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Off-topic: career changes

So, I made a decision a few months ago to end my employment. This decision was, as they say, encouraged by the upper management at the time. We reached a mutual agreement that we were not meeting each others expectations and neither of us had any intentions of changing expectations. Besides, I am well and truly sick of maintenance, engineering, and manufacturing in general.

So I shot out a ton of resumes, cleaned/organized my garage, built some speaker cabinets, and interviewed quite a bit. I avoided the recruiters - they want to place me in maintenance management again and I am done with that game. It is a shitty, shitty career choice. I think the only job that approaches the level of "thankless" might be IT. This might be TMI - but since I really wear my heart on my sleeve anyways, I entered a very dark place over the last year or two. Then I ran across an article that described "Install/Repair/Maintenance" as the profession with the second highest suicide rate in the nation. I know why that is, and despite my personal efforts to help change the companies view on the maintenance team they still held on to old school mentalities on it. Work them like dogs. Wear them out physically, beat them down emotionally. It is shit work for increasingly shittier pay, and most manufacturers these days demand the same person who modifies PLC code is also mopping the breakrooms.

So after awhile of allowing the depression to dominate, and believe me - I have dealt with mental health issues for a very long time - I came to the realization that I had to simply get out and do something different.

So the long story somewhat shortened, I saw a job posting for "production manager". Normally I would not click on that type of description, except I had never heard of the company. So out of curiosity, I clicked and realized it was nothing to do with production per se.

The company is a franchised bathroom remodeling outfit called "Rebath". The gentleman I interviewed with is out of Omaha, and he generally impressed me and I impressed him so I am his first hire for the yet to be opened Rebath franchise in this region. I get to go to Phoenix for two weeks for training, and then to the Omaha branch for a week to shadow a manager there, and then back to Sioux Falls to build the warehouse, hire installers, buy a forklift and a shitload of tools and pickups and trailers. He is going to pay me pretty decent, so no major setback there. After I get the show up and running, my job duties will primarily be project management oriented, which suits me just fine.

Eventually, we plan on opening a second warehouse in Sioux City and will be researching additional territories in the central plains.

So yeah, this is my first non-maintenance/engineering job since before I went to tech school in 2002. I am very excited, not a little scared, but ultimately looking forward to something new and different. Plus, I will have one of my install teams do my basement bathroom and remodel my two upstairs bathrooms. Rebath has a relationship with Lowes, as well so I might get a price on stuff there. We'll see. Great excite.

Thus the $600 bottle of Scotch.

I have a signature.
dcibelSilver1omojhollanderjoeybuttsGowarjj45ani_101kenrhodese6zionsquamishdrocand 7 others.
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Comments

  • All the best !

  • Great news JR!

  • @jr@mac said:
    It is shit work for increasingly shittier pay, and most manufacturers these days demand the same person who modifies PLC code is also mopping the breakrooms.

    That sounds like the job I used to have. I didn't have to mop the breakroom but a lot of the job was preventive maintenance and changing light bulbs. It never made economic sense to me to have the highest hourly wage people in the factory doing things that any warm body could do. They wore my back out and refused to move me into something that didn't require heavy lifting so one day I gave them 3 days notice and took a leap of faith and ended up with an IT job at a community college. Best job I ever had.

    So JR, you've done the right thing. I wish I had done it much sooner than I did. Party on.

    Ron

  • Well done JR. I was a facilities manager for 3 years. As you learned, the job will kill you.

  • Words of truth. Congrats on the new job and positive outlook.

     John H, thanks to JP I did get that email
  • Congrats JR!

  • One of my capitol projects was converting all lighting across all three facilities to LED. I really got tired of paying educated professionals to change bulbs. Just seemed a perfect waste of time to me. Between government rebates and saved time, the project paid for itself pretty quickly. It had a minimal impact on our utility costs, but it was measurable. About a 2% decrease, the processing equipment ate up the majority of our electric costs.

    Another thing I did was hire out lawn care - I gave production employees and their teen kids first dibs. As much as I and every other guy in my department did enjoy rolling around on a rider for an entire day, we were all very overpaid for that work. I hired a couple of teenagers and paid them $10/hr.

    At the end though, the company refused to invest in engineering, project management, and production management despite persistent 30% growth per year. Adding facilities, adding equipment. The burden of making all of these multi-million dollar projects to be successful from conception to full production had no owner. Nobody to manage these things. We did it via committee - and of course it all ends up cocked up.

    I have a signature.
  • Congrats JR! Sometimes you have to take that leap of faith and step into something new. Glad you did!

  • I thought that scotch looked special and JR is about to celebrate something big.
    GL!

  • I was the Facilities Manager / Maintenance Manager for a number of years. I strongly agree with everything you said.

  • All the best JR.

  • Good for you, Johnny. Sometimes it takes a leap of faith, and sometimes the Universe comes through for us in unexpected ways. Best wishes on your new position.

    Don, Donno, or "Hey you" all work for me, But never "Mr Johnson"
  • I'm happy for you dude!

  • Sounds like my employer. Good luck on the move JR. Almost everyone is scared of change but some times that is exactly what we need.

  • I'm glad you've had the opportunity to change your path, it gives hope to us all. I've been stuck in a industry where people like me are always stretched too thin, end up overworked and stressed out and depressed, yet this far into my career it's tough to even think of doing anything else, this is all I know and I certainly don't have time or money to go back to school for a different trade...

    Anyway, good luck with your new path, it could be that bathroom renovation has been your calling all along ;)

    I'm not deaf, I'm just not listening.
  • Kudos to you for taking the leap of faith, JR. Work is still work (they have to pay us to go there), but suffering in silence has its limits. Also, it's a good time of year to spend a couple weeks in Phoenix.

    Keep an open mind, but don't let your brain fall out.

    Sehlin Sound Solutions
  • People wait too long to change, I am one of them. The change is one of the best decisions I've made in my life. Glad you did and hope it brings the happiness you deserve.

  • Get some JR!

  • Congrats dude🤘🏼 Nice to take a chance in life sometimes.

  • Great news bud! Hoping this change allows some fresh wind in your sails!

  • This sounds promising. Best of luck my man!!

    jr@mac
    My signature goes here
  • Congrats on your new career! I hope it treats you well!

  • Wishing you the best JR!

  • I know I'm late to the discussion, but congratulations on making lemon meringue pie out of lemons. I don't care what the circumstances are... it takes some bravery to pull the plug on one job/career/way of life and try for something new. Us men are so often connected to what we do for a living...

    It took my wife to get me motivated to make a career change 14 years ago... I went back to college to get my Bachelor's degree while I stayed at my job for a good year and didn't say anything to anyone there about it. One day, I told them I was giving them two months notice and finally explained what I was up to... the boss seemed relieved. She said she had just sold one of the newspapers we had been publishing and there wasn't going to be enough work to keep me. I was surprised and thankful to say the least.

    Within three months I had a job teaching 3 year old children and haven't looked back since. I was scared, I had 17 years in the previous career... but my wife had so much confidence in me to be able to pull it off, that faith blew enough wind in my sails to make me believe I could do it. And 1,832 shoes tied later, I'm still enjoying the change. :)

    There are so many different jobs out there, who knows what we might be good at! Awesome news, hope it works out beautifully for you.

    TomZ

    BilletSilver1omojr@mac
  • Congrats JR thats a big move. I hope everyt thing goes smoothly and you get up and running quickly. I feel very similar with the work I do as well. Its really depressing and thankless. Your only fixing broken stuff or production critical issues that will cost the company ridiculuous amounts of money if its not fixed quickly. I thought making it through 2020 unscathed was lucky and hoped everything would turn around.
    I recently got some horrible news. Our facility has been sold and I will be losing my job sometime between now and november. I definately want to leave the field. Its a bummer I have 20 years in already. Our company is violating a 6 year contract which they they wanted (we asked for 3-4 years and they wanted 8). We are in year 2.5 of the contract. What sucks is we need to stay until the layoff if you want to retain any accrued pension, healthcare for some amount of time and any possible seperation pay should the company decide to be generous (not likely). Seems like a large corporation can find ways out of contracts even when the terms are clear as day (no plant closing, no moving of work to other facilities etc. We expected it to close in late 2024 at end of contract but this was a huge upset. Its been pretty emotional the past few weeks not knowing when the end is coming.
    Sorry to turn your thread into something different than intended. I just know ill be going through what you did shortly here. Figured we are all friends here and its not a bad thing to get off your chest. Best of luck JR.

    jr@mac
  • That sucks Mike! Very sorry to hear that.

  • Is Ashley's job safe?

  • edited January 26

    @D1PP1N said:
    Congrats JR thats a big move. I hope everyt thing goes smoothly and you get up and running quickly. I feel very similar with the work I do as well. Its really depressing and thankless. Your only fixing broken stuff or production critical issues that will cost the company ridiculuous amounts of money if its not fixed quickly. I thought making it through 2020 unscathed was lucky and hoped everything would turn around.
    I recently got some horrible news. Our facility has been sold and I will be losing my job sometime between now and november. I definately want to leave the field. Its a bummer I have 20 years in already. Our company is violating a 6 year contract which they they wanted (we asked for 3-4 years and they wanted 8). We are in year 2.5 of the contract. What sucks is we need to stay until the layoff if you want to retain any accrued pension, healthcare for some amount of time and any possible seperation pay should the company decide to be generous (not likely). Seems like a large corporation can find ways out of contracts even when the terms are clear as day (no plant closing, no moving of work to other facilities etc. We expected it to close in late 2024 at end of contract but this was a huge upset. Its been pretty emotional the past few weeks not knowing when the end is coming.
    Sorry to turn your thread into something different than intended. I just know ill be going through what you did shortly here. Figured we are all friends here and its not a bad thing to get off your chest. Best of luck JR.

    In 2012, our facility employed ~1500. Today we have ~200. Another oem line leaves in three weeks, another in April, and the decision to move an entire department out is still up in the air. More than likely we will be around 100 by year's end, if we remain open. This is also contract year.
    Yes Mike, the feeling of despair, it totally sucks. At least you know your facility's fate.
    Seeing the writing on the wall back in 2012, like Tom, I returned to college in 13' and finished an AA began in 1986 (always the oldest person in class, even counting the teach, but OMG what the girls wear today!!!). Things went well and decided to apply that towards a BS. Came out of that not owing too much, and for some odd reason (???) an opportunity came up and I went on to finish an MA. So, for the past two years I've been testing the waters, so to speak, for a better opportunity but when you live in a rural community, opportunities are rather scarce ... and the biggie ... **I've been working with the same company over 30 years and the thought of starting all over scares me to death. ** Guess I'm waiting for that kick in the nut sack before bailing.

    D1PP1N
  • I bought two trailers today, tools tomorrow and will be interviewing another installer. Things are moving along.

    Mike - sorry about your current state. My thoughts are with you

    Tom - good to see you here, and it sounds like your change was needed.

    Korn - if relocation is an option the Midwest is still fairly solid for manufacturing.

    I have a signature.
  • edited January 27

    @PWRRYD said:
    Is Ashley's job safe?

    She left a year or two ago but it didnt pan out with covid. Shes looking now as well. The timing is pretty bad to say the least.

    One take away from this is that the company is moving to texas so it wasnt anything we did quality wise or did wrong to lose the work. Its a 1930ish era facility and they wanted a new one next to the new plant being made. So i can leave knowing we did our job well. We recently had an audit by the EPA and CARB (california air research board) and they were impressed with the quality of data, processe and record keeping we perform. So no infractions on the audit which is rare I guess.

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