General Plasma

  www.generalplasma.com
  www.generalplasma.com

General Plasma Reviews

10 Reviews
1.8
10 Reviews
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General Plasma President John Madocks
John Madocks
5 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Challenging, frustrating, yet rewarding

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Engineer in Tucson, AZ
    Former Employee - Engineer in Tucson, AZ

    I worked at General Plasma full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great people in all departments. Skilled, helpful, and fun.
    Travel opportunities for engineers.
    Great learning experience. If you are competent and willing to step up, you will learn a lot in a very short period of time.
    Good pay and extra effort rewarded by bonuses.
    Great potential to move up if you put in the effort.
    Management excited to teach and very skilled at doing so. You will, however have to seek this out outside of normal working hours.
    Fun projects and subject matter
    Good benefits and a real sense that management genuinely cares about your well-being.

    Cons

    GPI is incredibly demanding. If you are not willing to step up, you will flounder. If you do step up, you will be expected to put in serious hours. This is not an easy paycheck kind of place. If you're not willing to go all in, don't bother applying. You will find yourself bored, because the real learning always seems to start after 6pm.
    There are communication issues at the management level that leads to dysfunction. The open atmosphere empowers you to dig and solve these issues, but this should be the role of management. This self-resolution of course adds to your workload and hours, which is frustrating.
    There are also issues with proper acquisition and dissemination of information from customers. This makes it difficult to successfully complete a project as an engineer, as the deliverables may be vague or partially unknown until it is too late to complete them properly.
    Overburdened employees at all levels, which creates an inability to meet the high reaching goals.
    You will find yourself wearing many hats, which to some is a con from a career development standpoint. To others this may be a plus as it allows you to expand your knowledge base and stay interested.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    GPI is full of talent, potential and good technology. What it lacks is a skilled, empowered strong man with a proper management background to drive the operational and business aspects of the company while expanding communication between the departments.
    This hire would free up the existing vice president to focus on development of technology, which he is incredibly skilled at.
    Additionally, I believe you would find actively asking the technical opinions of the senior technicians would help resolve product issues more quickly and completely, saving you money.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    DO NOT, EVER Consider this place for a job. Borderline insanity.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at General Plasma full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Very challenging and interesting products.
    Great assembly technicians.
    Great distributors.
    Great eye for talent (although a penchant for crushing said talent).
    Great distributors.
    Great "Alumni Club" after you serve you time and get crushed.
    Really good health care with a low premium.

    Cons

    If this is your first job out of college, it may break you and make you change your career. I don't want to see this happen to anyone. The insanity here is not at all what you should expect elsewhere.

    If you are a veteran, this place will make you regret leaving your last company, I don't care how bad it was.

    In either case, the story is the same: A period of flattery and good feelings, maybe even promotions and then a complete lack of support and piled up workload until you get hit by the bus. It's a BIG bus, and usually the senior management is driving the bus. It will ruin your outlook on your job, on management in general, on your profession, even life.

    Just trust me, this place has had a LOT of top notch talent and not a single one of them is there from a few years ago even. All the savvy veterans avoid this place like the plague. It is such a problem that they are forced to recruit kids out of school because they are the only ones who haven't heard of them and their notoriety.

    If you make it 6 months, you are good. A year, great. 2 years - top notch. Anything beyond that is just pure crazy.

    I have seen first hand college kids get scarce training and then get verbally demoralized in front of everyone and sent packing. Some kids decided to change their careers because it as such a traumatic experience.

    They once hired a guy from the east coast, moved him and his family in to Tucson and then fired him after 1 week for not meeting expectations. He broke down, as expected, it was really shocking and sad for him and his family.

    The positive review here was written by the senior management because they looked so bad here. This is not a lie.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Seek psychiatric help.
    Get real, experienced management help and trust them to take your company to the next level. Your VP is killing you, and you are blind to it on a day to day basis.
    Treat people better. People deserve respect and should never be chewed out in public.
    Aim to retain several people beyond a 2 year period. Retention will give way to experience which will improve your quality and have a huge effect on your company for the better.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Amazing Industry, but worst company ever

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Engineer in Tucson, AZ
    Former Employee - Engineer in Tucson, AZ

    I worked at General Plasma full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    At the time I was hired (5 years ago) there was a wealth of hard working, intelligent, extremely motivated people working there. The pay was good and the opportunity to learn a lot about a niche industry was even better. I made it through one round of great bonuses before that ended permanently.

    It may have been a revolving door, but every engineer that lasted at least a few months learned a lot about an industry with very good profit margins and massive growth potential. As long as you don't sign a non-compete (required if you are offered stock usually), working here can open doors. We used to call it GPI University and although I would equate it to "learning the hard way" - it was possible to learn a lot. I'm not sure if there's anyone left to learn anything from anymore though.

    Cons

    It's hard to know what will best describe this company without violating the community guidelines. It was a common and exceedingly true joke among remaining employees that our "previous employee" list in Outlook was several times longer than the "current employee" list. They easily fired 150-200 employees in the 3 years I worked there and when I finally quit there was about 30 employees on staff with a peak of approximately 115.

    The Owner/President is creative and technically proficient in his field. As a result he's very convincing and is able to recruit talented, motivated people. Unfortunately his "style of management" causes a predictable, repeated cycle that everyone else seems to be able to identify except him. His most obvious example is to encourage talented, but unseasoned engineers to take on huge projects - more, and more and more until eventually it's beyond too much. Once they are finally unable to manage the impossible a mistake will be made which is also usually exaggerated to justify a demotion and the cycle restarts with someone else. In my time there I saw this repeated with at least 5 engineers in a row and each time the last one tried to warn the next, but it never seems to help.

    If you're already established and successful senior professional with a proven track record - don't even think about joining GPI. The owner's other most common practice is hiring extremely capable, senior level people, offering them huge salaries and shares of the company only to end up fighting them on every issue and always fires or drives them to quit within months or even weeks. Since I quit 2 years ago, I only know of 4 people (not including the owner) who still work there - everyone else is newer than 2 years.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There is no amount of sound advice that will change the management at this company - I tried it for years. I really cared and I really wanted to help, but none of it made any difference. Eventually everyone gives up. Don't waste your time or your effort on it - give up now and look somewhere else.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Can not imagine a worse job or company to work for.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Tucson, AZ
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Tucson, AZ

    I worked at General Plasma

    Pros

    Manufacturing Employees are hard working and knowledgeable
    Good technology
    hands-on experience

    Cons

    Management has no idea how to treat its employees leading to a very poor work environment and sense of moral. Engineers are seen as disposable leading to no retained knowledge by the staff except for top 3-4 people in the company. In my time there the turnover rate was astronomically high. Manufacturing employees have excellent knowledge but don't pass it on to engineering because they expect to get a new engineer in a few months so nothing they say will matter.

    Your expected to live and die General Plasma. You work 6-7 days a week 12-15 hours a day so if you want to have a life outside of work I strongly recommend you seek out other opportunities. Management takes advantage of the company and gives nothing to its extremely hard working employees. Most decisions are made on a personal basis and have nothing to do with the business.

    If you have any original thoughts you are already on the fast track to being fired, yes men only apply at this company. Do not believe the promises told to you during the interview. Opportunity sounded great but they were all lies!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your employees and set realistic expectations. Lead by example not by threats and stop making promises you cannot keep. Treat your employees with respect and trust in their knowledge and they might want to stay longer. One of the most important assets to a company is retained knowledge and this company lacks that due to the high turnover rate. This leads to customer dissatisfaction and a bad reputation for the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    Do not fall for the false promises of management during hiring process

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Tucson, AZ
    Former Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Tucson, AZ

    I worked at General Plasma

    Pros

    Any engineer that survives longer than a few weeks can be sure that they are an above average engineer. If you last longer than one year you have to be a very talanted engineer and be able to deal with a harsh work enviroment. If you can make it at GPi you can make it anywhere.
    - Interesting Technology
    - hands-on experience
    - Technicians and Machinists are good poeple to work with,
    - ability to learn an immense amount of information very quickly

    Cons

    Management views engineers as disposable and they are worked until they burn out and quit, or are fired for a frivolous reason. Independent of your work quality, if the boss doesn't like you you will be fired. Do not relocate to take a job at General Plasma. Several employees moved across country only to be fired after a few weeks/months. To succeed at General Plasma you must live and breeth General Plasma. If you like seeing your family at all do not take a job here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Set expectations by example. Management should drive engineering/process discipline, not undermine it with constant design changes througout the process. It is impossible to keep a company running when the employee turn-over is so high. Value your employees and treat them with respect and maybe more of them will stay.

    Doesn't Recommend
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Worse place to work ever

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Tucson, AZ
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Tucson, AZ

    I worked at General Plasma

    Pros

    Employees do work hard and put in effort to complete their project. Completion of project of course could occur if they last that long.

    Cons

    This is a place for you if you are a yes man, a non-independent thinker, and a person who doesn;t care for the prospect of the company. For most people who works hard and who wants to contribute to their company. Stay away from this place. This company does not respect your knowledge, experience, and you. It has little tolerance to technical discussions and to challenges to the management that can help the company be better. The thing about this company is that it knows plasma and that it. What makes this company dangerous is that the management does not know what it doesn't know. Therefore, if you try to tell the management things outside of its intelligence, you will be packing your bags. What company can grow without technical discussions? Which managements would reject discussions and different opinions? Only the worse companies and managements are that short on fuse and GPI may be the worse of the worse. Save yourself the pains many have gone through. Find another company. It may take longer, but it will save you in the long run.

    Doesn't Recommend
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Revolving Door

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Tucson, AZ
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Tucson, AZ

    I worked at General Plasma

    Pros

    Nice employees while they lasted.

    Cons

    RUN from this company as fast as you can. Do not work here. It doesn't matter if you complete a project on time, if the owner doesn't like you personally, you're out of there. The turnover is SO HIGH. During the interview, I asked about turnover and was told it was very low. That was a lie. I found out later they had gone through 30 engineers in 3 years.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    What goes around comes around.

    Doesn't Recommend
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Stay away unless you really have to work here

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Tucson, AZ
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Tucson, AZ

    I worked at General Plasma

    Pros

    the co-workers are nice. Have a job in this economy.

    Cons

    Your performance review is based on how likeable/agreeable you are with the top management, not based on your performance. If the management does not like you, then whatever you do won't help.

    They expect you to work 'for the benefit' of the company, which is including night and weekend.

    Employees are disposable. They will hire/fire easily, even if the employees are from out of state. The employees turn over rate is really high. If you work there for more than 2 years then you are senior.

    The mentality here is that there is no learning curves. If you have to learn, then they make mistake hiring you.

    I saw a coworker get hired for day shift. They moved him to a night shift after couple months. He asked for a regular shift and he got laid off not long after.

    A lot of micromanaging from top management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stay away from favoritism. You lose a lot of good talents by micromanaging and not being fair.

    Doesn't Recommend
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Do not expect a career at General Plasma

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at General Plasma

    Pros

    -You will never be bored
    -The technicians are great
    -Limited bureaucracy
    -Unusual technology
    -Decent pay
    -Your next job will seem amazing by comparison, no matter what it is

    Cons

    -50 to 60 hour work weeks
    Be prepared to work 7-6 M-F and 1 or 2 saturdays per month. When you break it down, the decent pay per year becomes dismal pay per hour

    -High turnover rate
    I was at General Plasma for 4 months. When I left I was the second most senior engineer in the entire company. Everyone else quit or was fired.

    -No training
    You better have a lot of knowledge on the industry and current technologies. General Plasma offers no training or literature on the topics, but will expect you to know them fairly deeply.

    -No support from management
    Management will not offer you assistance or guidance so you better look to your coworkers for that. That poses another problem however (see next bullet)

    -No retained knowledge
    Since their turnover rate is so high only senior management has a true understanding of their processes. Nobody else there seems to know what has to be done. Good luck trying to find time to ask management your questions.

    -No documented processes
    One project I was working on was going pretty well. We had all the parts from our suppliers, everything was assembled (12 machines = about 1 week of pure building) and we were about to start testing. One of the managers came running in saying we needed to apply a process to a specific part (2 parts per machine = 24 parts). Was this needed process documented on the drawing? No. Were there build instructions the technicians could follow that documented the need for this process? No. Did anyone know anything about this process besides the manager? No. Did we have the materials or the instructions for this process? No. Why didn't the manager tell us sooner? Who knows. Ok, let's tear everything down and google how to do this.

    -No access to specifications
    You will spend a lot of time on google looking for o-ring groove specs, material specs, weld specs, braze specs, press fit specs, thread specs, paint specs, blah blah blah. And while you are spending your time googling you will get a sinking feeling that this information has already been looked up, utilized, and forgotten from within the walls of General Plasma.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Your employees are crying out for help. Spend more time listening to them and less time firing them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Ex Employee

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at General Plasma full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Excellent Upper management, this company is going places and going there fast!
    All levels of the company are striving to be leaders in this industry. The engineering dept, assembly staff, R&D and management are a really focused team with an eye on success.

    The company is actively involved in team building, training and safety. This company is looking to include the employees in it's future success.

    The pay scales at all levels are very competitive.

    Cons

    Not really and cons.. maybe better coffee :)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the great work!!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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