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Old 09-27-2018, 06:40 PM   #21
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Did you ever get your diploma or GED?

I also quit high school but went back to night school (same school I quit) and got my diploma while working full time with a new kid. Baby.
Dropped out November '98. My oldest was born March '99. I got my GED May '99. Bootcamp October '99
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Old 09-27-2018, 08:18 PM   #22
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My story starts before I was even born. Apparently, when my mom was pregnant with me she was standing by the window during a thunder storm and lightning hit the house and being a really old house wasn't grounded well and she got a jolt. She swears its true.
Certainly odd but easy to believe.......

My Mom swears up and down that when she was pregnant with me, every time her belly touched the kitchen sink rim, she would feel a bit of an electrical shock. Not much but it was there.

Nothing with the 3 other kids, same house, same sink..........

Electricity has always been deeply embedded in my life. When I was a kid, I always had some sort of electrical contraption around the house. The power would fail a lot so I connected an old 6 volt tractor battery to a charger and ran a 16/2 cord from the garage to my bedroom window. When the utility would fail, I had lights.........no one else did......

When I was maybe 9 or so, a family friend had remodeled his bathroom and said that about half the time he turned on the light, the breaker would trip. He came over to my Dads cabinet shop to see if he could offer any advice. Dad said ' I don't know, take Rob with you, he'll figure it out'. I still remember the look on his face.....yeah, sure......a 9 year old is gonna fix this.........

When I got there, there was a basic switch on the wall with a 14/2 going up to the light. There was also a pull-chain switch in the fixture. He had the pull- chain across the switch leg so if it was closed and the wall switch was turned on.....poof!

It took me about a whole second to see what was wrong and I knew there could be only one switch here, not 2. I remember not wanting to disappoint him by limiting it to one switch but I had no choice.

Once the pull-chain was out of the circuit, I remember him very carefully turning on the wall switch........the light came on!

He couldn't believe a 9 year-old could solve the problem.

On the way home, we stopped at the Dairy Queen and he told me to get anything I wanted. Of course, I got the biggest triple-decker they had........lol.

In 1974, when I was 17, I wired the house Mom and Dad still live in. Other than worn out switches and recepts, it is still original.

I went to work for Dad right out of high school, we built big custom houses. A lot of rough-sawn open beam ceilings and stuff like that. While I enjoyed the work, I still wanted to do electrical.

I lived in Oregon at the time and Oregon requires a license to do any kind of electrical work. Judging by how well I did in high school, there was no way I'd ever survive an apprenticeship with all the classroom stuff.

So I moved to Reno (Nevada doesn't require licenses) and went to work as a journeyman. I didn't know it at the time but the company I went to work for would hire anyone. Most guys lasted about 2 hours, if they were desperate, some would make it a couple of days. But they kept the guys that they thought they could make money from.

28 years later, I'm still working for the same core-group though it's an oil refining plant and not contracting anymore.

I've done just about every kind of electrical work there is, resi, comm'l, industrial, medium voltage (lots of 4160) including VFDs, high voltage (up to 230KV), hospitals, airports, water and sewer, power plants, tons of service work and lots of controls.

By controls, I mean that I'm handed a list of instrumentation and I spec and build the control panel, J-boxes, etc. I have no drawings, I have to make them myself.

So yeah, I'm pretty passionate about electrical stuff..........lol.
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Old 09-28-2018, 02:54 PM   #23
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Bingo...... As a matter of fact that whole post is particularly the same deal as me. 42 years ago
Same here. I just got stuck here.

I never even liked a single day of work much less have any passion for it.

It started a job. After about 6 months, I realized I could make more money on a Saturday than I did all week.

Then it turned into a way to make enough cash working a few days a month just to get by.

Then it turned into a legit business.

Then I got old and retired.

The only days I enjoyed were the very few where I bid something crazy high and completed it really quickly. Making Lawyer money gave me a bit of a boost.

That's why I'm cranky sometimes
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Old 09-28-2018, 07:52 PM   #24
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Got shanghaied by family members to go work on their jobs in different trades. After going out on mechanical room upgrades I developed an understanding of all the controls needed on boilers, pump stations, condensate pumps, etc that the old timers didn't feel like wiring up so I did that part while the old guys did the panels and conduit.

I also liked doing trim carpentry but it didn't pay as well or have as much steady work.
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Old 09-29-2018, 02:05 AM   #25
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It occurred to me that if I was gonna go to Hawaii to live I better have some sort of trade to carry me . The kid who lived across the street from me learned how to shape surfboards. I learned electrical. He is still making surfboards in his shop behind his house out at Sunset Beach. I'm still wiring things. Both of us knew we were going to end up out here from maybe sixth or seventh grade.
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