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Old 03-22-2019, 08:23 PM   #1
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Default Big Business: An Observation.

The observations I present are in no particular order. Nor are they of any hierarchy of significance. But they are my random rants/gripes about what I see.

-Call me naive but the concept of team work over the years has become more and more identical to..."Team" work.

-When I first came to the job where it was a hole in the ground, the Super never took lunch with us. When foremen where assigned to the job a few weeks later, he then took his lunch, but only with them. Never with us. I am not a Foreman.

-(Different jobsite) I have worked on lighting and branch circuits for the past year now at this 6 story building I'm now at.

-The super says 'I love to teach'
I later asked 'May I have a (plangrid) copy of the drawings so I might learn the deck on my spare time?
I never did get those drawing.
When his buddy from a company they both use to work at showed up on the job as a foreman, he didn't know how to use plangrid even though I had already been using it for at least a year. He gets one on one instructions.

-I have been working along side a group of Spanish people for the past year now. I don't care how macho you think you are, I would never allow a man to hump a 100lb bundle of MC up flights of steps by himself. But that's just me apparently.

-I came from the low voltage side where I worked side by side by a bunch of old guys who I worked with my first year at the company. When I got my license I asked for a raise. When I was told no, I left for the Electrical side. Many of the guys are around my age of 30-ish. After a year on this side, I don't smile anymore.

-When people speak about how competitive the trade can be, I was under the assumption we where competing to be better than the other company. Instead I find it means I compete against You- And I have to work with you and look you in the face, watch what I say, document what I do, and pretend to be polite...every...day.

-I tell my coworkers, 'I work with you 5 days out of the week, I don't think I'm being selfish to not want to see your ugly face for the next 48 hours'...seriously, I have to say this. I prefer my wife's ass and elbows over yours.

-The one day I have a hard time doing a task is an obvious display of permission for you to jump in and exert your ability to do it better than me...unless you have Greenlee tools- GET BACK!

-If I had a dime for every time a Super says 'If your 5min late from lunch every day, thats 25min wasted a week. Thats 6 months of no production a year!'...way funnier when they say it.

-My last apprentice asked another Foreman if he could work with another Foreman instead of me. That same apprentice has already called me the N-word twice, and text me, calling me (and I quote) an Uncle Tom.

-I have to sneak around the jobsite and take pictures of the different systems that the other crews don't want me to learn.

-When I took my test for the journeyman, I never got a score or a list of what I got wrong. Just Pass or Fail. I passed, first time go.
Apparently this means I know everything, because god forbid I don't know something. When I get my Masters, I'm afraid I wont be able to tell anyone lol!

-Don't ask people how much they are paid. Especially me. I'm gonna lie. And it's just plain rude.

-Personally, if I find myself an expert at something, I have an obligation to train the green, for I was once as such, and knew not what to do. It's a real head scratcher when I hear veteran guys complain because they don't have more experienced people.

-When the big company says 'We promote diversity'...:-/

-When the big company says 'We support the troops!'...:-(

-When the big company says anything 'Opportunity'...>-(

-I can understand the Klein tools thing, but the Klein bag? Come on son.

-My foreman came to check on me as I installed lights in the stairwell. I asked him "Hey, it would be cool if I could work with the other guys in the electric rooms and meter stacks. Those are the things I don't have much experience doing."

There are 17 lights per stairwell.
There are 2 stairwells. I was the only person assigned to the task, material and equipment included. Boxes, wiring and fixtures etc.

During my bid in the stairwells, the electric rooms, and fire pump, sump pumps, Switchgear, and water heater rooms where completed.

I now work in the basement. Again, installing lights/switches. Again, by myself. The other guys are on the roof wiring the condensing units and disconnects, pool mechanical room and the penthouse electric room. Guess I should get to work early and warm up the camera phone, again.

Just an observation.
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Old 03-22-2019, 08:51 PM   #2
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You need to find better things to think about.
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Old 03-22-2019, 09:20 PM   #3
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Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.

There are some really good books on it, and I say that with all sincerity.

You work for someone else. Be glad we have a market good enough for you to have work. And good luck on that Master's test!
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Old 03-23-2019, 07:30 AM   #4
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Proving your competence will get you further. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Don't promise a task will be done that afternoon unless you mean it. If you're still new with this crew, earning that kind of trust is a long game, not a short one
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Old 03-23-2019, 08:31 AM   #5
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Its the system that's holding you back man. Since you are way more important than the process of the building itself, the system should be re-focused on you instead of progress towards completion. Their focus needs to be on you and your wishes. They are all wrong to. think getting the project done is important. The nerve of these people.
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Old 03-23-2019, 08:06 PM   #6
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Its the system that's holding you back man. Since you are way more important than the process of the building itself, the system should be re-focused on you instead of progress towards completion. Their focus needs to be on you and your wishes. They are all wrong to. think getting the project done is important. The nerve of these people.
I sense sarcasm afoot.

In all seriousness, I am learning if I don't think of myself, I could still be that guy who only installs receptacles.

One union guy told me I'd spend 5 years bending pipe before I ever run or work on circuits. Maybe if I was 20 yea, but I already had years in the game.

Nothing wrong with being self aware. I have my agenda to progress in my career and the company has theirs.
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Old 03-23-2019, 08:18 PM   #7
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Proving your competence will get you further. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Don't promise a task will be done that afternoon unless you mean it. If you're still new with this crew, earning that kind of trust is a long game, not a short one
Like I said. This was a vent. I'm just frustrated. It would be different if someone would just flat out say 'Hey you suck at this, get good at X, Y, Z and then we can talk' because I would actually want to know where I need to improve! I could care less about what I already know.

It's not like it was in the military where if you wanted to accomplish something there where CLEAR CUT guidelines of what and how to do it. If you sucked at it, there was a conversation about improvement. Here in the electrical world, people will just let you suck, and talk behind your back about it!!!
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Old 03-23-2019, 08:46 PM   #8
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I am hoping the world of electrical work opens up for you soon, I am not good with words of encouragement but what i just read is NOT right
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Old 03-23-2019, 08:48 PM   #9
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You need to find better things to think about.
Have you got the Coles Notes for the OP? It was TLDR
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Old 03-25-2019, 05:01 AM   #10
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Opinions aside. I know I'm a competent and capable professional. I'm going to stand by (Whoever the guy that said its) advice.

Continue to 'Let the work speak for itself.'
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Old 03-25-2019, 08:20 AM   #11
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It's not like it was in the military where if you wanted to accomplish something there where CLEAR CUT guidelines of what and how to do it. If you sucked at it, there was a conversation about improvement. Here in the electrical world, people will just let you suck, and talk behind your back about it!!!
Just out of curiosity, have you considered reenlisting and pursuing a military career?

If not, maybe you just need a little more time to adjust to civilian life.
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Old 03-25-2019, 08:48 AM   #12
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Companies can be “clicky “. If your not in the click, you working alone in the stairwell.

Just do your time and learn what you can from this company. Don’t overthink it. Your just a number, unless it’s a small company that’s grooming you to be a lead guy, or if you’re a relative, they don’t care what you know.

They will not stop you from what your doing, slowing down progress, and put you on something else just so you get that experience. How will doing that get the job done faster?
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Old 03-25-2019, 09:41 AM   #13
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Is this the only company you've worked for since coming to the "electrical side"? Or have you had these experiences in multiple jobs? I only worked for a bigger outfit (and not even that big) for a short time early in my apprenticeship, and I definitely noticed that people got pigeon holed into certain tasks, and that the interesting and exciting stuff was reserved for a particular set of guys who were tight with the foreman for one reason or another.

While there is some truth to what the other guys are saying about production being the top priority for the people in charge, I believe that not exposing people to different tasks makes for poorly rounded electricians. Something I was told in my apprenticeship was that the reason it's called a journeyman is that getting there is a journey, and that sometimes means moving around a bit to be exposed to different work and different managerial styles. If you have only worked for one or two companies, it may be in your interest to make a move and see if the grass is any greener; it sounds pretty brown where you are now, so at worst it could only be the same.

Also perhaps try to get on with a smaller outfit, as smaller companies simply can't compartmentalize their manpower in the same way. Everyone needs to be fairly well rounded so that they can be flexible about who they send to do things. The company I'm at has 15 - 20 field electricians at any given time, and we do our best to make sure everyone is exposed to a bit of everything.

In any case it sounds like your situation is not very pleasant and I feel for you. I hope some of this makes sense and I hope things get better for you. This can be a very enjoyable and rewarding trade, but nobody wants to be miserable at the place they spend the majority of their waking hours.

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Old 03-25-2019, 10:09 AM   #14
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I have nothing positive to say, except that from your post I don't believe you will ever be happy in civilian life. If you can't find a way to work for yourself, you should probably go back in.
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Old 03-25-2019, 05:01 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by B-Nabs View Post
Is this the only company you've worked for since coming to the "electrical side"? Or have you had these experiences in multiple jobs? I only worked for a bigger outfit (and not even that big) for a short time early in my apprenticeship, and I definitely noticed that people got pigeon holed into certain tasks, and that the interesting and exciting stuff was reserved for a particular set of guys who were tight with the foreman for one reason or another.

While there is some truth to what the other guys are saying about production being the top priority for the people in charge, I believe that not exposing people to different tasks makes for poorly rounded electricians. Something I was told in my apprenticeship was that the reason it's called a journeyman is that getting there is a journey, and that sometimes means moving around a bit to be exposed to different work and different managerial styles. If you have only worked for one or two companies, it may be in your interest to make a move and see if the grass is any greener; it sounds pretty brown where you are now, so at worst it could only be the same.

Also perhaps try to get on with a smaller outfit, as smaller companies simply can't compartmentalize their manpower in the same way. Everyone needs to be fairly well rounded so that they can be flexible about who they send to do things. The company I'm at has 15 - 20 field electricians at any given time, and we do our best to make sure everyone is exposed to a bit of everything.

In any case it sounds like your situation is not very pleasant and I feel for you. I hope some of this makes sense and I hope things get better for you. This can be a very enjoyable and rewarding trade, but nobody wants to be miserable at the place they spend the majority of their waking hours.

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I already feel bad for posting the damn thing in the first place. But you hit the nail right on the head which redeems my first negative reaction to my own post. Exposure! I mean for Christ sake, I'm not even asking for more money! Of course I might have to find that elsewhere, but don't stick me doing mundane tasks over a long period of time. I dont have time to play around. I know switches. I know lighting. You need a trench dug/ wire pulled, I'm in there. All I ask is to see that I work hard and show me the good stuff that will take me to the next level!

OK. So here is a thought. We often times complain about needing guys who have experience so we can get more jobs done accurately right?

Another theory is that (and I have heard similar talk from other professionals) is that I might be paid too much, and if I where to learn the stuff I'm asking about, that would mean they would have to pay me more. So they put cheaper labor on the job instead of me, and I end up shunned from 'the tribe'.

I don't want to believe that, but the other part of me is like; Perhaps "It's Just Business" being the cruel sumb*tch that she is, and this was inevitably going to happen.

So no, this is not my first company. I actually came from a smaller place (about 4 dudes as apposed to 10+ ) for better access to information, because I WAS that guy who was only doing switches and plugs, and bending pipe. A lot of the stuff we where doing wrong in fact! I wasn't getting the information I wanted at the mom and pop shop.

Anyway, my solution. Get my masters and keep it to myself until I think I'm ready to go out on my own. Will be posting about that soon.
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Old 03-25-2019, 05:08 PM   #16
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I have nothing positive to say, except that from your post I don't believe you will ever be happy in civilian life. If you can't find a way to work for yourself, you should probably go back in.
You know. The immature side of me wants to spew all the joy of the 1 Amendment all over you. But underneath that cantankerous exterior, I can tell you mean well.

Just try not to be such a cattywampus- you will live longer.
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Old 03-25-2019, 05:22 PM   #17
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You know. The immature side of me wants to spew all the joy of the 1 Amendment all over you. But underneath that cantankerous exterior, I can tell you mean well.

Just try not to be such a cattywampus- you will live longer.
You're still at it, huh?
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Old 03-25-2019, 09:14 PM   #18
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You know. The immature side of me wants to spew all the joy of the 1 Amendment all over you.
Some of us will sit back & watch you take enough rope to hang yourself.
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Old 03-25-2019, 10:17 PM   #19
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...Just an observation.
When you die, on your gravestone,
they carve the year you were born, and the year you died,
and the rest is forgotten.
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Old 03-25-2019, 10:23 PM   #20
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When you die, on your gravestone,
they carve the year you were born, and the year you died,
and the rest is forgotten.
All life will be gone with the heat death of the universe.

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