Very constructive, well put.
First off, any boss worth anything realizes his/her most important assets are the people, not the machines. I am responding to what you've written, purely in a constructive manner as well, hopefully thats the way it will be read.
1. Work or no work I have to pay the state 19 grand for unemployment ins (1/2 year) your health ins, rent, etc. < That's part of running a business. True, but do people really realize how much it actually takes?
2. When no work goes out, no checks come in. < Why isn't the work going out? Are all of your employees slugs or is the environment set up for failure due to lack of documented processes and procedures. Is your scheduling based on actual capacities or are you winging it? My people are very dedicated, its not their fault when there are slow times, thats why I don't mind paying them to do 1/2 the production. Scheduling has always been done via a production board, there are written job jackets that specify what is to be done and when.
3. Poor attitudes only make more work for me. < There is always a bad apple, but if everyone has a bad attitude, maybe you have to take some responsibility. I am not speaking of my organization. Of course at times someone is not a happy camper, it is what it is. Been there done that, was a lot of work, but worth it.
4. When a job gets screwed up I have to pay for it twice. < Does your management team have DOCUMENTED procedures and process in place? Are errors measured with those processes in place? Is continuous process improvement implemented to improve the procedures to reduce the chance of errors? Are the operators trained in those processes and procedures? Then held accountable if those processes and procedures not followed. Remember, "we do it this way all the time you should know that" is not a procedure. We have always had a process improvement procedure and document, depending on the error, will dictate what type of retrain or improvement needs to be done within the company. We still have to pay for the job twice, that cannot be changed.
Again, my intention is not to make this one of those endless threads that go no place. When the day comes that you have to make a decision, to let go part of your staff, so the company can survive, those people that never did anything wrong. Tell me how that feels. That was 6 years ago, it still bothers me today....
Last edited by HPC; 07-17-2012 at 10:33 AM.
Reason: Bold for responses
So I guess I have a unique perspective on all this. I started working for my company when I was the first non-family employee. and besides the three owners (husband, wife, and partner) I was the 3rd employee. 12 years later, I am the bosses right hand...er...(wo)man... officially Prepress manager, but I wear sooo many hats it's not even funny. The print shop now has 17 full time employees and 5-6 assorted part-time "slave-labor" employees. we also own three kinkos-like copy centers with their own respective staff, sales people and managers. So, I am "that pain-in-the-a$$" manager and also that "know-nothing" employee... depends on the day and the mood of the owner(my boss). I coordinate and research new equipment, software, and processes with the owner, department heads and the assorted store managers. I'm also the one that has to take the slack when the boss buys a POS piece of equipment (even though I recommended against it) that doesn't work.
SO! with all that background here is my take:
As an employee, here is my response to these:
1. Work or no work I have to pay the state 19 grand for unemployment ins (1/2 year) your health ins, rent, etc.
2. When no work goes out, no checks come in
- - - - >1 & 2 are the same really. As the owner, it's your responsibility to stay on top of your sales force and make sure they are performing as required. Now, there ARE slow times, and these can not be avoided, but I have seen the owners of our company skip pay checks for themselves so as not to have to lay off employees. And, for GODS sake, if work is getting slow, don't layoff or piss off your sales staff!! We have gained so many great sales reps because other printers forgot this concept. But that aside, layoffs do happen, just let your employees know what is going on, and they will thank you for it. they're not stupid, they know when the shop is dead, make them part of the solution and your company will grow because of it.
3. Poor attitudes only make more work for me
- - - - >again, make your employees part of the solution, don't just dump the consequences of the problems on them. Poor attitudes are usually a result of employees feeling mistreated or unfairly blamed for problems
4. When a job gets screwed up I have to pay for it twice
- - - - >this is an issue. mistakes happen. If you have employees that don't accept the consequences of a mistake and help to remedy the issue, or, worse, don't care, time for new employees. Also, as a boss, you need to let employees see that YOU accept the consequences for mistakes that YOU made.
Now, frustrations that I have toward bosses in general...
1. If YOU (the boss) are the only one who can't follow a rule YOU imposed, please don't blow up the whole system. it works for everyone else, why should we change because you can't follow your own rules? (and yes, you sign the paychecks...but still)
2. If there are constant problems with one employee, don't make the rest of the shop conform to their sour attitude and lack of cooperation, address the issues with that ONE employee, and if they can't be remedied, time for new staff.
3. As an owner, do remember that your shop is nothing without dedicated employees. Factories in general may be able to get by with people who are there to punch a clock and collect a paycheck, but print shops CAN'T function that way. In a job that is such high-stress and mass chaos as the print industry is, you NEED to have an entire staff that can work with each other and is flexible enough to get around the "that's not my job" mentality to problem solve and get the job out the door. Even more so, if your departments can't work together you will have nothing but problems.
4. Finally, as a prepress manager.... IT'S NOT ALWAYS PRE-PRESS'S FAULT!!
I have to get some jobs off my desk actually, I'll post my views from the "boss" side in a bit.
I remember when employees were valued and not treated like a cheap commodity.
Originally Posted by HPC
Without employees, bosses would just be another body in the unemployment line
I always love these sections of a forum. Getting to say things you can't quite say at your job. It always amazes me how my boss falls into these same pitfalls. Printing is a delicate art, and if you want it done right it takes TIME.
One would think the overlords of a print company would understand that, but it just seems like every boss knows 'business' and not necessarily the business that they are in.
Yeah I don't want to turn this topic into a complete gripe session (could use a stronger word there!) but I have had the unfortunate experience of working in printing all my life and I have seen it all. Why I didn't choose another "career" like running guns or selling meth escapes me (I'm too old to be a gigolo!)
Originally Posted by mjlake
1. Working for someone who spent 20 years in a completely non-related industry (like the old Bell Companies or an aerospace corporation). This person retires with a fat pension (remember those?) and then decides to open a print shop. That move right there should have made me question his sanity. Knowing NOTHING about printing, this "bright bulb" relied solely on the advice of...... Equipment salesmen!!!
2. Similar to above but this time the new owner goes through the PIP or KWIK KOPY or International Minute Press 90 day wonder training session. Some of these - like KWIK KOPY - had it down to which way the toilet paper comes off the roll. Having worked for AB Dick (and dealt with a lot of losers at PIP Corporate), it's pretty easy to quickly ascertain that the "trainers" are only a couple of steps above a casaba melon in "smarts."
3. Working for $8-12 an hour, driving a ten year old vehicle and living in a roach pit apartment while the owner owns two or three vehicles, a boat, and a half-million dollar house.
4. Listening to owners gripe about all the overhead they have to pay, meaning EMPLOYEES SALARIES, while failing to mention how much of their business they can write off.......
5. Holidays and vacation? What are those?
6. Health insurance? See #5 above.
7. Pension, 401k or some type of retirement? See #5 above.
8. Raises? See #5 above.
9. Sick time? See #5 above.
Do I need to go on there????
10. Favorite quote from a previous print shop employer: "I don't like to take in jobs unless I can bill $100 per hour on press time." Of course to the $8-10 an hour press operator that leaves a lot of questions.
11. "We don't have service contracts on our presses. The press operators do it themselves." Oh.... So in addition to running his press, and bringing in the revenue for his shop, I am supposed to also be a factory-trained technician..... When working in shops with that management "philosophy," removing a side cover from a press usually presented an interesting array of rubber bands, paper clips, and other "ingenious creative devices" keeping thing rolling.
I mean after all, why would a shop owner want a service contract on a $40,000 piece of equipment? I bet he changed the oil in his cars every 3000 miles, though......
12. "This customer wanted 10,000 copies, black ink, on assorted pastel bond paper. I don't think we can make any money on that job...." But this same bright bulb owner would spend HOURS at the light table pasting up (pre electronic design days) little pieces of art (remember the wax machine?) and type for his favorite pet project, like the Elks Lodge or some other lost cause. Billing them 1/6th of what a walk-in off the street would pay......
Do I need to go on?????
Unfortunately I am still in printing BUT I lucked out and have a government job. Don't believe the b.s. about the pay. It is pretty bad.... But at least I will hopefully get a retirement check (if the governor doesn't loot the plan) and we get some decent benefits and are at least treated with respect.
Best of all, when something goes wrong, the shop supervisor doesn't get on her broom and go hunting for someone to blame....
Being right is not enough. You have to be powerful.
... but sometimes being right because you are powerful results to that:
Last edited by Saulius; 07-19-2012 at 08:38 AM.
Nothing like the smell of fresh spam frying in the morning!
Originally Posted by OPrintingPress