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Forum topic by SirIrb posted 07-31-2015 01:01 PM 1053 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SirIrb

1239 posts in 693 days


07-31-2015 01:01 PM

I’m, not throwing shade, but if you major in Mechanical Engineering, please, before you Google “ME salary”, ask yourself “Is this something that is innate to who I am? Is this something that I have been doing since I was a child and this just furthers what I have in my love of mechanics?”

If you just google the salary and think it is a nice place to start, please go to underwater basket-weaving 101.

I just spent 30 minutes explaining something that is so simple that when he said, after 10 minutes, “enplane it to me like you would your 6 year old son”, I said “He would have already gotten it”. And that is the truth.

Fathers: Give the gift of common sense to your kids.

Holy
Crap,
Yall.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.


22 replies so far

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RobS888

1984 posts in 1307 days


#1 posted 07-31-2015 01:21 PM

I train for a living, so I feel your pain.

-- I always suspected many gun nuts were afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

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SirIrb

1239 posts in 693 days


#2 posted 07-31-2015 01:29 PM

That is one of my duties, too. Where I work I train also. Most of the time it is a great experience. We have talent here that will wow you. But every now and then…WOW, just WOW. Are you screwing with me? What dont you get?

I help in hiring new talent too. When i interview people I have one question. If you cant give me an answer, I dont care about your resume. I dont care about where you worked, cant answer no go from me.

“Tell me about a project where you built/ rebuilt something when you had the money to buy one/ a new one”.

My response would be a long drawn out story about rebuilding a bush hog with my dad. It was a great project. All we kept from the original was the blades, stump jumper, pto shaft, wheel and differential. And all those were rebuilt. The rest was ground up.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

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RobS888

1984 posts in 1307 days


#3 posted 07-31-2015 10:51 PM

Yup I’ve had a few that scared me, but I find ways to get it in their heads. That is my job.

I was training a new trainer the other day that was struggling to explain something and just kept going deeper instead of stopping, anyway she yelled at me that I “wasn’t listening”. I stopped the training at that point and passed her back to her boss.

Doesn’t bode well.

-- I always suspected many gun nuts were afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

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chrisstef

15661 posts in 2469 days


#4 posted 07-31-2015 11:21 PM

Before the advent of the wheeled cooler i built one with a buddy so we could tote it around our old college campus during a party weekend. Parts from an old lawnmower. Even had fuzzy dice that popped out when you opened it. It was cool.

-- rock, chalk, jayhawk

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Redoak49

1947 posts in 1451 days


#5 posted 08-01-2015 11:17 AM

I recently retired but before I worked in a steel mill as an engineer for many years. At times, i interviewed people for both hourly and engineering positions.

I asked everyone if they had every worked on a engine or taken something apart and fixed it or used a wrench. The answer from everyone was typically no. When I grew up, in the beginning of time, every boy wanted to work on an engine or build something. I guess today kids only have time for their phones…and they do not know how they work. The vast majority have never worked on a computer to do something as simple as change a hard drive.

The number of people with mechanical skills or aptitude seems to have greatly decreased. I think that there will be an increasing need for people with these skills. The question will be is how we will train people to have them.

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SirIrb

1239 posts in 693 days


#6 posted 08-01-2015 12:36 PM

Oak,
In reply, yes, yes and I totally agree. As a kid I didn’t have a choice, like it or not I was building or rebuilding. Engineering didn’t just fit my appitude, it would have been dumb not to go that route.

To answer your last, apprenticeships.that’s how I got my break. I wish more companies got behind them. I was very loyal to the company that gave me an apprenticeship. It’s just that in design engineering, not too many companies are doing it. And I get it. They have to find the diamond in the rough, the grown kid with the natural appitude for building, and invest time to train them—years. Then they hope they can break even or maybe hit the jackpot with an apprentice who gets a good patients or is just a solid designer and can work without supervision. I don’t blame the companies, this generation is a transient one. 5 years and you move jobs. There is too great risk / reward for employers.


I recently retired but before I worked in a steel mill as an engineer for many years. At times, i interviewed people for both hourly and engineering positions.

I asked everyone if they had every worked on a engine or taken something apart and fixed it or used a wrench. The answer from everyone was typically no. When I grew up, in the beginning of time, every boy wanted to work on an engine or build something. I guess today kids only have time for their phones…and they do not know how they work. The vast majority have never worked on a computer to do something as simple as change a hard drive.

The number of people with mechanical skills or aptitude seems to have greatly decreased. I think that there will be an increasing need for people with these skills. The question will be is how we will train people to have them.

- Redoak49


-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

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Redoak49

1947 posts in 1451 days


#7 posted 08-01-2015 02:25 PM

Sirlrb makes an extremely important point. Good people typically do not stay in a job more than a few years. They get a job and work hard and get training and then go out and look for a better job. In the steel mill, it took a number of years to train anyone and get them up and able to do a good job.

It used to be you stayed at a job to build vacation, benefits and pensions. Now, with a 401k, your personal pension is portable l and if you are good can negotiate vacation.

The best people go on to better jobs and the not as good stay forever.

The dynamics for a company to build a highly trained work force has changed. It reminds me of pro sports with a rookie pay scale and then free agency. Of course, the pay in regular jobs is a LOT less.

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SirIrb

1239 posts in 693 days


#8 posted 08-01-2015 05:11 PM

Oak
I am sure 401k etc is a driving factor. But more so, I think we live in a previously before unbelievable age, to state the obvious. For instance: today I could get on the web, apply for 5, 10, 20 jobs or hook up with a headhunter. Then if I get a hit I have a phone interview. Assume I am invited for an interview. The company only has to pay for a plane ticket, which today is quite cheap, and a rental and hotel. They may be into me for 1k. Maybe less. The ease of having the web, cheap phone calls, cheap air travel, cheap rentals etc, which was before quite expensive or not even thought of has linked west coast to east coast. I tell the boss I need a day of pto on friday, I fly out on Thursday night and back home on Friday evening. It’s just easy and accessible.

Can I blame industry for nixing apprenticeships? No. Capitalism is not a beneveloant master on the forefront. Profit is. But the unintended consequences are very benevolent. If an Industry had internships or apprenticeships, there can be a level of appreciation from the people who get trained. Interns usually have a very good shot at a job out of college. Apprentices get a skill. They get paid to learn. Sure, I made piss poor cash when I was pulling my apprenticeship. But 16 years later…man, I am so happy it was there.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

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MrRon

3926 posts in 2706 days


#9 posted 08-03-2015 05:47 PM

After spending 30 minutes explaining to someone something so simple, and they still don’t get it, must make you feel that you are a genius. I know; I feel the same way, but of course I’m not a genius; just someone who grew up at a time when technologies were in their infancy. There were no cell phones, no TV, no internet; instead we as kids had to figure things out for ourselves. When we needed to know something, instead of running to the nearest person for the answer, we went to the public library and researched it ourselves. Even if we went to the nearest person and they didn’t have an answer, they would send you to the nearest library. Finding your own answers is an invaluable education. It teaches us how to think for ourselves. That puts us ahead of a greater majority of those who depend on others for their answers. That doesn’t make us geniuses, but makes us feel we are and that puts us within a small minority. It can be lonely at the top. what was taught, but little more; just enough to pass. At home, changing a switch or receptacle is a mystery to them. Some take up woodworking and ask questions like “which screw do I use”? It seems so painfully obvious that I won’t give an answer.

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RobS888

1984 posts in 1307 days


#10 posted 08-03-2015 06:16 PM

I find it hard to blame anyone for not knowing something, unless they have had it explained to them numerous times by someone that does that for a living. I do blame people for not trying to learn something, but as long as you try…

I hear others (not professional trainers) explain things that just makes me shake my head. Again, I can’t fault them.

I’ve read there are 3 types of learners: seeing, hearing, or tactile. We’ve all seen people explain with their hands, most likely visual or tactile explainers. If you learn by doing (tactile), that isn’t the best.

Even the Romans had a phrase: Audio, video, disco (not dancing related) that means “I hear, I see, I learn” . So even they knew that just telling someone wasn’t enough.

-- I always suspected many gun nuts were afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

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lew

11337 posts in 3218 days


#11 posted 08-03-2015 07:03 PM

Want some fun?? Try spending time with high school kids in a Vocational School. The deficiencies you are observing are developing even before people get to the 9th grade.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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Dark_Lightning

2633 posts in 2571 days


#12 posted 08-04-2015 02:03 AM

Lots to see here. I have a degree in Physics, and have done both electrical (antennas, low observables) and mechanical (structures, tooling) engineering in my checkered past. I just do not understand the younger generations. Yes, I’ve had the differences explained- my generation expected a job for life, company loyalty, etc., and the newest generation jumps from job to job like a grasshopper, etc. By the same token, companies these days do not (generally) offer a pension, and expect the recent hires to fund their own through contributions to a 401(k). Further differences I have noticed- people I have interviewed for jobs in mechanical engineering (my most recent endeavor, for the last 15 years) have some book learning, but can be completely clueless about practical applications. I’ve seen engineers who do not know how to read a drawing. REALLY?!? I have a friend who likes to ask prospects how a toilet works. If they can’t explain it, they don’t make the cut.

Case in point, my middle son wanted to major in Chem E because it had the highest starting salary, telling me that he would hire into some company making more money than I did. After two years in the program, he realized that he didn’t like Chemistry as much as he used to, and switched to ME. He’s doing much better now, and has a degree.

It is true about the capitalistic influence with employers these days. After I graduated from the university, I went to work for a company that used to only call a new hire an engineer if they had a Master’s degree. I hired in right after that stopped, but it was still pretty sticky. I worked like a dog there. When I retired, they had to get three people (who were not new hires, they each had at least 10 years experience there) to do my work. People, even those near my age (62), typically don’t work that hard. What a laugh.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

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TopamaxSurvivor

17667 posts in 3138 days


#13 posted 08-04-2015 06:52 AM

Companies’ short term thinking to meet the Street’s quarterly expectations and the end of traditional benefits were at the root of this transition to the transient labor force.


Finding your own answers is an invaluable education. It teaches us how to think for ourselves. That puts us ahead of a greater majority of those who depend on others for their answers. That doesn t make us geniuses, but makes us feel we are and that puts us within a small minority. It can be lonely at the top. what was taught, but little more; just enough to pass.
- MrRon

Lot of truth in those words. Nobody can remember everything, but with a good foundation in the basics, you can figure out what you cannot remember. That may not make us geniuses, but too many others think you are. It can be a bit embarrassing to be held up as the standard to be met time and time again at company meetings.

I dropped out of pre-engineering to get into my apprenticeship. After correcting drawings for most of my career to make complete and operating systems, I wondered what are they teaching in college? ;-) I remember one job early in my career with a liquidated damages deadline for payment on the contract looming, the boss asked me if I could make a water district control system work? I said, “Sure, but it will take 3 or 4 days to modify the drawings and then the circuitry.”

After I finished, he requested I write a letter explaining what I did and why without making the engineers look like they didn’t know how to make their systems functional. He wanted to collect for the time I put into it. That was too tall an order for me. ;-) I didn’t have a clue as to how to word that letter!

I think a lot of the retention of top talent today lies with management. These guys are paper and dollar pushers. They have no idea what they are managing or why. Too many think any electrician is an electrician and any engineer is an engineer. We have become a credential based society in a competitive performance based world.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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SirIrb

1239 posts in 693 days


#14 posted 08-04-2015 11:03 AM

College cant make an engineer out of someone, it can assist someone who has those traits in them to be better.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

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RobS888

1984 posts in 1307 days


#15 posted 08-04-2015 02:47 PM

You can’t compare apprenticeship to college, they are fundamentally different, one is fully hands on with mentoring, the other is mostly theory. I can draw on my time as an apprentice and the pretty benevolent training I got from my mentor. He was the owners son and of course any mistakes cost them money, so he might spend an hour over the course of a day with me. He worked a large mill right beside my area, so I was probably observed more than I realized.

What I’m getting at is you need someone willing to devote time to instructions, fixing errors, & questions.

-- I always suspected many gun nuts were afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

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