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I graduated high school (barely) in 1970 with no idea what I was going to do, I tried working at a gas station, roofing and down spout and gutters, nothing seemed to hold my attention nor seemed like something I wanted to do long term.

A friend I had worked with at the gas station had taken a job as a warehouse manager at a large electrical contractor. This contractor needed summer help for off loading trucks and stocking the floors of this large project. On my second day an electrician needed a helper and he asked my friend who was the best worker he had, he pointed to me and I went to work as a helper.

At the end of the summer most of the summer help was gone and this project was winding down, I looked around and realized there were only a few helpers left, I thought to myself, durn I guess I am going to be an electrician.

I bought a 1968 NEC, subscribed to EC&M (expensive at that time) and started reading. The next summer I was wiring condos for the same firm, with a very lazy electrician, he showed me how to rough in completely and after 2 or 3 condos told me I could play mechanic and he would be a lazy apprentice. We had 15 some crews wiring these condos and there were a slew of problems. I was put on a crew doing the punch list before turning over to the real estate firm. I truly believe trouble shooting all those condos is what sharpened my skills in all aspects of the trade.

From there I worked for several firms, service electrician, wiring hospitals, schools, gas stations, federal facilities. But my big break came when I went to work with a firm that was staring a testing and maintenance division, the one stipulation was you had to be willing to work OT. I jumped at the chance. We were one of the first firms in Washington DC to perform IR, I learned a slew about trouble shooting grounding issues, power quality ground faults and GFPE systems.

MY personal library was growing and living in Washington DC was a plus as I would go to the Library of Congress with rolls of dimes and research books on my chosen profession, to be photo copied. All this was pre-internet.

But my mouth got me in trouble and I was let go, I told the service manager he did not know what he was doing for letting several employees go. They all went to another firm and I went to work there.

Three years later that firm brought us into the office on Monday and told us they were closing the testing division, I asked what was I suppose to do. The answer was "We do not give a FXXK what you do". I am not totally stupid and realized this meant I was without a job again.

Two of the other employees and I went to a bar and discussed the fact that two of the largest firms in DC had canned us in a 3 year period and decided to try it on our own. With an new wife and I just found out she was pregnant I hocked my house and went in business, that was 29 years ago. We struggled for a few years, but I knew I had made it when both of the firms that had axed me hired me to do their testing, and maintenance.

We solve all electrical problems, anything out of the ordinary and some of the ordinary, we are the electrical contractors electrician.

- Bad Electrician
 

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The Bad One is in niche few of us have the gone the distance to aspire to, which is always a relevant and worthy read when he's on top of his game.

:thumbsup:

~CS~
 

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I love this story :) .
Yes indeed me too!

Brian I see we both sort of started the same way (lazy mechanic part).

One day if I ever have the time and the $$$$ I'd love to take you to dinner just to shoot the S with you and also about your work as it interests me immensely.
:thumbsup:
 

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RIP 1959-2015
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View attachment 38095

I graduated high school (barely) in 1970 with no idea what I was going to do, I tried working at a gas station, roofing and down spout and gutters, nothing seemed to hold my attention nor seemed like something I wanted to do long term.

A friend I had worked with at the gas station had taken a job as a warehouse manager at a large electrical contractor. This contractor needed summer help for off loading trucks and stocking the floors of this large project. On my second day an electrician needed a helper and he asked my friend who was the best worker he had, he pointed to me and I went to work as a helper.

At the end of the summer most of the summer help was gone and this project was winding down, I looked around and realized there were only a few helpers left, I thought to myself, durn I guess I am going to be an electrician.

I bought a 1968 NEC, subscribed to EC&M (expensive at that time) and started reading. The next summer I was wiring condos for the same firm, with a very lazy electrician, he showed me how to rough in completely and after 2 or 3 condos told me I could play mechanic and he would be a lazy apprentice. We had 15 some crews wiring these condos and there were a slew of problems. I was put on a crew doing the punch list before turning over to the real estate firm. I truly believe trouble shooting all those condos is what sharpened my skills in all aspects of the trade.

From there I worked for several firms, service electrician, wiring hospitals, schools, gas stations, federal facilities. But my big break came when I went to work with a firm that was staring a testing and maintenance division, the one stipulation was you had to be willing to work OT. I jumped at the chance. We were one of the first firms in Washington DC to perform IR, I learned a slew about trouble shooting grounding issues, power quality ground faults and GFPE systems.

MY personal library was growing and living in Washington DC was a plus as I would go to the Library of Congress with rolls of dimes and research books on my chosen profession, to be photo copied. All this was pre-internet.

But my mouth got me in trouble and I was let go, I told the service manager he did not know what he was doing for letting several employees go. They all went to another firm and I went to work there.

Three years later that firm brought us into the office on Monday and told us they were closing the testing division, I asked what was I suppose to do. The answer was "We do not give a FXXK what you do". I am not totally stupid and realized this meant I was without a job again.

Two of the other employees and I went to a bar and discussed the fact that two of the largest firms in DC had canned us in a 3 year period and decided to try it on our own. With an new wife and I just found out she was pregnant I hocked my house and went in business, that was 29 years ago. We struggled for a few years, but I knew I had made it when both of the firms that had axed me hired me to do their testing, and maintenance.

We solve all electrical problems, anything out of the ordinary and some of the ordinary, we are the electrical contractors electrician.

- Bad Electrician
Sounds really boring...:whistling2:
















:laughing:
 

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Bilge Rat
motors and controls.........
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Did you ever serve an apprenticeship, Brian? If not, then we have something in common.......
 

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Did you ever serve an apprenticeship, Brian? If not, then we have something in common.......
No formal apprenticeship, I was running a service truck with 2-1/2 years in the trade and obtain my first JW license about the same time. I tried an apprenticeship (ABC) but took a 6-weeks off to drive across the states and for good reasons they frowned on that. And being dumb at the time I thought screw them, why do I need all this math they were teaching. I still had not figured out that math not love makes the world go around.

A college professor told me years latter, math is in everything we do, a piece of toilet paper is a mathematical design, minimum amount of paper for the maximum amount of coverage just another formula, with no poke through.
 

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So where did you learn the intricate testing techniques you are noted for bad One?

~CS~
 

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God-fearing Volt-head
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Thanks for sharing. Really wish I could go a different route now, but I seem set in my stupid ways.
 

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I was going through a divorce when I started with a new company, they were in the process of setting up a maintenance and testing group and I was asked if I wanted to work OT. I had a house that at the time I thought required two incomes to pay the bills and jumped at the chance. Being the guy that always worked, they taught me how to perform the testing portion of the work.

They guy that ran the group got fired and I told the service manager he was stupid for firing him. Guess who was next out the door.

The electrician that was let go hired me and the new firm did full testing, worked there 3 years then started this company

At the same time UPS systems, VFD's and small computer rooms were fairly new and power quality with Harmonics and grounding issues were becoming a new field in our trade as well as battery system associated with UPS's and all the new Cell Sites.

Right place, right time and when I was asked if I could resolve a problem, test a product or install an some equipment I never said no. Luckily no one asked me to do heart surgery.
 

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felonious smile.
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Biography....now on channel ET.
 

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Arsholeprentice
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I'm sorry....who are we talking about?

Listen, all you need to know, is that electricity like to go to the center of the Earth!:laughing:
 
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