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Wages at restoration shop questions

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by kwmpa, Dec 4, 2012.

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  1. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 5,493

    from red oak

    Unfortunatly, on a general forum when a question is asked, like the HAMB, everybody reads into it in a different way. Usually they are lookin for a quick way to make a buck(what is it worth thread) or are just complaining and wants sombody to listen to them. Now that we know what you really want, we can start over. You have asked the million dollar question. What is my time worth, only you can answer that. Have them go over with you there expenses and earnings statement in really general terms. That way you know how much margin is figured in. Maybe they need to raise there rates to cover hidden costs that aren`t readilly apparent. You need to know how much money you are making for them to figure out a decent wage for yourself. If the shop rate is $55 an hour, what about matarials cost. If you don`t use your share of insurance, do you get more pay. In a skilled profession, getting and doing the work is the easy part. it`s all the other crap that`ll drive you crazy. Health insurance will be one of your major expenses in life. It`ll go up every year, and almost impossible to budget for.
  2. The_Stig
    Joined: Nov 30, 2012
    Posts: 54


    That's precisely the problem. A flooded labor pool forces down the price of labor, as in the commodities market. Most of you are probably too young to remember how it was when everything was the opposite or haven't been born yet back then. Before they managed to bust unions, it wasn't abnormal to get a cost of living adjustment, not to mention that wages were competitive until 1969 when they progressively descended as real wages against inflation. In fact, considering currencey devaluation, contemporary wages are at 1968 levels, despite a 100% increase in productivity, not including company medical insurance coverage in the equation. Adding to this, cheap imported labor is also keeping wages down.
    If you like what you're doing, I'd suggest buying quality tools, gradually stocking them up. Then, relocate to an area where "there's room enough for both of us" where there are locals who have enough expendable income for treating themselves to a nice old car. There you could start your own shop and do away with those Boyd Coddington/Duane Mayer type middlemen and those grouchy drunken Roy Schmidt type co-workers

  3. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,856


    If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.
  4. spiders web
    Joined: Jan 16, 2011
    Posts: 384

    spiders web

    As a business owner I can tell you that the general rule of thumb is a good employee should generate three times his wage. One for his pay, one for the shop and up keep and one for his employer (to be used for improvements in the shop and growth of the business). I've had employees that make just their pay and they usually are gone quickly. If a man has good work ethic and generates quality work he will get a raise and praise. Quit worrying about the pay and put your nose to the grind stone and the money will come. Maybe the reason the money has yet to come your way is that your opinion of your worth may not be shared by the owner. Quit snivelling!!!!!!!!!!!
  5. young'n'poor
    Joined: Jan 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,280

    from Anoka. MN

    I'm just a young guy and not a business owner, but I work hard and I'm constantly asking to learn new things and volunteer for overtime and PITA projects, and after only five years I already make more than everyone in my department. If you're a real hard working guy and produce alot of quality work, there is no shame in sitting down with your boss and asking what you could do to deserve a raise in his eyes. Nothing beats the direct approach of telling your boss you want more money but you wanna earn it

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  6. czuch
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 2,688

    from vail az

    I think you should have posted your last post first. That would have eliminated alot of the stupid drama show drama. There are some interesting stories here though.
    Hold on to what you have, its gonna get real rocky here soon.
    If you like where you are, but cant get satisfaction, model YOUR shop after his.
  7. Alot of ideas here on what and what not to do. Most of them are right on the money. Being a former business owner, the one response I take issue with is to pick up extra money by working on the side. Why not spend some time and effort trying to get more business into the shop that provides you with a job, rather than creating competition against it. That will go a long way towards showing your boss that you care for the health of his company, and will pay off for you and him. Win Win.
  8. basicbob
    Joined: Nov 2, 2003
    Posts: 757


    Buy your boss a card & thank him for allowing you to work there. Tell him you are very happy learning how he wants work done!
    My dad worked a a new car dealership thru the 50's-60's & would share the story how one of the mechanics hit the boss up for a raise. The mechanic told the boss another garage would pay him $1.00 more per hour, the boss told him he would give him a excellent review for his new boss. He had a guy wanting a job that day & would take his spot tomorrow!
    In todays world everyone needs more money including your boss! Be glad you have a job!

  9. Fringe
    Joined: Jul 16, 2011
    Posts: 36

    from Sacramento

    My thoughts exactly. I could care less how long you have been on the job. Are you doing more things? Are you faster and better than you were? How much more are you adding value and making the shop money? Discuss THIS with your boss and bring in the topic of your wages. If you don't get the answer you want, see if another shop agrees with you or your boss.
  10. I think there is something that needs to be said here actually several things that need to be said here and this is not directed at oldschool66 but just the "businessmen" in general.

    #1 an employee is an employee. An employee is not property, you are buying their time and that is all that you are buying.

    I said that to say this, if your employee is off the clock that is their time to do with what they want to do. You as a business owner have absolutely no business whatsoever trying to dictate to them what they can and cannot do on their own time, the only time you own is the time they you are buying. If you believe that your employee is competing for your business then you need to make the prospective client have some reason to come to you as opposed to going else ware.

    Now I will ad a disclaimer to that, if your employee is farming your customers it is a good time to let him go. That is to say if you discover that your employee is approaching your customers with a better deal, these being people that have already come through your door or are in your parking lot.

    #2 a mechanic or a fabricator is not a salesman. When you hire someone that is good and well known they will bring a certain amount of work into your shop with them but they should not be expected to be out there doing your job. You are the salesman or you have sales staff and that is what they do. If you need a salesman hire one but don't expect him or her to beat fenders or build transmissions that is not in their job description.

    From what I am reading a good portion of the "businessmen" that are posting on this thread have no idea what a business is or how to run one. You guys are not looking for employees you are looking for partners. A partner normally does not receive an hourly wage. Depending on how the corporation is set up a partner may receive a salary and bonuses based on profit or they may only receive part of the profit. An employee on the other hand is paid for what he or she does, either hourly or salaried based on an hourley rate or flat rate like I mentioned in an earlier post.

    Now as for the OPs question, there is no reason in the world why you cannot ask for better wages. I have no way of knowing if you deserve them, that is between you and your employer. I would not approach the boss with an ulimatum, but I may go armed with information of what the mean wage is for what it is that you are doing, or a wage scale. If you are exceptionaly good at what you do and have been doing an exceptional job you can either expect to get paid more then the mean wage or expect to be paid on the upper end of the scale. Maybe your employer does not have the cash to pay you, if you feel that he is wrong look for something else. I would not go in with this is what they pay over there at Joe's Diner and body shop, that will only do two things for you one it will piss the boss off and two it will leave open the door for the boss who is pissed off to say, "Well maybe you would be happier at Joe's Diner and Body Shop."

    You do have one other route that I have not mentioned, if you do not have good negotiation skills you can join the union and pay them to negotiate for you.
  11. As always beaner, you have an excellant take on the problem. My experience has been that when an employee does side jobs, his number one source of work is the customers he's done work for in your shop. After over 20 years as part owner of two auto dealerships, I've seen it happen several times. I don't think that's what the OP had in mind, I was responding to the post that refered to it. I still believe that when someone gives you a job ( especially in a small family owned shop ) you have a certian responsibilty to try to make that shop sucessful. That may be just me. Either way, I think we have succededin beating this one to death.:D
  12. 53 COE
    Joined: Oct 8, 2011
    Posts: 688

    53 COE
    from PNW

    That's pretty standard here and many forums unfortunately.

    I have done body work for a living and you do bust your ass - it is physical work. I have a pretty sit down job now, but when I go do a full days body work I come home dragging. It actually keeps you in shape, all the bending and lifting etc. Just have to survive the dust and fumes.

    As for the money issue - I would suggest opening your own shop - even in a building behind your house could become a very good living.

  13. We have worn out several beatin' sticks on this one.
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