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Sunday rant (more like a cry for help for all of us...)

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by exwestracer, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. Wow, I learned two things. That speech was on my birthday (5 years before I was born), and I'd never heard any of it beyond the usual clip. Thanks, Fred!
  2. maybelene
    Joined: Apr 30, 2008
    Posts: 114


    I too agree with much of what has been said but sometimes I think part of the enemy is us. With so many single parent homes how many of us have reached out to a kid who hangs around our shop or goes to church with us to show them anything about cars? Or welding? Shops used to let kids hang around, not many anymore. There has always been kids who cared nothing about cars or weren't mechanically inclined. But what have we seen for the last twenty years in this hobby by experienced, respected hot rodders? Buy repop,crate motors, don't build. Heck, if you look here on the Hamb we consistently see "Buy a patch panel" meaning don't fabricate. If we don't take the time and patience to teach it, who will?
  3. wheeler.t
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 283


    I'm 23 and I completely understand where you are coming from. This societies mentality is fucked.
  4. nowaxn5
    Joined: Apr 15, 2007
    Posts: 813


    Blah, blah, blah...
    This whole "kids don't know or do shit" has been going on for generations. Alot of these hot rods we so love were built by kids who didn't respect their vehicles or safety or their parents or their neighbors. Just ask their parents. They were stupid kids messing up a perfectly good car or wasting time creating a jalopy. Don't even get started on that damned rock-n-roll.

    It comes down to being a parent. PERIOD
  5. Nonstop
    Joined: Jun 18, 2012
    Posts: 175

    from CA

    I also agree with most everything that has been said. Sad that I am 35, and see 23 and 24 year olds on an allowance from their parents! We are truly our own worst enemies! Work ethic is almost lost from our vocabulary. I see people both younger and older than me using their sick days as extra vacation, taking advantage in every way possible, and then whining when they are told to do whatever they are getting paid to do

    I still do not understand how some bastard sitting in front of a computer making a program can make over 6 figures, while a blue collar guy who has to think AND bust his ass (carpenter, mechanic, etc.) makes a lot less for doing more!

    By the way - I showed up, do I get a trophy now?
  6. lazyworker
    Joined: Jan 26, 2006
    Posts: 17

    from Tulsa, Ok

  7. bowlingball
    Joined: Oct 24, 2008
    Posts: 100

    from Australia

    whilst doing a main rotor transmission change on a helicopter at work i delegated some paint stripping and cleaning of components prior to MPI inspection to our apprentice,his reply was "this isnt engineering ,the boss should just pay someone to do this shit!",,,,i just said " he is,now fkn hurry up!,,,",instant gratification,,,he tells all his mates he s an aircraft engineer ,,but he struggles with the basics nomatter how much effort we put in to teaching him,because he wont listen and doesnt think he needs to check to manual before ripping into a job,,,im only 42 but god help the next generation cause theyll have to pay to get anything done for them!!!
    Skill of hand is slowly dieing
  8. RDAH
    Joined: Mar 23, 2007
    Posts: 465

    from NL, WI

    My boss at work told me I was too meticulous. I think that was a complement.
    Joined: Dec 14, 2009
    Posts: 2,677


    im 33 and a mechanic and i agree with almost all of what has been said.

    i have seen alot of apprentices come and go when they start they think its all "race cars and customs" and when they find out they are doing brakes and tires on a generic toyota or chevy they feel its "not worth there time"

    i try and tell them that its a trade and no matter what happens if you learn these skill well no one,and i mean no one can ever take them away from you. be it carpenter,mechanic or barber its a skill you have learned and no matter what happens its some thing that has become a part of you.

    i also see alot of "i dont get paid to do that" or "f-that thats not my job" or "why should i do it? some one else will do it eventually"

    but on the flip side i see a few kids who really,really see were this trade can take them and the benfits of working with there hands.

    as in the papers they are always getting rid of "computer guys" office guys and general pencil pushers.
    but there is always multiple adds for tradesmen and generally anyone wiling to earn a buck for a hard days work.

    my father said it when ii was back in elementary school (junior high for you guys in America)

    i was a shit disturber and "class clown" so my parents had an interveiw with the teacher to discuss my "behavoir issues"

    so the teacher goes on about me being very smart and i could go far in life as a lawyer or some other highly educated person.

    my dad looks her in the eye and said point blank "and if every one in this country went to school to be a dr. or a lawyer who would go to work and earn a living?

    my dad knew since i could walk that i needed tools and grease in my life and was proving this teacher a point.its almost like "learning a trade" is lower on the food chain the a "white collar job"

    not for nothing and not to brag but me, i make more money and have better job security being a mechinc then most of my friends who are "educated" and have "office jobs"

    and i love what i do,no like but love.

    i think society as a whole needs to rethink its prioritys and get people backing to working with there hands.

    its what makes a country rich,not "pencil pushing.
  10. Docco
    Joined: Mar 23, 2007
    Posts: 286

    from Ippy

    I'm 32, a welder fabricator who takes PRIDE in his work no matter how small or silly a job and in my small workshop i see a 23 year old who just wants to skim by with the least amount of work possible, another 32 year old that does and tries to learn very little so he receives very little work to do, a hopeless 35 year old know it all but thinks everyone should do his job for him because he's "too good" and should be the manager, a 53 year old that cuts every corner in the book and saddens me to see his skills being wasted to the point where he no longer has anything worth learning to teach, a 43 year old self proclaimed expert who also knows everything - with the help of google that is, and a just retired 65 year old that is about the best tradesman/craftsman that i've ever known.
    Is the problem just with the youth, i think mainly yes AND sometimes no. It's peoples attitude, We all went to schools that didn't teach, while we stare at the advertised lives we can't have and left to wonder what went wrong.
    Every day when things get rough i just think to myself- what can i do this very minute to make my work better. It usually involves just shutting up and ignoring all the lazy gossipers and concerntrating on doing a good job.
    In todays world everyones a so called expert which is exactly why i fix my own things, make my own stuff, build my own cars and cringe whenever i have to pay someone to do something. Honor in work is few and far between.
  11. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,796

    from Tampa, FL

    As a kid, making stuff was always like "magic" to me. I especially liked learing about DC voltage and the stuff I could create with my Meccano (like an Erector) building set. I loved to watch the old man work on cars and help him keep ours maintained. But that stuff and school was all I had, no easy distractions like we have now (ok, perhaps our B&W TV). I learned early about the work ethic and taking care of what I had. This was all post war, industrial / military complex, baby-boomer stuff, right? But loving to do it and getting a fair wage for your labor and other costs also makes perfect sense.

    Later, as a military and then college photographer, the magic stuff was still very appealing (especially when the images first come up in the developer) but by then I was more into the craft and aesthetics of the whole deal. I had many friends who were also in the fine arts - painters, musicians, etc. but I was always drawn more towards the cabinet makers, potters and sculptors - folks who made stuff like craft / tradesmen of old, turning raw materials into wonderful and even practical pieces. If you asked them to build a pendulum, it came out more like a Swiss watch than a rock on a string. But I also had a lot of friends, relatives, associates that were into race cars over the years. Perhaps I missed my calling, but seeing them turn raw materials into cool stuff in the shop was just as fascinating as watching a fine cabinet being made or hot metal going into a mold. Like my art buds, they always seemed to turn out the very best stuff, finished to the Nth degree and they raced it with fierce dedication.

    What you also learn over the years was that so many of these mfg / artistic processes share the very same metalurgy, or design, or hand-crafted detail / finishing concepts and techniques. My jeweler friends could have easily built trim items in stainless and brass or even turned out great stuff on a lathe and the scuptors could have easily cast intake manifolds, brackets or built chassis.

    Life needs to be hands on, and learn to do it the best you can. Gary
  12. chopolds
    Joined: Oct 22, 2001
    Posts: 5,816

    from howell, nj
    1. Kustom Painters

    Absolutely right on the mark!

    The only thing I have to add, is....what about the generation that took the aluminum block, and sent it to China to get shaped into the egg??????

    That's why America is in the fix it's in today!
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,059


    It's deeper than what most of us old fucks focus on. Talent is just the begining. As hard as it is to put into words, I'll try by saying that I could teach a monkey how to paint a car or pull the trigger on a mig gun. That's not it. Maybe "work ethic" is one way to put it, but then again, what is that anyways? Yours? Mine? In general? I'll be the 1st to say that I hate the idea of HARD WORK FOR THE SAKE OF HARD WORK. Really? You work HARD? Is it too hard for you? Does it take too much of you to get it done efficiently?

    I have an infamous saying around the shop that I picked up from a respected friend and coworker years back. "I'm kinda lazy like that." That means, you can go ahead and do it the hard-long-old school-sanctimonious way, or you can use your fuckin brain and see the next move ahead of time and be ready for it...QUICKLY AND ONCE. Do I give a shit that my ancestors carved out their own nails from tree branches? That they forged their own spindle? No. "I was taught in school that..." is almost the same sound to me as someone saying my wife is a slut.

    By now some of you might be saying "WTF is his deal, WTF is he talkin about?" so here's a simple example that's paint related. Guide coat. How many times have you seen a car all splattered in black dots over the primer? Maybe on occasion you see the black powder can, or a few of them (they have a purpose but not the whole car). Many times " I was shown/taught..." put it there. So what does it make the guy who simply lays another color of reduced primer over the last coat? Smart? A prodigy? Neither in my outlook. AWARE would be more like it. Yeah, I'm too fuckin lazy to add yet another step to what is usually a pain in the ass job, blocking a surface. I don't want to get down and inspect every square inch. I don't want to recover with guide coat. I want to see it immediately, and as I sand that red oxide coat or darker grey coat will turn light grey evenly without even trying, with no extra steps or product, and without having to look too hard. You have no idea how many times I've had to answer for that in the past. How many times it was viewed and genuine sloth rather than resourceful. And that isn't just "kids today", that's many others along the path. In one thought I say go ahead and fuck yourself into a harder job (most times lately), other times I actually will answer for it and try to pass along a better way.

    Metal fab and "pairs" of parts. Make 3, it's faster. Make an acetate or paper pattern and have the discipline to follow it. Job done. Like I started out saying, that's a thinking or "ethic" you may not be able to teach. To know what you do and when you do it and how it effects the next move. That's build quality. That's the thing that separates a pro from a player. In the work world, you always want your coworkers as pro as you, but dream on. Is it mostly the coddled and pampered prize that a couple popped out 20 some years ago? Yes, because we've allowed it to mutate into no-score school sports and headrest video screens, and frankly when I meet someone my age that has that same shitty outlook as the young, I write them off as born losers from an earlier generation. And yeah, those fucks reproduce and send their spawn out applying for work and there's more of them.

    So now what? Frankly, I don't know and lately I could care less. Just recently our President of the United States said " didn't earn it, someone gave it to you..." which is the biggest slap in the face of genuine excellence and discipline. That makes this topic very timely and should be a warning as to how far this cancer we're now discussing has gone. Henry didn't build the Model A or design an easy way to put 8 cylinders into affordable cars? Fuck you. My best advice would be to do what you do for the most important person in your life, that asshat over the top of your bathroom sink. In a manner of speaking, consider the application of a metal or rubber stamp with your signature applied to everything you do when it's done. The deeper it's pounded into the metal, the darker the ink, the more pride you put into that thing. It doesn't matter if it's concrete, drywall, cylinder heads, a painted surface. Sign it. If you can, you won. Teach that rather than how holy it is to work long hard hours. Surely there's a time when you have to, but it's the will to do that which sets the stage for the future. There were 2 commencement speeches this year that gives us hope. If I can find them I'll edit this and post em, maybe some of you have already seen them. We're not lost yet, it's just a bit foggy right now. Sorry if I pissed on this just a little and I did say it was hard to put into words.
  14. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,247


    Well, how did the old machinest make out fixing the header on his convertable?

    I understand your frustration, it is understated if anything at all. Do you realize that the NAACP is SUEING the Detroit School System for failing to teach kids to READ! Think about that for a while, there is so much wrong with that whole thing that i just shake my head and walk away.
  15. neverwinter
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 313


    i havent read all of the replies but so far i can see points in each that i agree with. one thing to consider is the level of talent/skill the person has and what he or she wishes to accomplish. the other is that not everyone does have the ability to stay 100% focused - i know that sounds like BS but i know i am that way. no excuses, no bull, just simply i get to distracted too easily - even at 38 - and find myself going in way too many directions to get even 1 thing sorted.

    now factor in the fact that the aftermarket IS as big as it is and some would say it is better to work smarter than harder. why reinvent the wheel so to speak? i agree from a creative standpoint that building your own car shell or doing your own c-notch or whatever would be the most gratifying. But for some like me who dont have that skill or time to hone it, but can spare some time doing bolt-on things, we still get pride in seeing what we can accomplish. It's just a different set of standards. I'd LOVE to be able to Tig and to problem solve a car build so that its safety and reliability and aesthetics are all in unison.

    But the truth is i dont have that talent. And i dont think "anyone" can learn it. I've played drums for close to 30 years and i am pretty good and to me playing ACDC is like breathing air - its easy. But to a guy who has air-drummed for 30 years to the same song, give him some drumsticks and set him down at the kit. Is he a bad guy because he can't technically play it but loves attempting it?
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,059


    You make a good point there. Very close to what I was attempting to convey. Something I thought about later, the angst comes from the few of us who have the need or desire for a crew or workforce. It's the single most dominating reason I haven't gone fully commercial and opened to the public. A shop is more than it's owner, yet it's owner has to set the pace and standards. Next, we judge what comes in to apply based on past experience. I may find the same clueless approach from a professional fender hanger as I do from the latest tech school grad.
  17. rooman
    Joined: Sep 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,052


    I guess that I was lucky. My dad was a "do'er". He taught himself to be a patternmaker and then a draftsman and went on to head up a major section of the Australian equivalent of the FAA, all with barely a high school education. When he wanted a band saw/circular saw combination after WW11 and could not afford a "store bought" one he built one out of angle iron, pipe fittings and plywood. He used that up until the 1990's to do all sorts of jobs even though by that time he could afford to buy a "real" unit.
    I got my first car for my 15th birthday, a 1951 Vauxhall that cost $50 and had marginal brakes. Typically I wanted to put twin carbs and headers on it right away but dad said "It does not stop, why would you want to make it go faster". I never did get to work it over but after we got the brakes done we repainted it (with a vacuum cleaner gun and enamel) and my mum stitched up new seat covers out of some cheap vinyl. I painted my next car myself as well and then a motorcycle and ended up with a custom body shop that won numerous race car paint awards over the years.
    I did the same with my stepson here when I settled in the US. He wanted a jacked up Toyota 4 X 4 but ended up with a beater VW beetle. The first thing that he got to do on the car was the brakes. I took one corner apart and showed him what needed to be done and he did the rest. He also got to hand sand the flat black paint off the body, file bondo, rebuild the engine and help me with the paint job. He did his own stereo install and when it was finally done the car won numerous awards for the sound system. All the long nights in the garage paid off when he fixed the car himself after a wheel bearing went out as he was leaving school one day. I was extremely proud of the fact that not only did he know that he had a problem but got off his arse and fixed it himself. He went on to work in the music industry for quite a while and built a reputation there as a get it done guy and I like to think some of that comes from the fact that his mum and I did not simply give him a car--he had to work for it.
    Back to my background, dad wanted a newer caravan (travel trailer to you Yanks) so he looked at what was out there and then drew up some plans and had a frame welded up and built the rest himself. I was 14 at the time and helped with some of the construction so I learned a but about woodwork in the process.
    Then dad wanted a small trailer to haul yard waste etc so he bit the bullet and purchased a kit. He also found a buzz box stick welder and the two of us learned to arc weld building the trailer. It took a while but we got the hang of it eventually.
    After I started working I ran into an old grade school mate who hooked me up with a neighbor who ran a six cylinder dragster and he taught me how to gas weld. Later I learned how to MIG and then TIG with help from friends. We used to build our own frames as there was no 1-800 RACE CAR number to call at the time, especially in Australia. That eventually morphed into a fabrication business and what I do for a living to this day.
    I am still not really sure how I got to where I am now, doing work for the pro drag race teams and occasionally driving a front motor fuel dragster but I guess that I have to "blame" my dad. He taught me that you can do anything that you want if you have the desire and drive. All it takes is hard work, paying attention and some work ethic.
    I have a younger friend whose business is adjacent to mine. He has taught himself to program his CNC vertical machining center to make parts for his motorcycle business and he also figured out how to go into the computers on late model bikes and re-program them. He also builds wiring harness packages for those bikes that are very innovative. He is not afraid to work long hours to get the job done and is always trying to make the next job better than the last so there is some hope for the future. I just worry at times that there are not enough guys like him out there.

  18. Every generation blames the one before.

    Like others who have posted here, "it's what you do about the problem, not what you say"

    Thanks for all the posts and views. I read them all...
  19. Ricci32
    Joined: Jul 30, 2010
    Posts: 416


    A week ago i went to the nostalgia drags at oxford maine I was surprised by how many young guys were involved in the sport. for example The helger family from rhode island who i do not know showed up with several dragster alterds and a gasser. Ray helger the father close to my age 44 and his wife and two sons aprox 20. there crew was all young guys 20-30 several of the guys driving i complimented on their cars and they stated the car is rays i help out on the fuel cars this car was sitting in the shop and ray said i could drive it if i put it together and worked on it.well half the cars were like that. they were a great group of young guys. several of the other dragsters owners stared out helping them.At least in rhode island someone is taking the time to teach them how to be respectful men willing to listen and learn. At 47 and having races most of my life I fell i have alot to offer and look forwar to racing with them next year.
  20. LSR 2909
    Joined: May 10, 2012
    Posts: 605

    LSR 2909
    from Colorado

    Over heard a guy at a show this week end explaining a procedure to his son, using tools designed for other purposes etc...
    His son asked him how he figured that out, and that he probably wouldn't have himself.
    Dad said "You've never been poor enough!"
  21. firingorder1
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 2,147


    I was just thinking about this rant. Of course everything is instant now. If, 50 years ago you wanted to let us know about your rant. You would have had to type it up and mimeographed off the needed number of copies and dug out a lot of phone books to look up our addresses and witten them all out and licked a gazillion stamps. Today simply type out your rant, post it on the HAMB, immediately seen by thousands and bingo! you have your instant gratification without all that effort! : - )
  22. Haha, nice!

    Too true!:D
  23. Kan Kustom
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 2,635

    Kan Kustom

    This Kids got it.This new generation came from a generation that had it made from all the hard work and the feeling has been to enjoy all this and let other countries build the stuff.Now all we have is most people in this country ,young and old wanting to get paid for running things and nothing beeing produced.The money has started to run out and this new and old generation is realizing we need to get off our asses and start producing again.As we made a turn for the worst,we will again make a turn for the better.Generations are just a product of the time they were born in.None better or worse than the other.History repeats itself and the next cycle is coming .
  24. rosco gordy
    Joined: Jun 8, 2010
    Posts: 648

    rosco gordy

    A yes a 61 yr old!!
  25. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    from BC

    Wow, you hit that one right out of the park. Well said.
  26. BillWallace
    Joined: May 6, 2011
    Posts: 132


    Im older than most on this site & have spent a lifetime at the upper end of the craftsman debate & its just that. You have your judgement of oher peoples work as craftmanship & thats all it is. Everyone works & learns at different pace & putting our values & judgement on others, be they young or older is a fools errand .Industry today is much different than it was twenty years ago let alone fifty years ago & the skills used today match that. Be carefull of critisizing others work & ethic.
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,059


    Good point in a way. In one of my replies I said it's not always the youth, there's plenty of poser-wanna-be-waste of time types, even in your generation. Debate of craftsmanship? Nobody has the wherewithall to avoid that. You find yourself next in line on a project, the stuff that followed in is sub-par at best, do you smile like one of The Seven Dwarfs and whistle while you work? Maybe the 1st time, maybe up to 20th time. Time after time? You get pissed off. You explain to your customer why what he just paid for isn't worthy of sour pig shit. You try to be all PC about it, but that right there is the fool's errand. You can be a rigid dickhead and send it back. You can eat it making corrections. You can charge them to fix it. No matter the choice, that customer's as pissed at you for finding it as he now is for knowing it. Pick a craft. Kitchens and bath, flooring, framing, sheet metal work, chassis construction. There's more of it than some can stand. How does one maintain their sanity?

    Suck it up and see the finished product. But it isn't just the work. I also said "who's ethic", and yes I think it's that deep. I've been asked some dumb loser shit in the last couple years by some I thought I'd never hear it from.

    "Well did it ever occur to you that maybe how good you are doesn't matter? That nobody cares anymore?"

    "Why do we have to do this shit so good? You need to just slop it out. Your reputation is made and they'll believe you if you tell em it's good."

    That 2nd one came from a guy in your generation, the 1st one from a guy a gen behind mine. I was told to give congrats to a guy who did his car himself. He spent 10yrs on it, maybe more. The cowl was leaning to the left. There were "idiot marks" in the fenders where he blocked his surfacer in a straight line. There was new plastic wire mixed in with the proper cloth/lacquered wires. The headliner was modern material from a 2008 GM line...all on a 33 car no less that was presented as being correct in every way. And those were just the highlights.

    "Well why wouldn't tell him what a great job he did?"

    "Cuz it isn't, it's amature at best and that's charitable"

    "What are you gonna tell him when you see him? I don't want you to insult him, he's my friend."

    "So, lie?"

    "It wouldn't kill you. He needs your vote of confidence."

    "For what? Fuck him. I should give him a pass because...?"

    "Because he did it himself. That should be enough."

    "So my version of a Divinci belongs in the Louvre next to the real thing. After all, I painted that potrait myself. You give a pass for that sub-standard shit then our work has no value, no credibility. If you were a judge you'd score him 100pts?"

    "Damn right I would!"

    "Then my tenure here has been a waste of time."

    "Your what?"

    That was a movie trailer of that encounter, and the last sentence explained it perfectly. It was time in my life I'll never get back and those fucks are mentoring the next gens, or trying.

    My point in the 1st reply, if you can sign everything you do and it's genuine, you won. When it defines the standard, you won. The real fool's errand? Trying to get through to those who NEVER want to know the difference, to those who express contempt at the difference. They outnumber those who excell. Maybe we should like it that way. Something that stands out does so for a reason, and that reason may not be teachable after all. It's in you or it isn't. Remember the old cliche', "it's lonely at the top"? If you can see that in this topic, I'd say point made.
  28. My point exactly and EXCELLENT post, by the way. (in MY

    When I was growing up, there was A standard (as in one)... Symmetry, tolerances (as opposed to tolerance), quality of construction. Now, people are making up their own rules, because the "old way" is too slow, too hard, or just "not their thing".

    I firmly believe "no one cares anymore" just because us "old guys" tell the younger guys they should. I'm not just talking about hot rodding, but society as a whole.

    AND YES, THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS... so don't even go there.
  29. deto
    Joined: Jun 26, 2010
    Posts: 2,621


    Seriously? Another thread like this? Wow...

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