Input On Where To Go From Here
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    Input On Where To Go From Here

    Well, today was a tough day for ol' Tonton (40 years ol', btw). I got a bit of news that was somewhat disturbing, or should I say disrupting, which has me in a bit of a conundrum. So I figured, why not share it with the group here and see what shakes out?

    A bit of background; first personally:

    I figured I'd post this thread, seeing as I don't have many (if any real) friends. I moved away from where I grew up, and I'm not the social media type (because I proudly wear a tinfoil hat), so this is forum is the best I've got other than the wife, or my daughter and son, neither of which are old enough to really understand.

    Professionally, I have been a bit of a journeyman during my 20 plus year career, never spending more than 4 years at one place. I've gone from the shop, to the office, all the way to management in the mechanical engineering/design field. I currently live in a very comfortable home in a nice part of the country (Lancaster, PA), and believe me when I say, I've busted my rear end all the way to get where I am. I have only once been laid off in my life, and it was for two days before I was picked up by a competitor in the business. I've gotten every single job I've ever interviewed for, and every time I've been offered more than what I was currently making. The job I have now is very stressful, but I love it, and they love me.

    Now, a bit about the company I work for:

    The company was started 23 years ago by 4 guys ranging from the business/sales guy to the guy that actually designed and built the machines (if you didn't know already, I work in custom automation). One of those 4 guys died within the first 5 years, and one was bought out within another year, leaving the last two guys to own/run the business. These two guys just so happen to be polar opposites, one a business man, the other a nuts and bolts guy. They were perfect for each other and the company, because neither one held too much of the reigns, and each deferred to the other when it really came down to brass tacks. I stared working for them 5 years ago, and have moved from mechanical design to managing the parts and service (which is short for "the guy that knows everything about every machine we ever built in all of the 23 years we've been in business, and is responsible for all fixes, upgrades, changes, service, and anything else any one of our past customer's want us to do for them") department.

    So, to make an already long and boring story shorter than "War and Peace", today I was informed that the business guy (half owner) is retiring. This guy just so happens to be my boss, mentor, and the guy I look up to (yes even at 40 years old, I still "look up" to people that are successful and good role models). The remaining owner, who is a really nice guy, will now be sole owner of the company, and I'm worried. He is a guy that wears his emotions on his shirt sleeve, makes decisions with his heart rather than his head (long description for liberal do-gooder), and has yet to have any substantive dealings on the business end of the company.

    I feel like I've just been told we hit the iceberg. Darn it, and I just got "comfortable". So, there it is. Thoughts?

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    rtgt's Avatar
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    Apply for the job....
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    Taking the easy way is what makes rivers and men crooked.

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    Half owner......can you buy his shares?
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    Funny you say that, but "the job" has been handed to another of our project managers who has been with the company for nearly 20 years. Not a buy-in opportunity, just more responsibility.

    I've often wanted to be "the guy" and find out what it would take to buy in, but I just don't have the capital. We aren't talking a couple hundred grand, either. My better half would't even entertain the thought of going into mountains of debt to be "the guy" either. Believe me, it's not like the thought hasn't crossed my mind, nor have I left it on the table. My wife and I have pondered this (very short conversation, btw)
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    I think my first move would be to try and have a heart-to-heart with you boss. I'd approach it from a "Hey, you've been handling this stuff and now you're retiring and I'm a little bit concerned that Bob might be in over his head with the business side of things." and see where things go.

    Maybe the other guy knows he can't do it all and will be looking for a business-type or partner? Maybe he's actually been handling more of it than you think? Maybe you'll want to polish up your resume.

    If your boss is a straight shooter, he'll let you know "the plan" - or at least as much of it as he can.
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    You're in a good position (a key person), and you get what you ask for..... Keep a positive attitude.

    The nuts and bolts guy has always leaned on he business guy. He likely doesn't want to be the business guy. Give him a chance.

    Be there to "help". Do what you do best. Hopefully the new sole "owner" will also. He is probably as nervous as you are.... I everyone chips in, it will work out.
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    Thanks Jim ans psrumors,

    The "old" boss and I are fair weather friends, and expect to see each other here and there over a couple of craft beers at the local brewpub (just so happens it is located right between both of our residences). I may bring this up, but not right away. He will be consulting for awhile until "Bob" has gotten all things "Joe" ironed out and under control (I hope).

    I guess, I should just hold my horses for a bit and see what shakes out, but again I can't express how concerned I am.

    If it was left to me alone, I would just ride it out to the end and collect that paycheck, but I have two small children and a wife to think of, all of which are dependent on me financially. I realize today's job market isn't what it was 5 or 10 years ago, so I wonder if I don't start putting out the "feelers" just in case...
    Last edited by 5304; 10-13-2014 at 08:52 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rtgt View Post
    You're in a good position (a key person), and you get what you ask for..... Keep a positive attitude.

    The nuts and bolts guy has always leaned on he business guy. He likely doesn't want to be the business guy. Give him a chance.

    Be there to "help". Do what you do best. Hopefully the new sole "owner" will also. He is probably as nervous as you are.... I everyone chips in, it will work out.
    Thanks rtgt,

    I think I needed that... but I will be apprehensive to say the least.
    Last edited by 5304; 10-13-2014 at 08:49 PM.

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    Barring looking for another job (and that's obviously out), about all you can do in the current situation is to make it known directly to both superiors that you are right "there" and "available" for that "the guy that knows everything about every machine we ever built in all of the 23 years we've been in business, and is responsible for all fixes, upgrades, changes, service, and anything else any one of our past customer's want us to do for them" job `is right there to keep supporting "the company". Since you really can't buy in, you aren't really worse off than you were when there were 4 owners.

    These days it seems, to a "retiree", that NO JOB is really secure in this land anymore. Between crushing regulations and onerous taxing structure compounded by possible unskilled business decisions and unsteady market conditions... nothing is secure or "guaranteed" regardless. Go with the flow as best you can and continue to take pride in your work.

    Just another pride in job, few friended tinfoil hatter here wishing you all the best luck!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonton View Post
    Thanks rgt,

    I think I needed that... but I will be apprehensive to say the least.
    Nothing wrong with being nervous....just don't let it overwhelm you.

    I've been there. It will work out.

    You'll know when to make a change it if comes to that.

    Till then - keep doing what you do best.

    Worrying works - 99% of the stuff I've worried about never happened...
    Taking the easy way is what makes rivers and men crooked.

    3039R, H160 FEL, 375A Backhoe, Artillian Grapple & Forks
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