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Old 07-23-2016, 02:58 AM   #1
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Default Starting work again Monday

I'm going back to electrical after almost a year off. Last construction job I was on was a year ago and then went to install ski lifts for a few months. Been out of the field since December. I'm excited and nervous at the same time. I don't want to look like a fool for being a third year apprentice but you loose some finer points of tHe trade and some skills after not using them. Any tips or tricks, new tools, etc to get me back into it.

I'm going back, but this time I joined the union and will be completing my apprentice with them. I have decided that this is the best route for many reason, first is the training, I want to be the best JW I can be and I feel this is the path to accomplish anything that. Then there's the money, best paying electrical job I've had to date.


I report Monday for my first assignment and have been told that it's going to be big 60-70 bed assisted living facility. I guess what I'm wondering is should I try and show what I know or show some humility and tell my journeyman that I've been out for a while and it might take a little to get back in to the swing of things?
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Old 07-23-2016, 09:23 AM   #2
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Just do your best without trying to show others up... It is difficult for a foreman or others who have been there longer than you have been to listen to a know it all. Just do your assigned job he best that you know how.

If you see something that looks incorrect tell the foreman you noticed something and thst you thought it might be a code issue-- don't push it rightaway
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Old 07-23-2016, 09:27 AM   #3
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Do what is asked of you, follow the chain of command and shelved skills will come back rapidly. Best of luck and hope you enjoy being back.
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Old 07-23-2016, 09:38 AM   #4
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Carry your dues receipt and not much more than the maximum tool list, until you learn otherwise. It's better to remain silent, ignoring/pushing through any decline in skills from the absence, rather than call others' attention to it.
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Old 07-23-2016, 09:44 AM   #5
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Carry your dues receipt and not much more than the maximum tool list, until you learn otherwise. It's better to remain silent, ignoring/pushing through any decline in skills from the absence, rather than call others' attention to it.
In a lifetime of Union involvement this has never been an issue anywhere I've ever been. WHo do you think is going to come up and ask to see it ? Are you in an area that has Union enforcers roaming jobs?
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Old 07-23-2016, 09:55 AM   #6
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A year isn't a long time. You still have muscle memory and a lot of information stored in your cranium that will come back to you. Go with the flow and don't try to impress anybody.
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Old 07-23-2016, 10:32 AM   #7
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In a lifetime of Union involvement this has never been an issue anywhere I've ever been. WHo do you think is going to come up and ask to see it ? Are you in an area that has Union enforcers roaming jobs?
Is he told to carry it?
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Old 07-23-2016, 10:33 AM   #8
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Is he told to carry it?
I don't know, is he? I never was.
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Old 07-23-2016, 10:36 AM   #9
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In a lifetime of Union involvement this has never been an issue anywhere I've ever been. WHo do you think is going to come up and ask to see it ? Are you in an area that has Union enforcers roaming jobs?
Yup. Organizers, BAs, and shop stewards from nearby jobs. Hell, any IBEW member can challenge you for your card. I used to do it a lot more often when I would see guys doing electrical work in retail stores. If they didn't show me their card (or at least convince me that they were union) I would call up that territory's organizer to let him know.
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Old 07-23-2016, 10:37 AM   #10
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Yup. Organizers, BAs, and shop stewards from nearby jobs. Hell, any IBEW member can challenge you for your card. I used to do it a lot more often when I would see guys doing electrical work in retail stores. If they didn't show me their card (or at least convince me that they were union) I would call up that territory's organizer to let him know.
I have been asked if I was Union but never asked for my card. More often than not it was in my wallet and not on my person.
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Old 07-23-2016, 10:39 AM   #11
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I don't know, is he? I never was.
I don't know about your union or your local, but in the IBEW and every local I know of, carrying your dues receipt at all times is a requirement. I remember having the shop steward go around and ask apprentices for their's as a random test.
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Old 07-23-2016, 10:41 AM   #12
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Some are always the last to know. I'm curious to learn if people in authority at his local are advising it.
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Old 07-23-2016, 10:43 AM   #13
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I don't know about your union or your local, but in the IBEW and every local I know of, carrying your dues receipt at all times is a requirement. I remember having the shop steward go around and ask apprentices for their's as a random test.
You were a 102 guy?
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Old 07-23-2016, 05:53 PM   #14
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Any reasonable foreman can quickly identify a good egg in a short amount of time. Keep your eyes open and your mouth closed. Standing out is usually not a good thing and I've seen guys last way longer then they should have just by blending in. Don't be a squeaky wheel.

-Many apprentices underestimate the value of showing up on time prepared to work.

-Do what you're instructed as efficiently as you know, if you don't understand a task, ask clarifying questions. As mentioned above, tact will go a long way. Beware of sharpshooting your JW/Foreman.

-Try to stay busy, always be doing something.

-Work your tasks to a completed state before moving on to something else. Nobody wants to come behind a worker to find what they thought was completed is only half done, it can really mess with the foreman's planning.


I wouldn't necessarily volunteer your time off during your first conversation with anyone. If they ask, sure. If it comes up through normal conversation, sure. I wouldn't want you to paint yourself in a certain light when it may not even be necessary.
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Old 07-26-2016, 03:11 AM   #15
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I guess what I'm wondering is should I try and show what I know or show some humility and tell my journeyman that I've been out for a while and it might take a little to get back in to the swing of things?
Above all working people admire honesty and integrity !
So don't bull**** to them, or pretend to be what your not !
They might rib you a little at first,
but long run they will respect your honesty.
Best road always !

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Old 07-26-2016, 11:47 AM   #16
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Above all working people admire honesty and integrity !
So don't bull**** to them, or pretend to be what your not !
They might rib you a little at first,
but long run they will respect your honesty.
Best road always !

Be aware of guys that don't rib you a little.
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