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Coming up in the trades... #50895
04/14/05 09:03 PM
04/14/05 09:03 PM
trollog  Offline OP
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 276
San Diego California USA
The humble pie post a few posts back got me thinking along a different line... what sort of hazing and abuse
did you have to put up with from those above you in age or experience while you
were coming up in the trade? In hindsight was it a good thing or bad? Anyone
think there might be a correlation between declining interest in the trades
overall with the kinda bullsh*t that the young and up-and-coming in the trades
are required to submit to as an accepted matter of course, and "just take it",
as delivered by the hands of those above them in years and experience?

Or, maybe the trades are just one of the few industries where different age
groups mix together (one doesnt find many 20ish types who are CEO's or senior
members of large corporations.. mostly they are peers- all 60ish old men who
more or less have most things in common) Maybe it is the wide spread of ages/
experience you find in the trades, having to work side by side that accounts
for some of the hard-ass, sometimes demeaning and surly culture and roughneck
style of passing along knowledge acquired through years of hard experience to
the younger set. It seems to be deeply ingrained in all the trades. I don't
mean to be a whiner, I am just curious how others might see

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Re: Coming up in the trades... #50896
04/14/05 09:29 PM
04/14/05 09:29 PM
sierra electrician  Offline
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 219
North Fork, CA USA
My first big project as an apprentice was salted by union labor. One individual (foreman) took all my tool that were not Klien and threw them over the back fence into a canal. I then kicked his @$$, got fired and wound up with a better job. I'd bet he never touched anyone's tools after that.

BTW I am not anti-union. If it was stronger in our area I'd probably be in it.


Re: Coming up in the trades... #50897
04/14/05 10:09 PM
04/14/05 10:09 PM
e57  Offline
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
I picked up the Trade in the Mother of all hazing associated organizations, the Marine Corps, and there is no way I could legally get away with half of the stuff I put up with, or morally would I think of doing so.

For instance:
Pull up ground rods, to make sure its all there. Then put them back down.
Push-ups for every degree off on bends.
"Straighting" un-used bends.
End-less inventories, and inspections.
Memorizing the complete operational describtions, and schematics for entire generators.

Someone gave me the line strecher gig once, and I came back with one... I came back with a line grip, and a come-along. It STREACHED WIRE! (It also went from #8 - #10 solid in the prosess.

And I almost fell for this once... I was asked to get a (Here write this down) I-D-10-T, from the tool shed.

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
Re: Coming up in the trades... #50898
04/15/05 06:09 AM
04/15/05 06:09 AM
Spaceman  Offline
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 11
About the only thing I remember from that time was a supervisor who thought it funny to shake my ladder. I thought it funny to drop tools in response. Seemed fair at the time.

Re: Coming up in the trades... #50899
04/15/05 07:12 AM
04/15/05 07:12 AM
Dnkldorf  Offline
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,064
nowhere usa
e57, that's too funny.

Ex-Air Force here.

I hated being a "pinger".

Although we didn't have the physical punishment you guys go through, we had the head games that mentally frustrated you.

The funniest, for all you out there to enjoy, was the one day, and I mean all day, of getting in bed, and getting out of bed, in 30 seconds.

This entails the whole flight "group of trainees" getting tucked in bed, and then when the drill instructor announces wake-up, the whole flight has to get up, get dressed in your fatigues, and run downstairs to get in formation. There was about 40 guys to a flight. All that in 30 seconds. If you didn't make it, it was upstairs to make your beds by military standards, inspections, get back into bed, and wait for the signal.

This may not seem like much, but after 8 or 10 hours of this, you want to kill the slow guys.

Re: Coming up in the trades... #50900
04/15/05 07:14 AM
04/15/05 07:14 AM
Ron F  Offline
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 14
Bergen co.N.J
How about working on the 15th floor and sending the new guy down to the basement to find the u-bulb bender. Hey, how do you think we bend those 4 ft flouresents bulbs.
I always got a chuckle out of it when I heard some poor kid asking where he can find the u-bulb bender.

Re: Coming up in the trades... #50901
04/15/05 08:13 AM
04/15/05 08:13 AM
cvelectric  Offline
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 30
When I started in the late '70s the company I worked for had the tradition of giving all green helpers "greenies" a pink belly . When my turn came I gave them such a hard time it took about 8 of them to hold me down, once they caught me, and it did not last long as I put up such a struggle. Looking back it seems that it was a "right of passage" and laugh every time I think of the fight I put up. I don't think this kind of thing would happen much these days. I always liked the idea of somehow being accepted by my coworkers sort of being part of the club. Not sure pink bellies are the way to do this though.

Re: Coming up in the trades... #50902
04/15/05 01:33 PM
04/15/05 01:33 PM
Alan Belson  Offline
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,803
Mayenne N. France
Mostly as a young 'sprog' at work in my teens I remember those stupid "long weight" jokes (or worse, like a handfull of moly-grease shoved down your shorts, or 'engineers' blue' on your lathe- controls), so beloved by the older workers. One that sticks in my mind- in my 3rd or 4th year they started a new apprentice- this boy was 15, a true 'cockney' from that small area close to Bow in East London. He was sent to the local Engineers store early one morning to buy a "new bubble for a spirit-level". He returned very late afternoon, within minutes of clocking-off time. The Foreman went ape. "Where the bleedin' 'ell you bin all day?!" The little 'cockney-sparrer' then reeled off an enormous list of all the shops he'd been to searching for the elusive bubble. (Actually, he'd been to an all-day cartoon cinema, the crafty sod.) The biter got bit!

Wood work but can't!
Re: Coming up in the trades... #50903
04/15/05 03:47 PM
04/15/05 03:47 PM
Celtic  Offline
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 361
I have been quilty of "hazing"...and will continue to be "guilty" - the degree of haze depends on the individual's own personality, or lack thereof.

Some of the easy favorites are sending the newb for:
- a "bucket of steam"..helps if the pipe fitters are the same job; they will "assist" by sending the newb all over the bowels of the property

- A "henway" (actually a hen "WEIGH")...the oldtimers in the tool/material crib get special pleasure from this...
Newb: What's a henway?
Oldtimer: A hen weigh?
Newb: yeah
Oldtimer: I dunno..3 - 5 pounds

- A sealtight newb was ping-ponged for quite awhile on this;
Crew: we need a 4: sealtight coupling
Newb: Ok
Newb walks 1/2 mile to material lock up
Newb: I need a 4" sealtight coupling
Material man: You want that set-screw or threaded
Newb: lemme check
Newb walks a 1/2 mile back to crew
Newb: Setscrew or threaded
Crew: Set screw
Newb walks 1/2 mile back to material lock-up
newb: they said set screw
Material man:..sorry only better find out if that's's kind of heavy to carry back and forth
..and so on

Needless to say, the owner was amused by the shenanigans.

- using a roll of duct tape to completey wrap up someone's tool belt AND tools

- shooting(Hilti DX) a lunch box to the deck

Far too many to list...

~~ CELTIC ~~
...-= NJ =-...
Re: Coming up in the trades... #50904
04/15/05 08:02 PM
04/15/05 08:02 PM
e57  Offline
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
There is no hazing treatment that can compare to becoming a "Shellback"! BAR NONE! For those who have done it, may never be the same. For those who were never Marines, Sailors, or in any other ship borne service. It goes like this........ All who have not already "Shellbacked", "pollies" get to dress like women, or what-ever you get forced to wear if the proper clothing is unavailable, and crawl through the worst slop available on-board as you cross the equator. People have saved stuff up for the occassion. Its not nice! And that is only part of the initation.... Its a 24 hour affair led by Captain Nemo. If you get chosen for the bilge tank races, remember, everyones a winner, cuase youll keep doing it until you win. Even if you didn't beat all 30 or so people in the 30 or so races before, you will win when theres no one left to beat. And if you do shellback, make sure that corner gets torn of the page in you record, or you will do it again!

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
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