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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday was a 15 hour day, the completion of a medium voltage cable job, we had testing, termination and removal of 650' of old 4/0 15kv cable.

Everyone busted butt and removing the old cable and loading the trucks was the hardest . I pitched in and pulled, cut and loaded the trucks with scrap, this one apprentice was working hard, but towards the end with lots of trash to pickup, tools and test to put away as I was witnessing the final test and check outs prior to energizing. He stands there watching, with JW's working cleaning up. I blew up, his story was no one told him.

Oh and he almost ran over me with the truck DEAD SERIOUS, he backed up wildly without looking. Hit me with the truck as others were screaming at him to stop.

Then at the shop, I tell him to direct me as I back the generator in the warehouse he stands there hands in pocket as I struggle in the dark to back up.

My belief is if I have to tell an apprentice with 4-1/2 years in the trade to clean up, put stuff away and how to assist in backing a trailer into the shop he has wasted 4.5 years of his life.
 

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Senior Moment
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Sounds worthless, why not trade him for a future draft pick and an apprentice to be named later?
 

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What shop doesn't have an apprentice named pockets? They think it's not too bad at first and maybe even kind of funny but after a year or two not so much
 

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Well posting about it on a forum certainly won't help your cause. Sit him down and talk to him, if it doesn't change, let him go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well posting about it on a forum certainly won't help your cause. Sit him down and talk to him, if it doesn't change, let him go.
90% of what gets posted here is to vent or make a point.

He has had the talk and will get it again Monday, but it is a waste on him. Apprentices are in short supply we need them. We have had worse.

I feel after 6 months apprentices should be self starting as far as clean up goes. And standing there hands in his pockets shows a total lack of understanding what is required of him as an electrician
 

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Electron Flow Consultant
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I might expect that from a green apprentice but not one who has over 4 yrs. Tough call. We are short on apprentices too, and good ones are hard to get. I'd say if he doesn't get it this time, then send him back to the hall and have a conversation with the apprenticeship director.
 

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Hard to work with someone who's just doesn't seem to have the drive....

Sometimes it helps me to stop and think about why a guy might be less than enthusiastic about work. Maybe they got dumped / had a bad time the night before. Sometimes it's just hard being an apprentice... taking orders all day and being treated like you are half as smart as you look \ experience. Sometimes it's the guys who are the most conscientious who are the easiest to discourage. 4 and 1/2 years in, maybe this apprentice thinks he should be doing a little more than clean up... helping the truck back up. Anyway... we don't all love what we do all the time... if I did... I would count myself as truly blessed.

But I agree... .it's hard when a guy seems totally unmotivated.
 

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IBEW L.U. 1852
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I agree.......nothing worse than an unmotivated apprentice. Drives me insane.

I have one young fellow who is 2.5 yrs into his apprenticeship and we would be lost without him......always loking forward to the next task and has the area and tools/equipment ready for the JM, is the first one cleaning up, he even keeps a list in the job box so he can write down when the supply box is getting low on nuts, bolts, washers etc etc

On the other hand, we just let a 4th yr apprentice go because he was on of those slack jawed gawkers who would stand with his hands in his pockets watching as the JM struggled with a task or watching them clean up. I saw it happen once.....he got the talk and another shot at it all.......second time I saw it he got the layoff slip.
 

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I can look past the HIP (Hands In Pockets) or at least yell at him for it, being that apprentices are in short supply and you may not want to fire him for that.

I do, however, have a problem with the safety issue of almost running you over! Some people say accidents happen, I say BS! I believe that almost every accident is avoidable, and this case it sounds like the "near miss" or bump Should have been avoided.

This is a good oportunity to feature driving, and more specifically, driving in reverse, for this weeks safety meeting topic. When I worked at power plants part of the plant policy was "first move forward parking," your first move was in drive, or you backed the vehicle in while you were still in it motion and could see where you were and knew what your surroundings are/were.

One utility around me just about forbids its employees from using reverse, because such a high percentage of their accidents occur when backing.

Were glad you didn't get run over and no one got hurt, but tell that kid to get his hands out of his pockets!!!
 

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Electron Flow Consultant
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We have 23 apprentices working for us. Only about 4 of them are borderline. We have an apprentice all star program where we nominate an apprentice each month that stands out among the rest. If they are selected, they get $200. Since we employ all crafts there are apprentices from every trade. Our company goal is to have 20% of our workforce as apprentices.
 

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Member IBEW LU #164
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My belief is if I have to tell an apprentice with 4-1/2 years in the trade to clean up, put stuff away and how to assist in backing a trailer into the shop he has wasted 4.5 years of his life.
It sounds like you failed or your journeyman failed to properly teach and guide the apprentice.

Or maybe you wore everyone out, including yourself, working a stupid number of hours in a day and the kid needed a breather.

Or just because he is not uber committed to killing himself for you does not mean he wasted 4 and a half years, it more that likely means you did not do your job well.

Perhaps you should analyze what happened and schedule the work better next time. I realize you think you can do no wrong, but evidence is showing otherwise.
 

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Electron Flow Consultant
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It sounds like you failed or your journeyman failed to properly teach and guide the apprentice.

Or maybe you wore everyone out, including yourself, working a stupid number of hours in a day and the kid needed a breather.

Or just because he is not uber committed to killing himself for you does not mean he wasted 4 and a half years, it more that likely means you did not do your job well.

Perhaps you should analyze what happened and schedule the work better next time. I realize you think you can do no wrong, but evidence is showing otherwise.
The work he described is more then likely not performed under his schedule. I would guess the customer had an outage and needed the work done in "x" amount of time. If that is the case, you man it accordingly, and get it done during the time allotted.
 

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Member IBEW LU #164
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The work he described is more then likely not performed under his schedule. I would guess the customer had an outage and needed the work done in "x" amount of time. If that is the case, you man it accordingly, and get it done during the time allotted.
Right, which means call the hall and hire some help - don't work everyone 15 hours so that safety becomes an issue - obviously running over someone is a safety issue. If someone got hurt that shift would have been partially to blame. We all know you cannot work that long and that hard without issues.

( yes, all the tough guys out there, you become tired regardless of how macho you are ).

Working overtime is unavoidable but working like that is - especially when you can call the hall and get a couple of guys for a day to help out.
 
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