Alarming lack of boat mechanics and parts

SinglehandJay

Misanthropist
It's ironic that folks look at the same youth and get different messages from them.

IF there was an industry - not one company, but 150+ - in the city of Chicago, and a) they all needed skills like yours, SinglehandJay, and b) had a training (on-the job, trade schools, union apprentice training, etc), I'd argue that over time, you'd find lots of local folks who want a good wage that doesn't require a college degree. I'll bet those folks will work hard. Like yourself, they will be able to look their loved ones in the eye and say "I am able to provide for my family and have a good life, in return for hard work."

(I use Chicago as an example, because it's a place that needs this kind of thing the most, and also because I feel a lot of folks would think that South Side Chicagoans wouldn't succeed. I believe that it could succeed, and the knock-on social effects to having broad access to a true living wage would be enormous.)

Back to outboard motors, LOL, are there even programs for folks who would want to learn about marine motor repair? Where I live now, the area is spotted with lakes, and there are lots and LOTS of boats, and they all have big motors, so there must be a base of outboard mechanics here (IL/WI border).
I truly wish it was like that. The job I do as a press brake operator is physical and is work. I offer my guys around the shop to come to the area and learn the trade. A couple have tried but you have to be extremely accurate and have decent math skills. Out of the three things I listed at least one of those will not apply to said person and they more or less give up. Some come right out and tell me it's too much thinking. The other bunch is young people who are fresh out of welding school and they think the clean, perfectly comfortable and flat work they did in school is the same as real life. Most of them were told they were good at welding or because they graduated welding school they think they are amazing fabricators. The sad truth is that they mostly really suck at their job and they are slow. How do you tell that to a person that will melt over constructive criticism. Today it seems the younger people want everything for nothing. There is no strive to do hard work, only complain about it. It's like there is a contest to see who can be the most uncaring, lazy sack of useless shit anymore. But maybe it's just my field
 

Canuck from Kansas

WFF Supporter
Yeah, I know, when I was a boy, I walked 3+ miles to school, uphill, both ways. Kids these days!!

I think a lot of folks who are griping forget what it is to be young and new on the job. When you first start, of course you're slow, maybe less attentive than you should be, etc, but with proper mentoring by more senior workers, you get better and more skilled. Maybe the problem is with the impatient older gen who don't know or care enough to properly mentor their Juniors.

Cheers
 

SinglehandJay

Misanthropist
Speaking for myself when I was 18 yes I didn't know shit. But instead of pretending I did I asked for help to learn. I was a very hungry to learn young man. I didn't want to look stupid in front of my team and wanted to be self sufficient. I also wanted my family to be proud of me. Make the company money to make me money. Used to be you would take on more work to impress your team leads and managers, show them you are worth more money and can take on more responsibilities. Today the attitude is I won't do any more than what I'm paid to until you pay me to do it. Then when you do give them money and they just plain suck at what they were trying to be better at. Then I'm stuck with paying someone more even though they still suck and are still lazy. Today it's only about money. No pride. Just excuses from them and the coddlers
 

MGTom

Living at the place of many waters
WFF Supporter
How do you tell that to a person that will melt over constructive criticism.
I remember coming out of renton with a 4. and thinking I knew what was up. In the middle of the first week I thought I made a huge mistake. Many people thought my boss was an ass, and he would yell, but really it was just like working for my dad. He'd get frustrated and wasn't the best at expressing himself. It wasn't personal. And ...... he was the best mentor a person could ask for, and I was ready to sit for my PLS exam after the minimum of 8 years experience. And I was the only one who passed that spring from the Spokane section. It's work, ya gotta want it. Many think a paycheck, or a grade, is a participation award just for showing up.
But at 60 the more I experience the more I understand I don't know shit. So take it for what it's worth.
 

Driftless Dan

Driftless Dan
WFF Supporter
MGTom, I had a boss that was similar in some ways. One of my earliest duties (I was in the office, so no physical labor involved) was the creation of a complex invoice. I'd create one (5-6 pages, done manually before PC's) and he'd look at it, toss it back to me and say "incorrect." I'd have to look through it myself to find the error. I sure learned accuracy that way!

He'd gone through 3 assistants in short order because he was so difficult to deal with. But once I handed him 3 or 4 of these invoices without errors, he treated me as well as he treated the president of the company (by which I mean, not great, but that was as much respect as he gave anybody). He and I got on like a house afire, much to the amazement of the rest of the office.

I guess my point is that it works both ways. Maybe the kids that Singlehandjay says "they still suck and are still lazy" are just not properly motivated to excellence. Those kids don't need a boss, they need a leader.
 

cabezon

Sculpin Enterprises
WFF Supporter
There is far more to a career than just money, but a person with a bachelor's degree earns $900,000 (male) or $630,000 (female) more over over their lifetime than someone with only a high school diploma (education and lifetime earnings and how does a college degree improve graduates' employment and earnings potential. These are median values which deemphasize the impact of outliers like a Bill Gates (college dropout). The college advantages drop, but they are still substantial, when one considers socio-demographic variables (such as the kids of the already rich are far more likely to go to college) and other factors (value of the dollar at present vs. the future).

Unemployment levels among those with a college degree are consistently lower than those with only a high school degree and life expectancy among college graduates appears to be higher by several years.

If we want to level the playing field and encourage more students to pursue careers in the trades, we might need to consider improving pay and benefits and improving working conditions. A job that leaves your body broken and you in pain in your 30's seems like a bad tradeoff for a paycheck.

If you know of a student who is interested in pursuing a trades education, have them contact their local community college to explore opportunities in their local area.

Steve
 

Albula

swollen member
Back to the boat mechanics. As a former resident of Monroe County FL, probably the home of more boats than people, it quickly became obvious that the only thing more temperamental than an outboard motor was the outboard motor mechanic. As a guide completely dependent upon the machine on the back of the boat making reliable noises one very quickly determined the favorite beverage of the local marine technician. Hopefully one who was a contortionist with arms that hung down about to his knees. Nothing crammed onto a flats skiff is easy to get to.
 

Nick Clayton

WFF Supporter
No generation has a monopoly on laziness. When I was a supervisor at the shipyard, (fed government job) it was the middle aged or older, experienced mechanics that caused me the most stress. They had adopted to the lifestyle of a government worker and knew they didn't have to work hard. I cant count how many times I had to assign an important job that should have gone to the journeymen mechanics, to a young helper or apprentice because I knew they would simply get out there and get it done.

Spending half my year in Westport I work with a lot of young deckhands. Anytime I read about how lazy young people are I can't help but chuckle and wish some people could come spend a week doing what these kids do every single day. My deckhand just turned 21 last week and he's as tough and hard working as they come.

There's plenty of lazy young people, no doubt. But there's plenty of lazy "older" people as well. It's just the way it is.
 

JayB

Active Member
People tend to perform as well as they're incentivized to. "Incentives" include good leadership, mentoring, encouragement, opportunity, recognition, etc.
 
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JayB

Active Member
Lumping people into categories is generally a bad idea.

[Opening Can Of Worms/] Amen to that. I nominate you to run the WA Department of Education if it weren't for the fact that the entire bureaucracy would rise up in revolt against you for such heresy...[Closing Can of Worms].
 

SinglehandJay

Misanthropist
No generation has a monopoly on laziness. When I was a supervisor at the shipyard, (fed government job) it was the middle aged or older, experienced mechanics that caused me the most stress. They had adopted to the lifestyle of a government worker and knew they didn't have to work hard. I cant count how many times I had to assign an important job that should have gone to the journeymen mechanics, to a young helper or apprentice because I knew they would simply get out there and get it done.

Spending half my year in Westport I work with a lot of young deckhands. Anytime I read about how lazy young people are I can't help but chuckle and wish some people could come spend a week doing what these kids do every single day. My deckhand just turned 21 last week and he's as tough and hard working as they come.

There's plenty of lazy young people, no doubt. But there's plenty of lazy "older" people as well. It's just the way it is.
It's not any different. My dad and brother still work there and I used to sub contract through them all. It's all politics
 

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