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Thread: why,why, why?

  1. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Edmonton Ab Canada

    its a long apprenticeship

    I have worked in the hvac trade for 25 yrs . J man sheet metal , gas fitter and plumber as of recent. I am inundated by newbies as of late. It is getting hard to find many j men left out there. I am 42. The newbies I get are maybe 25. I am fed up with the feedback I get from other j men . They treat the newbies as though they were dirt. When they are fed up they send them off to someone else, and that is ususally me . Sure I have had a few nerds , but for the most part they are a good bunch who will give you a lot of effort if you treat them like humans . When I started there was that hiearchy mentality. It made me fuming mad sometimes. There was the mentality that when you got your cert 4 yrs later you were God. Wrong ! I am still learning lots everyday. I make a point to show the young guys as much as i think they can absorb, give them some skills. A little self confidence pays big dividends. The toughest kids to encourage are those who were raised by parents who gave them everything they asked for . Those parents robbed them of the work ethic. Sad .Farm kids are easier to work with. just ramblin

  2. #15
    There are a lot of disgruntled old men out there, unhappy with their lives, move on and forget it, just remember when you get older to not act like them.
    Hey cockroach, don't bug me!


    Bring Em Home....

  3. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Don't feel bad. Things could always be worse. I don't have any apprentices because if they screwed up I wouldn't criticise them, I'd bludgeon em to death.

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2002


    Just slow me down. When I do have one, I wish to God that they would keep their trap shut about the latest snoop doggy poop singer or how they hate Bush because he's going to reinstate the draft. I wish that I could make them ride in the back of the truck while holding a sign saying "I am stupid". You're right Dice. I am old and grumpy and I danged well have earned the right to be!!"

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Ft Worth Tx ( North Richland Hills)
    I think passing on knowledge to a thirsty young mind is one of the most rewarding parts of the whole trade or even life in general. When there's a handfull of people that remember us with's one of the few ways we're able to live on after we're dead. When there's that connection between one who enjoys teaching and one who REALLY is eager to's a good thing.
    How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    davenport, iowa
    heard a fella once repeat; when you are dealing with somone difficult and they're tellin you something, treat it like you're eatin fried chicken---chew the meat, spit the bones", in other words even if they're bein an idiot, they may have info you can use so soak it up and flush the rest...

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Eugene, Oregon
    Originally posted by Dowadudda
    I am not so convinced that one needs to have a guy actually teaching them. Of course one needs chalkboard time, to go over theory, understand electricity, but that should be done at an approved school, not out on a roof or in a rack room. As you work along side someone, you learn a great deal. What is it that your waiting for, to break out in a coffee moment and have a formal instruction block on your last question? Most times as I was coming up, I would just bust my ass for who I was assisting. Watch em. Get a simple question in. I can remember well, having a long hard day, and that night going over in my mind and in my books what that guy I was working with was doing. Next day I was more on the ball. Next day it got better, so on and so forth it went.

    You know you will reach a point, if your good enough to get that far, and I can tell you most don't, but if your good enough, you will reach a point where you need to teach yourself, and no one will be able to help you.

    I wish I had someone like me to teach me the things I had to learn on my own when I was a rookie. I went to school and then worked as a install helper for a year. I then started runing service on my own because our tech got fired for not having a drivers license. I managed ok but I would have advance much quicker if I had been able to benifet from someone sharing the wealth of knowledge they had. A wealth of knowledge that is passed on from one geration to the next and comes from years of experience. In the bay area, at the sheetmetal workers union office building is a statue of a old timer handing his sheers to a rookie. Passing the torch.
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten". --Benjamin Franklin
    "Don't argue with an idiot, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience". --Mark Twain

  8. #21
    Originally posted by air1
    A wealth of knowledge that is passed on from one geration to the next and comes from years of experience. In the bay area, at the sheetmetal workers union office building is a statue of a old timer handing his sheers to a rookie. Passing the torch.
    It would be nice of such were apreciated here in Texas.

    Employers here seem to just think about themselves. Like they are scared little puppy dogs.

    I'll spare y'all the rant.

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Belton, Texas
    Tonight I received the best phone call I have had in a long time. An older gentleman who owns a small shop here in town responded to a letter I sent out Friday and hired me over the phone without ever laying eyes on me. For the past 4 weeks I have been trying to find a re-entry into the industry after being away for 14 years. Yes, I was a field tech a long time ago. So much has changed, I may be less qualified in general knowledge than a rookie just pulling out of trade school. I accept that fact and must accept that anyone who interviews me will see that in less than 2 minutes. So after reading countless threads on this site about, to, or by the rookies, I took the "old guys" advice. My letter said nothing about knowing it all, finishing school, and barely mentioned that I had once been a tech. What it did say is "I want to work. I know how to work hard. I need a chance to work for you." I sent out 17 letters, all identical to all the shops in the phone book and they arrived today. I had a job by the close of the days business. I start tomorrow at 7:30. Bet your arse I will be there at 7:15 nicely dressed, shaved, and ready to work, even cleaning the shop if need be. Pay is $10/hr and I am damn proud to have it. A year from now when I am back in a truck on my own doing real work for real clients and making my boss real money, I will still be at $10/hr I bet. He needs to get his investment back. Point of my story to the rookie who started this thread is "listen to the old guy even when he doesn't make sense". It sure has saved the financial life of me, my wife, my 2 sons, and the ill parents we moved to care for. It was the very "old guys" here who rant over and over to keep your mouth shut, work hard, dont make waves, and you will get your day. Tomorrow starts mine. Good look all you rookies who read this.

    p.s. Thanks all you Old Guys here.

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