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Old 10-17-2015, 09:13 AM
 
6,841 posts, read 3,714,977 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graywhiskers View Post
I have worked 43 years so far at five major aerospace employers. Graduated when I was 20. The salary curve for engineers has been flattened, senior engineers no longer make as much as they used to. Benefits have been greatly reduced. Basic engineering technical knowledge is becoming scarcer as older engineers retire. Companies do not value technical expertise; often promoting younger workers who never learned practical engineering. Companies have far more bureaucracy. We have had the rise of the MBA, people who usually only contribute damage. There has been outsourcing. "Casual" overtime in place of time and a half. If you remember the 1980s, the US was the world leader in just about all aerospace fields. Now we are rotting from the inside out, due to mismanagement. We get the Junk Strike Fighter, many years behind schedule and way over cost. Assuming it ever works.
What I have seen is not good. Just glad I will not have to put up with it much longer.
I'm not quite retired, but the finish line is getting close. I agree with what you've said here. When I first came in our managers and leaders had come up through the ranks so to speak and had the technical knowledge to understand the job. The ones who weren't technical at least had the good sense to trust the technical people. What I've seen over the last 35 years is a massive growth of the "managerial class" who have zero technical knowledge and no understanding of the work. The MBA is the worst thing to ever happen to management.

Even though I have moved up in the organization, I have less authority and autonomy than 35 years ago. In the past I was trusted with many decisions and for the bigger ones, I could talk to the manager who understood what I was saying and get approval. Now it takes pages of PowerPoints, that have to be coordinated with all the non value added staff managers, to take a simple decision to the executive committee. None of whom can understand what I'm talking about and half of whom use the presentation as a jumping off point to push their personal agenda that has nothing to do with the topic at hand. The entire discussion gets derailed and I get sent back to redo the business case by including all the side issues where the original technical problem gets lost.

In the past those technical managers really knew their stuff and could out engineer most of their staff. That's how they moved up, by being the best there was. Now I'm amazed and appalled by the level of ignorance in managers.
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Old 03-05-2018, 07:44 AM
 
1,696 posts, read 610,929 times
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Compared to 35 years ago, some equipment for essential procedures in my medical specialty has been tremendously, and I mean tremendously, improved, which has made the practice incomparably easier. Also, I am in a traditionally male-dominated line of work, and I think an older woman in my profession (and probably even a younger one nowadays) gets far more trust and respect from both the colleagues and patients, even though she has pretty much the equal skills as 30 years ago - I think probably the combined effect of older age (which implies better skills, as a result of experience - not always true :-), and the fact that there is far more gender equality in my profession than when I started out.
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Old 03-16-2018, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Western Colorado
11,086 posts, read 12,467,812 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jowel View Post
Were there certain aspects of work that became easier the further into your career that you progressed (i.e. your 40s and 50s vs. 20s and 30s)? This could be anything from the work itself to technical competence, or political/cultural issues in the workplace, etc.

On the flip side, were there certain aspects of work that didn't faze you early on that seemed intolerable once you got close to retirement (or at some other point somewhere during your working life)?

And how much of this could be attributable to your own personal situation versus cultural changes in workplaces in general?

I look forward to your responses! And even if you're not retired, but are moving in that direction, I'd be curious to hear from you.
When I became a police officer in the 70's everything was simple, as the decades wore on, people became meaner more violent, everything was being videoed (try eating a cheeseburger with five cell phones pointed at you), and the job because harder. Toward the end I was driving a damn computer instead of actually doing police work (look inside today's patrol car, it looks like the space shuttle). Every single thing was micromanaged by managers who sat all day protecting a desk. With experience came knowledge and I was pretty darn good at diffusing situations that were getting out of hand.

What shocked me early on was the cruelty people do to one another, and what really got to me was the children and the harm done to them. After nearly 40 years I became numb to it. One sees things no human should see. One sees things they will never ever ever show on those tv cop reality shows.

A month before retirement I didn't do a thing, took three hour lunches and sat during an "evaluation" making paper airplanes.

After 10 years of being retired, I still have nightmares from time to time, still carry a badge (it says retired on it) but do not carry a gun (although I can just don't want to). I've mentored young officers around here (because what they're going through I went through 30 years ago), and it's really nice to go fishing when I want or have a beer with lunch.
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Old 03-16-2018, 10:09 AM
 
6,558 posts, read 1,348,237 times
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I had an over-developed sense of responsibility, and I would lose sleep over trifles. After a while, I realized that I couldn't control everything and learned to let go of work once I got home. I also learned to be more diplomatic over time -- in retrospect, I was much too outspoken in my 20's about expressing my opinion of how things could be done better, in my opinion. (And that usually did not go over well with senior management!) I also learned to be much more discreet in what I said at work, both about my personal life and my negative views about some things about the companies that employed me. (Btw, I have never been fired from a job, but I was reprimanded just a couple of times.)

As far as what has gotten harder over time, I think I would have to say that the only thing that became worse instead of better for me were the changes due to the HUGE increase in technology beginning in the early 80's. ( I usually worked in an office starting in my late 20's.) I admit that I have always been the type to resist change ("if it ain't broke, don't fix it"), and I have had a bad attitude toward learning new technology since my 30's (starting in the mid-1980's), and that just got worse with every succeeding decade. (I must admit, though, that I absolutely LOVED word processing and Excel -- but why do they have to keep updating them? grumble, grumble, lol.)

[Ditto for my husband, btw -- he is an electrical designer and was one of the first to enroll in AutoCad classes; and he loved going from the old pen-and-ink drawings to computer drawing, but we both are very resistant to change. People can say that we are just getting old, but I have been like that for 30 years, and my husband for at least ten. And neither of us have a Smartphone yet, and we will hold out getting one as long as we can!]
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Old 03-16-2018, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Central Mexico and Central Florida
7,097 posts, read 3,459,108 times
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Starting in the mid-1990s we noticed that many applicants were incapable of writing a business letter. All our jobs required a BA. There were some state colleges that seemed to churn out diplomas to anyone who ponied up the tuition. We had to incorporate the task of writing a simple business letter into our application process. Of an average of 15 applicants, only 5 or 6 could write an acceptable letter.

Around the same time those same recent college grads had little idea of work ethics. The first time one of them was out sick, he had his Mommy call in for him!! Another was arriving late about half of the time. When we discussed it, her excuse was, "Well, it should take me 25 minutes to get here but a lot of the time it takes me longer." I said as nicely as I could, "Perhaps you should allow an extra 10 minutes for traffic?" She looked at me incredulously and said, "But then I'd be early half the time!?!"
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Old 03-16-2018, 02:51 PM
 
1,227 posts, read 1,259,322 times
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At the store, a few things have become harder.

Hiring people has become harder. It used to be that teenagers would come to the store asking for employment. I would give them a written description of what the job entailed. Mostly it was easy stuff like being able to make change accurately (which they all could do), washing the floor nightly, dusting the shelves and merchandise nightly, keeping an eye out for theft, and being able to lift 50 lbs (which was rarely needed).

Since the teens who have been applying for work can no longer do the math to make change, cash registers have to think for them. So, in that regard, current cash registers have made my life a little easier. The cash registers also basically do the sales tax return for me, so that is a time saver too.

Currently those seeking employment refuse to wash the floors or dust. They claim that is too much to ask of them. If they do it at all, they do it haphazardly. Mostly they like to sit on their cell phones sending texts or reading social media when the store is slow, rather than straightening up. This usually means I no longer find hours to give them and they move on.

Sometimes they just don't show up for work. There is no explanation and no notice. Then they wonder why I consider that they have quit without notice and end their employment. I am hoping that this is teaching them what is expected in the working world so that when they are adults they will be responsible and maintain employment. But, sadly, I think that hope is forlorn.

The other thing that has made owning a store harder is the Internet, and increased competition from chains.

The Internet impacts the store in a lot of ways. One of the less discussed ways is that it is bringing about 150 new residents to the area daily This impacts property values, property taxes, and the cost of commercial leases.
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