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Old 02-19-2015, 01:36 PM   #1
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I'm not so sure this is a situation anyone can help me with, (although suggestions are definitely welcome) and this is more of a rant than anything, but here goes nothing. I got into an electric company as a pre-apprentice in December and was sent out to work at a local factory with 3 other guys from the company. They put me with a journeyman who, frankly, is lazy. I completely understand my place, and i knew that i would get to do all the "fun" work, like digging, loading and unloading the trucks, and crawling in nasty ass ceilings. That's not what i mean. He spends more time standing around waiting for break than he does working, and his phone is always out and in use. Honestly, all I've learned from him is where to hide out and not get caught, and what parts of the basement have cell reception. And when we do actually work, it's all crooked pipe, and half-ass hacks. Those ugly jobs have my name on them too, and now, his shotty work has become a represe tation of me as well. This all REALLY irks me, i left my last job and got into the electrical trade to actually work, not to stand around. I love the electrical trade,amd i have been looking forward to getting into it for years, but he makes me dread coming to work.

Like i said, just a rant.
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Old 02-19-2015, 01:58 PM   #2
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Turn him in and see who goes first.
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Old 02-19-2015, 01:59 PM   #3
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Start looking around and applying at other ECs..(or if you are Union, that isn't an option, as you will have to drag up and being an apprentice, I don't think you are allowed to do that)

In the mean time, keep a positive attitude and keep doing your best. More than likely you won't be paired with that JW forever. You can learn a lot just by teaching yourself, read some good student books from Mike Holt, and/or Tom Henry (for example)..and keep yourself engaged with the industry.

Good luck to you.
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Old 02-19-2015, 01:59 PM   #4
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During my many years in apprenticeship (4 years non-Union, 4 years union) I realized that part of learning the trade was learning what not to do, and why not to do it.

If your foreman is competent he will see that the man in charge is the one to blame not the guy with zero experience. Hang in there and you will eventually get paired up with someone you can glean knowledge from.
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Old 02-19-2015, 02:02 PM   #5
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I talked to our foreman out here, he knows how lazy he is, and he said our contact out here (the man who ultimately decides who stays and goes) knows about it too. I told our foreman that i didn't want my name on that shotty work, and that i was worried someone would come by and see us standing around and i would go down with him. I have VERY little prior knowledge in what we're doing out here, so if he's just standong around, i don't know what to do without instruction. I am very excited to learn all i can before and during my apprenticeship, but i can't really learn what isn't being taught.
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Old 02-19-2015, 02:06 PM   #6
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Start looking around and applying at other ECs..(or if you are Union, that isn't an option, as you will have to drag up and being an apprentice, I don't think you are allowed to do that)

In the mean time, keep a positive attitude and keep doing your best. More than likely you won't be paired with that JW forever. You can learn a lot just by teaching yourself, read some good student books from Mike Holt, and/or Tom Henry (for example)..and keep yourself engaged with the industry.

Good luck to you.
I am union, and i just had my interview for the apprenticeship last month, i haven't even gotten my acceptance letter yet. I worry that if i make a huge deal out of this, it might not help me get in.
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Old 02-19-2015, 02:11 PM   #7
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Don't make a huge deal then, You talked to your foremen and he said everyone knows he is lazy. He is probably connected and has friends high up and that's why he wont get fired. Your new to the company. I would keep my mouth shut and see how it goes. Always look busy. If he isn't telling you what to do, find something to do. Organize stuff, push a broom whatever.
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Old 02-19-2015, 02:11 PM   #8
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I am in the Union, but I am not biased, you go where you can get work...anyways.

If stick with the path you are currently on, then don't make a huge deal about it. You will be provided the opportunity to go thru the 5 year NJATC program and you will gain knowledge there, and like what was already said, you won't be paired with that JW for your whole apprenticeship more than likely.
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Old 02-19-2015, 02:16 PM   #9
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Don't make a huge deal then, You talked to your foremen and he said everyone knows he is lazy. He is probably connected and has friends high up and that's why he wont get fired. Your new to the company. I would keep my mouth shut and see how it goes. Always look busy. If he isn't telling you what to do, find something to do. Organize stuff, push a broom whatever.
Thats what I've been doing, and usually, i push to get things done. And yes,he knows people. He was apprentice of the year all 5 years, and he makes it known. He knows how to talk his way out of any situation.
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Old 02-19-2015, 05:23 PM   #10
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Keep yourself busy as stated. If you have a problem with an installation ask some questions about how it looks. Being he boasts about being the apprentice of the year for 5 years I don't understand how he would get away with substandard installations. He can't just blame that on you because he's supposed to by looking out for the way the job looks if he has any pride in his work at all. If a foreman shows up ask him some questions about how the installation looks or if what you did is acceptable.
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Old 02-19-2015, 05:25 PM   #11
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Keep yourself busy as stated. If you have a problem with an installation ask some questions about how it looks. Being he boasts about being the apprentice of the year for 5 years I don't understand how he would get away with substandard installations. He can't just blame that on you because he's supposed to by looking out for the way the job looks if he has any pride in his work at all. If a foreman shows up ask him some questions about how the installation looks or if what you did is acceptable.
There have been numerous jobs where we have replaced or installed crooked, unparallel pipe. During most of the jobs, i stopped to ask him about the way it looked, and he assures me, either "nobody comes down here" or "this plant does their own inspections, we don't have to follow code." His answers are mind boggling to me.
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Old 02-19-2015, 05:44 PM   #12
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There have been numerous jobs where we have replaced or installed crooked, unparallel pipe. During most of the jobs, i stopped to ask him about the way it looked, and he assures me, either "nobody comes down here" or "this plant does their own inspections, we don't have to follow code." His answers are mind boggling to me.
That's not the guy you want for your teacher. Ask if there is another job you can be transferred to. I would start sending out resume's to other contractors that may be in need of an apprentice. Wish you the best of luck but you will learn as you go along that guys like your journeyman (leader) walk amongst us, sorry to say. Keep your head up and don't get discouraged in our trade.
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Old 02-19-2015, 05:54 PM   #13
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So turn it around edge.

Part of my apprenticeship was under a prodigal son sparky who was the lords biggest electrical dope.

I would reference what he said was 'code' in the NEC every night.

You can learn a lot from a dummy....



~CS~
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Old 02-19-2015, 06:20 PM   #14
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That's not the guy you want for your teacher. Ask if there is another job you can be transferred to. I would start sending out resume's to other contractors that may be in need of an apprentice. Wish you the best of luck but you will learn as you go along that guys like your journeyman (leader) walk amongst us, sorry to say. Keep your head up and don't get discouraged in our trade.
I agree, this isn't the teacher i want, but being so new, i don't want to rock the boat and end up shooting myself in the foot. I fear that asking to be sent elsewhere would only hurt me. I don't imagine the IBEW would be too pleased with me bitching so early.
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Old 02-19-2015, 06:30 PM   #15
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Just suck it up. These so-called journeymen are everywhere so make the best of it, you are learning what not to do. Being able to work with a bum is good experience, you will work with some of the best and some of the worst in your career. Part of life.
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Old 02-19-2015, 06:33 PM   #16
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Just suck it up. These so-called journeymen are everywhere so make the best of it, you are learning what not to do. Being able to work with a bum is good experience, you will work with some of the best and some of the worst in your career. Part of life.
That's the plan. And i constantly tell myself that I'm learning how not to handle tasks at work, I'm just not one for standing around waiting for break or the end of the day. But everything you guys have said is right, he's teaching me a very valuable lesson,and it's definitely one I'll remember throughout my career.
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Old 02-19-2015, 07:20 PM   #17
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That's the plan. And i constantly tell myself that I'm learning how not to handle tasks at work, I'm just not one for standing around waiting for break or the end of the day. But everything you guys have said is right, he's teaching me a very valuable lesson,and it's definitely one I'll remember throughout my career.
A great lesson indeed. Some day you may be the foreman or even the business owner yourself, He's teaching you how slackers operate so you will be able identify them quickly for termination, as the boss you need a crew of the best workers and no slackers so take notes. Many of those guys will go to their work area without all the stock they need so they will have a good reason to walk around all day long and get nothing done at all...
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Old 02-19-2015, 07:20 PM   #18
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Just suck it up. These so-called journeymen are everywhere so make the best of it, you are learning what not to do. Being able to work with a bum is good experience, you will work with some of the best and some of the worst in your career. Part of life.

You are learning from him. unfortunately it seems you are learning what not to do. Hang on to your ethics and realize you have an objective and just work at your good habits. As soon as opportunity presents look to another journeyman and hope this one is a good example. some day you will get your turn and we all hope he will get his.
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