Jobs?, Not In This Country

The seal of the United States Department of Labor

The seal of the United States Department of Labor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


OK, I know you think that the reason so many jobs have gone to Mexico and Asia is because of American wages, and there is truth in that. But, and it’s a big but, it’s not the whole reason, often it’s not even the primary reason. We’re going to talk about that today. I’m going to start with a story from a guy who lost his job Monday. I’ll tell you right now that with my experience, it rings absolutely true to me, I’ve seen it at least dozens if not hundreds of times. Nor am I going to apologize for his language, he speaks as what he is, a good, hard-working American.

Monday was a long day in what turned out to be my last day of employment at my job. Unfortunately, I can’t lay the blame for this particular development at Obama’s feet, but rather, I fault my own increasingly intolerant disposition towards this dysfunctional trend of eroding integrity and intelligence so many in our Country seem content to spiral down into. So much seems so ass backwards anymore since the days when I viewed the world through the eyes of a much younger, more selfishly self-indulgent, and ignorant me. Before, things that would have been deemed unacceptable in a work setting and gotten your ass shown to the door, now are accepted. For whatever reasons, be they a base apathy or basic fear of possible litigated reprisals for whatever perceived slights or discrimination, real or imagined. Just more of the subliminal intended consequences of political correctness basically as far as I’m concerned. Maddening!

I refer to my job. But it’s not the job itself (I enjoyed my work), so much as a lot of the people around me I could do without. I tried keeping to myself in my area where I worked for a Cabinet and door manufacturing company. I would show up about 45 minutes to an hour early before start time each day, setting up (off the clock and on my own time) to prep my machine for dying cabinet doors, panels, and frames a variety of colors using only two colors of dye kept in their own respective 30 gallon tanks, which I would fill up each morning before beginning. These colors were brown and purple. With brown dye I would color some cabinet pieces either Chestnut or Mocha depending on the order. With the purple dye, it would be either Brandy or Burgundy. To achieve the desired color scheme depended on the speed of my run line and the number of coats each side of the cabinet piece required. At what had previously been considered a 2 man job before I was hired, I had been doing now by myself for the better part of the last 4 months. There’s a lot more to it (the poor ventilation of fumes and persistent rattle in my chest I’d developed in the past couple of months not withstanding), but I’m getting off the beaten path of my intended narrative here, so allow me to refer back to my previous statement when I said how a lot of the people at my job I could do without, and the whole point of this commentary to begin with…

Continue reading Like A Festering Boil On The Ass Of America, Obama Frustrates These Days Of Our Lives! | The D.C. Clothesline. I’ll wait for you.

I do a certain amount of woodworking myself, it’s one of my hobbies. One of the first things you learn is to keep the work area clean when you’re finishing wood, it’ll screw up the finish in no time.

What happened here is that the company lost a good dependable employee because they wouldn’t enforce work rules on a woman. And as long as they have that attitude (and it’s pretty much enshrined in Labor Law) they’ll continue to go downhill and eventually close because they’ll find it increasingly difficult to find competent people.

Gresham’s Labor Law: Bad employees drive out good, every time

That’s one way we screw our selves, there are others.

You all know that I’m an electrician and lineman, which I’ve always enjoyed. I’m one of the people who is quite good at troubleshooting, for a guy who can connect cause and effect, it’s one of the most rewarding parts of the job, or used to be. I’ve done this for about 40 years now, and yes I’ve been shocked I few times when I got stupid or careless, nobody’s fault but mine.

But now, because there are so few competent people out there, we have rules, man do we have rules. All my life I’ve worn long sleeve shirts, and no rings because it protects you, simple common sense that I was taught when I was about 12. Now to work in a live panel (including the one in your house) I must have a professional engineer calculate the ‘arc-fault current’ available, actually I can do it, it’s a bit complicated but a spreadsheet template can cure that, but in the world today that’s not good enough, it needs that PE stamp. Then I must have the proper rated arc fault resistant (no, not flame resistant) clothing, a hard hat with a face shield, and the proper gloves, all have to be lab approved, and I have to use insulated tools.

That list is worth about $5000, and it makes the job take at least three times as long. How do we avoid that? We no longer will work in an energized panel, which means that sometimes we can’t find the problem, and most of the time in a production facility we are going to shut down a lot of equipment we don’t need to. Why do we do this? because we cannot hire people who are willing to be responsible for their own safety, they need baby-sitters.

I’ve told you before (here) about why electrical work is so expensive, this makes all that worse.

I have friends that are installing OSHA mandated safety equipment in a factory not to far from here. The factory has several production lines (as most do) and multiple similar machines. The thing is, some of these machines date back to World War II, when we made quality machines, and they’ve been updated several times. That shouldn’t be a problem, except that according to the company they are all exactly the same, unfortunately in the real world, they have at least three different generations of electrical controls, different wiring and several other technical differences. But according to engineering they are identical.

So they want a cut and dried approach to updating and can’t understand when one machine takes longer and is somewhat difference. What it really is laziness, they don’t want to maintain separate drawings for each machine, and doing this covers their butts (no that is not the term we use)

The thing is the manufacturer of the safety system has to sign off on it, and won’t until they’ve inspected each machine. What we have here is a joke where the client is effectively requiring everybody to lie to them. CYA is the name of the game.

But here’s the kicker. In my analysis if someone gets hurt, by the time the lawsuits are over, the guy to blame will be, not one of three multi-million dollar companies involved but…

The Journeyman electrician installing it.

Heck of a way to run the world, and a lot of why we are no longer a manufacturing country.



About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

4 Responses to Jobs?, Not In This Country

  1. Reblogged this on DeborahBidwell's Blog and commented:
    another persons take on common sense in the workplace no longer a requirement for business


  2. oh wow. you and the blogger you’ve linked did a good job explaining all the byzantine requirements that, alone may be no problem, but all together serve to squeeze an industry/profession as slowly and surely as a python intending to eat his dinner.

    For those of us without hands-on experience in these things we use every day, ie, furniture, electricity, plumbing, etc etc, it’s hard to explain to others why we think our nation is overregulated.

    bad employees squeezing out good is just another way that “going Galt” happens every day, I guess.

    have a great weekend


    • NEO says:

      Hey thanks, Lin. It’s hard for us to explain as well. And yep, there are a lot of people around that have given up career paths and just make a living. Are still here just not contributing more than necessary, Galt while he was still in the world.

      Have a good weekend, yourself.


  3. Pingback: Nebraska Repeals Strict Licensing Laws for Hair Braiders | nebraskaenergyobserver

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