What Happened to the Gold Watch?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Seacowboys, Aug 19, 2015.

  1. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    What changed in our socio-economic picture that eliminated the career that a person worked until retirement on? With all the out-sourcing, changing technologies, job hopping, does anyone in this day and age, find a single employer and spend their productive years working and providing for their families? I was looking at my grand-father's gold watch that he received at retirement and wondered if this institution still exists? I have absolutely zero loyalty to my employers, it is just a job.
  2. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I think loyalty comes when you feel you are making a difference between success and failure of a company and your efforts are recognized accordingly. I'm a loyal person by nature and when that loyalty and hard work are acknowledged by those with whom I work, I feel greater loyalty and work harder. There are times in life when I have worked for money and other times when I have worked for the love of the work itself. I think that is probably the same with almost everyone
  3. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Many companies cut the fat years back. I know very few who have been at one place. A lady I know was looking at 25 years and planning on retiring and they "eliminated" her position. Actually they eliminated her 6 figure salary and brought in two much cheaper to replace her. As for the gold watch, I don't think they are allowed anymore. Employee would be taxed on it.
  4. mysterymet

    mysterymet Monkey+++

    The company I work for still does that kind of stuff.
    RightHand likes this.
  5. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    Many I know, follow the philosophy of switching companies every 5 years or less. You basically have to change companies to ever get any "real" raise in pay. I quite my current employer, left for almost 5 years and then they lured me back.... at the time I was burned out on the family first mentality of the owners. We have had two guys retire from this outfit in the last 6 months.... both had been with the company for about 15 years. No watch, but they did get a parting check for a thank you.....

    When upper management changes... a lot of times they shuffle out employees they do not like and bring over folks from their last outfit. Just life in the construction industry and I doubt it will ever change.
    Tully Mars and chelloveck like this.
  6. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Companies started eliminating positions 20 years ago. Why be loyal to a company who is not loyal to you?

    Many employees felt they should get a pay raise for 'time in grade' rather than based on what they produced.

    All government positions are like this. Raise based on how long you can sit on your butt and pretend to do good work rather than being based on the work you produce

    Having said that most loyalty switched to personal business connections so that ceo's that play golf together hire their buddies.
  7. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    Numerous businesses make it a practice to deny promotion to employees but demand increased responsibility while dangling the carrot of promotion. This keeps the cost of employing an individual down while maximizing the return for their work. As said employee reaches their prime earning years, generally 32 - 55, companies are happy to see employees leave for greener pastures as it allows them to promote the recently hired and trained from within, thus dangling another carrot; then hire entry level employees at much lower salaries. This keeps the high wage employees at a minimum and releases them of any retirement responsibilities.

    Few companies encourage employee loyalty or value their employees enough to want to retain them until retirement. That age ended in the early 1960's.
  8. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    The "Gold Watch" has been replaced by "Getting Fired Just Before You Qualify for Retirement" and "The Maximum Number of Hours You Can Work Without Getting Benefits".
  9. ditch witch

    ditch witch I do stupid crap, so you don't have to

    When I was working for the city I had a woman come in for a job interview and she broke down in my office. Turns out she'd been with this one company for 22 years and had thought she'd work there until she retired. Well company got sold and the new owners came in and started replacing all the female staff that was over 30 with younger models fresh out of high school. Easier on the eyes as well as payroll I guess.

    At the Mr.'s job everyone thought it'd be a job to retirement too, until the founders sold it to corporate America. It's changed hands a few times, every time brings a new round of chopping blocks. He got his 15 year watch the other day but we're still chewing down to the cuticles afraid he'll be cut and replaced with two kids who will work for the same price. Especially with oil prices in the trash.
    chelloveck and Ganado like this.
  10. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    What a downer to read these responses. We do our best to reward commitment from our employees with both financial and professional advancement. Maybe that's the difference between a small privately owned company and a publicly owned company.
  11. STANGF150

    STANGF150 Knowledge Seeker

    The Gold Watch is Gone. Companies demand Loyalty UP the Chain but never give Loyalty DOWN the Chain. My last job, where I was at 15 years, I was Fired from because I used my Vacation Time to apply for & go for an interview at another company. My downfall was letting ANY ONE at the company I was at, know I was doing so. Company I'm at now, oh there is no Loyalty, or respect down the chain at all. The money is real good, but those in my Dept called Distribution aka: ALL ForkLift Drivers even us that don't work in the Warehouse, are treated as Disposable. An yet, we have been short on Drivers ever since I started there. On my shift/crew there are only 5 Drivers still there, out of supposed to be 12 on my Shift, from when I started July 2014. We have a combined total of 8 out of 12. An in January we are supposed to get Robots in the Warehouse so sum Drivers will either lose their jobs or have to go to other Depts doing other jobs. So not much incentive to hire on is there?
  12. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    @RightHand - Maybe so, but I think most of those responses aren't far away from reality. One outfit I worked for in wayback times was a VERY large privately held engineering and construction outfit that rewarded 20 year employees with a solid gold Rolex. I don't know what that cost at the time, but it wasn't small change. Not too long before I left, they downgraded to gold plated that went around 6K (at the time) and (so far as I know) are still doing it. (I left during a downsizing at 12 years, so missed that boat.) Around the same time, HR policies went thru a major overhaul especially with vacation and health care getting rolled into a month off in total in a year starting with the hire date.
    As with all engineering and construction outfits, employment was heavily dependent on work load and projections for same. We got smacked when the power plant industry crapped the bed in the 80s. Have to admit, it was a good employer, took care of it's people better than most. Would have stayed had the industry been able to recover fast enough, or the forays into other types of projects had worked faster or better. They had become a bit complacent, figuring on the nuclear plant construction to be unstoppable. Well, it wasn't, and all those I worked for since then operated as tho' people were hire/fire fodder in spite of HR's protestations.
    Tully Mars, chelloveck and RightHand like this.
  13. KAS

    KAS Monkey++

    interesting post ...
    I have found that loyalty gets you nothing ...
    i do know some loyal guys but i feel the only reason they are there is because they have a job they are good at and positions for them is very limited ...
    Or they started at the company when they were 15 and cant read or write so cant do much else ...

    I seen a welder with a sticker on his truck that said im here for the cash if you are looking for loyality get a dog ...
    And im here to make dollars not cents.
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  14. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Living in Southern New Hampshire and watching manufacturing for the last 30 years all hope of retirement is gone. We have a 401-k plan and my wife's supposed $900 a month promised pension was upgraded to a 401-k when she had 15 years in. Retiring with 25 years, the 2009 stock market game took half of the principal which was "managed so that it would be safe" by the company selected by the plan. Now with the .45 % interest rate on our cd's it brings in about $ 50 a month and anything above that comes from the principle. The stock answer is that you should have stayed in the market and made the profits of the last few years. Well some of those who did continue in the stock market have got back to what they had in 2008 and some lost it all. We have a very bad balance of payment problem and most of the local companies have closed, moved to areas with lower heating and energy cost, or been bought out by overseas companies. The jobs that do exist have been automated, outsourced, reduced to less than 30 hours , and are at the "will of the employer" and his cost analyst. A lot of the remaining companies here were bought by German and Japanese companies and I don't think that a management team that is many thousand miles away really cares what think or how well you live in retirement.. The old manufacturing jobs have been replaced by service jobs and I can assure you have a better chance of walking on water then retiring from one of them. That said I have worked for a small company for 30 years and have no pension or other benefits and since I make the bank deposits, I am glad to still be working as some weeks I take home more than the owner. I don't see many people retiring in the future, buy land, equipment, and be as self sufficient as you can be and stay out of debt. The one big problem we all face is that we will never own anything for the rest of our lives. We just rent it from the government and the school boards and they do not care what your age , religion, mental state, health, wealth or anything else is. They will take you property if you do not pay your taxes and they set the rates and run the courts. If you escape them, you still have to worry about the medical and nursing homes taking what is left. My grand dad said that only three things in life count, firewood, potatoes and your health. If you are warm, well fed, healthy and happy, you are good no matter how much or little money you have. Miss any of those and no matter how much money you have, you are hurting. Ignore the the bast***s and concentrate on what really counts.We all know people who are much "better off " then we are who are losing everything or are dying or in the middle of a messy divorce. Think about, but thank the man in charge and enjoy life.
  15. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I guess the first question that comes to mind is "what ARE you loyal to?"
    chelloveck likes this.
  16. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    Family and loyal friends...... :)
    Tully Mars, chelloveck, duane and 3 others like this.
  17. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    I worked five and a half years in a big box hardware chain store. The wages were ordinary, but the management were big on achievement and recognition badges. Same of my colleagues had more badges on their apron than Colonel Gaddafi's ceremonial uniform. I refused to wear them. I tossed mine into my locker and left them there for the next incumbent when I resigned. The badges didn't translate into monetary bonuses, and the wages were the same, regardless of how many badges were decorating one's apron.

    A junior Jeddi (trainee) manager was miffed that I was unimpressed with the recognition and reward system when I said ..."I'd rather have the money...I can't eat a badge"
    3M-TA3, Tully Mars, oldawg and 8 others like this.
  18. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    @chelloveck LOL Reminds me of a young guy, somewhat simple minded, we had working for us a few years ago. He was barely out of his teens and was trying to learn a trade. One day everyone in the shop heard a shriek and the most pitiful wailing you can imagine. Figuring someone had lost an arm or a hand in one of the machines, we all went running. The kid was down the floor, grasping his hand, writhing and crying. We get him up and he has a "cut" translated to an abrasion that had a little meat showing but no blood. He was in such a state, we took him down to immediate care where they washed it and put on a bandaid. He cried through the whole doctor visit. When he got back, I made him a "Man Badge" and told him he wasn't allowed to cry again unless he was gushing blood. It was good for a laugh and and he proudly wore his Man Badge on his shirt all week.

    So, badges are for weinies
  19. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    I've got a 5 year ring and a 10 year watch from a previous employer that I'd thought I'd work for until I retired. It was a great job, great owners and great coworkers. When I started we had 50 people working there..

    I love manufacturing! But after the owner (with whom I still have dinners with regularly) felt the pressure from his brother in law and nephew to pass the control down to them. Things got really different.

    We went from a 220 person family, down to 70 bodies. Sales fell about the same percentage.

    It wasn't the same place. Layoffs, firings, more layoffs. I was safe in my position, but I couldn't stay to be party to the culling. I released myself to industry 2 weeks after our one-time consultant became the new CEO.

    Best damn decision I'd made. Now I'm just a coding monkey. Not passionate about my work. It's just work and a check for now. Maybe someday I'll run across a position in Manufacturing where I can do IT work/code .. That would be the best of both worlds.

    Anyway, I think I'll go crack a beer and reminisce.
  20. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    That's such a common occurrence VT. Sad but true. I've even felt the difference here as we have grown from a handful of people to 40-45. sometimes I walk into the shop and have to ask someone's name, particularly the young ones who tend to come in with enthusiasm then get bored and quit to go mow lawns or something along that career path.
    chelloveck likes this.
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