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  • Might get fired? Minnesota

    Hello all, newbie here. Name is Vinnie.

    I have been a machinist for 20 years now and was laid off from a 5 year employer Feb. 09. This decade I have been laid off a total of four times. My performance has always been at the very least satisfactory and according to my last employer "exceptional" I have never been fired, never warned or written up for poor performance.


    I am getting the strong impression that my current employer (operations manager) is on the verge of firing me. Apparently I am becoming the fall guy for him. We have had numerous parts recently scrapped out, about 50K worth of castings, but they were determined to be an engineering scrap and not a manufacturing scrap. Regardless, the operations manager has verbally expressed his distrust in my skills. I have asked my foreman and other coworkers if they have the same opinion of my skills and the answer is "NO". This man, operations manager, has a bad reputation among the employees within the company and is generally disliked.


    So anyway, I have never dealt with a manager such as this. Not sure what to do if I am fired. I'm doing my best to keep my temper and be reasonable.

    My questions are:

    Can I get unemployment if I am fired?

    Contest unemployment if denied?

    Should I make journal entries of dates of parts I worked on that were not scrap since I have zero scraps on my record?

    Journal entries of things the operations manager has said to me? Etc...

    Any other ideas?

    Thanks for any response!

    Vinnie

  • #2
    Anyone can apply for unemployment. If you don't like the decision handed down, you can appeal. No one here can tell you what the unemployment decision will be. Generally speaking, if you're not wilfully doing something that would cause you to be fired, your chances are good. Cases where an employee is fired for an honest mistake or a mismatch of skills are frequently decided in favor of the employee (not saying you made a mistake or there's a problem with your skills, but you indicated that's what your employer might argue.) There are no guarantees though.

    $50K worth of waste is a lot of money for any company, especially in this economy. Sometimes managers say things in the face of an issue like that, and then rethink them or get better informed later. Keep your head down, try not to take it personally, and don't lose your temper. If you feel the need to document your own performance, go ahead and do so, but don't call attention to it and don't let your record-keeping interfere with doing your job.

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    • #3
      By the way, I sympathize with you on the jerk boss. I try to remember that mine doesn't like or respect anyone, so there's no point in letting myself get worked up over the fact that he dislikes and doesn't respect me. I just keep my head down, do my job, and try not to take anything he says personally.

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      • #4
        One really good thing about a job as a machinist, is that you can see the results of your efforts immediately. In most cases, you don't have to wait for a scrap report. You know if you did the job right.

        QC (or whatever it is called in your company) may occasionally reject parts that you thought were good, but most of the time you know before QC does if there is a problem or not.

        So, your posting and questions beg the issue a little bit. You ask us if you should "make journal entries of dates of parts I worked on that were not scrap". Does that mean that there were a bunch that you worked on that were scrap? I don't know and I'm not trying to be argumentive: I'm just trying to understand what you are saying.

        So, all I can come up with for advice is: If you are doing excellent work and you are concerned that you aren't getting credit for it and may take a hit for other people's errors, yes, make a "journal entry" for every job you work on.
        But, if you know that the quality of your work is lacking and you are scrapping more parts than you should, look to what you need to do to improve your performance.
        Please post questions on the forum rather than sending me a private message or email. That way others who have similar issues have access to the discussion.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by CarynG View Post
          Anyone can apply for unemployment. If you don't like the decision handed down, you can appeal. No one here can tell you what the unemployment decision will be. Generally speaking, if you're not wilfully doing something that would cause you to be fired, your chances are good. Cases where an employee is fired for an honest mistake or a mismatch of skills are frequently decided in favor of the employee (not saying you made a mistake or there's a problem with your skills, but you indicated that's what your employer might argue.) There are no guarantees though.
          Definitely not willfully doing anything wrong. Our manager would probably argue, he has that rep. but I know that my foreman, coworkers, inspector have a different opinion.

          Originally posted by CarynG View Post
          $50K worth of waste is a lot of money for any company, especially in this economy. Sometimes managers say things in the face of an issue like that, and then rethink them or get better informed later. Keep your head down, try not to take it personally, and don't lose your temper. If you feel the need to document your own performance, go ahead and do so, but don't call attention to it and don't let your record-keeping interfere with doing your job.
          Yeah, after my little spat with the o.m. on Monday and talking with other employees I was finally informed that he is not one to argue with. He apparently likes to pick out a new target and shift blame from himself. This is a case that all involved, Operations Manager, Foreman, Inspector, Engineer, Machinists were aware from the get go on these new parts that they were bad from the foundry. We were told to ignore a specific dimension which later turned out to be critical for clearance issues. To aggravate the situation even more the inspector also helps assemble these parts and when totally assembled did not test the parts to insure that they worked ( these are piston driven pumps and the pistons had 100% interferance). One of the parts was shipped and when received by the customer it was a disaster. But according to the O.M. this was my fault since I was running the machine. Crazy huh??

          Originally posted by CarynG View Post
          By the way, I sympathize with you on the jerk boss. I try to remember that mine doesn't like or respect anyone, so there's no point in letting myself get worked up over the fact that he dislikes and doesn't respect me. I just keep my head down, do my job, and try not to take anything he says personally.
          That's tough for me. This is the first jerk boss I have had in many years. My last employer, got laid off, the owner, management, etc... were excellent. Guess I got spoiled over the years.

          Originally posted by Scott67 View Post
          One really good thing about a job as a machinist, is that you can see the results of your efforts immediately. In most cases, you don't have to wait for a scrap report. You know if you did the job right.

          QC (or whatever it is called in your company) may occasionally reject parts that you thought were good, but most of the time you know before QC does if there is a problem or not.

          So, your posting and questions beg the issue a little bit. You ask us if you should "make journal entries of dates of parts I worked on that were not scrap". Does that mean that there were a bunch that you worked on that were scrap? I don't know and I'm not trying to be argumentive: I'm just trying to understand what you are saying.

          So, all I can come up with for advice is: If you are doing excellent work and you are concerned that you aren't getting credit for it and may take a hit for other people's errors, yes, make a "journal entry" for every job you work on.
          But, if you know that the quality of your work is lacking and you are scrapping more parts than you should, look to what you need to do to improve your performance.
          As I originally said I have not scrapped one part in the 5 months I have been employed at this job. As I stated above ALL involved were aware from the get go that these parts were bad from the foundry. Lots of balls dropped and I did nothing other than what I was told. Dimensionally the parts are bad but I was specifically told to ignore a critical dimension. I am not alone, I work the night shift and the day guy was told the exact same thing. The parts he and I worked on are all scrap and were officially considered an engineering scrap. So, I am pissed that I am getting heat from the boss but no one else. I know it sounds strange but this is the honest truth! I have never in my career come across such bizarre behavior.

          Thanks for all your replies!

          Vinnie

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