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    What are your thoughts on this job that I left?

    I applied for a job as an Offset Press Operator on a whim one day on Indeed. Envelope printing company. Many people told me that I wouldn't get the job with no press experience. I got hired for it. No previous press experience, but some digital printing experience and the ability to problem-solve and learn the rest.

    You work with a handful of people: The CEO/owner of the company is up front at his desk. When you start a new print job, you take samples up for him to compare and sign off on before starting. Now, we've done that at other companies, so that's not an odd process. I like that someone is double-checking.

    Your production manager is the do-all of the facility, from rigging electrical stuff for the building, installing light fixtures, running wiring and electrical fixtures (he's not an electrician and doesn't have a license) to fixing the really old Offset Presses that they had, doing painting/repairs for the new rooms in the building that they buy out, etc. They basically started out in a tiny room and over the years have expanded to buy out more of the building until they have basically purchased it all, but a lot of it needed work and wasn't in that great of a shape. Both the CEO and production manager are former coworkers/management from another larger envelope company who branched off to make their own business. So they got the building with just the CEO, production manager and one employee to help the production manager on the presses.

    There's an older guy who is a regular employee who has been there for 5 years and just talks down on your every time he sees you, acting like you don't know what you're doing. Everything from acting like you don't know how to use a pallet jack (I've used them for a good 6-8 years at least) to criticizing you for having the machine set to too slow or too fast. The production manager always did that, too. He would say, "Don't worry about going too fast, just check the quality." If I turned it up, he'd say, "You don't have to run it that fast." If I turned it down, he'd say, "Turn it up a little bit." I honestly felt like I couldn't do a freaking thing "right" because there was no right with them.

    You have a couple of direct coworkers (who are also the two who are training you when the production manager isn't available) who are similar in age and take tons of smoke breaks daily. All the while the daily meetings talk about pushing production goals and getting jobs done. The production manager is buddy-buddy with those two employees who are your coworkers. One guy has been there for 15+ years since he was a kid. This is the one guy who initially started working at the company when it was just the CEO, production manager and himself and he started as an early teenager. The job is easy for him. He was the only regular worker. The other is his cousin. Those two can come in as early as they want or stay as late as they want every day. You're working with them, so your shift varies daily based on when they come in. The production manager looks down on you if you don't leave at the same time as the other employees who basically don't want to go home. They told me that they averaged about 5-6 hours of sleep per night during the week and it was an hour drive to/from work every day. You never know how early you're coming in the next day until the end of shift on the day before. Could be 7:30am, could be 5:30am or 6:00am. You don't know how late you'll stay until the end of that day. They all drink, smoke and the production manager dips. They look down on you when they ask and you don't do any of that. So they pester you daily with asking you if you want a cigarette or dip, trying to get you into doing all of that to be like them. You politely refuse.

    You were hired during the busiest time of the year, given a few days of training and hit the ground running with your own machine after a few days. You're running it alone and most people train for weeks or more, so you're doing better than most people would. Yet they seem frustrated that you're struggling when it jams and you don't know why. They act frustrated because their production is affected. The production manager is wasting time and a hard man to get along with. He is known to be critical of others for no reason. He talks to you like you're dumb. You're working with dangerous chemicals. They tell you to "use as many gloves as you want" when dealing with them, but stare at you like you're wasting time when you put gloves on each time you use the chemicals throughout the day. Some employees just use their bare hands. 90-day temp to hire is what you started as. They want to hire you, but you've had it with the place a couple of weeks before your hire mark and give two weeks' notice. Then the employees act sad that you're leaving, even after acting like you were struggling a lot. They're not helping enough, you get the crappy jobs that they don't want to do and you get frustrated when something major happens (like the envelopes get pulled into the rollers and shred pieces of envelope all over the rollers and into the ink reservoir).

    Eventually, the CEO/owner tells you that he appreciates that you gave a proper two weeks' notice. Previous people just walked out on them and he tells you that the guy before you was arrested for drugs and they had hired him twice. The whole place seemed like a death trap and they seem so miserable with rigging everything, being exposed to everything bad for them, etc., but they act happy. I felt bad for them when I left and found another job. I got out with my health, but they likely won't. The whole thing was something that I have never experienced before at a workplace. On my last couple of days, the production manager was working in one of the newly acquired rooms and up on a ladder moving ceiling tiles around and tearing out old insulation without any mask or eye protection on. Dust was flying everywhere (very old building that was constructed in 1970) and he was getting all in that stuff. I asked if he had a mask or eye protection and he kind of sighed and said, "Let me run to the store" and came back with the cheapest masks he could have purchased that probably didn't even protect from much.

    After quitting, some people that I knew in various walks of life told me that it was a bad idea, that I should have just sucked it up and got used to everything, etc. Others said that I should be thankful that I got out with my life and to hold my head high.

    What would you think of this situation? It was $13.50/hr.


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