If you are looking for the fluorescent tubes, I think I have seen them
at Home Depot. If you are looking for the lamp assemblies, may I
suggest 2 - 4 footers? The 4 foot tubes are cheaper and more available.
A store perhaps?
In regards to Dvorak's rant about the dumbing down of North Americans, I
don't think it's anything of the sort. It's nothing more than sheer
laziness. Too lazy to look for themselves, so they ask a question like the
one above hoping that someone else will do the work for them.
Actually he's paying rec.woodworking member a compliment. The posting
should have read:
"Hey wreckers, I know I can go to Home Deport or Lowes and gets some 8
ft flourescent lights. But, I was wondering if you folks could give me
some tips, reassurances, or point me to the cheapest place (maybe on
Is that what you meant to say, Christopher?
If America is dumbing down it because of the zeal of educators to teach
to the lowest common denominator and the huge influx on non-English
If American's are lazy, then it's because labor unions have driven
wages high while driving work low.
Now let's see how many flames those statements provoke.....
Wrong. Not a flame but a first hand education. Many of my relatives are/were
blue collar General
Motors employees & I was once employed by GM as a GMI (General Motors Institute)
student. As a
student sponsored by GM Truck & Bus I was on the team to meet weekly with the
plant manager of
Plant 2 in Pontiac, MI. where they used to make over the road Astro tractors.
All of these
students were directly out of high school with the exception of myself. 22 years
old due to
affirmative action quotas so I had been in the general work force for a few
years. I asked the
plant manager directly (to the dismay of the sponsor liaison) - why doesn't GM
get rid of the
lazys, drunks, druggies, etc. I know many hard workers that would gladly take
their places. I
had tried myself for 4 years to get into GM after high school - it's not WHAT
you know, it's WHO
you b__w. The plant manager proceeded to explain that it's far CHEAPER to keep
on the payrolls than to employ better people. Reason being the good employees
would have genuine
grievances at times & file them accordingly (ergonomics, dangerous working
conditions, etc.). GM
knows these grievances are valid but very expensive to address so they negotiate
with the union
to keep these losers if they are allowed to THROW AWAY many grievances. This
almost PROUD to explain the facts of GM manufacturing life to me & the other
people don't know some union representatives (those in the office) are paid 7
days a week
regardless of what they actually work. Most unions are in the back pockets of
Here's another great situation. A former boss of mine was once a Pontiac Motors
intelligent guy, parents were Phd's. He was given a task to design the rear deck
mechanicals, etc. for a Pontiac car. He submitted his design to his supervisor
who studied the
design & asked him if he REALLY wanted to submit it. My boss reviewed his work &
asked if there
was something wrong with his ideas. His boss said no, actually it was TOO good -
he would not be
able to submit improvements later down the road & receive bonuses for these
I'm so sick of the unknowing blaming all the ills of the US workplace on unions,
etc. Start looking where you should, at the top - management. There are laws &
rules in effect
that govern blue collar conduct, union or not. It is management's responsibility
these policies. Blue collar or white, it comes down to this - DO YOUR JOB!!!!
I'm not in a union
nor do I feel I want to belong in one. When you see it first hand, you'll
Neither side is wearing a white hat here. Unions vary in quality but most
seem to no longer represent the worker, but only care about the union and
its officers. I've been in meetings with the union reps when the contract
was coming up. The rep laid out the entire scenario of what he was going to
ask for, what he would settle for and what he NEEDED for the union or he
could not agree to a contract. Negotiations were a farce. The workers
thought he was fighting for them, but it was a big show.
OTOH, before unions labor was often exploited by management and working
conditions were horrid. They turned the tables in many cases and went too
far, thus the featherbedding and inability to get rid of useless people on
Not saying either side is faultless. Just asking why do so many people feel
there isn't a way to
try to right the ship? Status quo is how we must go? Good employees see bad ones
get away with
just about anything & maybe get a slap on the wrist. Now they are at fault for
negative about the workplace? I hear this constantly where I work - don't worry
around you, just do your work and shut up. Try to help out to improve
productivity & you're the bad guy according to management. I like to think I'm
trying to make my
workplace remain in business for another day. Workers don't get to
change/enforce policies. The
emperor has no clothes.
One of the problems with present union rules (and many large non-union
businesses) is everyone is the job makes the same money. Hard to reward the
top producers as it is to get rid of the low end. Small shops have more
leeway and individuals are noticed more.
Where I work, my employers have placed me in the top category they can, but,
due to the contract with the Teamsters, they can not give me a merit raise.
And I definitely warrant one.
So I'm booking outta there. They blame the union but I can see that reps
from both sides signed that contract. Sorry, but $10.50 / hr. for BEING the
entire maintenance department for >200,000 sq ft of packaging plant doesn't
cut it. When arrived, there were always a couple of machines in my work
area. When I took over, there was seldom more than one machine down. That
is, there was always at least one production line idled. Commencing with a
few months after my predecessor left, there is probably no more than an
hour or so per week of accumulated downtime for the entire plant.
Anybody who can pull that off is worth a heck of a lot more than $10.50.
That *is* a sad wage- especially for maintenance. I think starting
wage for any maintenance around here is at least $15/hr, if the
classifieds are anything to go by. $10.50 has got to be hard to live
Aut inveniam viam aut faciam
Thank goodness I'm a proud Teamsters union member, eh?
I'm getting paid on the low side of janitorial wages.
No problem. I've almost got my basement workshop up to snuff and my skills
improve weekly. I'm turning out bowls thin enough to be translucent, strong
enough to be useful and pretty enough to gather dust.
The financial situation is actually quite a bit worse than I wrote. But I'd
rather not write more. It is enough to say that this is definitely a
'bootstraps' operation. ;-)
FWIW, one place I worked was non-union and of course the idiots decided to
unionize. The main result for me was that I took a pay cut.
There was once a need for unions--now they seem to be becoming more and more
You need to find another place to work, perhaps. I won't work in a
union shop because they place more value on senority than
productivity and stifle innovation by preventing cross-training (this
may depend on the union, but it's true for a lot of them). The bad
employees get to stick around, and the good ones don't get paid a
nickel extra in most cases. The place I work has got it's problems-
and some of them could be addressed by a union that is not corrupt,
but I am one of the highest paid employees on the shop floor even
though I've been there less than a year. I do more work than my
peers, and my employer has the ability to give raises to me based on
merit because there is no union to say no.
The problems get larger with the companies. I've worked for large
corporations, and I've worked with small shops. When you've got a
top-down corporate style of management in a gigantic company, then
things work exactly as stated above- but in a smaller company there is
often more of a collegial approach that allows the workers who are
actually doing the job to rethink and accordingly modify their
processes, rather than wasting their time searching for some mythical
overloard in a Kafka-esque bureaucracy. There are still guys that
won't stick their necks out to improve the system in those
enviroments, but at least the opportunity is there.
The workplace works the same as the marketplace- if you don't like
what's going on, vote with your feet. Find a place that allows you
to fulfill your personal function- that is to say, not just to "shut
up and do your job" but to actively work to improve your productivity
and skill. You're right- innovation *is* helping your employer stay
in business another day. It is also making local manfacturing a more
attractive option for everyone by allowing your employer to pay you
more, while maintaining a competative price-point. If you're in an
environment where that is not understood, then it's likely that you
are in the wrong environment altogether. There is no virtue in making
a martyr of one's self by "sticking it out" with a place which does
not have the ability to change for the better.
Many times, management can be convinced of the value of innovation by
making the numbers work for them. They have bosses just like you, and
they have to answer for the actions they take in the workplace. Your
manager may pass over a very good idea because you failed to make a
compelling case for it. Numbers help- graphs are often even better.
When you can break down the amount of money saved by performing an
activity in a different manner, it not only lends you credibility, but
it gives them something to take to their superiors. Everybody wins
when you lay it out properly.
Bad employees get the bum's rush. Forget getting management to fire
them- they don't want to pay the unemployment. It's not that hard to
talk the guys who *are* doing their work into making the workplace a
very hostile place for those who are not. Better to convince them to
quit on their own than trying to get your HR dept. to build a case
against them. I know where I'm at, the useless guys are always
claiming fake injuries, so we like to make them special "safety"
posters. A guy can't take being lampooned for too long before he
heads for greener pastures.
Anyhow, sorry about the long rant, but this is one of those things
that is rather near and dear to me. I worry that if things continue
the way they are in most places, the US will be a third-world country
by the end of my lifetime.
Aut inveniam viam aut faciam
So you're advocating a group presence to force out an employee who some may
see as being a bad employee? And what about the very real possibility of the
process being subverted by people or persons who have a grudge against a
fellow employee? What about the possibility of prejudice (which we all have
to varying degrees) as the motivation to enjoin the group to 'talk' someone
into leaving? What you're saying is that office politics (and that's exactly
what you're talking about) will rule the day.
While I see the point (barely) that you're trying to make, it's fraught with
too many places where it becomes nothing more than mob rule. Tension and
contained fear is what you get in an job site like that. That's not the
atmosphere I'd want to work in even if I was popular and my job was secure.
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