WARNING!-There is a fair chance that this post will offend someone. It is not directed at anyone in particular, it is just my opinion. I do not mean to sound arrogant or better than anyone, so if I come across that way, well it is what it is!

I fan on the facebook page sent me this today:

“I was at a yard sale, and found an old high school auto shop text book, written in 1969. I took it home for one dollar. I was looking at the chapter on tune ups, and there was this: “Good work habits are important. The top mechanic arrives at work ON TIME and is absent only for GOOD REASONS. If he MUST be absent, he will notify his employer so that customer commitments and work loads may be adjusted. He is invariably a hard worker and during any periods in which he may not have a work assignment, he will busy himself in some way- cleaning tools, helping a fellow mechanic, etc. He takes pride in his work and pride in the business. He knows that by helping the business to prosper, he too will prosper. He gladly shares his knowledge with apprentice mechanics, and conducts himself, at all times, in a way that brings credit to the trade.” OK, that’s the longest post I’ve made yet on FB, but I thought it worthwile.”~~~~Thanks so much for sending this to me John!

What a brillent statement.  I read through it once, and thought, “That really decribes how I work”. I do much of what the article describes.

After reading through it a second time, I started to think how sad it is that this is NOT the norm. The fact is a worker the article talks about it now an “OLD SCHOOL” type worker.

In my last performance evaluation, my boss said to me, “You really have an old school work ethic”. On the surface, that could seem like a good or bad thing.  Knowing my boss really well, and knowing what he meant, I took it as a good thing. It does however have a negative connotation as well.

When I hear the term “Old School Work ethic”, I consider it a compliment. I think of people from my grandparents generation that worked hard, and made great lives for themselves and their kids.  The DID understand that (in general) what was good for the company is good for them. If the boss asked them to do something (with in reason) it got done, and they took pride in the work they did.  Back then, EARNING a paycheck was what it was all about. That generation earned what they had and were proud of it!

Today things are quite  different. The norm is not work hard and earn your pay check.  Now it seems that most people want to know what the company is going to do for them. If your boss asks you to do something, and you do it, you are a kiss ass.  It never ceases to amaze me that doing what you are paid to do now makes you a “company man or woman”.  They say that like it is a bad thing.  I am a company man. When my company makes money, I make money.  Its really that simple.

I do not want to belittle the average worker.  I have learned over the years that everyone works different. I use to get very frustrated because coworkers were not like me. I try to take it in stride, but it can be really difficult when your hard work is, basically, shunned by your peers.

I have no plans to change the way I work.  There are mechanics in my shop that are far better mechanically, that know more than me, that remember more than me, and can work at a faster pace.  The advantage I have is, I will out work most all of them. This work ethic has served me well in  my career, and I will NOT change.  I can learn new skills, adapt to changes in the industry, but I will NEVER let my work ethic slip!!

6 replies
  1. Scott
    Scott says:

    I often find myself thinking, “I sound just like my Dad” when I explain the work ethic to younger techs. Trying to motivate them to work smarter and harder does seem like a perspective from an older generation. It seems that today’s youth have an unearned sense of entitlement that prevents them from “earning their stripes.” I don’t think your statements are arrogant at all, just honest. Too many people live in an imaginary world where they think that they are too good for hard work, and somehow deserve better even though they’ve done nothing to earn it. Where are these ideas formed? Keep up the blood, hard work, and the honest posts!

  2. Gary
    Gary says:

    What a great read! This is exactly how I work. I’m only 33 but was lucky to do my Apprentaship with much older guys who taught me the old work ethics and values. I live in England so not sure if the same as u guys but me and quite a few workmates work with the old values.


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