Woodworking in Evansville, Indiana #2: New job

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Blog entry by SchotterWoodworking posted 10-29-2011 02:08 AM 1394 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Seeking a something new Part 2 of Woodworking in Evansville, Indiana series no next part

Well it’s been a while, but I switched cabinet shops. I went from a laminate commercial shop to a more traditional cabinet shop. This is the first time I’ve really changed jobs as an adult so it is still a little weird. I made the switch back in March, but I still feel a bit out of place. This shop has been established for a long time (about 50 years or 3 generations). I’ve got my feet planted stable enough now and I think I’ve proven my skill set to them. I do have fears about the politics though. There is a lot of jealousy and bickering that goes on between coworkers. I’m not for sure how to address it or if I should. Normally I wouldn’t care that people were bickering, but I have been asked several times by the shop foreman about my coworkers behavior. I feel at a loss for words really. Any advice or comments would be appreciated.

4 comments so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


5657 posts in 2809 days

#1 posted 10-29-2011 02:12 AM

Just be honest with the foreman. If you weed out one bad apple, the workplace environment might improve drastically.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View rhybeka's profile


3979 posts in 3118 days

#2 posted 10-29-2011 03:08 PM

I agree with Pinto – no matter what size the company, politics are an issue… I work in a building of a few thousand people, but even within my group there’s politics – some of it’s just basic noise reduction (ie too many personal conversations floating over the walls that I don’t want to be a part of but have no choice). Just be honest, and if you have a frustration, voice it. Too many times management is unaware if there is an issue because they aren’t around when there are confrontations or arguments. Choose your words carefully just to make sure you are clear to the foreman about what is going on, and try to stay as unbiased as possible :)

-- Beka/Becky - aspiring jill of all trades, still learning to not read the directions.

View exelectrician's profile


2327 posts in 2424 days

#3 posted 10-30-2011 05:05 AM

I think they are amazed at your quality work so they are at a loss because they realize that you will be pushing one of them out the door pretty soon, just do your best every day, and it will all fall into place naturally.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 2494 days

#4 posted 11-03-2011 03:51 AM

To begin with, the word politics always means power struggles. I have worked in over a dozen shops in my career and have observed just about every situation in that regard, from huge shops to very small, new ventures to 50 plus years like yours.
Look for the real source of the problem. It may come right from the top (the owner) it may be only certain individuals, in the worst case it’s your boss.
Smile and be noncommittal to your foreman and also to others that want you to form alliances.
Do your best work and to any that rub you the wrong way, kill them with kindness. Keep your head down and make no enemies, but do make some friends.
When you are firmly established by virtue of your work and moderation in all things, then you can have a say for you’ll have earned the respect necessary to make a difference.
Give it some time but if all else fails, move on, for it’s no fun working in a poisonous atmosphere.


-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

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