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Not willing to change

My advise: if they are operating like it's 30 years ago, there is no way for you to make meaningful change. Company culture is set from the top. Obviously those who are at the helm do not value a culture of improvement or efficiency. You will just be swimming against the current if you try to change their way of doing things.

It's unfortunate but this is what I have realized where I work. There are too many aspects to change. I've been here 4.5yrs and spent the first three going against the grain and just came across as an asshole and a know-it-all. No matter how humble I attempted to be. Now I still go against the grain (in the name of improvement) but I just keep to myself, make due with what's available, and do my thing... and always keep my ear out for something more new-age to come along.
 
It's unfortunate but this is what I have realized where I work. There are too many aspects to change. I've been here 4.5yrs and spent the first three going against the grain and just came across as an asshole and a know-it-all. No matter how humble I attempted to be. Now I still go against the grain (in the name of improvement) but I just keep to myself, make due with what's available, and do my thing... and always keep my ear out for something more new-age to come along.
But I would like to keep encouragement, hope UP. Last shop I worked at was a 30+ shop also, still using floppy discs.
I changed everything, I started at the VERY bottom, but 10 years later the only, system, computer, employee.....left was the owner,
It was the old employee's, not the owner, owner didn't care said as long as the in number was larger than the out number.
edit: he said I made them so much more money, he bought me my first VMC and a new car
 
But I would like to keep encouragement, hope UP. Last shop I worked at was a 30+ shop also, still using floppy discs.
I changed everything, I started at the VERY bottom, but 10 years later the only, system, computer, employee.....left was the owner,
It was the old employee's, not the owner, owner didn't care said as long as the in number was larger than the out number.
edit: he said I made them so much more money, he bought me my first VMC and a new car
now thats a hell of a business owner! kudos to the both of you.
 
now thats a hell of a business owner! kudos to the both of you.
I went about it as usual, from a manufacturing/production engineering way,
analyzed systems, came up with increases, tested and monitored the metrics for how big the improvements were in $$$ terms/metrics, then took those metrics to the owner, over and over and over.
rinse repeat.
eventually from the owner it was "whatever he says, just do it" people couldn't argue with me even anymore.
 
It was the old employee's, not the owner, owner didn't care said as long as the in number was larger than the out number.
edit: he said I made them so much more money, he bought me my first VMC and a new car
But it kinda was the owner also...

Extremely passive mindset if he doesn't care what's going on in his business as long as revenue is greater than expenses.

Although it's extremely commendable that he bought you a car and VMC. Very few would do that.
 
But it kinda was the owner also...

Extremely passive mindset if he doesn't care what's going on in his business as long as revenue is greater than expenses.

it was interesting, he figured, people are at work all day, they live there,
so a happy employee is good, let them do whatever they want as long as I make money.

but also, I did what I wanted, and that was try to change things, show that it would make more money, so he let me do it.

Although it's extremely commendable that he bought you a car and VMC. Very few would do that.
 
This is the AGE OLD challenge that's been around since forever. In my mind the trick here is to find middle ground where the truth to both sides of the debate are brought to the surface. Not us vs them, or old vs new, but what's functionally true on both sides of the argument and talk from that common ground.

1) If it ain't broke, don't fix it. They know how to do the work using methods that have been proven. They've adopted those methods because they are proven.
2) If you are going to suggest a "newer", therefore "better" way, the only way anyone is going to be willing to give it a try in my opinion is you have to start from their position: Can the new way generate the same results (e.g. reliable, solid, repeatable). Then followed by whatever "new" benefit comes with that new method (e.g., faster, less cost, whatever).
3) Talk to the extra resourcing (or not) of doing something a "new" way. If it's going to cost a bunch of money and/or introduce unfamiliar tools and equipment to do it the "new" way, you need to talk about that carefully. One of the reasons "old timers" like doing things their proven way is that they've organized completely known and proven tools to go with their techniques. They almost don't have to think about that anymore.
4) If you attempt to introduce something "new" without a solid grasp of it being at least as effective as "the old way", and/or it requires a lot of money and/or unfamiliar equipment to implement, it's a harder thing to sell, for good reason.

This all gets messy and unpleasant if you have people issues (personalities & personal conflicts) bumping heads. That always causes more trouble than is necessary. But I can't talk to that, so I'll leave it at that.

The reason "old timers" repeat methods that have become doctrine is because they work, repeatedly. They get the work done with confidence and relative predictability. That's why "old timers" need new ideas presented to them in a specific way IMO. It's not really that they are inflexible (though some are), it's that they know how to get the job done correctly.

Some "old timers" are "inflexible". My argument has always been that many old timers are NOT inflexible, they are disciplined and experienced. I've met plenty of "younger folk" who were as inflexible as can be, wouldn't listen, etc. So, inflexibility or the "unwillingness to change" has to be carefully looked at on a case by case basis. It's not always age related.

So, new ideas are great, and necessary to keep evolving. But new ideas are only good if they've been thought through and qualified against the relevant base line. And in my mind the base line for that evaluation are the current people who have a solid method of getting the work done.

Best I've got.
 
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This is the AGE OLD challenge that's been around since forever. In my mind the trick here is to find middle ground where the truth to both sides of the debate are brought to the surface. Not us vs them, or old vs new, but what's functionally true on both sides of the argument and talk from that common ground.

1) If it ain't broke, don't fix it. They know how to do the work using methods that have been proven. They've adopted those methods because they are proven.
2) If you are going to suggest a "newer", therefore "better" way, the only way anyone is going to be willing to give it a try in my opinion is you have to start from their position: Can the new way generate the same results (e.g. reliable, solid, repeatable). Then followed by whatever "new" benefit comes with that new method (e.g., faster, less cost, whatever).
3) Talk to the extra resourcing (or not) of doing something a "new" way. If it's going to cost a bunch of money and/or introduce unfamiliar tools and equipment to do it the "new" way, you need to talk about that carefully. One of the reasons "old timers" like doing things their proven way is that they've organized completely known and proven tools to go with their techniques. They almost don't have to think about that anymore.
4) If you attempt to introduce something "new" without a solid grasp of it being at least as effective as "the old way", and/or it requires a lot of money and/or unfamiliar equipment to implement, it's a harder thing to sell, for good reason.

This all gets messy and unpleasant if you have people issues (personalities & personal conflicts) bumping heads. That always causes more trouble than is necessary. But I can't talk to that, so I'll leave it at that.

The reason "old timers" repeat methods that have become doctrine is because they work, repeatedly. They get the work done with confidence and relative predictability. That's why "old timers" need new ideas presented to them in a specific way IMO. It's not really that they are inflexible (though some are), it's that they know how to get the job done correctly.

Some "old timers" are "inflexible". My argument has always been that many old timers are NOT inflexible, they are disciplined and experienced. I've met plenty of "younger folk" who were as inflexible as can be, wouldn't listen, etc. So, inflexibility or the "unwillingness to change" has to be carefully looked at on a case by case basis. It's not always age related.

So, new ideas are great, and necessary to keep evolving. But new ideas are only good if they've been thought through and qualified against the relevant base line. And in my mind the base line for that evaluation are the current people who have a solid method of getting the work done.

Best I've got.
^^^^This 100%
 
Old times have reasons for thing and so stick to a method that might avoid a once in a blue moon thing.
Reminds me of stories that come up on here of someone coming across a tool or fixture that hasn't been used in 3 years, so they sell or junk it, then that once in a 4 year job rolls around and they're screwed.

I'm young, but I can't commit everything to memory. If someone asks me why I have a tool a certain place or why I do something a certain way, occasionally I don't have an answer off the top of my head, but that doesn't mean there isn't an answer, I'm just relying on my surroundings to operate as an extension of my limited head space. I try to make things obvious (the turbo tool is found in the cabinet by the turbo bench, why are you asking?!), but one of my favorite mantras is to avoid permanent solutions to temporary problems, and often that applies to shop practices and procedures too. Just because something doesn't make sense today doesn't always warrant rocking the boat.
 
Reminds me of stories that come up on here of someone coming across a tool or fixture that hasn't been used in 3 years, so they sell or junk it, then that once in a 4 year job rolls around and they're screwed.

I'm young, but I can't commit everything to memory. If someone asks me why I have a tool a certain place or why I do something a certain way, occasionally I don't have an answer off the top of my head, but that doesn't mean there isn't an answer, I'm just relying on my surroundings to operate as an extension of my limited head space. I try to make things obvious (the turbo tool is found in the cabinet by the turbo bench, why are you asking?!), but one of my favorite mantras is to avoid permanent solutions to temporary problems, and often that applies to shop practices and procedures too. Just because something doesn't make sense today doesn't always warrant rocking the boat.
Nothing is more permanent than a temporary solution that works.
 
Nothing is more permanent than a temporary solution that works.
We have all had a million parts that we have made a make shift work holding solution real quick, but then turns out to be used all the time, for years on end.
I got hip to doin this, I try to nip this in the but quick, if it returns with a hefty volume, or seems will be repetitive, I make a new fixture,
actually anymore, I got sick of making things twice, now I just make final production fixtures for everything, regardless, idc charge the customer.
BUT, we mainly do production, not job shop, so mileage differs.
 
We have all had a million parts that we have made a make shift work holding solution real quick, but then turns out to be used all the time, for years on end.
Funny. I made a couple of fixtures for a friend years and years ago. He was sort of grumpy at the time, "Doesn't need to be all that fancy, we're only making a few parts ..." Saw him the other day, they're still using those fixtures on a regular basis :D

he finally admits he loves the D... :o
Actually I prefer a c cup, has a little more solidity, but the d will do in a pinch :)
 
The core of the issue, I believe, is that the older guys just cannot wrap their head around the fact that a younger guy might know something. And that younger guy knowing something doesn't mean that the older guy is wrong. But if the younger guy's idea works better (tolerance, surface finish, cycle time, insert whatever shop topic) it is taken astonishingly personally.

This is certainly the case at the shop I'm at. Like I said - older guys do not like accepting that someone younger may have something of worth in terms of process or innovation.

"Listen, I've been doing this for as long as you've been alive."
"Your back doesn't hurt, you're young. Wait till you get to be my age."
"You're young, what problems could you possibly have?"

I look into self-improvement a lot and I believe that it stems from them being unhappy and miserable. That produces negativity. And they need to project that negativity outward. "If I'm miserable, why should he be... [happy, successful, prosperous, etc]"

There was that thread a little while ago about employees not being happy and a bunch of them leaving even though he is paying well and offers benefits, etc. That was interesting to read through. Now picture an entire shop operating with almost every employee being one of those pot-stirring, toxic personalities. Add that to older guys that already don't like change and it makes for a miserable work environment.

I've tried to keep emotions out of this but whew, it's tough. But my main point is that I'm not arguing their usefulness or talent in certain areas. But rather the arrogance of being God's gift to machining in every single facet of it.
 
So many accounts of success...quite impressive!
I always like the other side of the coin---"how I really fucked up and got fired"---of course I was never "that guy" but have heard stories about the idea that sure looked go on paper but then there was this one little thing that we did not count on........
What sucks is when there ain't no stupid old fart around for the hot-shot to blame the whole fiasco on.
 
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The core of the issue, I believe, is that the older guys just cannot wrap their head around the fact that a younger guy might know something. And that younger guy knowing something doesn't mean that the older guy is wrong. But if the younger guy's idea works better (tolerance, surface finish, cycle time, insert whatever shop topic) it is taken astonishingly personally.

This is certainly the case at the shop I'm at. Like I said - older guys do not like accepting that someone younger may have something of worth in terms of process or innovation.

"Listen, I've been doing this for as long as you've been alive."
"Your back doesn't hurt, you're young. Wait till you get to be my age."
"You're young, what problems could you possibly have?"

I look into self-improvement a lot and I believe that it stems from them being unhappy and miserable. That produces negativity. And they need to project that negativity outward. "If I'm miserable, why should he be... [happy, successful, prosperous, etc]"

There was that thread a little while ago about employees not being happy and a bunch of them leaving even though he is paying well and offers benefits, etc. That was interesting to read through. Now picture an entire shop operating with almost every employee being one of those pot-stirring, toxic personalities. Add that to older guys that already don't like change and it makes for a miserable work environment.

I've tried to keep emotions out of this but whew, it's tough. But my main point is that I'm not arguing their usefulness or talent in certain areas. But rather the arrogance of being God's gift to machining in every single facet of it.
Gotta remember also, its not a machinist thing, its not an old guy thing, its a male ego thing.
 
This is certainly the case at the shop I'm at. Like I said - older guys do not like accepting that someone younger may have something of worth in terms of process or innovation.
Wow. This has got to be all small-shop stuff ? Or something newish in relations ?

The shops I've been around had all the usual personality conflicts, but didn't have problems with ageism. Of course, there's younger smartasses who don't know shit peddling the newest grooviest, and old curmudgeons who won't even go to hss, but those were personality problems, not about age. Some older guys were always "yeah yeah yeah let's try that" while some younger guys were afraid of their own shadow.

And btw, the "newest methods" were often not all that great. If you plan to push something, better make sure it really is better, not just some starry-eyed infatuation with something you read in Modern Machine Shop (which is full of crap).
 
So many accounts of success...quite impressive!
I always like the other side of the coin---"how I really fucked up and got fired"---of course I was never "that guy" but have heard stories about the idea that sure looked go on paper but then there was this one little thing that we did not count on........
What sucks is when there ain't no stupid old fart around for the hot-shot to blame the whole fiasco on.
As a previous hot shot that is steadily working toward old fart (50 next week) I can say I was really fortunate to find some good levelheaded guys to learn from. I would get excited about an idea and the few I worked the closest with would listen to me and then explain why it would or would not work or be like screw it I don't know if it will work let's try it. I try to keep that same open-minded approach today now that I have been in the industry for 30 years. I have also had some older guys tell me something wouldn't work and when I asked why I was told because I said so. That never worked for me. Explain it to me, lets break it down and find the flaw and work from there. Thats what I try to do now with the 20-year-old I got working for me on days. Good kid, smart as hell, watches way to much you tube. I have to explain why some things he sees will not work or is not good for us at least a few times a month. I never want to stifle that, in a lot of ways he keeps me on my toes and pushed me to be a better manager.
 
Most here seem to think based on your post that you might know what your doing, and the company doesn't.

30+ years experience means something. There aren't many companies left that have survived 30 years. It should mean something to you.

Problem is the young inexperienced and naive don't respect this experience. and that's a problem, watching a couple of Titan videos does not make you an expert programmer/machinist/anything.

My assumption is your young, inexperienced and think your god's gift to the machining world. You've been getting participation trophies all your life, and your looking for one now. Doesn't work that way when your earning a living in the machining world.

----------------------------------------------

last place I worked I went in as an engineer. They didn't know I had 20+ experience programming and running machines as well.

First meeting I'm in discussing a project, their talking about how to run a part
I say
"You know what might wo......"
That's as far as I got when the lead programmer said
"When we want your opinion we'll ask for it"

When it came to anything to do with shop I kept quite for the 10 years I was there, even when they might have been doing something I thought was stupid.

I didn't care, I was getting well paid, and they have been around long enough it was evident they generally know what they were doing. They were doing ok before I arrived, did ok while I was there, and continue to do ok after I left.

I suspect the OP's company is similar
 
It's unfortunate but this is what I have realized where I work. There are too many aspects to change. I've been here 4.5yrs and spent the first three going against the grain and just came across as an asshole and a know-it-all. No matter how humble I attempted to be. Now I still go against the grain (in the name of improvement) but I just keep to myself, make due with what's available, and do my thing... and always keep my ear out for something more new-age to come along.
In almost 5 years you have learned all that your current employer has to offer.
No doubt your at a dead end in your career and your skills are not appreciated.
Time to quit and open up your own place, or sit around for 10 years accepting a paycheck and one day wondering if you rally had what it would take to run your own show.
Might want to make the move before you become just another 'old guy' just putting in time.
 








 
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