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its a sad truth
That's a sad statement, I hope no one finds that true very often in their lives. 440'
Sad but true. I do know that the more money you have, the more people seem to care about you. Surprise!
Ohhh that's harsh. You want people to care about you? Buy a pickup truck. You'll get calls every week from people who want you to visit..... with your truck.... to help them move something.....
WARNING: Ed story time... What triggered me to post this on this particular morning was an experience I had yesterday. A little background: Even though I'm not employed to do so anymore (being "senior", the company tries to keep me chained to the desk and let the younger guys go out and serve customers), sometimes when I land an old customer for this new company I work for, I decide to still go do it myself anyways. Yesterday was one such situation... The location was a very old warehouse that's pushing 100 years old, originally for production of dairy products for Pet. At one time, the fields nearby actually had the cows that produced the milk for the plant, which was processed there fresh daily. It's been a logistics warehouse since the conversion in the 90's, when I started going down there for my gig (fire sprinklers). I love old buildings and this one is no exception - and really, nobody there now knows the joint quite as well, since I've been wandering around in there even in those old days in the pitch dark (no power), alone and doing my thing. The joint is genuinely haunted - and I don't generally believe in such - but that place is. I have quite the history with the place as a result and have seen quite a few things go down there over the decades, some directly involving me (I even separate my shoulder down there one time in the middle of an "event"), so I wanted to go do their inspections one more time... Met the new owners, a transport and logistics company of national prominence - and met up with a fellow that's been there almost as long as I have. I've actually seen him grow up, start a family and become the right hand man of the rich guy that owned the place formerly - he also knows the place very well, probably better than anyone. He's been sort of a friend as well and knows of my history there, and me personally, quite well. What I expected was a sort of visit with nostalgia and a good overall inspection experience as I always try to provide, done with a friend for the "new guy".... What I got instead was a lot of "banty roostering", as my "friend" gave me the cold shoulder and spent his time trying to show the new owner how much he knew about the place. At first, I was offended somewhat and sort of saddened...but as I realized none of what was taking place was actually about me and what I was there to do at all, I decided to resign myself to the situation as presented and just do the damn job, pretty much as if I was alone - the job is the job after all and it needs to be done properly. Occasionally, they'd break up their little banter with one another and want to know something about this or that equipment and would ask me, so I'd answer as briefly and matter-of-factly as I could so they could get back to whatever they were on about... The rest of the time, I resigned myself to simply revisiting my own memories of everything I'd witnessed and been a part of over the years going down there - experiences that could have been quite helpful to these guys, if only they wanted to know (they didn't). I walked the joint out thoroughly, properly, professionally - and when it was over, I thanked them for the business and the chance to come visit the facility one last time... When I said that, my "friend" looked at me like a light bulb came on over his head; it apparently had finally dawned on him that I was saying goodbye, I suppose. I wished him and his family all the best and went on my way...knowing odds are that was the last time I'd ever set foot in there after 25 years. These days, as I approach many such customers (many of them considered friends at one point) this sort of thing happens often. With each of them, there have been many times I personally went totally out of my way to come to their aid when emergencies arose; in some cases, I wound up spending days in their facilities, working around the clock to get them back in service under the mandates of Fire Marshals or some such. I was always there when they called and that's why they stuck with me through company changes, my own medical travails, all that stuff. Now though? Many act as if the clock has been reset and all that history of being there for them doesn't matter anymore - and that I am no longer their trusted buddy. It's hard to accept such a thing for me, of course... Makes me question whether a career spent going the extra mile for others, in a pretty noble profession, was actually worth the effort?? In the end, I suppose we all do what we do for our own specifications, standards, levels of effort - and when we're gone, somebody else will fill those shoes and all we'll be is a name on an old report or inspection tag somewhere...and it's just a shame it has to be that way. Me done.
Ed, I don't think you are alone in your sentiment here. I have experienced the same thing recently in my career. Unfortunately, the changing of the Management structure within companies requires personel to change the way they do business. This is sometimes at the expense of established relationships between clients and service providers. 440'
Ed, It seems to me that us old guys are expendable, even with the knowledge we have and are more than willing to pass on. I hate to say, but have had similar experiences. Also saw it in others as well. I guess you said it best. All part of getting older. Still, I don't like it and will go kicking and screaming! RUFFCUT
A REAL friend taught me something important years ago. There's FRIENDS, and there's ACQUAINTANCES. Most of our problems come from confusing the two, and expecting one to act/respond like the other.
ya , same thing happens when you quit drinking, I love drinking mind you , guts couldn't take it anymore
Similar thing goes on in the military. I was on the wing commander’s staff for years. Went through several new wing kings. After showing the first one that I knew my stuff and gave great advice, I had to rebuild my reputation each time that guy PCSed. I solved unsolvable problems and amazed the boss. Then bang, we get a new boss and he says “who the hell are you?!” I once gave a briefing to the wing/cc about moving a squadron from one group to another, to resolve decades old problems not only at our base, but throughout the USAF. He chewed me a new butthole in front of all group and squadron commanders, saying that our recommendations, which had been vetted by the JAG, was entirely illegal and a waste of his time. This man was an O6 at the time. Well, he eventually made O10 and was the SecAF’s exec, when my recommendations were implemented USAF-wide. (It fixed that long-standing problem once and for all.) I became close friends with many bosses and peers, only to lose them every 2 to 3 years. It was disheartening.
Unfortunately that’s the military. Now that we have FB its great meeting up with old comrades. One thing about being in the military is you learn to quickly make new friends and blend into the team
You’re not alone. As I’m about 90% retired, will be ending my last client work in about a month or so. Many of the people I had worked with in the last 10 or so years, retired then having to get acquainted with the new person, new personality, likes/dislikes; but usually the new person has been the age of my kids. Some try to come across as all knowledgeable and shun advice despite having worked with the company they’re at now since they were in diapers. Some like to know history and others could care less. Seems I encounter the latter more often. Then there’s their thinking like I’m maybe antiquated while they got all the ‘new’ info from their college education. I can’t totally discount this; but I’ve always had to stay updated with new regulations and such in the field I was in. This is a generational shift thing. I saw this with my dad when he got peeved enough to retire early even though his new boss wanted him to stay. The priorities being pressed were idiotic to him. The knowledge he acquired over his 40+ years ya just couldn’t replicate on a dime; same of course with most having the years of knowledge you only acquire one way – experience. In my dad’s case, they talked him into coming back as a consultant paying him big bucks to complete a project he got off the ground realizing his knowhow was ahh…kinda important. But yep as posted, there’s people you thought were more than just acquaintances. In some respects it may have to do with some people fearing abilities you have which could shine a light on the abilities they don’t have…at least yet. What goes around will come around - one day they will be where we are - seems like yesterday when I was the young un.
Kind of reminds me of a conversation that I had with my dad years ago. He told me, "It's not personal, it's business. That place was there before you, the place will be there after you."
It's universal my friend. It's part of a fundamental canceling of "tribal knowledge" in business culture. We, as the old guard are not valued for our experience. I spend the bulk of my time on "zoom" calls trying to answer the 20 &30 somethings why a $2M project has a 2K change order. I work in the Electric Utility sector, and the old "promote from within" is gone. Nothing against Veterans, but an ex nuclear submarine commander has no business nor understanding of building power lines, and comprehension of Union trades. People who know how to build spreadsheets, and flowcharts are given more creedence. It gives me great pleasure to sometimes watch things implode, and the ensuing scramble just because you didn't ask. I just answer anymore "I dunno, I'm just a dumb Lineman " I've learned like you Ed, sometimes you have to just nod, walk away, and let it happen. Because you and I both know who they are going to call when the SHTF. God help our industries
I hear ya, Ed. I’m by far the oldest on my crew. I generally get treated with dignity and respect by my bosses and coworkers but it’s some of our clients that treat us with contempt because we’re government workers. You know, the usual “five guys watching, one working” sort of thing. Those that know us know better, but it’s tough to fight the stereotype. Keep you head up.
The one thing I have going for me now is having a great nephew, 20 yrs old, wanting me to teach him my craft, with me having learned from my great uncles. Those guys were very protective of their knowledge, having lived through the great depression. Once they saw I was wanting to learn, they would take me aside on the job site and show me a few things with the understanding I would keep it to myself. So in my career, if asked what I was working on , my reply would be that I couldn't tell, keeping things to myself! Job security!
AND if you want them to REALLY care about you buy a trailer or a car trailer!!!
It happens Ed. I worked for Chaddsford Winery here in Eastern Pa. for over 21 years managing thier vineyards... My last day was the last time I ever heard from the scumbags Eric Miller and his wife Lee who were the founders. Not a card, an e-mail NOTHING. It's been 11 plus years now and had I known what pieces of shit they were I would have never given them all that I did over the years... I see people getting millions for spraying a gallon of Round-up.. I probably have sprayed 25,000 gallons of that... Other chemicals I sprayed are no longer legally allowed to be used anymore... But it was how I was raising my family. Looking back I wish I would have not gave my weekends to the job like I did and being away from my family meant nothing to them when the time came... Farming never takes a break and neither did I.
I think what it comes down to is, lack of loyalty. With the dawn of the internet, and all the "help" sites like the local "handyman" sites ("find someone who your neighbors like to work in your house"), and Vroom online car sales, and order-in food and groceries and pet food and....well....everything, customers don't give two shits WHO helps them anymore as long as they get their service right freakin' NOW. I worked in Sales for 15 years, and have been back in Service now for 2 years. I own my own company as well, that is customer-service based. Nobody cares. "Value" doesn't mean anything, it's all about "price". Nobody will go an extra ten feet to work with someone they've had good experiences with in the past - if the new guy can save them five bucks, they're there, and you can kiss their ass as they leave. I have some old-school friends who WILL (and do) make the extra effort to come see me thanks to past experience, and the extra mile, and quality service...but new folks really don't care about anyone but themselves. It's how we're breeding our race now. Look at all the "inclusion" bullshit we see now in the press. And, "canceling" anyone you don't like or agree with. MemememememeME. ME. Fuck you, it's all about ME, and how DARE you assume anything different? If that's the mentality we're instilling in our children...how can we expect anything different? I miss the old days.