Potential change in the works.

agewonagewon Senior MemberPosts: 655 Senior Member
For the past several months, I have been courted by a potential new employer. And decision time is near. Very near. As crazy as it sounds, I value the option of you bunch of crazy nuts. I've read posts in the past on this subject, and all joking aside, there is a great deal of experience, knowledge, and helpfulness with this group. So here goes.
I started at my current company as an assistant to the plant manager. Small company (1mil sales) run by a narcissistic owner. He's got several good traits, but in general he's a lying, temperamental prick. I dove into the company with both feet, learning everything and taking on every responsibility I could. The plant manager was a real great guy, friendly and just, but he was also a brownnoser who would take credit for all accomplishments. Throughout my tenure, I've heard everything from "if I'm making a million a year, you'll be making 250 a year", "one day you'll be running the show" and "when I retire, I'm selling you the business". Now, I'm no dummy. I know smoke coming out of my ears usually enters through the nether regions, so I just took pride in my work, so that at the end of the year, I had a leg to Stand on when I wanted more money.
Throughout the years, the owner would be less involved (golfing and tending to his many homes) and the plant manager pretty much looked to share the workload. So I took many responsibilities that were not mine, so the company would prosper. All the while, with only a two man management structure, there were some things that fell through the cracks. And being a man, I was happy to stand up and admit to issues that were my fault, promising to not let it happen again.
Fast forward some more, and things were staring to hit the fan more. The company was growing, and a lot was falling into my lap. The PM basically became a hands off guy, and when things fell through the cracks, we were both blamed equally. At one point, I lost it and said that until we're paid the same, I won't accept the same blame. But the nut owner took it as I wasn't committed.
Fast forward to three years ago. The owner has 4 sons, all of which attended great colleges and he assured me that with his connections, they'd be on Wall Street an had no interest in the business. Haha, seems like working for daddy and owning your own business was more appealing. One started as a salesman, and the other as the orders tracker. The gritty part was that after a few months, they basically told the old man that 90% of the company rested on my shoulders, and then I was promoted to plant manager, and the current PM was moved to night shift.
About that same time, one son became the quality control manager, and spent a lot of time on the production floor. To my mistake, I told the owner and sons that I would not be able to become the PM to my fullest potential until someone was hired to handle at least part I my workload. I said that to them so that we could be more efficient and mitigate any potential lapses during the transition.
Current day; the owners words that "my boys know how to run a company" struck me as odd, considering they've never had another job outside the company. But now the owner is never there, the salesman son has now become the VP and the quality control son now runs the floor. And I'm still doing what I've been doing the past 11 years. I'll admit it's hard taking orders from a 24yo with no experience, but the hardest part is sitting back when they make the same mistakes I've learned from in the past. Everything is now on a need to know basis, and last minute, and everything I do is either questioned or I have one of them shadowing me while I do it. If they want to learn, just ask and I'll teach you. But don't just hover and expect me to be pleasant. So needless to say, tensions arose and sMe to a boiling point several months back. During a strategy meeting (the only one I was privy to) we discussed several things. And all of them stemmed from inexperience. So during a discussion about hiring someone part time from 6-9pm, I mentioned that it was not the ideal situation. And the comment from the eldest son set the tone "well this company ran like **** for 10 years and that was less than ideal". I then thought it a good opportunity to settle things down, and in a sense, apologize for my recent stressed attitude. I merely stated " listen, I know I've been on edge lately, but there is a lot going on and everything is on me, making sure machines are perfect, getting phone calls at 3am, etc" when he interrupted with an attitude and exclaimed "that's why we're here, to help you're f'n arse ". GAME OVER! I stood up in front of both sons and the owner and told him F'you. I was working my of while you were still trying to get your finger stinky, and if this company ran like ****, how come you all went to Ivy League schools, studied abroad and have 3 vacation homes. You don't get to talk to me like that" and I walked out. After a nice 3 hour lunch, I went back and finished what I had to do. The owner came to me with his tail between his legs and spewed more lies about "well, you'll never be an owner, but maybe we can spin something off in the future, etc". Since that day, I have been shuttered out of any decisions and just basically go to work.

Prospect; several months ago, I was befriended by my cousins boss. He owns a landscape supply yard, as well as a wood recycling business that makes and sells mulch. LOTS of mulch. We started just BS'ing, and as usual, I aske him lots of questions about the businesses. To one day he asked if if like to take a ride to one of the recycling plants. We went down and within an hour, I was in the excavator moving material. Then I jumped in the 980 and did some more work.
After that weekend, we went down about every Saturday since. Did many different things on many different machines. Piled leaves on the D4 Dozer, moved mulch on the 980 Cat, dug some trenches with the excavator Etc. I was having a ball, and my bucket list had running those types of machines on it. When everyone asked what I was getting paid, if say peace of mind. It was therapeutic and calming. Sort of like vacuuming, instant gratification. All the wile, we became very friendly and chatted all the time. About business, jokes and really just a good friendship.
After my incident with my current job, I reached out to him to see if he'd be a reference on my resume. He immediately responded that he doesn't need a resume, he knows talent and I was hired.
When we sat down to talk, his plans for me are to be the operation manager of his landscape yard and all future entities, which one is in the process; another location for retail and mulch sales. Id be the guy responsible for the set-up and employees at the new site, as well as the current site. I'd be my own boss working for him, and along with my cousin (she's a brilliant florist and landscape designer) we be the brains of the operations, and I'd be the implementation guy. For the most part, the season is April to July 4th and I'd be on 6 days, 8-5ish and the rest of the year, aside from thanksgiving to Christmas, it's considered off season and mon-Friday would be making improvements, plowing and finding secure sources of revenue. Most could be done in 6 hour days.
The pay is on par with my current salary, and perks ( truck, fuel, auto insurance) offset having to pay for my wife's insurance plan. All in all, take home pay is only about 2500$ less.
My dilema; I always thought I had a secure position where I'm at. I'm a rare talent in the fact that I'm a processor, mechanic, electrician and Non-degreed engineer. With this new job, I'd be making a career change that won't necessarily require all those traits. So I'm afraid I won't have as much as an edge. Also, He is a great guy, and a hard worker, but not a 100% businessman. I'm nervous that although he assures me that if this new venture doesn't pan out, there will be more on the horizon and I'll always have a place, what if this company has already reached its fullest potential?
However, quality of life will probably be better at the new job. I won't have so much bureaucratic BS to deal with, and I look forward to working with something that's natural and not on machines, greasy assemblies and being stuck in a noisy factory all day.
I've always envisioned myself as being at my current job until retirement, but lately it's becoming more difficult to get up in the morning. My biggest fear is that i could be making a huge mistake by not just "sucking it up".
Well, I've probably opened up to you guys more about my worries than anyone else, so please be gently. Lol.
Oh, and the reason I have the time to write this at 4pm is that I just got home from a colonoscopy, so clean bill of health, accompanied by a bit of shame made this so long winded.
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Replies

  • horselipshorselips Senior Member Posts: 3,628 Senior Member
    If the $2500 drop in pay isn't an issue, take the new job. Good luck.
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,731 Senior Member
    Hmmmmmmm........it comes down to this in my mind.

    Continue in your present employment working for a ' lying, temperamental prick' being ' shuttered out of any decisions ' for an extra $2500 a year ..................................

    .........OR............changing your employment where the 'quality of life will probably be better at the new job. I won't have so much bureaucratic BS to deal with, and I look forward to working with something that's natural and not on machines, greasy assemblies and being stuck in a noisy factory all day ' and having control over your own destiny.

    I would take the latter over the former any day, despite the possible uncertainty.

    You have talents that you probably don't realise. The new position sounds like it will give you more free time in the 'off season'.........and that means you may be able to use your talents to boost your income by other means.

    I wish you all the best in your new employment.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,230 Senior Member
    To make a long story short, good luck with the new job!
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,429 Senior Member
    A decision to stick things out in the public education business to assure a good retirement plan and health care nearly killed me- - - -two stress-induced heart attacks. I survived, but now I'm too old and tired to do a lot of the things I was really looking forward to doing once the "priorities" were handled. You're basically propping up a whole bunch of incompetent donkeyholes- - - -give them all a one fingered salute and leave them to drown in their own BS. Peace of mind and a lowered stress level beats working yourself to death any day of the week- - - -and the paycheck will take care of itself if you're successful at what you do. Right now, I've got more job offers than I can possibly accept, and most of them pay better than the one I retired from!
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 19,610 Senior Member
    Get out. You're currently in a no-win situation, and you WILL eventually find yourself on the outside looking in.

    Take the new job. Take it now...
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,527 Senior Member
    From what your telling us your in a dead end job that's been going downhill for a while, you sound like the present job is very stressful, that will take a toll on your health, I have been in your situation and both times I told my boss to shove it, both times it worked out for the best.

    If I were you I'd run, and take a chance on the new job. To quote you " I was having a ball " & " peace of mind " I think you already know what you have to do.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 6,244 Senior Member
    I'm in the OPE industry. (Outdoor power equipment) What part of the country are you in?

    Shoot me a pm. My family has been in the business since 1984 and I may can recommend some opportunities your new boss may want to take a look at.

    Leave the ****. It ain't worth your happiness. Don't burn bridges but go for the new job.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,868 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    To make a long story short, good luck with the new job!
    cpj wrote: »
    Take the new job. I've been around MANY factories over the past 20 years servicing them, and YOU are a hard person to find. If this venture fails, you'll find work.
    And don't forget the added satisfaction of watching your old job suffer. :up:
    Life's to short to have a job that blows.
    zorba wrote: »
    Get out. You're currently in a no-win situation, and you WILL eventually find yourself on the outside looking in.

    Take the new job. Take it now..
    .
    Noticing a trend yet?

    Haven't met Zorba, but have spent quite a bit of time talking to Jerm face to face and see-pee-jay.... well, he is what he is, :tooth:
    I concur with all three.

    Unlike some of the other posts though, I also agree with Buffco about not burning any bridges.


    Let us know how the new job works out :beer:
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • RazorbackerRazorbacker Senior Member Posts: 4,646 Senior Member
    Given the situation as you've described it, I'd do it. Perhaps these "other income streams" as you've described them could be an opportunity for some sort of profit sharing scenario if you can show your value.
    In any event, life is to short to stand on your head in a bucket of poop.
    If there's one thing employers are always looking for it's interested, engaged employees. So if this new gig doesn't work out, you'll land on your feet somewhere. Good luck buddy!
    Teach your children to love guns, they'll never be able to afford drugs
  • TrueTone911TrueTone911 Senior Member Posts: 6,045 Senior Member
    Congrats on the clean colon. I'm sure you were relieved to know there are no health issues in that area. Health issues are the hardest things to deal with. Even harder than financial problems. The kind of crap you are putting up with on a daily basis WILL cause health issues. Stress like that WILL take its toll on you. Money and security is important sure…but so is being appreciated for your talents and efforts. You might feel like there is security where you are, and maybe that was true in the past, but it sounds less secure (and more stressful) with the sons entering the picture.

    Just like your talents have proven transferable to the proposed new position, will you be able to transfer those talents to the next position if this deal falls apart. Disconnect your brain for a second a follow your gut. Do what feels right. Do what makes you breathe easy.

    Then reconnect your brain, use Wambli's exit plan and don't burn any bridges.

    Oh and…you find vacuuming therapeutic??
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,429 Senior Member
    Hmmmmm- - - - -if I get a clean bill of health on my colonoscopy, does that mean I'm a perfect donkeyhole?
    :uhm:
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 9,731 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    It's time to courteously thank you employer for your current job and tell him you have a new opportunity you need to take on. He will probably ask you why you are leaving and that is NOT the time to go all out and blast him, just explain to him that this new job has greater responsibilities, more money (he does not need to know you are taking a cut) and opportunities to grow that are just not available to you today. When he starts promising you stuff (and he probably will) to make you stay, IF IT'S A GREAT OFFER, ask him to put in writing with deliverables and dates. If he won't just shake his hand and say good bye and wish him and his sons the best of luck. Also tell him that if he is ever in a jam to call you and you'll try to help him as best you can (no need to burn a possible re-entry bridge if the current gig does not work out).

    What he said. Get out before they kick you out. But make sure if they want you back to fix the problems the kids cause- it will cost him
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 10,945 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    It's time to courteously thank you employer for your current job and tell him you have a new opportunity you need to take on. He will probably ask you why you are leaving and that is NOT the time to go all out and blast him, just explain to him that this new job has greater responsibilities, more money (he does not need to know you are taking a cut) and opportunities to grow that are just not available to you today. When he starts promising you stuff (and he probably will) to make you stay, IF IT'S A GREAT OFFER, ask him to put in writing with deliverables and dates. If he won't just shake his hand and say good bye and wish him and his sons the best of luck. Also tell him that if he is ever in a jam to call you and you'll try to help him as best you can (no need to burn a possible re-entry bridge if the current gig does not work out).

    This, I would give your current employer the opportunity to say no, should be an interesting conversation to say the least and reinforce your concerns I would imagine. There will be crap with the brothers eventually.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • bhl2506bhl2506 Senior Member Posts: 1,847 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    Hmmmmm- - - - -if I get a clean bill of health on my colonoscopy, does that mean I'm a perfect donkeyhole?
    :uhm:
    Jerry


    No just a clean one! :jester:
    Refusing to conform to the left wing mantra of political correctness by insisting on telling the truth does not make you a loud mouth.
  • bhl2506bhl2506 Senior Member Posts: 1,847 Senior Member
    Only you can ultimately make the decision but sounds like it's an oppurtunity to good to pass up. Besides if the money is only a little bit less you'll be getting raises and other perks to make up for it. Just my .02 cents. Either way good luck!
    Refusing to conform to the left wing mantra of political correctness by insisting on telling the truth does not make you a loud mouth.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    age, a well written topic. To make it short, take the new job.

    Reasons? Well, I've been in the same sort of situation you are, and so was my Dad years before. The problems of a family run company is that if you're not family, you're always 2nd rate and will always be 2nd rate, no matter what was promised.

    Easily the new job will be the better choice. If only for your self satisfaction and inner peace. And this makes a huge difference overall.

    Please be sure to tell us later how things are working out, too. Good luck!

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,508 Senior Member
    Bail. Don't burn the bridge, though. The owner is just stringing you along, to get what he needs from you. And talking out both sides of his mouth.
    $2500 difference? No biggie. The company truck will more than cover that, you just don't realize it yet. I value my company truck at $7-8000 a year.
    Also, headed where you're headed, there is a tremendous opportunity for side work. People flock to businesses with heavy equipment, wanting work done.
    Enjoy the fresh air!
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,744 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    It's time to courteously thank you employer for your current job and tell him you have a new opportunity you need to take on. He will probably ask you why you are leaving and that is NOT the time to go all out and blast him, just explain to him that this new job has greater responsibilities, more money (he does not need to know you are taking a cut) and opportunities to grow that are just not available to you today. When he starts promising you stuff (and he probably will) to make you stay, IF IT'S A GREAT OFFER, ask him to put in writing with deliverables and dates. If he won't just shake his hand and say good bye and wish him and his sons the best of luck. Also tell him that if he is ever in a jam to call you and you'll try to help him as best you can (no need to burn a possible re-entry bridge if the current gig does not work out).

    This. Good luck with the new job or big raise!
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,803 Senior Member
    Wambli's advice is spot on.

    Let me add this. Contracts are not for when everyone is getting along. Contracts are for when everyone has issues and wants things their way. Your new opportunity might seem like the perfect thing. At this point in your career you are a valuable asset and deserve an employment contract. Get what they are willing to compensate you, perks , etc, and put it in writing and have a labor lawyer go over it and negotiate in your best interest. Get it signed off by both parties.

    If he convinces you to leave your existing job, and fires you in 6 months there should be compensation. I would negotiate that if your employment is terminated without cause within two years you should receive a one year severance.

    Otherwise... enjoy the new opportunity.

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • agewonagewon Senior Member Posts: 655 Senior Member
    Well, I have one week left at my current employer.
    Last week I sat in my office doing some documentation and caught myself daydreaming about how much I truly disliked going into work. I used to look forward to it. Solving problems and making things efficient, no longer seemed challenging. It was second nature and I decided to go upstairs and give my two weeks.
    The plan was that since the old man wasn't around, I'd tell the new bosses (his sons) so they could break the news to him. My thought being that regardless of my respect for him, his temperament usually gets the better if him and that would have been a bridge burned.
    At first they were shocked, but then their entitlement mentalities took over and I could see anger lurking below. As if I owed THEM something. They knew I was the backbone. So I wasted no time in telling them the reason I was telling them was because I dealt with a lot of pride choking with their father, and I thought it would be best they tell him and give him the weekend to cool of, or else it would be a one day notice with some expletives.
    Plan worked because they are being as nice as could be. It's kinda funny because they're acting like it's no big deal, but everyone else is FREAKING. all those years of ignoring me asking for an assistant is finally going to be proven the wrong decision come Thursday.
    And the funniest thing; they've requested I write SOP manuals for everything I do. Hahaha. I told them they'd have to pay me to stay on another month for that to be even possible, and how do they expect me to write down what separated me from everyone else who they've ever hired to do my job and couldn't. In other words, I can't write an manual on how to be as experienced as me.
    So my days have consisted of writing basic manuals, some daydreaming, and some hands on training of the kid who's going to be taking over some of my duties. Now all I have to do Is figure out a consulting rate for all the calls they think I'm going to take, and for going in to help them in my spare time. Thinking the balls in my court, but I'm not out to screw anyone.
    So thanks for the extra push forward. I knew what I wanted to do, but you guys just eased my mind about any unforeseen pitfalls.
    Onward and upward.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,230 Senior Member
    agewon wrote: »
    Now all I have to do Is figure out a consulting rate for all the calls they think I'm going to take, and for going in to help them in my spare time. Thinking the balls in my court, but I'm not out to screw anyone.
    I will say that my attorney charges $200/hr for his advice and consultation. That includes looking stuff up in his law books, answering my emails, phone calls, etc. He bills based on 1/4 hours. In other words, I know that he is going to charge me $50 right off the bat to answer my phone call or email. Don't let them think those are freebies.
  • RazorbackerRazorbacker Senior Member Posts: 4,646 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    I will say that my attorney charges $200/hr for his advice and consultation. That includes looking stuff up in his law books, answering my emails, phone calls, etc. He bills based on 1/4 hours. In other words, I know that he is going to charge me $50 right off the bat to answer my phone call or email. Don't let them think those are freebies.

    Ditto, these guys have had you on the cheap for the longest. Do not under estimate your value. If they know it's going to be expensive to bug you, they will minimize the bugging
    Teach your children to love guns, they'll never be able to afford drugs
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,429 Senior Member
    "Consulting" is basically applying common sense to solve a problem someone else is too lazy or incompetent to deal with. It sounds like these guys would be just as willing to make their problems yours in the future as they have been in the past. Set a good, reasonable rate for doing their thinking for them after you leave, and don't feel guilty about it. If I had a nickel a minute for all the auto repair diagnosis I've done over the phone for my former students in the past 30-something years, I would probably be a lot better off financially than I am at the moment!
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 9,731 Senior Member
    Congrats!

    To figure out your rate, take your current hourly pay, and double it. That will be how much they are now laying out to pay for you when you add in overhead, insurance, benefits, vacation, etc... Then add in your new value of being a rare commodity, and how much it is worth to you to be doing something else when they call you.

    Basically, 2x your current hourly rate, and add in how much it will cost them to get you away from reading a book or playing with the kids.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    agewon wrote: »
    Now all I have to do Is figure out a consulting rate for all the calls they think I'm going to take, and for going in to help them in my spare time.

    First of all, congrats again for making the change. The ease and comfort you'll feel later is a delight.

    Second, if you're talking about consulting for real, and you're not just blue-skying here, I had the exact same situation during the late 70s when I quit Gulf Oil and went to work for a structural engineer here in Houston.

    I'd done the whole setup and programming on their computers (this was for the research lab), and I'd written programs for real time analysis of mass spectrograph data -- lots of calculus, guys. I also wrote a nifty little timecard program to print out timecards for the upcoming payroll period.

    Being in a rush, it was near the end of the year and so I didn't create a flex-calendar routine for the timecard dates, instead just hard coded the Oct, Nov and Dec formats, jumping to a subroutine for the info, but in the subroutine I'd just added an array of the code numbers for a week. Way it worked, your timecard (this was before online got going, 1977) had Mon-Sun across the top w. the dates below. If the month ended mid-week, you had 2 timecards, one for the end and one for the start. This was Gulf requirement and all cards had to be sent to "corporate" for final tax "porpoises". I was gonna re-write the routine to actually calculate the dates from a perpetual calendar but that was when I was in doubt about my job so I spent time on the engineering / scientific programs first, knowing I'd get around to the financial stuff later.

    Well, I quit Gulf, mostly due to lack of raises and lack of supervision promotion as I'd been promised (same as your issues) and that a new guy came in from Pittsburgh to "help" me but on paper he was ABOVE me in rank, and pay. I was white and Anglo and so I was passed over. True. So I was stuck as "senior operator" and he was "programmer" although he did NOT know how to program at all! Not one line of code had he ever written. It was like Dilbert.

    Anyway I went to the new job, Supervisor of data processing, with a huge pay jump. First program I wrote for the new company was a design program for steel weld strenght analysis (more calculus, whew!) and it was a big hit.

    I knew the stuff would hit the fan in January, and sure as hell, late December I got a call from my old job, asking about why the January timecard run wouldn't display the right dates. I told them, "You've got a 'programmer' there, tell him to alter the routines."

    My new boss knew of he situation. Although you shouldn't as a rule diss your old job, I'd talked with him after I was locked in at my new job about the problems I'd had and he sympathized.

    Naturally the "programmer" couldn't fix the problem since he didn't really know how to write a program, just sit and chat on the phone instead. So they called me again and I told them I was busy writing engineering programs and supervising my data center (true) and that I now worked for xyx and not Gulf Oil Research.

    So the big boss (my former boss) angrily phoned my boss, VP of the firm, demanded I "fix" the problem. He told them that I was no longer employed by Gulf and that were I to agree to do the job, the standard structural engineering rates would be charged (my new firm was the one that designed the Astrodome, famous firm for structural engineers) and the huge fee blew my old boss away.

    What the old boss had to do (no way they'd be approved to pay $2k/hour!) was to cap in hand beg Gulf Corporate to send a real programmer to fix the routine. I found out later that the real programmer (whom I knew personally) found my previous software well written and clean code, easy to fix and update, even though the "programmer" who'd worked with me had been unable to change a single line of code.

    Lesson: If your old company really wants you to "consult" first clear it with your new boss, get the request in writing, and charge them 5 x your previous hourly rate, minimum.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    bullsi1911 wrote: »
    Basically, 2x your current hourly rate, and add in how much it will cost them to get you away from reading a book or playing with the kids.

    2x is only a rule of thumb. To calculate employee cost you've got to use both "burden" and "overhead".

    Burden is the total cost of keeping an employee, where you take the wages paid, and add FICA and other taxes and insurance (only insurance paid for that employee, not insurance for, say, the building you're in). In other words, all direct costs related to that employee's wage.

    On a general estimate, figure 1.7 x the base paid wage. For example, if the employee gets $10/hr, the estimated burden for that employee is $7 more, total $17/hr.

    Then there's overhead, different from burden. Burden is only the cost directly related to the employee, while overhead is the added cost of doing business, such as corporate taxes, inventory cost, electric bill for the office, capital expenses (new computers or new backhoe), etc. Overhead figures roughly at 2.2x the raw wage paid.

    Bottom line, it costs about 2.2x to 2.7x what you actually pay the person to "keep" an employee.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Finally (whew!)... if you really want to do paid consulting, charge 1 hour minimum and in 1/2 hour increments. Take your old pay x5 or more if you wish.

    When I was consulting before I retired, I charged $100/hr minimum, 4 hour minimum to start, plus expenses (gas, travel fee, etc.). This was for engineering specification analysis for "big awl" offshore deepwater exploration and drilling documentation and review & analysis. This was in no way excessive, as many other consultants of my level charged double that, for professional jobs. The going rate for engineering consulation is in the $250/hr range.

    If you do this, sign a real written contract in advance! Your old firm lied and promised you the moon and so if they do ask you for help, get it in writing.

    And yeah, I did good work and if it weren't for my heart attack and subsequent energy level loss, I'd still be doing the consulting. Afterward, I tried it on one job and it nearly killed me, so I had to hang up my cleats. That's showbiz, folks.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    "Consulting" is basically applying common sense to solve a problem someone else is too lazy or incompetent to deal with.
    Jerry

    Not always. Sometimes the hiring firm doesn't want to put on full time staff for transient tasks that have a discreet end or scope. Lemme tell about one of my last consultant jobs...

    One of the major big oil firms, company X, had its own set of deepwater drilling specs. These related to everything from rig safety to metal fatigue specs for drillheads. But the specs were outdated, as the "code" (rules of the road) had been updated by the international regulatory group (improved metal technology, new labor laws, environmental changes, etc.) and they needed the whole massive group of specs updated to reflect the new code.

    Also, there was a new change from original US (English) measurements (inches, lb/sqft, etc) to SI (metric). And the Big Firm X had acquired 4 smaller companies, 2 Brit, 1 Asian, 1 Australian) and each of those companies had different specs.

    What I had to do was create a whole new series of specs that 1) reflected all the code and legal changes, 2) set up a constant measurement system, such as "1,0 km (0,62 mi)", 3) reviewed the 5 original sets of code from each of the 5 firms, and then emerged with a new single spec for, oh, "Specification M45-104A - Stainless steel alloy requirements for deepwater pump housings".

    And of course not only did the specs need to be precise and accurate, they had to be written in standard English so the auto-translators would create decent versions in Thai or Aussie (just kidding -- the Aussies speak near-English). I also had to oversee the sending of the specs to a team of reviewers, some in all the various sub-companies, and get their feedback and approval. The specs, on final approval, would be sent via private satellite channel to all the oil platforms and installations worldwide.

    A huge job but I managed to do a small portion of the thousands of specs, some 4 pages, some 75 pages.

    Made a nice chunk of change on that one. Had to finally quit due to health. Sigh.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 9,731 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    Not always. Sometimes the hiring firm doesn't want to put on full time staff for transient tasks that have a discreet end or scope. Lemme tell about one of my last consultant jobs...

    consultingdemotivator.jpg
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • agewonagewon Senior Member Posts: 655 Senior Member
    When I was a service tech years ago, the company was charging 4x my hourly rate, portal to portal. That covered my salary, overhead and had profit in there too. The key was to keep me on the road so that the billing cycle never had a lull, because me standing around ate up the last visits profit.
    At this company, I was pretty much in charge of new projects, and nobody in the plant knew the equipment like me. I'd let a guy work on a piece of machinery for an hour before I walked over and fixed it within a few minutes. What seemed like a waste of time and money to those boys was in my eyes a teaching lesson. The only reason I could troubleshoot and fix things Over the phone was because I was the one who sat for hours if needed to fix it in the past. That's not good for a business, to put all your eggs in one basket.
    So by them always coming to me for a quick resolution instead of being patient and allowing someone else to work the problem, they made me that much more valuable. So in my mind, here's what'll happen; an issue will arise, and the new guy will be tasked to resolve it. After a few hours they'll gut frustrated and call me. I'll give them over the phone consult and if need be, come by after work. Phone consultations will be 100$/ call up to 30min, and in house resolutions will be 150/hr. I like to see it as more a deterrent. For the most part of the day I'll be my own boss at the new company, but I'm not about to sham the new company by being on the phone.
    Now if they want me to come in and set-up and trial a new product, that's gonna be 1k per Saturday. Weather it be a few hours or a whole day, they're gonna pay for my experience.
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