing...what you want to achieve."

Number One son (third year apprentice fabricator) is working for a large, 24-hour-production engineering company in town. This company's finished components are rated (by themselves for quality control purposes) from one to five; - number one being of the highest quality.  Number One son began producing a grade two component, and within a week and a half of his new employment, advanced to grade one components.  His supervisor has informed him that should his performance continue, the company will consider promoting him to a 'team leader', with an offer of higher wages.

Please bare with me, as I tell you this not to brag on my son (although it is better to blow somebody else's trumpet, rather than them blowing their own) but to put a point across.

After spending the morning of one of his days off up the ladder, applying ESP to oil-based paint on the ceiling beams at the Pie Shop, my son and I sat on the front step and he was telling me of his trials at work.

"You know, ma, I always wondered what it would be like to work for somebody else and now I do, and it is no big deal.  I thought it would be hard, but the truth is, nobody does more than what they have to".

"At about two minutes to three, everybody packs up, and waits to clock out, no matter what they are working on.  There is no inclination to go further, to better themselves.  They just seem to be happy to float along, just as they are."

"It's at the point that a few of them are getting mad at me, and fights are brewing, because now that the boss can see what can be done, he is expecting the same from them, and has, in the meantime - demoted them.  They think I'm a smart-ass, when all I want to do is just go to work and do my job...."

"I don't want to talk to Dad about this, because I don't want him to think I'm bragging or doing more for my new boss than I would for him..."

Now I know that most of you who are reading this are older and wiser and will probably understand me when I say that I could have offered my son EXTENSIVE counsel as a response, but I often think that less is more and the most I could mutter was

"Speak to your Dad.  He loves you and is very proud of you.."


matron said...

You have a son to be proud of and he should be proud of himself,but i do feel sorry for his situation.I am a perfectionist rather than a clock watcher,i know how uncomfortable he feels that his ethics upset his colleagues.He deserves his promotion,it will be hard to begin with but he will get through it.Let the others clock off,a good boss notices these things,your son will go far.

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

I really feel for your son. I think it's been that way for a long time though, as I have had different jobs through the years and there have always been people who just stand around and do the bare minimum. It's too bad that he's being turned into an outcast, when all he wants to do is his job and be good at it. I hope things go well for him. It sounds like his boss already appreciates your sons work.


Ken Devine said...

Yes, that's my experience with working for others too. Your son should be proud to be different. He isn;t in the wrong here. No one ever kicks a dead dog! You obviously brought him up well. Well done!

Ken Devine said...

Wow! is it the 5th of Nov already? That's the first time I've posted a comment into the future. Speaking of the future, I forgot to say that your son definitely has a bright future.

Mrs. White said...

Helen, I know what this is like. What a situation! I have joked with our children saying (because we've mostly been self-employed for so long), that I raised my children to do ALL the work wherever they are and they have major job security because no boss would fire them. Why would he if they are the only ones working??

My husband says it this way, "They carry the show." - meaning do all the work. They are just like their Dad.

Mrs. White


 Table talk amongst our children is and always has been, -  a rabbit warren . We start off in one hole and end up in another -  quick smart....