20 June, 2015

Is it time to leave?

This past week I had a few really stressful days.  It seemed everything was falling apart and we couldn't get anything done.  One guy, who had already been gone for two weeks on vacation, didn't show up.  A new guy started and he, though fairly smart, has no background in truck repair.  Service calls were throwing us way off track.  On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday it seemed like the whole of the transportation industry simply fell apart.  Each day, soon after starting my shift, the day foreman and I get together and make up a "to do" list for the night shift.  Those first three days of the past week made the "to do" lists worthless.  Igor and I were working like crazy and it seemed we just couldn't get anything done.  The scheduled jobs went from around ten to thirty in a flash.  Some other people, those who somehow manage to always leave right on time and are never affected by increase in workload, created even more headaches for me.  I had two drop-in jobs.  Both of which started with a customer showing up and saying "I called earlier.  They told me to just stop by."  Well, it would be nice if that information was passed on to me.  There was no foresight from those "other people".  No concern was given to the jobs already in the shop or the lack of workforce.  The "other people" just keep piling up the work knowing they don't have to deal with the consequences.  They don't think about how Beaver and myself have to deal with angry customers.  "I was told my truck would be done tonight!"  In my opinion, disregarding one customer for another is not good business practice.  The workload is still there, it's just the order of operations that changes.  The "others" start at the same time and leave at the same time.  Every day.  "Oooh, you worked thirty minutes past the end of your shift.  Thanks for the extra effort."  Try an extra four or five HOURS every day trying to fulfill YOUR promises!  By Wednesday I had reached the point where I didn't care anymore.  I realized that my life was slowly being consumed by my job.  The piles of dirty laundry, the clogged gutters, the projects left unfinished... They kept stacking up because I was at work all the time and by the time I got home I was too tired to do anything other than feed myself and go to sleep.  Day after day after day...

Years ago I found myself working as night foreman.  I was never (and still haven't) been given the "official" title and position.  At the beginning it was a temporary thing.  Not a big deal.  I knew enough of the office workings that I could hold things together until a permanent replacement could be brought in.  One has not been found.  You see, the ideal foreman in a truck shop is a person who has considerable experience (meaning an older person usually) out in the shop.  We've had two people who were hired as service writers.  Both of them couldn't hack it and lasted no more than a few months.  I was disgusted with both of those people.  They had no clue how easy their job was.  All they had to do was answer the phone, get parts, write up work orders and deal with the customers.  I have to do all that and still work out in the shop.  I'm also still in the service call rotation.  What is supposed to happen is when someone moves to a foreman position, they're taken out of the service call rotation.  Not me.  Coming up on three years performing foreman duties and I'm still in the service call rotation.  Beaver got taken out of rotation soon after becoming day foreman.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not bitter towards Beaver.  He works just as hard as I do.  I'm just using him as an example.  He makes up for not being in rotation by putting in more time in other areas.  I'm just getting sick of continuously putting in more effort than most and being "rewarded" with more work.  I simply want to either be working in the shop or working in the office.  Not both as I have been. 

Preferably, I want to be in the shop.  Truck repair is hard on the body, but I have a lot of years left in me before I become too worn out to be effective.  The decision I need to make is whether or not I will continue at the current shop.  There are two fleet shops in town that are desperate for mechanics.  Heck, every shop in town is desperate for mechanics.  There's a lack of skilled, experienced mechanics right now which means I have a little bargaining power.  I've been going over the pros and cons of changing jobs and, lately, the balance has been shifting to quitting my current job and moving to one of those fleet shops.  I might lose a little money but not having to run service calls and not having to deal with the general public or picking up the slack from careless coworkers would more than make up for the loss of income. 

I'm not going to be one of those assholes who threatens to leave if I don't get what I want.  If I walk into the office and hand the boss a letter of resignation it's because I'm leaving.  Period.

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