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Lurker Deluxe

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Member since: Sat Sep 29, 2012, 08:32 AM
Number of posts: 492

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The difference is staggering. (long)

I simply can not tell you who I work for without just giving out my real name and contact information. I am the lone machinist in the Houston office, and head of my department which consists of ... me. So, if you know where I work it's as simple as looking up the phone number, calling and asking who runs the machine department and their phone number and ...

Anyways. To the point. American "businessmen" are so much different than their counterparts in other countries it is staggering. I work for a company that is based in Europe and has been around for over 100 years, they are relatively new to the US but growing at an alarming rate. We now have 5 offices in the US and are expanding one of them, and talking about opening a 6th. The company likes to promote from within which means almost all of our managers have been in field service (FS) at some point in time, one of the guys who started at the same time as I did is now a management level employee. We had been bringing in FS managers from other countries for the last 10 years or so, which meant the time they spent here was limited to their VISA stay, usually about three years. So, we always had a turnover going on at the mid management level as people came and went, although staying with the company moving to a different country.

This was a great way to build cohesion with other service countries as we started to get to know who was where as they passed through Mexico, Canada, and the US, before going back to the EU somewhere. The last director of services (DOS) decided that this was to costly and decided to hire the top three; Operations manager, FS Manager, and Workshops manager locally ... meaning in the US. The idea was to bring stability to those positions to help maintain consistent policy. This was put into place 18 months ago.

It has been a disaster. The DOS was replaced at the beginning of the year with an EU guy who had been here before and was currently in Italy, this time he will be applying for US citizenship and staying. Little Italian guy like 5'4" ... just a f'n nice guy, easy to talk to.

The FS manager and I were having a conversation about attrition one day and he actually said, "you should expect 30% attrition in service personnel a year". Which, of coarse, would mean 100% new worker bees every three years. He did nothing to attempt to stop some of our senior FS personnel from leaving and moving to a direct competitor because of raises amounting to 10% of current salary, attempting to replace them with kids out of trade schools. Our company had always paid on the basis of over 8 is OT, weekends are OT, Holidays are 2.5OT and there are no requirements to getting any Holiday or vacation pay, no day before day after BS. He had changed this to a standard US type policy which was to go into effect Jan of this year ... standard over 40 for OT, no special pay for Holidays, and day before/after to get Holiday pay or vacation time.

He was terminated at the beginning of the year and is being replaced with a guy coming from Italy who's first task is reaching out to the people we lost last year to see if we can get them to come back to the company. Our pay structure will remain as it was, and there will be no changes to the "US style of pay".

The Operations manager had been hung up on cutting costs anyway he can, I am assuming his compensation was tied to a bonus that depends on profitability of the team. Cut cut cut, that is all this guy has been going on about for just over a year now, and our numbers came out yesterday. Down from last year. This guy was trying to save the company money by making us pay for coffee, buying cheaper toilet paper, lower the mileage reimbursement and changing the way we pay per diem when working out of the office. He was trying to move the facility we are in to cheaper building, some 40 miles from where we are now. He attempted to do nothing to improve moral or productivity, nothing to promote the company in positive light to potential customers, and nothing to maintain good relations with old. His entire method of making the company more money was to cut expenditures, period.

He was terminated this morning, and we have been in a web meeting with the new DOS most of the day. Such a difference it is even hard to explain. The first thing this guy starts with is how he understands that the company is not lights and a building, the company is the people who interact with the customers and perform the work day to day. Although the company is not tied to this building and we may move to a different building he understands that the commute would be an issue for some so he PROMISED that if we did move it would not be more than a 3 mile difference. He said the company was raising the mileage reimbursement to $.60/mile effective immediately, and per deim would remain at $60 and would be paid anytime you worked outside of the shop, period. In effect we spent the day hearing about how good the company was, and how the reason for that was all of us ... management was there to support us so we can do our jobs and expand market share by providing quality service to our customers.

That Workshop manager, the last one hired, looks like a long tailed cat in a house full of rocking chairs ... all day walking around asking what he could do to help make our jobs easier. LOL, get with the program.

These EU guys are so different, it's all about growth, customer service, employee satisfaction, and solid fair compensation.

Perhaps the best thing that can happen here in the US corps are taken over by the likes of these people.
Posted by Lurker Deluxe | Thu Jan 16, 2014, 03:38 PM (1 replies)
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