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No, My Stapler Really Is That Important

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Nom Chompsky, May 23, 2013.

  1. scotchcrotch

    scotchcrotch
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    Emotionally Jaded

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    I run a freight brokerage franchise with 7 full time and 2 part time employees.

    I used to make a fair bit more with half the staff, but twice the stress. I worked 70+ hours a week out of a bedroom in my house for the first year, moved on to a small 4 person suite, and a couple years ago moved into a 20 person office. In some ways it's great- I'm the boss, doing things my way. At one point I semi-retired for a summer and just stayed home with my kids. The goal eventually is for the office to grow without me being there, a long work in progress.

    On the other hand, the overhead is expensive and taxes really make it hard to grow. Small businesses don't have the clout of Apple, and you will get buttfucked by the IRS.

    You also have to deal with employee morale, which is your new boss. You have to set the example every single day and if you stray even slightly you're risking productivity. You're also the last person to get paid.
     
  2. Crown Royal

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    Just call me Topher

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    Zero, thank god. I would dread having any part in the destruction of a relationship or family. Besides, it wasn't the style of work. I worked at a firm, 50% which lent out P.I's, the other 50% were Rent-a-Goons that did things like strike protection and concert or nightclub security. A few of us were both, myself included. What I usually did was escort VIP's and people with threats against them. If there was strike and the workers were getting hostile towards the scab labour, I would follow them home and make sure they weren't menaced. It was mostly an observe-and-report thing, but with the added unsafe bonus of physically intervening if they were assaulted. And since I wasn't permitted defense weapons of any kind and choke holds are outlawed, I only had sap gloves. I did get to discover why those things are so dangerous, though. You can crack bricks and dent oak beams with them, and they absorb at least 75% of the impact. Scary stuff.

    Other jobs were boring and would be considered terrifying if you were afraid of the dark. One of the most memorable was when I was to gout out to a farm in a town called Simcoe, and catch the culprit who were stealing large amounts of gas from a rich farmer's pumps in the middle of the night. I know, I know. Real "gumshoe" two-fisted trophy wife-banging action. Whatevs. anyway: The only place I could catch them on film and get a good look in case I had to follow them out when calling the cops, I had to post in the barn. Which was as dark as black can get. And on the first night which I spent listening on my discman (it was around 2000) I heard some loud scratching above me. I looked up and saw the two most terrifying, glowing eyes I have ever seen.

    "FUCK. ME."

    I knew it was something...but WHAT? It was too big to be a cat so god knows what it could be...Despite it was 2 am, I called up to the Ranch house and asked the old man what fucking creature of the night was prowling above me.

    "That's Carl" he said.

    "Carl", for some god-forsaken rich man's novelty was a fully grown one of these things:
    [​IMG]
    ..which he paid to have trained and imported to kill the vermin in his barn. It was as big as a boogie board. "So, is this gigantic, scary bird a threat to me?"

    He was polite and friendly considering I woke him up in the middle of the night. I'll never forget what he said to me as casually as you could: "Not at all! He'll stay up top unless he sees a rat or kitten. Just don't get really close if he does come down to your level, though. He'll snatch the eyes out of your friggin' head."...that was a thing that was said.

    So, I spent eleven nights in this barn with my buddy Carl, who makes no sound whatsoever when he flies because despite the fact he's an enormous predator, these guys only weigh about three pounds. Every once in a while, I could feel him shred the air as he flew close by me. As a bonus, these are the owls that make the scary horror movie-style "hoot hoot" noises to add to the Night Of The Living Dead-atmosphere this entire job had.
     
  3. Belisarius

    Belisarius
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    Village Idiot

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    Part-time Law Professor and managing partner in a small to medium size business law firm here.

    No, you're not completely fucked. However, as you've probably already figured out, times are tough, my friend. 100 year names are going down in flames, and smaller firms are terrified to hire.

    My best advice is to acquire practical experience in your field any way you can, and get your foot in the door in places that might hire you. When I see someone who can actually put out decent work product, and is passionate and dependable, I'm willing to keep them around. Lose the that's-not-my-job syndrome. Hiring partners hate that shit. Do everything in your power not to seem spoiled, entitled, or a special little snowflake. We see so many clerks and baby lawyers who fall into that category. We're sick of it. Stand out of the crowd.

    Get over the idea that you're going to make $160K per year. That's over. Being shackled to your desk for the 16 hours a day necessary to make you profitable would burn you out any way. Take any paying job now. Working and gaining marketable experience beats doing nothing. There are licensed lawyers who have gone a year or two without a real legal job. They're rapidly approaching unemployable.

    Finally, start your client development efforts now. Get involved in something that will conceivably get you some business within a year or two. Those who had a life or profession prior to law school have an advantage here. Don't lose contact with your former life or colleagues.

    If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask.
     
  4. Flat_Rate

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    I am a mechanic, spent 12 years in GM dealers. Anytime you go to a dealer you have to keep in mind that if you live in a decent city the labor rate is going to be about 100 an hour. So a 20 dollar part + plus 1.0 hour labor + shop fees/taxes puts you at 150 pretty quick. Now that 1.0 labor does NOT go to the guy fixing the car, usually 20-30% of it does. Mechanics aren't paid by the hour, they don't have a salary, they get paid per job. So if a headlight bulb on a GMC Acadia pays .8 of an hour and it takes the tech all day to do it, he only makes .8 of an hour for his work day.

    So if you bring a car in for a coolant leak, the dealer will charge you to get your car checked out, usually an hour labor. So once they find a small hose that is easy to fix, MOST dealers will give you a quote for the hour labor + parts.

    Some dealers take advantage of women for sure, it's a problem that comes with everyone being on commission, sucks but it happens. In GM dealers these days the techs get screwed so bad on warranty repairs that trying to make the time up on paying customers is the only way for the tech/dealer to make the money back. Warranty repair times are set by GM and 90% of the repair times are completely inadequate. Hence dealers trying to sell flushes/services on new vehicles that in no way need any of said services.

    EDIT: Also to the question above, dealer techs get no commission on parts so they have zero incentive to replace more parts than necessary. I have heard of that happening at independent repair shops where the pay structure is different.

    Any questions about turning wrenches I am happy to try and answer.
     
  5. Nitwit

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    For this?

    They don't even have to be a dick.

    Never send your food back to the kitchen for any reason. Ever.
     
  6. downndirty

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    How do you handle visa situations? How did you get into that gig?
     
  7. FreeCorps

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    #1 Internet Boo

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    I've been in the accounting field for about ten years now, having worked in both the public and private sectors and having experience with the government (USDA), non profit orgs, cost accounting, the works.

    If done right, accounting is painfully boring, if only because this means you're tracking all revenue, expenses, dividends, etc. correctly. If you work for a smaller company where the entries are pretty much the same month after month, you could even set up recurring accruals and just make adjustments as you go along. Accountants deal mostly with the here and now, not with what might happen, so we're a stodgy bunch telling the finance guys that no, that projected revenue will probably never be that high, and the marketing guys that they've gone way over budget. We're not fun. But alas.
    There are different fields in accounting though, some of which can be more exciting, as I've mostly been discussing financial/managerial accounting. Auditing can be interesting if only because you get to see a new company every couple of months, plus you get to find new and exciting ways companies are trying to bullshit you. Forensic accounting can be interesting, it's like piecing together a puzzle when you're trying to recreate financial reports from 1998.
    If you're good, the only times it's difficult is when you have to clean someone else's mess, whether it's because you're starting a new job, or someone in the company fucked an entry up and you have to backtrack to find out the error. But the pay is ok and the job security is a nice bonus. Accounting is usually among the last to get let go if a company closes, so unless you're a major fuckup you'll have plenty of notice before you have to pound the pavement looking for a new gig.

    Well, for the last 4 years I've also been the senior financial accountant at Penthouse magazine, so...yeah, porn.
     
  8. ssycko

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    Biggest TV show is definitely SNL, biggest movie probably Sleepwalk With Me (which you should see, it's on Netflix, it's good).

    I went to film school, but it only helped me in that I met the one person that had work for me when I moved out to NYC. I know plenty of people who never went to any school and just started working and are doing quite well for themselves.

    The stress level is totally dependent on what the job is- you can have the easiest day in the entire world where it barely feels like work, and other days where you are about 3 seconds away from strangling the nearest producer. It's never so much an ego problem as an idiot problem, which is pretty much the same in every industry.
     
  9. Nom Chompsky

    Nom Chompsky
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    Honorary TiBette

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    Did you ever get confused and wonder why MoreCowbell was giving anybody orders?


    I've never been qualified for any of my jobs, so take whatever I say with a grain of salt, but I at least have been in the same room as people working them, so w/e: Ask me questions about private tutoring, runway shit, working for a test prep company, working in recruitment, doing SEO, doing social media, or (for some reason) doing HR.
     
  10. ODEN

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    How do you handle visa situations?
    Generally, the company I am working for works it out. I usually fed ex them my passport prior to heading out and they take it to the consulate here in the US before I leave or if I'm already in theatre and I need a visa renewal, one of our in-country agents will handle it for us.

    Otherwise, if I am doing short stints of a month or less, I will usually just travel under the entry stamp because I'm only on business at that point. I did work for one company that took advantage of the entry stamp and would just fly us down to Bahrain or over to Saudi for the day and fly us back because it was easier than doing the medicals/sponsorship and fees that some countries ask for.

    How did you get into that gig?
    I got a degree from the college of engineering at my university that specialized in the management end of construction. While there, I sent my paltry resume as a college student out looking for internships and one of the program directors at this company needed interns and happened to be an alumni, he interviewed me....well, I showed up for an interview but it was just him telling me what I would be doing and when I would start. It turns out that they are one of the largest CM contractors in the world now, in the same category as Bechtel, KBR, etc.; I was just fortunate to come along during good economic times. Nowadays, it is much more difficult.
     
  11. Kubla Kahn

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    How are labor hours determined then? I mean in my brothers example I saw him put the hose on in less than a couple of minutes. You're saying they'd just charge a full hour for a task like that?

    Are foreign repair shops/dealer repairs really that much more technical to warrant the insane prices? I've tried working on my younger brothers Jetta and the plastic covering things do make it a bitch and some of the engineering makes no sense but it's like 1200 minimum each time he take it to a European car mechanic.
     
  12. Bundy Bear

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    If it's anything like what I've done as part of my trade for the last ten years the billable hours don't just count the tradesman but also the sourcing of the part and all associated paperwork as well.

    I'm in Defence and have worked as a Fitter/Machinist for the last ten years which included fabrication, welding and armoury work amongst other things.
     
  13. Flat_Rate

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    Re: Re: No, My Stapler Really Is That Important

    Labor hours are determined by the factory, so GM says a properly trained tech can remove a transmission and completely disassemble / clean/repair/reassemble then install a transmission back in the vehicle in 9 hours.

    Now anytime a dealer has a warranty transmission repair GM only pays them 9 hours of labor, doesn't matter if it takes 3 days, that's all they pay. Nice system huh?

    Now if you're car is out of warranty and needs that same repair done then the dealer takes the 9 hour warranty time and adds 40%, so 9.0 + 3.6 = 12.6 hours labor for a paying customer.
     
  14. Now Slappy

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    It has it's rewards, both financial and otherwise. When we first took over, the place was a mess and we knew it because we had both worked here for the previous owner. The problem was that the owner was never here. He owned two other restaurants in NJ that practically ran themselves. We had two babies at the time and my wife was a stay at home mom until they went to school. That first four years or so damn near killed me. I had to do literally everything, from ordering to cooking to bartending to cleaning toilets.

    Now we've gotten to the point where my wife takes care of the front of the house, I take care of the back of the house, my father-in-law(now that he's retired[he was a chicken broker for most of his life]) helps with pricing and paying the bills which frees us up to actually run the business. Are we rich? In a word, no. But we were able to buy the property for the business this past year so now have no more lease payments. (Well, that's not entirely true, we just pay ourselves now.)

    Now to the question of why we work so hard. I can't answer for my wife, but for me it's to provide a better life for my girls. It's that simple. I mean, I'd be lying if I said I didn't get an enormous amount of pride when someone raves about our food or how great our staff is. That's the stuff that helps keep you going through the rough times, and there can be plenty of those.

    I also feel a responsibility to my staff. They have family's and bills to pay too. If I neglect my job then it directly affects them. As I've said before we have a great staff, five out of the six bartenders we have now all started here as busboys and worked their way up the ranks as they got older.

    Oh, and to answer Ghetto's question a little earlier, if yo slipped the server 20 or 40 bucks(depending on how much the drink cost) they'd be MORE than happy to make that switch for you. In fact you'd probably make their night.
     
  15. Now Slappy

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    Industry standard is still 15%, but if the server feels they are giving good service they should get 18%(which is slowly becoming the standard, but not there yet.) . Now look, if a server feels they gave good service and they only get 15%, they're not upset, just a little disappointed. 20% is still considered damn good and anything above that they're doing back flips in the kitchen.
     
  16. Parker

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    Its not age targeted even, its cookies. It's called remarketing or retargeting. It has nothing to do with demographics, it has to do with what websites you've been on and search behavior. You go to Bose.com, you come back to the TiB, you'll get hit with a Bose ad. End of story. It's not any smarter than that. Its not like you can go to Bose.com and get hit with a Beats by Dre ad. You Google Pizza, you get hit with what is called Search Retargeting, you searched for it, you saw ads for it, but if you leave the search engine, we will follow you. Clear your cookies and you'll return to getting ads for Asian Women and Bike Seats.

    Trust me I've been in presentations when Google tried to present us mindblowing data, and due to the fact it just skims the surface of shit, it is mostly useless. It usually confirms shit we already know or let's us know we're doing something egregiously wrong. Nothing really helpful if we're running a competent program. Any real information always has and always will come from volunteered information, be it group interviews, focus groups and surveys.
     
  17. audreymonroe

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    The most powerful cervix... in the world...

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    Anyone want to know anything about sex health education or freelance writing?

    Because it's super exciting.
     
  18. Nom Chompsky

    Nom Chompsky
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    how is babby formed
     
  19. Rush-O-Matic

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    include instructional videos
     
  20. MoreCowbell

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    And here I thought I was getting ads for Waka Flocka Flame's new album just because my middle name is D'Brickashaw and Google is namecist.