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Son of Sparky? #195055
07/08/10 07:50 AM
07/08/10 07:50 AM
sparky  Offline OP
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,372
It sounds like a B movie flick from japan eh?

truth is, the son is inquiring about an apprenticeship

and after i've abused him for years as a helper , i would have thought it would be his last choice

the state here is soliciting younger recruits, in fact they're offering financial help as well.

the word is they're worried that so few are signing up now, and all they'll be left with is us crumedgeon sparkies

thing is, working for the 'ol man' , at least until things pick up, isn't what most youngsters would choose

any of you fella's go down this road?


Business, Office, Estimating, Legal:
Re: Son of Sparky? [Re: sparky] #195056
07/08/10 02:25 PM
07/08/10 02:25 PM
gfretwell  Offline

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,359
I have seen a lot of it. Usually the son quits, dad is too tough (or too soft) on him.
The most successful family business structure I have seen is where you work for your uncle but that requires a fairly big family business.

Greg Fretwell
Re: Son of Sparky? [Re: gfretwell] #195063
07/08/10 09:44 PM
07/08/10 09:44 PM
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
Personally, I think that the idea of continuing school for a few years, immediately after high school, then becoming an instant 'professional' is one of the ways our society has gotten off track.

There's something to be said for some seasoning, experience, and maturity before adding another layer of 'education.' There's even some merit in the idea of actually being able to DO something.

There's no shame in learning a trade - indeed, I would be leery of any architect, engineer, or designer who hasn't ever actually BUILT anything.

I also object to this idea that you get your degree ot journeyman card, and your quest is over. Balderdash! It's just beginning.

So, let the boy earn his journeyman card and be proud! Then encourage him on to the next step.

Re: Son of Sparky? [Re: renosteinke] #195069
07/09/10 01:10 AM
07/09/10 01:10 AM
schenimann  Offline
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 193
Western North Carolina
I started working for my dad when I was about 30. Did my 4 year apprentiship with him. He then retired and I bought the business. It has been a tremendous asset having someone to ask questions, bounce ideas, etc. His background is motors and controls. We worked good together. Sure there were some differences, but it worked out. I enjoyed the time spent. We discussed everything from work to church to family.

My wife still gets tired of every family get together becoming a meeting with plans for the latest project on the table.

If you can work together, I say go for it. But have the discussion ahead of time that if working together begins to go south that it's over. It's not worth losing a relationship over.

Reno is right. Help him all you can.

Re: Son of Sparky? [Re: schenimann] #195072
07/09/10 09:20 AM
07/09/10 09:20 AM
wire_twister  Offline
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 265
Georgia USA
Im in with the crowd, I worked with my dad from time to time, he was a carpenter, we did not always get along so well but the things learned are irreplaceable. If only he had been an electrician I could have gotton my start in business sooner. I enjoyed my time with him and would do it again. I have a nephew in the military (Iraq) he says when he gets home he wants me to start him on the path. He has already worked as a helper for a short while, he thinks he is ready to step up, we will see. Any way I would help him all I could as long as you can work together peacefully, schenimann is right its not worth losing a part of your family over.


Life is tough, Life is tougher when you are stupid
Re: Son of Sparky? [Re: wire_twister] #195085
07/09/10 09:02 PM
07/09/10 09:02 PM
mikesh  Offline
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 613
Victoria, BC, Canada
I have a few friends with their kids in the trade and lots of contractors that have given their companies over to the son. Some transition very well and some go to war. Some sons improve the business and some bury it.
I did my apprenticeship in a family business and I felt a lot of resentment at the disparity in treatment between me and the bosses son or son in law. I often would see my paycheck with the number of hours exactly as i worked them and see the kid get a 40 hour check on a 29 hour week. No pager on the son in law and 3 am callouts for me. Never mind my pay rate was based on the rather pitiful journeyman rate he paid and see the son in law that never even finished school get journeyman rate.
On the other hand I have a friend that fired his son because the son expected preferential treatment and the boss said at work you better darn well earn the money you get paid because I ain't carrying you till the grave and the sooner you learn that the sooner you'll be your own man.
I know another contractor who's son has recently taken over the business and the son has finally become a contractor. I used to think he was useless but once he got the responsibility for the business he pulled up his pants and earns the money he makes now.
Every case is different as the man.

Re: Son of Sparky? [Re: mikesh] #195130
07/13/10 02:54 AM
07/13/10 02:54 AM
Trumpy  Offline

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,260
SI,New Zealand
I have this to say, if your son WANTS to be an electrician and he MUST want to, not just some half-assed attempt at it, I say teach the kid all you know.
After all, you've been there before through the good and the bad times, no college education or degree from a Uni can teach you that IMO.

Some of the kids I went to high school with ended up as apprentices with their fathers as the Boss, some of them lasted maybe a year and gave it in, their reasons were varied, but some of them stuck with it and came out with real qualifications and a better understanding (and respect) of their old man as well.
Other side of the coin, is the son that is always treated like the Boy, even though he has long since completed his time, that's why I could never work with my own father as a Engineering fitter.
When I told him I was going to be an Electrical apprentice, it was almost like I was coming out as Gay, he didn't like that, it was like HIS Trade or none. mad

Having said that, I worked for a company here in town that the Managing Director, had had the business pretty much given to him by his father after he had served 2 apprenticeships (Electrical and Refrigeration) and he was the worst guy I have EVER seen at quoting a given job, think more or less "let's buy the job or the customer won't return".
When I first started there, I asked to start quoting a few jobs, as this place was wilting like the proverbial flower in the sun, IMO, it was either that or they start laying off tradesmen and apprentices, not a good look for any company with 50 years of service in the community.

I was told "You won't do any better than me!", I priced a new house wire, 2 re-wires and a new commercial building.
I ran the itemised quotes past the guy as they were faxed off, he told me there was "no way in Hell" we would get the work and to "stop wasting his time and money".

2 weeks later, we had 4 new jobs that needed doing.

Maybe sometimes you need some new blood in there to re-ignite the flame for your business?

Re: Son of Sparky? [Re: Trumpy] #195139
07/13/10 06:53 AM
07/13/10 06:53 AM
sparky  Offline OP
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,372
i quite argee Trumpy, one has got to want it, when i do realize that particular drive, it will be met accordingly

fwiw, i too have worked for the proverbial son as well. In fact, he was such a poor electrician he ironically taught me well by way of bad example(s)

i'm not about to recreate that here, living in a small town as i do, it's taken me years to build a name synonomous with 'decent electrician'

aside from using a few friends that were inbettween jobs,i generally work alone. People ask why i do, and i jokingly claim that nobody wants to put up with me, yet there's a lot of truth in that the longer i am in this trade, the more set in my ways i seem to be getting

being my apprentice would'nt be easy , not for the son or anyone else.


Re: Son of Sparky? [Re: sparky] #195162
07/13/10 11:06 PM
07/13/10 11:06 PM
HotLine1  Offline

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,089
Brick, NJ USA
I did it with 'the kid' for a few years until he decided it was time to move on. He went to a high end audio/video dealer & is doing quite $$$ well.

On the other hand, one of the ECs that I know has two (2) sons working. One passed his EC Lic and also passed the Master Plumber Lic. The second one is taking the test at end of '10 or first qtr '11. Seems to have worked well for that team; but...I'm on the outside lookin' in!

Re: Son of Sparky? [Re: sparky] #195272
07/23/10 07:24 AM
07/23/10 07:24 AM
Trumpy  Offline

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,260
SI,New Zealand
Originally Posted by sparky

fwiw, i too have worked for the proverbial son as well. In fact, he was such a poor electrician he ironically taught me well by way of bad example(s)

Yeah, I've worked with a LOT of people like that, maybe I just got jobs that.
I once saw a guy that had lived under the wing of his father try and cut through a live 400V busbar to fit a CT bug on it, with a 10" grinder and a cut-off wheel.
After he had caused the single phasing failure of about 50-odd motors in the factory, I asked him why that needed to be cut in the first place.

He replied "How else do you get the CT bug on there, you just get your gloves on and bend it (the busbar) out!!".
I just pretty much face-palmed at that statement.

I'm not about to recreate that here, living in a small town as i do, it's taken me years to build a name synonomous with 'decent electrician'

So you've pretty much run all the rats out of town? grin

being my apprentice would'nt be easy , not for the son or anyone else.

Sparky, an apprenticeship should never be easy, it gets you ready for being a thinking tradesman.
Hell, I've done two apprenticeships and sure things did annoy me at times, but not enough to have me throw the towel in.
When I started as an apprentice liney, I was up on poles stringing new wires in the snow, you have to get over that, because you will be doing that when you come out of your time.

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