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Guy got fired at work #4556925
10/28/17 08:35 AM
10/28/17 08:35 AM
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 2,039
California
Stelth Offline OP
Stelth  Offline OP
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 2,039
California
As I've occasionally mentioned, I'm a plumbing foreman for a mechanical company. Company is neither huge nor tiny, with a total payroll of around 160. I've just about finished the job that I've been working on for the past 6 months, and when that happens, a foreman is often bounced around a little, as skilled labor, until he starts his next job. So I went to a job where a hotel is being built.

On my second day at this job, the foreman asked me to take a look at some cast iron pipe that needed to be inspected. He said that it had failed inspection, and needed someone to get it ready to pass. It turned out that the story was somewhat more involved. I went to the other side of the building and talked to the testing crew. "How many rooms are we inspecting?"

"Thirteen."

"How many do you have under test?"

"Two."

OK, I'm beginning to see the problem. To inspect waste pipe, whether cast iron, plastic, or whatever, the procedure is to fill it to ten feet above the area that is being inspected. This puts close to 5 psig of pressure on the low points, much more than a waste pipe should ever experience in service.

As it turns out, the testing crew, consisting of two supposedly skilled (one journeyman) plumbers and two laborers had been trying to get this area under test for the past eight days. Knowing it wasn't ready, they tried to Bravo Sierra their way through the inspection. Didn't work, the inspector wasn't born yesterday.

The foreman asked me if we could inspect the next day. I said yes. Then a number of superintendents and other mucky-mucks asked me the same question. Same answer. The foreman flooded me with manpower, and we got started. 6 hours later, we were ready.

Inspector came, we walked, he signed.

The guy running the previous inspection crew got his walking papers. Why? Not because he had trouble with getting the system ready. Because he couldn't bring himself to admit that he was having trouble, he kept promising that he would be ready, and finally, he allowed the inspection to take place knowing it wasn't ready. In other words, pride, or perhaps hubris is the word.

I was able to finish it off in six hours, not because I'm some sort of superman, or God's gift to the plumbing trade, or something like that, but because I've done it before, and I know how to do it in an orderly fashion. Plenty of guys could have done the same thing, but apparently not the guy who was doing it. In fact, after 30+ years in the trade, there would be no excuse if I couldn't get it done.

We all occasionally get in over our heads. Even though I've been a plumber for most of my adult life, sometimes something comes along that I haven't seen before. I have to ask for help. The guy who got canned wasn't really a bad guy, in fact, if he had brought his rhetoric down a notch or two (you would have thought he was the King of Plumbers), he would probably still have a job.


Experts are often wrong, but rarely in doubt.
Re: Guy got fired at work [Re: Stelth] #4556931
10/28/17 08:45 AM
10/28/17 08:45 AM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,274
NJ
Leo99 Offline
Leo99  Offline
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,274
NJ
I'm not understanding what you did that the other guy didn't do. Maybe he already had the necessary time and manpower to complete the job but didn't get it done on time.

You write very well.


Without data you're just another person with an opinion. W. E. Deming

2003 Corolla 250,000 miles
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Re: Guy got fired at work [Re: Leo99] #4556944
10/28/17 08:58 AM
10/28/17 08:58 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,693
Champlain/Hudson Valley
Kira Offline
Kira  Offline
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,693
Champlain/Hudson Valley
Everything the OP said fits.

The deficient plumber burnt up time and money and doubtless made somebody up the chain answer for his inefficiency.

It sounds like the right guy got shown the door.

Regarding him being God's gift to the trade (or whatever exactly the OP said); my Dad had an expression for those guys.
"A person can be good but a big mouth is still a big mouth". Sounds like he was one.

Re: Guy got fired at work [Re: Stelth] #4556948
10/28/17 09:02 AM
10/28/17 09:02 AM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 21,637
Orlando, FL
Mr Nice Offline
Mr Nice  Offline
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 21,637
Orlando, FL
Employee was lazy and didn't do the right thing knowing it was not ready for inspection.
That 'good enough' attitude really sucks in any industry/ career field.

Was the guy upset he was fired ?



Re: Guy got fired at work [Re: Leo99] #4556961
10/28/17 09:21 AM
10/28/17 09:21 AM
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 2,039
California
Stelth Offline OP
Stelth  Offline OP
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 2,039
California
Originally Posted By: Leo99
I'm not understanding what you did that the other guy didn't do. Maybe he already had the necessary time and manpower to complete the job but didn't get it done on time.

You write very well.


Thanks. What I did was put the steps in order, and direct people to perform those steps. I got my own hands dirty, too.


Experts are often wrong, but rarely in doubt.
Re: Guy got fired at work [Re: Kira] #4556979
10/28/17 09:44 AM
10/28/17 09:44 AM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 6,354
MI
doitmyself Offline
doitmyself  Offline
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 6,354
MI
Originally Posted By: Kira
Regarding him being God's gift to the trade (or whatever exactly the OP said); my Dad had an expression for those guys.
"A person can be good but a big mouth is still a big mouth". Sounds like he was one.

Good one, Kira. I have similar bits of wisdom passed down from both older and younger acquaintances that stick with me. My father-in-law (RIP)once told me that you can fool people for quite a while, but eventually the truth comes out (regarding personal abilities/qualities).

In the OP's case, it seems that the employee's trust was lost due his inability to just be truthful and maybe a bit humble. Do what is necessary to get the job done, even if it means admitting some weaknesses and seeking help. You get much more respect being truthful. And, it is very liberating not hiding behind a false persona.

Thanks for sharing this story Stelth.

Re: Guy got fired at work [Re: Stelth] #4556988
10/28/17 09:51 AM
10/28/17 09:51 AM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 18,230
Elizabethtown, Pa
Al Offline
Al  Offline
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 18,230
Elizabethtown, Pa
Originally Posted By: Leo99
You write very well.

I agree, OP's post was easy to follow. Lots of paragraphs. When someone writes 500 words in a single paragraph, I can't bring myself to read it.

BTW, I respect plumbers, its a tough tough occupation. I know you get lots of physical or mental "headaches".

Last edited by Al; 10/28/17 10:01 AM.

Re: Guy got fired at work [Re: Kira] #4556994
10/28/17 09:53 AM
10/28/17 09:53 AM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,026
Ruidoso, NM USA
ammolab Offline
ammolab  Offline
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,026
Ruidoso, NM USA
Originally Posted By: Kira


Regarding him being God's gift to the trade (or whatever exactly the OP said); my Dad had an expression for those guys.
"A person can be good but a big mouth is still a big mouth". Sounds like he was one.


My favorite one is: If I could buy him for what he is worth, and then sell him for what he HE THINKS he is worth...
I would be an Frigging MILLIONAIRE!


2009 Honda CR-V
2011 BMW R1200R
2005 Kaw Ninja 250
1994 Jeep Wrangler 2.5L
2016 Chevy SS Sport Sedan
Re: Guy got fired at work [Re: Kira] #4557023
10/28/17 10:22 AM
10/28/17 10:22 AM
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 2,039
California
Stelth Offline OP
Stelth  Offline OP
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 2,039
California
Originally Posted By: Kira
Everything the OP said fits.

The deficient plumber burnt up time and money and doubtless made somebody up the chain answer for his inefficiency.

It sounds like the right guy got shown the door.

Regarding him being God's gift to the trade (or whatever exactly the OP said); my Dad had an expression for those guys.
"A person can be good but a big mouth is still a big mouth". Sounds like he was one.


Right. Somebody pretty far up the chain got a call asking what sort of circus he was running. That same somebody called the job foreman and asked who was running the test crew. When told, he said, “Send him to the office and tell him to see me.”

Yikes.


Experts are often wrong, but rarely in doubt.
Re: Guy got fired at work [Re: Stelth] #4557034
10/28/17 10:29 AM
10/28/17 10:29 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,172
USA
Reddy45 Offline
Reddy45  Offline
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,172
USA
Every field has it. Lots of people who are only where they are because they know how to blow smoke. But sooner or later it gets put to test and you see how knows their stuff.

Re: Guy got fired at work [Re: Stelth] #4557065
10/28/17 10:51 AM
10/28/17 10:51 AM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 6,270
Waco, TX
Linctex Online content
Linctex  Online Content
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 6,270
Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: Stelth
The guy who got canned wasn't really a bad guy, in fact, if he had brought his rhetoric down a notch or two (you would have thought he was the King of Plumbers), he would probably still have a job.


I wonder if anyone has cared enough to tactfully explain to him his flaws......

otherwise it'll be wash, rinse, repeat..... job after job after job......


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: Guy got fired at work [Re: Stelth] #4557069
10/28/17 10:52 AM
10/28/17 10:52 AM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 6,270
Waco, TX
Linctex Online content
Linctex  Online Content
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 6,270
Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: Stelth
Somebody pretty far up the chain got a call asking what sort of circus he was running.


yeah..... that's never good


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: Guy got fired at work [Re: Reddy45] #4557077
10/28/17 11:00 AM
10/28/17 11:00 AM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 371
Alabama, USA
bcossa2001 Offline
bcossa2001  Offline
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 371
Alabama, USA
One of the first things I say to new hires who are working for me is that I want someone smart enough to say
“I don’t know”.

I have asked our project superintendents what trade they think is the hardest and plumbing is the most frequent answer. Congratulations on your position and your wisdom through experience.

Fewer things are worse than going through an inspection when you know you’re not ready, especially when there are people counting on you to make your inspection so they can follow you with their work.


"Facts are pesky things"

2003 Town & Country--143 k
2016 Fusion 8 k
2016 Fusion 34 k
2017 Santa Fe 8k
Re: Guy got fired at work [Re: Linctex] #4557079
10/28/17 11:03 AM
10/28/17 11:03 AM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 10,788
Buffalo, NY
JTK Offline
JTK  Offline
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 10,788
Buffalo, NY
Originally Posted By: Linctex
Originally Posted By: Stelth
The guy who got canned wasn't really a bad guy, in fact, if he had brought his rhetoric down a notch or two (you would have thought he was the King of Plumbers), he would probably still have a job.


I wonder if anyone has cared enough to tactfully explain to him his flaws......

otherwise it'll be wash, rinse, repeat..... job after job after job......


I guess many jobs are a lot simpler than the corporate world, where getting canned for work performance issues can be a long and daunting process for management.


2017 Ram 1500 4x4, 3.6L. 2016 Nissan Quest SV (Babe magnet IV)
Re: Guy got fired at work [Re: Stelth] #4557148
10/28/17 11:57 AM
10/28/17 11:57 AM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 4,409
Storrs, Connecticut
jeepman3071 Offline
jeepman3071  Offline
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 4,409
Storrs, Connecticut
It pays to have hardworking people who know what the heck they are doing.

The same thing happened in my current position. 3 guys before me lasted under 6 months in this job. They were overwhelmed, couldn't keep up with the work, never said anything to administration until they were really behind, then quit or were fired. I came in, realized the state of the environment, told everyone involved upfront what resources were necessary in order to turn things around, and I have fixed probably 80% of the problems so far. It wasn't easy, but it is the difference between someone who comes in and gets things done and wants to improve, and someone who just collects a paycheck.


2000 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L (181k) - Pennzoil 10w30, Napa Gold 1516, Magnefine trans filter
2009 BMW 328i (33k) - Castrol Edge Euro 0w40, MANN HU816X
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