Forum: Life Choices

Today’s Machining World Archives June 2010 Volume 06 Issue 05

Life Choices
I often wonder why I’ve spent all these years making parts. Did I just think it was necessary to follow in my father’s footsteps? Do I honestly really enjoy coming to work each day and facing the constant dilemmas put forth by this industry? I wonder each day if I had gone into another field of endeavor, would I have been happier? Perhaps I’m just tired and would rather retire to my boat. Then again, I’d probably miss breathing in the fumes from toxic materials and solvents, the constant hum of the compressor, the beat of the machines, the finished product and all the frustration of dealing with people in general. So to coin a phrase, I guess we’re just “gluttons for punishment.”

Chuck DeLong
Eastmar, Inc.

Being the Boss
Responses to Lloyd Graff’s “Swarf” on page 14 of the May issue about Brian Capece, who questioned his choice to be a shop owner instead of an employee. Not that doing so is easy, but if a business fails the employees go find a new job. What they may not realize is the owner of that failed business probably lost his life’s savings, possibly his house and perhaps his marriage. But at least some of
the world’s problems were solved with all the taxes extracted from this evil greedy individual who had the audacity to try to operate a business!

Jim Whitney

I have been in the industrial machine shop business for27 years, and would absolutely not trade it to work for any company. I feel that a business owner has many more tools to get tax deductions than a person working for a W2. I have had eight to 11 machinists through the years and been able to keep them mostly busy. I haven’t worked in the shop myself for 20 years, so that is always a fall back position. I would tell Brian to stick with it, he will be better off in the long run.

Pete Goebel

Years ago I heard someone say, the people that own a business are the ones who don’t know enough to not own a business, and I thought there may be some truth in that. I think these tough years have taught me to admire those with the guts to take it on. Win or lose, there must be a sense of satisfaction and pride knowing you provided jobs for others, paid more than your debt to help society and had the audacity to take an idea and make it happen. Cheers to the entrepreneurs!

Brian “Dwight” Hoff

You can make a small fortune in the machine shop business-if you start with a large one. It is not what it was 10 or 20 years ago, and it’s getting tougher every year. I have been a small shop owner (mostly just myself) for over 28 years, and it now seems that I made the wrong decision. The USA is no longer manufacturing friendly, and taxes, utilities and regulations have a chokehold on all small manufacturers. As a small business (typical job shop with a focus on production turning 1” and under) in upstate N.Y., I am seeing many job and fab shops close and many local customers close or shrink in size, which is scary. The ones that are left are now on net 60, 75 or 90-day payment terms, but I cannot wait three months to get paid. How long can this continue?

Dan K.

More than One Way
I know this is no big deal—just thought I would throw it out there. I believe there is more than one correct answer for the Missing Numbers puzzle in the May issue. I did not send in my answer, but I work out the puzzles all the time. When I saw the answer to “Who found their numbers?” I was surprised that I had it wrong. So, I checked and re-checked. I only mention this as there may have been submitted answers that were correct and did not receive recognition. I’m in manufacturing engineering, and part of my job is to verify everything the engineering dept. throws over the fence. I guess this carries over into other aspects of my life.

John Adamission
Bird Electronic Corp.

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