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View Full Version : When disaster stikes, how much of your shop could you save?



Too_Many_Tools
04-23-2010, 02:54 PM
Over the years, I have seen a number of shops suffer fires and floods.

In most cases, the contents of the shops were lost or severely damaged.

In a few select cases, the owners were able to save machines and tools by acting quickly....in minutes or hours they were able to move items out.

In one case the owner had his Bridgeport and lathe on wheels and they along with a number of tool chests were rolled out of the shop as the fire minutes away consumed it.

In another case that concerned rising waters, that owner was able to move most of his machines to higher ground in less than an hour.

If your shop was threatened by fire or flood, could you save some of it?

And what would you save?

TMT

MuellerNick
04-23-2010, 03:02 PM
All my heavy machinery is on casters and a chain attached to them. That chain reaches to the outside. Every outside-end of that chain has a number. Thats the sequence they have to be pulled out to avoid a jam.
I have a dedicated truck to pull the machines. I start and check it every week to be prepared.

At night, I wear a hard hat and drink 4 liters of water befor going to bed. So I can pee the fire out just in case the fire department arrives a bit late.

I never leave home, but I sometimes drink one beer to many before posting. And you?


Nick

Black_Moons
04-23-2010, 03:03 PM
Iv had floods and saved my tools from them...
By running a shopvac.. 24/7... for days on end.. and then buying another when it broke.. And another... 4 floods now and about 21 days beween 3 shopvacs. First shopvac I installed a garden pump inside to continiously empty.. the others I bought with a built in garden hose pump.

If only we owned this place and could install a sump, oh well. Moving soon..

Too_Many_Tools
04-23-2010, 03:32 PM
All my heavy machinery is on casters and a chain attached to them. That chain reaches to the outside. Every outside-end of that chain has a number. Thats the sequence they have to be pulled out to avoid a jam.
I have a dedicated truck to pull the machines. I start and check it every week to be prepared.

At night, I wear a hard hat and drink 4 liters of water befor going to bed. So I can pee the fire out just in case the fire department arrives a bit late.

I never leave home, but I sometimes drink one beer to many before posting. And you?


Nick

I drink 4 liters of beer before going to bed.

It gives me a reason to get up in the morning. ;<)

TMT

garagemark
04-23-2010, 03:34 PM
I live on a ridge. No flood potential.

Fire? I'm screwed. I have mucho insurance though.

Alistair Hosie
04-23-2010, 03:39 PM
I drink 4 liters of beer before going to bed.

It gives me a reason to get up in the morning. ;<)

certainly will stop you getting UP at night:DAlistair

Spin Doctor
04-23-2010, 03:41 PM
Tools or wife??? Tools or wife???????? :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

Liger Zero
04-23-2010, 04:08 PM
Tools or wife??? Tools or wife????????
That's easy in my case... Bridgeports and molding machines can be replaced with insurance. Women who tolerate my presence for more than a half hour at a time... irreplaceable! ;)

I have drummed it into her head (nicely of course) that if something should happen to the shop while I am in the Service call the fire department, call the insurance people, call the lawyer, and let them deal with the mess and I'll sign the papers when I'm not on duty.

Stuff can be replaced, she cannot.

Evan
04-23-2010, 04:28 PM
The only real hazard here is fire but it is a biggie. We live on top of a hill surrounded by sick trees for hundreds of miles around. My fir trees are stressed by fir moth attack and the pines are all dead.

We have no fire department and the equipment I have can only fight a ground fire. If we get a crown fire through this way we will be doing well to save ourselves. The best I will be able to manage is to grab my terabyte portable drive and get out of Dodge. None of my machines will survive, none of my instruments and none of my telescopes or cameras unless I grab a couple on the way out. None of my projects will make it either except for the few items I have given away or sold.

I have unusally good insurance that isn't generally available on the market. It gives us a blanket claim ceiling for everything we own with no exclusions except for vehicles and no limits on outbuildings or possessions or even jewellery. I can claim up to 1 million dollars replacement value for anything or everything with no depreciation. They will even pay for my trees.

Unfortunately, that will not replace my shop equipment or the large variety of items we have both collected over the years. We have some items that are worth thousands of dollars alone and are entirely irreplaceable. Many of these items are from around the world and are no longer available.

We would be entirely wiped out and it is impossible to start over now. We would be reduced to living in some sort of shi-tty retirement type project or little easy to maintain house near town. The property we live on would be unliveable if all the trees were removed as it would cook in the summer and the wind would howl across this hill in the winter.

Fire here is my worst nightmare after anything happening to my children.

The only thing that really scares me is seeing a scene like this:

This isn't sunset and those are not clouds, it was last summer and the sun was still well up.

http://ixian.ca/pics6/smoke1.jpg

I really don't know what I would do without my shop. I would be lost.

Liger Zero
04-23-2010, 04:42 PM
You would survive, and with your talents you would recover and rebuild once the initial shock wore off. Of that I have no doubt.

Your mind would not allow you to idle yourself, and it would start with a chicom lathe... which you modify (bitching the whole time about how it sucks)... then the mill... and next thing you know you're back in the game.

Too_Many_Tools
04-23-2010, 05:10 PM
The only real hazard here is fire but it is a biggie. We live on top of a hill surrounded by sick trees for hundreds of miles around. My fir trees are stressed by fir moth attack and the pines are all dead.

We have no fire department and the equipment I have can only fight a ground fire. If we get a crown fire through this way we will be doing well to save ourselves. The best I will be able to manage is to grab my terabyte portable drive and get out of Dodge. None of my machines will survive, none of my instruments and none of my telescopes or cameras unless I grab a couple on the way out. None of my projects will make it either except for the few items I have given away or sold.

I have unusally good insurance that isn't generally available on the market. It gives us a blanket claim ceiling for everything we own with no exclusions except for vehicles and no limits on outbuildings or possessions or even jewellery. I can claim up to 1 million dollars replacement value for anything or everything with no depreciation. They will even pay for my trees.

Unfortunately, that will not replace my shop equipment or the large variety of items we have both collected over the years. We have some items that are worth thousands of dollars alone and are entirely irreplaceable. Many of these items are from around the world and are no longer available.

We would be entirely wiped out and it is impossible to start over now. We would be reduced to living in some sort of shi-tty retirement type project or little easy to maintain house near town. The property we live on would be unliveable if all the trees were removed as it would cook in the summer and the wind would howl across this hill in the winter.

Fire here is my worst nightmare after anything happening to my children.

The only thing that really scares me is seeing a scene like this:

This isn't sunset and those are not clouds, it was last summer and the sun was still well up.

http://ixian.ca/pics6/smoke1.jpg

I really don't know what I would do without my shop. I would be lost.


Evan...could you build a firebreak?

Or can you "harden" your shop so if a fire did occur that it would survive?

Having a roof that is nonflammable and fire resistant siding goes a long ways towards protecting a building and its contents. I have been closely watching the end results of what survived and what did not here in southern California after the fires...many times it is the little details that made the difference.

Keeping any flammable items like solvents stored outside in a detached building keeps the likelihood of an internal fire to a minimum also.


TMT

Black_Moons
04-23-2010, 05:10 PM
I really don't know what I would do without my shop. I would be lost.

If you ever get lost your welcome to wander into my shop

Punkinhead
04-23-2010, 06:18 PM
I wouldn't waste a moment trying to save my shop. Kids, wife, dogs, and maybe some irreplaceable family items would come first. There's no shortage of Bridgeports in this world. With some careful shopping on Ebay with the insurance payout I'd probably end up money ahead.

Alistair Hosie
04-23-2010, 06:27 PM
Originally Posted by Evan
I really don't know what I would do without my shop. I would be lost.

I completely understand how you feel I would be the same .Apart from my family I seem to eat sleep and breathe and live for both my workshops.I get a lot of fun out of them.Don't worry Evan I feel sure it will never happen.Alistair

oil mac
04-23-2010, 07:05 PM
I think loss of my shop, would be devastating for me, Although one has to constantly remind oneself, that these are only worldly possessions, Their loss would still be sore to bear, This is upermast in my mind in the small chance of fire or a break in
The few modern items i own i would not worry too much about, My nice older style measuring equipment, i doubt if i could replace them easily , If this should be an occurance, i would hope from the disaster, i could save my Myford, & small shaper, & half inch capacity drilling machine +of course a core group of the tools to get me going again
The big machines tough, i would learn to live without them, as i get older i think working in smaller stuff is less of a stress &pleasanter
For one to loose your household stuff, would be terrible all your personal things, bang goes your history, You virtually have no identity left worth talking about
This posting reminds me of many years ago a nice old shipyard engine shop machineman i knew, When he retired was given his (in those halcyon days) engraved gold watch, This was his pride &joy until a little a**e - h**e , burgled his house &took the old guys watch, he was heartbroken, Iwould like to have been allowed about 15 minutes alone with the little swine in a room having a heavy club to hand!
The other time was an old works director, was showing me his photographs of a large &finely equiped engine works in Glasgow, in the 1920/s, It seemed to be their pride &joy, until along came the great depression,
Even in those days they were forced into a downsizing scenario, by purchasing a smaller engine works which lasted them till 1968, They managed to do superb work in this lesser equiped shop, Survival is the name of the game, Should the good lord keep me fit &well , I guess that would be the road i would take.

oldtiffie
04-23-2010, 08:58 PM
Over the years, I have seen a number of shops suffer fires and floods.

In most cases, the contents of the shops were lost or severely damaged.

In a few select cases, the owners were able to save machines and tools by acting quickly....in minutes or hours they were able to move items out.

In one case the owner had his Bridgeport and lathe on wheels and they along with a number of tool chests were rolled out of the shop as the fire minutes away consumed it.

In another case that concerned rising waters, that owner was able to move most of his machines to higher ground in less than an hour.

If your shop was threatened by fire or flood, could you save some of it?

And what would you save?

TMT

Short answer - bugger all.

It would be a good chance to take stock and see where my wife and I really wanted to be and where we want to go to.

As long as we are on our feet we would be OK.

I am not at all sure that if I had to start all over again that a shop would even be on the list.

From some of the stuff I'd read here, I am not all that sure that some of the shop owners would be in a fit enough physical or medical condition to do anything at all or perhaps even survive the shock.

Same applies if the shop got broken into. That's what the insurance is for.

As I've said often enough, all of my stuff has been written down to zero and I have no emotional attachment to any of it. It has no emotional or intrinsic value. It is only there because I bought it and that it might come in useful.

My shop is only a means to an end.

It is not a means unto or of itself.

It might just be a good opportunity for a clean out and a complete "re-think".

As long as my wife and I have each other and our health we have all we need.

We are reasonably resilient and provided for so starting from anything from scratch upward is OK - we can live with that.

I sometimes wonder if some actually bless/cross themselves before entering their shop (temple, tabernacle?) and burn incense and offer up prayer before entering their shop?

Do they have a lectern with a book from/by and old guru (Holy Writ?) opened on it at the "Lesson for the day"?

Is this you and your "shop" (escape hole)?
http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/Funnies/Self-storage1.jpg

A bit of a "heads up" here:
http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/Funnies/Baggage1.jpg

Me 'n' "Mum" off for some serious real "shop" work:
http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/Funnies/Biker_and_babe1.jpg

Do shops, tools and machines etc. constitute "False Gods"? (couldn't resist it!!)
http://www.google.com.au/#hl=en&source=hp&q=false+gods+bible+verse&meta=&aq=9&aqi=g10&aql=&oq=false+gods&gs_rfai=&fp=eece95acef501675

Black_Moons
04-23-2010, 09:04 PM
Same applies if the shop got broken into. That's what the insurance is for.

I have 0 insurance.. And I highly doubt any insurance company would pay new value (the cost to ME to buy all that stuff again), let alone that lots of stuff was bought at one time sales, auctions, mail order 2nd hand deals, etc etc etc.

Your Old Dog
04-23-2010, 09:19 PM
As a news photographer I've consoled a lot of fire victims over my 35 year career that they have two choices. Look at the fire as the worst thing that could happen to them or to look at it as an opportunity to start life anew and maybe take a different path. If it did nothing else, it left them in neutral instead of plain devastated. I can site a few cases where some folks did come back better off.

edited:
Tiffe, I read your post after I just wrote this. You have the right idea. I could easily see me sitting on a porch of a hotel on a dirt Main street reading dime store novels. Would like to have 1 kick-arse camera and good notebook w/PS2 to process the images and I"d be happy. I can tell you my life was more fun when it was simple and now it's all complicated up with hardware. No one is more prepared for disaster then one who is willing to accept change, even on destiny's terms

I hear tell SJ does a burn every now and then just to gain some floor space. :D

oldtiffie
04-23-2010, 09:25 PM
Originally Posted by oldtiffie
Same applies if the shop got broken into. That's what the insurance is for.


I have 0 insurance.. And I highly doubt any insurance company would pay new value (the cost to ME to buy all that stuff again), let alone that lots of stuff was bought at one time sales, auctions, mail order 2nd hand deals, etc etc etc.

Wrong - dead wrong.

"0 insurance" = 100% self-insurance and that is a presumably calculated risk you take.

All of life is a risk.

Have contingency plans and funds in place - just in case.

gmatov
04-24-2010, 12:21 AM
Insurance is relatively cheap as to the replacement of your machinery. If you buy HO3, I think it is, you are covered for replacement cost. Full coverage.

Going "naked" or self insured, as Old Tiffie says you are, is a case of you betting that you will not have a loss. If you don't, you win, if you do, the premiums were deductible, in any case.

In Evan's case, his "irreplaceables" COULD be stashed in a fireproof place, but I would think the point is not to collect for the sake of collecting, but to have something of beauty or utility where it can be seen or used.

Like million dollar art locked in a vault. You have it, but what good if you can't appreciate it?

Oil Mac,

One of the most grotesque "gifts" a Corp can give to a retiree. "I no longer have to clock in, there. What in the HELL do I need a nice new watch for?"

Westinghouse gave me a nice watch in appreciation for cleaning out the machinery in a timely fashion when they shut our plant down. Supposed to be a 300 buck Logines-Wittenour watch. Westinghouse OWNED Longines. Probable cost was 10 bucks per watch. "Here, Peon, this is how we thank you." I no longer need to get up to go there, and it took 6 months for them to get them to us.

Nice watch, but it died after about 3 years and jewelers have not been able to fix it.

Cheers,

George

bborr01
04-24-2010, 12:47 AM
One of my co-workers, Gary, got a call several years ago from his wife.

She told him their house was fully engulfed if flames.

Gary was an avid hunter and shooter. His nickname was old yeller.

The house burned to the ground. Every gun. Every picture. Every mounted rack.

But............his wife and kids were safe.

He rebuilt his old house in the same spot with a beautiful new one.

Used what insurance he had to replace what guns and equipment he could.

The important things were safe. His family. He never missed a beat.

I learned a lot from his dealing with his loss.

A person would have a hard time burning down my maching shop. Very few flammables. Not in a flood zone. Got good insurance just in case.

Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Preparation is the key.

Brian

Too_Many_Tools
04-24-2010, 04:47 AM
Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Preparation is the key.

Brian

Correct..and that is the reason for me posting the subject.

TMT

oil mac
04-24-2010, 09:05 AM
Gmatov, From my perspective, you are correct in your summing up of the gift of a watch, In my last job, which i had been employed about 18 years, and carried a lot of cares on my shoulders (stupid me,) I wa the first, &longest serving worker. However when i retired, the workers held a party for me, The management came in and gave me a go away present, A cheap fountain pen &pencil set, This was fired over the bridge, into the river on the way home.

Near where i lived was a retired locomotive driver, Upon retiring, Up, from head office arrived "a walking suite with no brains or personality", Who walked along the line of the retired guys, & thrust the obligatory mediocre watch into each ones hand, gave the usual drivel of a speech -- prepared in head office This old guy walked up to his engine, put the watch in front of her on the rails and flattened it Drove his engine for the last time!
The old fellow i had alluded to in my previous posting, had been employed by an older type of management for 50 years, was really respected all that time by his co-workers &management, A situation nowadays not found Where nowadays, you are only, an expendable number, His watch was his last link, with his fellow workers & an old well respected firm which had also gone Along with his way of life, in happier and familiar climes.
I do not know what became of him except the shock of the theft,and his last link with his lost way of life devestated him .
I try (with difficulty) As we are all Magpies, to try and remember the biblical quotation, which begins, "Lay not away treasures on earth "

Evan
04-24-2010, 09:54 AM
A situation nowadays not found Where nowadays, you are only, an expendable number. . .

How true, as I know in full measure. I worked for Xerox for 23 years and in the early years the company was excellent to work for. As time passed this gradually deteriorated and by the early 90s the company had become a machine with no soul. There were almost no low level managers left, the ones who knew the field jobs because they had come from there. Instead of one experienced manager for every 15 to 30 people on the service teams they were reduced to 3 for 350 people in BC.

I was entirely on my own then since the human dispatchers who knew everyone on the team and knew where the customers were and how long it took to drive there had been replaced by a computer system that only knew how to calculate averages. The nearest next employee to me was a 5 hour round trip drive so I was lucky to see another employee perhaps two or three times per year. By the late 90s my medical condition was interfering with my work but nobody noticed and it was impossible to justify a claim of disability.

I finally gave my notice when I was told that I would have to assume another 60% workload of another town to add to my 120% workload I was already having trouble handling.

I wrote, emailed, faxed and sent by registered letter my resignation with 5 weeks notice to the top 5 people in the western district. I heard nothing back for three weeks. We drove to Vancouver as I had explained I would do and when I walked into the office I ran into one of the remaining managers. He asked what I was doing there and I explained. His jaw dropped when I told him that he now only had 2 weeks to find and move a replacement for me. He hadn't taken my resignation seriously even though I had never before so much as mentioned the subject and never used it as an idle threat. I don't make idle threats.

He was entirely unprepared for my visit and didn't have time for me so we left and went to a computer show and did some shopping. 2 weeks later on the last day of my employment there was nobody in Williams lake to take custody of the company assets totalling around $50,000 including vehicle, spare parts, the keys to the private office and contents and all the confidential customer records, computer etc.

I phoned a vice president and bluntly told him I was quitting and I would park the vehicle on the street near the office with all the records and $10K worth of parts in the vehicle. I explained that it most likely would be found about 60 miles to the west on fire by the next day.

A couple of hours later I was authorized to turn over everything to a sales agent for Xerox in the town. He was not an employee but that was not my problem however it caused a real stir when I insisted that the vice president fax me a letter to that effect with his signature under.

That was not the end of it. They then discovered that for reasons unknown I had never signed a non disclosure agreement while employed. They then withheld my final paycheck until I would sign the NDA and a non-competitive agreement. I told them to stick it and went to the Labour Relations Board and explained. They said they would be happy to help and informed Xerox that they would just love to examine all their employee records back to the stone age and that it might take several months, or, they could issue my paycheck.

It still wasn't the end.

They ignored my final expense report in the amount of several hundred dollars. I reminded them every week for a couple of months with no luck. Finally I explained that I would be filing in small claims court and that they would have to spend thousands to send a company lawyer to show up and lose the action. They cut me a check.

It still wasn't over.

At the end of two months they had still not followed my instructions to transfer my considerable fully vested pension assets to my new accounts. This was very disturbing and a significant amount of money was involved. It took another month of dealing with the pension commissions of two provinces and the issuing of several letters informing of pending legal action before they finally released my funds.

It was just in time by only a week or so because I had correctly estimated that the markets were about to crash. I managed to put it all in cash only a few days before it would have lost 50% value had it not been released in time.

I have an abiding hatred for the company over the treatment I received and there is nothing I can do to quell it. I still have bad dreams about my last years of employment there.

RancherBill
04-24-2010, 10:12 AM
Speaking of fire up in Even's neck of the woods.


April 23, 2010
B.C. wildfire sparked by army gunfire
By CBC News
CBC News
The biggest wildfire in B.C. so far this season was sparked by the Canadian military.

The biggest wildfire in B.C. so far this season was sparked by the Canadian military.

The 212-hectare fire southwest of Williams Lake is still smouldering, but officials have declared it under control.

"This is the largest [fire] to date," said Rob Bardossy, senior protection officer with the Cariboo Fire Centre. "It appears the fire resulted from some of the exercises and manoeuvres [the Canadian military] were doing out there."

The Department of National Defence owns property near Riske Creek that it uses for military purposes, Bardossy said.

Units from the 39th Canadian Brigade Group were doing weapons training Friday.

A machine-gun round lit a small grass fire that rapidly got out of control, according to Canadian Armed Forces spokesman, Lt.-Col. John Feller.

"Every fifth round has what we call a tracer element in it, which is a small incendiary device which allows you to track where a round of ammunition is going," said Feller. "One of these rounds set off some fire in a grassed area."

There have been 115 fires across the province so far this year, compared to 95 at this time in 2009.




http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2010/04/23/bc-wildfire-military.html

Liger Zero
04-24-2010, 10:20 AM
I have an abiding hatred for the company over the treatment I received and there is nothing I can do to quell it. I still have bad dreams about my last years of employment there.

Queen Bitch the First did nothing "impressive" to save the company, she merely shut down 90% of the Rochester manufacturing and R&D operations. She also outsourced 100% of the currently running projects at that time overseas... causing a very large number of shops to collapse. Her "company saving tactics" were largely responsible for the economic slump this area is experiencing, and because both Kodak and Xerox pulled the rug at the same time and collapsed most of our industry... we'll NEVER recover. Politics and "old thinking" won't allow it.

Much of the equipment they had... sheetmetal equipment, molding presses... they scrapped. Didn't bother selling they SCRAPPED it.

Now granted some of it was highly modified but those Engle Convert-A-Press Horizontal/Vertical presses with the SPIGOT quick-change system... I would trade nearly any part of my body for one of those. Same with the big production turret-punches.


Queen Bitch the Second isn't much interested in growing the Rochester workforce she's all about globalization and diversity and green-ing the company. All buzzwords no long-term strategy. :rolleyes:

boaterri
04-24-2010, 10:53 AM
I recently lost my shop building to the flooding we had in Rhode Island. If you watched your local ABC affialiate the morning weather man Sam Champion was in front of the building all week showing waist deep water. The good news is that in the raised portion of my building the water was only 16" deep. The bad news is that the land lord claimed that the insurance adjuster had condemned the building (BS alarms instantly went off) and that I had 3 weeks to get out.

All the machines were cleaned up as best I could and sprayed with a heavy coat of Boeshield to reduce future rusting before putting them in a storage unit. The only losses were some books, wood sheet stock and some other low dollar stuff.

When I get done traveling for work I will start looking for a new place to set up. In my case this is more of giant pain in the butt than a huge loss.

Rick

Too_Many_Tools
04-24-2010, 04:24 PM
I am sensing in some of the responses a certain sense of denial...a "that if I don't think about this subject it will never happen to me".

Life doesn't work that way.

TMT

Too_Many_Tools
04-24-2010, 04:28 PM
How true, as I know in full measure. I worked for Xerox for 23 years and in the early years the company was excellent to work for. As time passed this gradually deteriorated and by the early 90s the company had become a machine with no soul. There were almost no low level managers left, the ones who knew the field jobs because they had come from there. Instead of one experienced manager for every 15 to 30 people on the service teams they were reduced to 3 for 350 people in BC.

I was entirely on my own then since the human dispatchers who knew everyone on the team and knew where the customers were and how long it took to drive there had been replaced by a computer system that only knew how to calculate averages. The nearest next employee to me was a 5 hour round trip drive so I was lucky to see another employee perhaps two or three times per year. By the late 90s my medical condition was interfering with my work but nobody noticed and it was impossible to justify a claim of disability.

I finally gave my notice when I was told that I would have to assume another 60% workload of another town to add to my 120% workload I was already having trouble handling.

I wrote, emailed, faxed and sent by registered letter my resignation with 5 weeks notice to the top 5 people in the western district. I heard nothing back for three weeks. We drove to Vancouver as I had explained I would do and when I walked into the office I ran into one of the remaining managers. He asked what I was doing there and I explained. His jaw dropped when I told him that he now only had 2 weeks to find and move a replacement for me. He hadn't taken my resignation seriously even though I had never before so much as mentioned the subject and never used it as an idle threat. I don't make idle threats.

He was entirely unprepared for my visit and didn't have time for me so we left and went to a computer show and did some shopping. 2 weeks later on the last day of my employment there was nobody in Williams lake to take custody of the company assets totalling around $50,000 including vehicle, spare parts, the keys to the private office and contents and all the confidential customer records, computer etc.

I phoned a vice president and bluntly told him I was quitting and I would park the vehicle on the street near the office with all the records and $10K worth of parts in the vehicle. I explained that it most likely would be found about 60 miles to the west on fire by the next day.

A couple of hours later I was authorized to turn over everything to a sales agent for Xerox in the town. He was not an employee but that was not my problem however it caused a real stir when I insisted that the vice president fax me a letter to that effect with his signature under.

That was not the end of it. They then discovered that for reasons unknown I had never signed a non disclosure agreement while employed. They then withheld my final paycheck until I would sign the NDA and a non-competitive agreement. I told them to stick it and went to the Labour Relations Board and explained. They said they would be happy to help and informed Xerox that they would just love to examine all their employee records back to the stone age and that it might take several months, or, they could issue my paycheck.

It still wasn't the end.

They ignored my final expense report in the amount of several hundred dollars. I reminded them every week for a couple of months with no luck. Finally I explained that I would be filing in small claims court and that they would have to spend thousands to send a company lawyer to show up and lose the action. They cut me a check.

It still wasn't over.

At the end of two months they had still not followed my instructions to transfer my considerable fully vested pension assets to my new accounts. This was very disturbing and a significant amount of money was involved. It took another month of dealing with the pension commissions of two provinces and the issuing of several letters informing of pending legal action before they finally released my funds.

It was just in time by only a week or so because I had correctly estimated that the markets were about to crash. I managed to put it all in cash only a few days before it would have lost 50% value had it not been released in time.

I have an abiding hatred for the company over the treatment I received and there is nothing I can do to quell it. I still have bad dreams about my last years of employment there.


Evan...you are not alone..your story is one that I personally have heard from dozens of employees and how their companies screwed them over.

The lesson I learned from these stories...Never trust your employer..Never.

TMT

Your Old Dog
04-24-2010, 07:00 PM
Evan I feel your pain. I put in 35 years with the same company giving it all I had. Once put in 37 hours straight on a story. Twice over the years they decided to offer awards for dedicated service. The first time the did it I was the second person to get the award and years later when they instituted it again I was the first person to get it. As a Union rep, many times defended the companies actions when I thought they were right. When I was injured on the job it was like the company could give two $h1ts about it. The injury cause me a medical retirement but no pop and pizza get-together for me. Loyalty is only a one way street in the corporate world. Myself and a few others like me built that damn company over the years and not the phony management team as they would have you believe.

oil mac
04-24-2010, 07:06 PM
What you were all saying guys about how you were all treated by your various firms in the latter part of your work careers seems to ring true this side of the pond as well, It is almost as though all these slick/spiv like executives /managers/chancers or whatever you want to call them, are reading from the same songsheet! Somehow or other i feel the ghastly putrifying stench of the policies of Milton Friedman, much loved by todays bankers &financiers in my tiny nostrils, which is wafting all round the planet quicker than the four Apocalyptic Horsemen
When i finished up, my line manager "Pinochio" a most agreeable young man- He agreed with everybody to their face, But could not be trusted one inch, Pity about the length of his nose from the lies &waffle, Said to me "Keep the kettle boiling for a cup of tea, we will be to see you in a couple of weeks at your house," Thankfully 12 years later i am still waiting.
Recently three nice people have taken over the reins, and have started to call me back now and again for advice, to get through the mess left, They are good souls worth helping on occasion.
Guys keep your workshops enjoy them, dont tempt providence, It is your passport to sanity.