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New job nerves.

Old 04-25-2010, 09:22 PM
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Default New job nerves.

I'm an Electrician and I have always worked in residential and commercial construction and I start a new job at a union pulp mill. I have never worked in a union or an industrial setting. My resume is going to look good after this stint and I will have seen it all but damn I hate starting fresh. I worry about the guys I'm going to be working with and the "guy". You know the one. The real a$$, crab in the bucket who will not like the new guy. Got any advise?
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Old 04-25-2010, 09:56 PM
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With your versatile background, being that you worked in both commercial AND residential, I would say...don't sweat it! You've already worked with all kinds, so, this won't be THAT different.

Sure, union rules & scheduling to get accustomed to, but it won't take long. You'll make new acquaintances , maybe a friend or two...should be fun! As for that one "a$$ crab", that's HIS problem. Just be respectful, treat the crab as you would want to be treated, and that's ALL you can do.

Good luck!
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Old 04-26-2010, 03:46 AM
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If you're in the Union, do 50% of the work that you think you've been hired to do.

I'm not kidding. The long time Union guys will have your butt if you work too hard.
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Old 04-26-2010, 04:31 AM
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Originally Posted by John_Madison CT View Post
If you're in the Union, do 50% of the work that you think you've been hired to do.

I'm not kidding. The long time Union guys will have your butt if you work too hard.

Thats a sad statement

And we wonder why American auto manufactures need a bailout
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Old 04-26-2010, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by John_Madison CT View Post
If you're in the Union, do 50% of the work that you think you've been hired to do.

I'm not kidding. The long time Union guys will have your butt if you work too hard.
I'm not sure this is entirely true in the trades. Very easy for a contractor to can your ass and find a producer. Although, in this day and age knowledgable producers are getting tougher to come by. Not as any skilled craftsman going into the trades.

Now non-trades, that's a different story. The stories my buddy tells me about his UAW shop are almost non-believable.
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Old 04-26-2010, 01:33 PM
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I started in a Union shop last year. I'd never been in one either, and this is what I've done, and my experience so far. I kept my head down, my opinions to myself, and let everybody else do the talking. It didn't take long to figure these guys out, who's good, who's not, who will work, who won't, and who has problems and who don't. I never dreamed grown men would run such a rumor mill as these guys do. They only really know me as a quiet guy that likes to fish, and I'm not giving them anything else. Do not fall in to the puddles of gossip. That's one of the biggest mistakes I've seen other new guys make. I don't really worry about who likes me and who don't. As long you get the job done, and try not to step on any toes, the supervisors opinions are all that will matter. Let them set the pace. They will tell you what's expected, and if it's anything like my shop, it will be unbelievably little. And yes, from what I've seen so far, unions are one of the great scourges of this country. Some of these guys do so little, it's like welfare, except they're setting at "work", instead of home. Some move so slow, it's like they are going backwards, and thanks to the union, there's little the management can do about it. However, about 20% of the guys actually do something, and those are the ones I've tried to fall in with, and it's seemed to have worked so far.
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Old 04-26-2010, 01:50 PM
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Get to wioork on time, do your job, let the a$$ be an a$$.
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Old 04-26-2010, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by I Fish 2 View Post
I started in a Union shop last year. I'd never been in one either, and this is what I've done, and my experience so far. I kept my head down, my opinions to myself, and let everybody else do the talking. It didn't take long to figure these guys out, who's good, who's not, who will work, who won't, and who has problems and who don't. I never dreamed grown men would run such a rumor mill as these guys do. They only really know me as a quiet guy that likes to fish, and I'm not giving them anything else. Do not fall in to the puddles of gossip. That's one of the biggest mistakes I've seen other new guys make. I don't really worry about who likes me and who don't. As long you get the job done, and try not to step on any toes, the supervisors opinions are all that will matter. Let them set the pace. They will tell you what's expected, and if it's anything like my shop, it will be unbelievably little. And yes, from what I've seen so far, unions are one of the great scourges of this country. Some of these guys do so little, it's like welfare, except they're setting at "work", instead of home. Some move so slow, it's like they are going backwards, and thanks to the union, there's little the management can do about it. However, about 20% of the guys actually do something, and those are the ones I've tried to fall in with, and it's seemed to have worked so far.
I could not agree more with the above statement. I worked for 2 years in the electricians union while employed by lucent many years ago. I left because I could not stand the absolutle total lack of work ethic. If all unions were busted up including the most powerfull and in my opinion the worst of the worst, the Teachers Union, most of this countries labor problems would be fixed within weeks!!!!
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Old 04-26-2010, 05:14 PM
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on time I've worked in a union environment I was in management so my perspective is a little bit different, but...

yes about 25-30% of the folks had a good work ethic. Another few % were medium; not too different from any other business I have managed. That last 20 or so % were simply unreal. Amazingly bad.

the gossip advice is very sound.
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Old 04-26-2010, 05:51 PM
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The guy that throws the first punch usually wins...
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Old 04-26-2010, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by John_Madison CT View Post
If you're in the Union, do 50% of the work that you think you've been hired to do.

I'm not kidding. The long time Union guys will have your butt if you work too hard.
The union mentality is tough for those of us who like to go above and beyond. You will catch crap if you do something that is someone else's job. Some folks are ok, but a lot act like 5 year olds.
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Old 04-26-2010, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Mighty Sylvan View Post
I'm an Electrician and I have always worked in residential and commercial construction and I start a new job at a union pulp mill. I have never worked in a union or an industrial setting. My resume is going to look good after this stint and I will have seen it all but damn I hate starting fresh. I worry about the guys I'm going to be working with and the "guy". You know the one. The real a$$, crab in the bucket who will not like the new guy. Got any advise?
Go tomorrow and purchase some exercise equipment, your gonna need it
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Old 04-26-2010, 07:14 PM
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First day done. It was looong. Saftey videos and mill tours. I can see that it might be a gossipy group but I definatley will keep quiet and work.
Mike B. funny you mention the excersice equipment, I just dug out the weight set.
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Old 04-27-2010, 03:59 AM
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Originally Posted by John_Madison CT View Post
If you're in the Union, do 50% of the work that you think you've been hired to do.

I'm not kidding. The long time Union guys will have your butt if you work too hard.
The 2nd half of his statement is very true. I used to see it all the time when I was in the heavy commercial sector.
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Old 04-27-2010, 04:13 AM
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Stress over what you can change, not what you can not! .....just be yourself and it will all come out in the wash.
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Old 04-27-2010, 05:56 AM
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I learned at an early age what the unions were all about. The truck driver that delivered a load to our store practically put handcuffs on me to slow down how fast we transferred the load out of the truck. He confided that he was on double time and wanted the transfer to take as many hours as possible. The union meetings that I attended were a scene right out of the movie "on the waterfront" with guys in dark suits suggesting how the vote should go. Not a single dissenter amongst the hundreds in attendence. As a part timer it was my duty to pay the montly union dues, but not to expect to get the same protections as the full timers. A few years later the store chain went into bankruptcy. The owners could never be found and were rumored to be living in South America somewhere. Either that, or they were no longer among the living.

Rah-Rah, lets go unions!!!
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Old 04-27-2010, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by John_Madison CT View Post
If you're in the Union, do 50% of the work that you think you've been hired to do.

I'm not kidding. The long time Union guys will have your butt if you work too hard.
thats a true statement, i got a$$ reemed when i was 17 in the IBEW for hustling.
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Old 04-27-2010, 06:28 AM
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Alot of union haters out here. I'm on the fence about it, and I'm an IBEW member. They do harbor some lazy people, I've seen it over 20 yrs of being in the union. It seems to me in the near future "corporate america" will win out over the union and then we'll see. I know for a fact I'll still have a job if I want it. Right now in my line of work, journeyman lineman, not to many of you would deal with what these guys go thru. I'm not tooting my own horn just saying that when I started the union was stronger and we had alot more people to do the work. Now where I live we have half the work force to cover more people than ever living here. Last year we worked an average of 900hrs of overtime. Do the math on that and your free time takes a big dent. Its not shifts filled its almost all call outs from home which you have to keep at a certain %. So I don't know if we'll be better off with or w/o a union. I'm more than willing to work, but 900hrs and close to 300 callouts last year? If the union isn't there to say "enough is enough" is the govt going step in and say so. Or will your company just beat you til you can't take anymore and find someone else to do it. Big problems in this "corporate america" too bad its always about the shareholders $. Sorry to continue this hijack of your thread. Good luck in the new job I think you're right in working hard and doing the best you can that way if the union is ever gone you'll be looked at favorably.
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Old 04-27-2010, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by John_Madison CT View Post
If you're in the Union, do 50% of the work that you think you've been hired to do.

I'm not kidding. The long time Union guys will have your butt if you work too hard.
I really have to disagree as to doing 50% of the work you've been hired to do .....as a former member of the IAM I would offer that if you actually do 50% of the work you've been hired to do you will most likely be ostracized, or worse, by all the other union members.....
The prime work rule for us was, moving forward at any speed greater than dead low is simply not permitted...
I therefore quit and moved on.....
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Old 04-27-2010, 07:20 AM
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This has turned into a union worker post.

The $ you make as a trained grunt is because of your union. Do your job, keep your thoughts to yourself untill you have been there awhile. This is an anti-union site so be prepared for trashing.

Quality trained work and dependability are the hallmark of a successful company/career as a union worker. Most folks don't realize the union does the training/re-certification and in some cases offer the only retirement a worker bee will ever see.
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