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Old 07-03-2012, 03:40 PM   #376
crazydrummerdude OP
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I wrote my letter of resignation... on my first day.

To recap:
I gradutated in May 2011 with a Bachelors in Aerospace Enigneering, minors in Mathematics, Materials, and Explosives Engineering with a Certificate in Explosives Engineering. I did three years of research/work with NASA as the president of a departmental design team. I did two years of Explosives Engineering research. I received an internship in the areospace field. I was hired by the university as a research assistant. I received scholarships. Etc, etc..

The company I interned with was in the process of mandatory layoffs around the time I graduated. So, I looked elsewhere.

I found a job where I was told I would be running Catia/Solidworks developing tools and fixtures and would have occasional access to the Haas machines, since I also knew how to run them.

On my first day, no one knew where to put me, so the production manager made me watch everyone do their jobs. He didn't warn them, so they were less than friendly or accommodating. The people in the shop bitched at me about how dumb and worthless engineers are, and I had people cussing me out and cussing the whole business out. One thing that stuck with me was, "This place fucking sucks, but you'll learn that soon enough." I waited to see what the office job was going to be like.

After 3 weeks of no one having work for me and having to watch people in the shop work, my first project in the office popped up. I didn't know at the time, but management stole information from a local IT company and had me implement the upgrade for their computers (something I had no experience with). I then had to find a computer for myself, install the operating system, and for a couple weeks I had access to Excel.

After that, there was nothing left to do and I was tossed to the shop as a CNC machinst.

That's when I started complaining about:
severe lack of ethical values (lying to customers, stealing from vendors),
my former manager got fired not for saying his racist/sexist stuff, but that he was going to shoot one of my coworkers,
the general sexism/racism,
boogers on the walls,
moldy ceiling,
no climate control,
we're not allowed chairs nor can we lean on things or take breaks other than lunch (30 minutes),
almost everyone chain-smokes all day long,
we're not allowed water or drinks,
my 90-day review was 50 days late and they didn't want to give me back-pay after they said they would,
my 180-day review never came, after which they went on a raise-freeze and refused to review me,
I often asked who my manager was or who I report to and no one could give me an answer,
turn-over being so high that at 11 months, I was pretty high up the seniority list,
being looked down on by almost every aerospace company I applied to because I'm a just a machinist and not an engineer,
etc.

Lately, the CEO started a rumor that I was having sex with one of the girls, that she should kick me in the balls when she's done with me, and that I would masturbate behind the machines when she "drove me crazy." Coupled with more long-expired promises of the potential of a computer or the chance for Catia, I decided it was time to resign. You can only suffer so much.. If I didn't know any better, I'd say they forced me out, but it's just the way they operate.

Today was my last day. Free at last.

Check out my other casting thread if you're still interested in my casting experiments/progress.
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:58 PM   #377
KeithinSC
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I have been enjoying your threads. Very fascinating career. I was wondering how long you would stick it out. Sounds like you lasted about 99% longer than I would have!

You paid your dues, now things will only get better.
Good luck.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:08 PM   #378
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazydrummerdude View Post
almost everyone chain-smokes all day long,
we're not allowed water or drinks,
Wait, you can SMOKE but, you can't have water? Is that because someone will piss in the cup if you leave it somewhere?

You lasted longer than I would have. I would have done things my way and if they didn't like it...well...they'd probably do nothing.

I mean...seriously...if they fired you for bringing a chair out there or having something to drink, how would the state have handled that when it came time to unemployment? It wouldn't look very good for them.

Time to move on. I hope you got pictures of the bathrooms, etc. Nobody will ever believe you without them.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:27 PM   #379
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Originally Posted by Donkey Hotey View Post
Wait, you can SMOKE but, you can't have water? Is that because someone will piss in the cup if you leave it somewhere?

...

I mean...seriously...if they fired you for bringing a chair out there or having something to drink, how would the state have handled that when it came time to unemployment? It wouldn't look very good for them.
I overheard the shop foreman bragging to the production supervisor about how he loves to "see a bottle, glistening with condensation, taking it and throwing it in the trash. Then I ask my guys, 'Whose bottle was that?' and if one of them ever claims it, I'll throw them in the trash too!"

I learned that a couple years ago management put it to a vote. You can either have chairs/breaks, or you can smoke while you work. Everyone voted to smoke. So, even non-smokers weren't allowed breaks. Yay.

Quote:
Time to move on. I hope you got pictures of the bathrooms, etc. Nobody will ever believe you without them.
I doubt anyone cares, but I did take a few for my own amusement. Here's a picture you'll enjoy. This is looking in the opening of a coolant tank of a Haas. This is as the machine is, in service and running. The tank is/was white and the coolant in the oval opening is supposed to look like milk. It's actually thick and chunky and smells of diarrhea.



Now, take that metaphor and apply it throughout every aspect of the job I just had.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:44 PM   #380
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazydrummerdude View Post
I overheard the shop foreman bragging to the production supervisor about how he loves to "see a bottle, glistening with condensation, taking it and throwing it in the trash. Then I ask my guys, 'Whose bottle was that?' and if one of them ever claims it, I'll throw them in the trash too!"
His mom. You know what you have to do.
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:31 PM   #381
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6+ months.

what took you so long? I've found that when I'm at a shit place, I can taste the poison pretty early, and about 3 months is the max I can take.
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:22 AM   #382
crazydrummerdude OP
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Originally Posted by RedRocket View Post
6+ months.

what took you so long? I've found that when I'm at a shit place, I can taste the poison pretty early, and about 3 months is the max I can take.
I was there 11 months and 2 days. I wrote my letter of resignation of my first day, as soon as I got home. I was waiting for a better job.

I wonder if I'll work in the aerospace industry again. I'd like to.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:29 AM   #383
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Pissed Practical experience before design

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Originally Posted by PoundSand View Post
i personally think it's useful for engineers to have some hands on experience, but hardly necessary. and certainly not casting for ae's. what do you think most ae's do, and how do you think this would be useful?
While I agree that inappropriate experience helps little, I believe there is far too little emphasis placed on the value of practical understanding of the needs of operating and maintenance in design.

With a little hands on experience before being let loose on a design program, maybe plant maintenance MIGHT become a little easier - like heat exchangers placed where you can actually remove the tube bundle for cleaning without having to knock down a wall, and the repairman can actually reach all the bolts on the valve on the fifth pipe of ten pipes that were installed sequentially because there was no other way with the space they left, and the largest pump or motor would have clear access with overhead craneage to remove it without stripping the entire floor, or three inclined coal conveyors running parallel in the same tunnel (guess which gearbox we'll have to change first?), or firefighting piping that prevents rigging access because it crosses the centreline of the crane, or ...

Think it can't happen? Welcome to my world!

Oh, and ALL of the design work was done on computers - its just that there was no single verification of the integration of all the systems, so everyone is very proud of their little piece of genius, and nobody is to blame!

Look at the design of a racing motorcycle and you will quickly realise how important it is for the mechanics and technicians to get to everything quickly. Some of those principles have made adventure riding better, too, by allowing the rider/mechanic to help himself (if he has the appropriate practical experience, of course!)

/rant off/ - yes, I do feel a bit better, thanks
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:53 AM   #384
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Cool2

...sounds like you worked for a pretty bad outfit...don't tell me, SoCal?
There's alot of crappy places to work, especially the one's that were 'built from scratch' and have over 50 employess.

My advice, for what it's worth, is give the big aerospace companies a shot.
Your still going to have the same bitchin' and moanin', but there are standards and ethics in place.
As I write this, I'm sitting in a NASA hangar office listening to enginerds wallering at higher than necessary volume about how procedure should be done.
Nature of the beast I reckon.

Want to give Seattle a go? Boeing in Everett is hiring.
Like I said before, CE Weekly for contractors is the best bang for the buck when it comes to getting your resume' out there.

Note: include KEY WORDS like CATIA so the resume' scanner picks them up...
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:41 AM   #385
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Want to give Seattle a go? Boeing in Everett is hiring.
Like I said before, CE Weekly for contractors is the best bang for the buck
He's working for decent joint down in OK. I'm sure he will see this soon.
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:04 PM   #386
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...cool, glad to hear that.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:29 AM   #387
crazydrummerdude OP
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Well, I wrote up a nice response then Firefox crashed..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rapid Dog View Post
...sounds like you worked for a pretty bad outfit...don't tell me, SoCal?
Yeah, real bad. Some of the stories in this thread (which I probably shouldn’t have told to begin with) are so far-fetched and unbelievable that I don’t even bother telling them to friends or current coworkers. Stories such as:

After my manager was fired for threatening to kill my coworker, my new “supervisor” pointed a gun at me and pulled the trigger a few times. I told him to watch where he pointed that thing. He grabbed another gun from the table in the engineering office, and with one in each hand, put them up to his temples and pulled the triggers while saying, “What? They’re not loaded! [clickclick click clickclick]” I responded, “Yeah, famous last words.” He asked, “What does that mean?” I just walked out of the room. There was probably 1000 rounds of ammo laying loose on the other table.

Oh, and this was not in California. It was just south of St Louis, MO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cumminsman76 View Post
He's working for decent joint down in OK. I'm sure he will see this soon.
Yup! After an extensive campaign of marketing myself to actual aerospace companies, my resume fell into the right hands. I had to move to Oklahoma for the time being, and I just passed the 6-month mark here. Great job, nice coworkers, awesome manager, much better pay, actual benefits, actual vacation days, etc. I haven’t had many opportunities for hands-on work in this position, but I have been able to do design work and all the other stuff that I actually went to school for.. and now that I’m in the industry, who knows where I might end up and what I might do in the years to come?



Now if I could just stop having dreams that I’m back there getting back-stabbed, threatened, sabotaged, guns pointed at me, etc..

....

Going back to the discussion about my hands-on machining and casting work; There still seems to be a disconnect somewhere among half the people I’ve talked to. They get hung up on the idea that it’s all I had to offer in my job search*, when in reality, my “technician” or “mechanic” work is in addition to my actual engineering degree and engineering experience, not in place of. Here is my engineering skillset.. and here is my hands-on skillset. Seems like it would be an advantage, but apparently not for engineers.. we’re not supposed to know how things are made or maintained, I guess. So, I’ll just stick to using my hands in my garage.

*Almost all of this thread was unintentionally the development of looking for an entry-level engineering job. I never claimed to be the best engineer or the best machinist. I have these skills that I thought were a good foundation to build upon. I didn’t know what a chore it would be to find a place where I could do just that.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:22 AM   #388
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazydrummerdude View Post
Going back to the discussion about my hands-on machining and casting work; There still seems to be a disconnect somewhere among half the people I’ve talked to. They get hung up on the idea that it’s all I had to offer in my job search*, when in reality, my “technician” or “mechanic” work is in addition to my actual engineering degree and engineering experience, not in place of. Here is my engineering skillset.. and here is my hands-on skillset. Seems like it would be an advantage, but apparently not for engineers.. we’re not supposed to know how things are made or maintained, I guess. So, I’ll just stick to using my hands in my garage.

*Almost all of this thread was unintentionally the development of looking for an entry-level engineering job. I never claimed to be the best engineer or the best machinist. I have these skills that I thought were a good foundation to build upon. I didn’t know what a chore it would be to find a place where I could do just that.
I can say that you will probably be genuinely respected by the people who make/maintain the things you design.

One of the issues that has cropped up in many industries that require engineering is that a technician/labor vs. engineer mentality has arisen, and you gotta pick a team, and I think that may be what your resume may be triggering. It may have always been this way, but I think it has gotten worse for several factors that have contributed to this:

-the design and engineering to make many things has become much more complex and theoretical, which causes specialization. The skill sets required for engineers and technicians have become more disparate and complicated.

-engineers are typically made "superior" in company structure to the technicians without regard to experience (life or technical), creating much antipathy. Formal schooling seems to trump all else.

-engineering schools are typically universities where the profs are pressured to publish. This attracts a certain type of prof who often is not at their best out of the theoretical environment, and this affects what students take away from school.

-technicians are typically taught the immediate skill set they require and sometimes don't get the "big picture" perspective, however as the technical trades become more complex sometimes better analytical skills develop and technicians begin to ask more challenging questions...
-neither technicians nor engineers are looked at as models for interpersonal skills in the work environment

What I tell my students is that both have a job to do. Both can learn from each other. At times our priorities or tasks may not be perfectly in sync. There will be tension, and that isn't always bad, and in fact it is natural and useful. Find away to productively work though it, and don't exacerbate it.
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