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Estwing magic
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have two adult children. One has a Master's degree and the other is taking his business degree while holding down a part time job at a college consulting business start ups. I'm proud of those kids and they know it.

I was a mean, arrogant dad. Certainly, I helped them with their school work but I never helped them until they tried to help themselves first. When they asked me how to spell a word, I told them to look it up themselves. They hated that.

They both went to private schools. In grade eleven, my oldest started screwing around and skipping classes. I told him I wasn't go to pay for private school anymore unless he smartened up. To make a long story short, he ended up joining the army reserves and going to boot camp for the summer. It was the only way he could make enough money to finance his final year in private school. He didn't want to go back into the public system.

When an apprentice comes onto this site asking simple questions, I don't immediately barf out an answer. I didn't raise my own kids to be lazy thinkers and don't treat apprentices any differently. If that makes me the new bad guy around here, so be it.

If an apprentice comes here asking a simple question, I want to know why. If he isn't learning on the job, there may be deeper issues. Maybe he's in a bad work situation. If that's the case he may need career advice, not instructions on how to wire a three way switch. Our job is to help develop young tradesmen, not spoon feed them.

And here's some more advice for apprentices new to this site: If you're trying to get into the trade, please search the forums first. Most of your answers have already been posted. The same questions are asked so often that I hardly respond anymore.
 

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Man I agree with this 100%, I'll add a few things.

I also believe that if you do something stupid, like leave a hole in a customer's wall instead of doing the job right the first time, you shouldn't be in this trade. Maybe it goes along with some GCs wanting faster and cheaper work done instead of doing it right since doing it right would cost them an extra $100.

Then again, I value work that is done right the first time... If I were to cut corners in a PLC program I could potentially kill someone, depending on the application, so I guess I'm a perfectionist to a fault.
 

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True story...

Apprentice was cutting a hole in an attached garage for a switch. Be damned if he didn't cut right through into the house on the 'wallpapered' stairwell heading upstairs.

Meanwhile 'business partner' is standing on the ladies dryer fishing the wire for the apprentice.

All I did was price the job.

Short story...

Sold the business to him and re-started.

Fast forward 30 years...

Getting a new furnace. Tin man sends his apprentice out to drill thru the wall for the new exhaust. Nice day so I go outside. I say to the apprentice... "you are a bit high and will put a 4 inch hole into my living room".

Na he says, "can't you see I'm below the parging". "Yeah but you have the hose bib 2 feet to your right as your guide. Go look in the basement and see where it's coming out." So I have a dryer vent cover installed 6 inches above the new exhaust pipe. I did catch him in time to save the hole in my living room wall.

Anyway **** happens. In the big picture it's something to smile about when reminiscing.
 

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I will say this, some people have learned both from experience and from this forum, but sadly become irate when others seem lack that knowledge even be for good reason. Not the right attitude.



The search feature on this forum sucks, and an apprentice new to the trade has no way of knowing if his question has been asked before let alone the correct way to word it. Learning something from scratch is not easy, especially something this dynamic.
 

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Searching the forum for an answer may give the right answer as well as about 20 to 30 wrong answers and 79 opinions from Harry on why Obama is to blame for faulty AFCIs. When someone is trying to learn and asks a question and is attacked or belittled, they become afraid to ask questions and may never really learn all they need to know. This trade is way too full of half a$$ electricians that have no real understanding of what they're doing or why they're doing it and withholding information just perpetuates this problem. If somebody doesn't want to help a new guy, they can always just move on to the next topic and leave the questions to the guys that don't mind teaching someone
 

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Estwing magic
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This is why we keep asking for a separate Apprentice section, so it's easier for them to search previous posts. Take a look yourself. Almost daily a new guy is asking for advice on how to enter the trade and the responses are minimal. The answers are here, just difficult to find.
 

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For me, as an apprentice, I go this route:

Approach JW/Foreman..."Here's what I'm trying to do. I planned on doing X, but ran into this issue. I'm thinking about doing either Y or Z as a solution. What do you think?".

I can't stand guys who just say they can't do it or always ask "so what do I do?". :laughing:
 
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When an apprentice comes onto this site asking simple questions, I don't immediately barf out an answer. I didn't raise my own kids to be lazy thinkers and don't treat apprentices any differently. If that makes me the new bad guy around here, so be it. If an apprentice comes here asking a simple question, I want to know why. If he isn't learning on the job, there may be deeper issues. Maybe he's in a bad work situation. If that's the case he may need career advice, not instructions on how to wire a three way switch. Our job is to help develop young tradesmen, not spoon feed them. .
Stupidest thing I read all day!!!
 

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Stupidest thing I read all day!!!
No, 99's spot on. :thumbsup:

Further, i like to provoke critical thinking, which seems at such a premium these days

you WILL (as my apprentice) tell me why i'm doing what i'm doing the way i'm doing it ;)

AND, for xtra credit, you'll tell me where i cheated! :whistling2:

~CS~
 

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Electrical Contractor
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No, 99's spot on. :thumbsup:

Further, i like to provoke critical thinking, which seems at such a premium these days

you WILL (as my apprentice) tell me why i'm doing what i'm doing the way i'm doing it ;)

AND, for xtra credit, you'll tell me where i cheated! :whistling2:

~CS~


I don't always agree with Chicken, but this time I do
 
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IBEW L.U. 1852
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Kudos to you 99. Very well thought out post.

No, 99's spot on. :thumbsup:

Further, i like to provoke critical thinking, which seems at such a premium these days

you WILL (as my apprentice) tell me why i'm doing what i'm doing the way i'm doing it ;)

AND, for xtra credit, you'll tell me where i cheated! :whistling2:

~CS~
Hmmm....I thought I was the only one who forced my apprentice to think.
Good job fowl one.
 

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Man I agree with this 100%, I'll add a few things.

I also believe that if you do something stupid, like leave a hole in a customer's wall instead of doing the job right the first time, you shouldn't be in this trade. Maybe it goes along with some GCs wanting faster and cheaper work done instead of doing it right since doing it right would cost them an extra $100.

Then again, I value work that is done right the first time... If I were to cut corners in a PLC program I could potentially kill someone, depending on the application, so I guess I'm a perfectionist to a fault.
“The only man who makes no mistakes is the man who never does anything.” Theodore Roosevelt



I have yet to meet an apprentice or Journeyman who can do everything, first time, and not make a mistake.
Mistakes are an opportunity to learn. We learn to reduce the risk by repetition and education. And just as important, how to rectify our mistakes, as quickly and easily as possible.
 

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I want to throw this out there. I find the search option to be rather cheezy on this site. Its easier to google search the question which will inevitably give you an answer from this site.

The other problem is apprentices don't have enough knowledge to effectivly ask a question sometimes.

I agree that you dont want to spoon feed those who are learning, but if a baby doesn't know how to feed itself youre going to spoon feed it. Having a spoon fed baby is better then a staving one.

After a few "easy" questions with good solid instruction the next questions will better asked and better absorbed.

We have to answer the questions and not bash people. This isn't a job site and these guys arent your apprentices.
 

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I also believe that if you do something stupid, like leave a hole in a customer's wall instead of doing the job right the first time, you shouldn't be in this trade. Maybe it goes along with some GCs wanting faster and cheaper work done instead of doing it right since doing it right would cost them an extra $100.

Then again, I value work that is done right the first time... If I were to cut corners in a PLC program I could potentially kill someone, depending on the application, so I guess I'm a perfectionist to a fault.

:blink::001_huh::no:

If everyone who jacked up a job here and there should't be in the trade then we wouldn't have a trade.

The only reason we know anything about electricity at all is through decades of trial and error. This kind of crap doesn't help anyone.
 

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The other problem is apprentices don't have enough knowledge to effectivly ask a question sometimes.

I agree that you dont want to spoon feed those who are learning, but if a baby doesn't know how to feed itself youre going to spoon feed it. Having a spoon fed baby is better then a staving one.

We have to answer the questions and not bash people. This isn't a job site and these guys arent your apprentices.
You are very correct that these young apprentices get proper answers.

There have been more than a few requests/suggestions for an apprentice section.

I would assume there are many competent members who would be willing to answer their questions, and hopefully, those who don't want to help, would not follow that section.
 

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You are very correct that these young apprentices get proper answers.

There have been more than a few requests/suggestions for an apprentice section.

I would assume there are many competent members who would be willing to answer their questions, and hopefully, those who don't want to help, would not follow that section.
My thoughts as well. An apprentice section would help tremendously, and I know others would be more than willing to share what they know.

Any idea on how to get the ball rolling?
 

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cog
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I find some of these opinions simply bizarre. At what point in time did registering on an internet forum imbue upon an apprentice - or any other person - the right to be treated in any particular way by a stranger?

My advice to apprentices? Always ask. If you're not satisfied with the answer, ask again, ask someone else.......get used to the fact that a bunch of us humans are real see you next tuesdays some days. If you cannot put up with other people in order to get what you want, become a GC.
 
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