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#65423 05/02/06 09:52 PM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
e57 Offline OP
Went to a job yesterday to fix a few things in K&T that the boss saw.

I get there and start pouring through it all and notice that (one, some or all) 3 guys on a job had tied neutrals of different circuits together.

Half the house is in 3-wire K&T circuits. (Yes, a rare bird done in the mid 60's) And a lot of the walls are closed.....

After significant tracing I find that there are a 3-wire and 2-wire with neutrals tied together, the 3-wire circuits original neutral has been removed! (This is all modified K&T) 1/2 way through troubleshooting that, and one of the 3 gooses (the one there at the time) tells me the M.Bed AF circuit trips after I tell him to check everything. (Because I was worried about everything else I was seeing) I come to find that the AF circuit is also tied into the first mess.

So in total 3 phase A, (1 AF) 1 phase B, and 2 neutrals (1 AF).

So, I ask the one that I have on hand, "Which one of you jerks was running the show down here?" - "Uh, nobody really, we were each just doing our own thing." Come to find that this guy didn't know he was in charge!?

I had to go take myself for a little "time-out", I was about to snap!

So, tommorrow, I get all three geese together. So what would you do?

  • Can't sak 'em - we need bodies! As help is hard to find after the new certification law, all 3 "Certified"...... (Means they read english essentially... [Linked Image] Never had to worry about this with the Chinese guy I could barely understand, but did fantastic work fast, but could not take the test.)
  • The one who didn't know he was in charge, got his wings clipped today. Now, well known he was moved too far, too fast.
  • Brow-beat the bejesus out of them.... Rub nose in crapola....
  • Quietly sit them down and go over BASIC circuit design....
  • Call it "Too many cooks in the kitchen" and just deal with it.
  • Any, all or some of the above, or other?
  • Abandon ship....

[This message has been edited by e57 (edited 05-02-2006).]

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
#65424 05/02/06 10:04 PM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 524
... I'd get everybody to sit for a while in the morning and go over the job.. designate WHO is in charge of the job, make sure everyone is literally on the same page,..and delegate the work in phases to be done... yelling never does anything but raise YOUR blood pressure, and turn everyone off... Keep it positive,..maybe say,.."Ok,..things got off on the wrong foot on this job, but we're gonna work together to get it right",...then after all's said and done,... Go have yourself a STIFF DRINK,... and make me one, I'll even join you!!!... [Linked Image] [Linked Image] [Linked Image]LOL

.."if it ain't fixed,don't break a Licensed Electrician"
#65425 05/03/06 01:01 AM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 6
Junior Member
Good luck in running your business folks. I was running crews before the dot-bomb craze and really wondered about the talent pool, (California). Certified or not, you are looking at the progression of many labor and business changes.
I’ve needed to explore beyond the statelines to find competent help where “dropping a critical load” is NOT and option.

#65426 05/03/06 06:31 AM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 32
I understand your frustration, I find myself in similar situations way to often these days. I think Rat has the right idea, but sometimes I just like to throw a screaming tantrum, never seems to help much. I am spenging too much of my time these days being a marriage counsler, instructor, babysitter and referee. I'm starting to get concerned about 10 years down the road, I can't find enough competent people now. Maybe I will just get a stiff drink and join Rat!

#65427 05/03/06 08:22 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 169
Dont know if this willhelp but check out a few of us older guys who looked for a career change. Are we a fast as a 20 year old. No. Do we show up every day,on time,rarely take a day off, do not drink,smoke, while on the job. Certification is a class. I took it. We also do not cost you money. We take care of tools and above all if in doubt we call someone for the answer.If i did the things that happened to you id be gone and i know it

#65428 05/03/06 11:27 AM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 32
Already tapped that group, some of my best guys, rock steady men. Maturity counts for a whole lot. I'm just worried about the lack of young faces.

#65429 05/03/06 02:28 PM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 25
You must understand I supervise in a factory. An equivalent mistake here would be three written warnings witha shop stewart present for un-craftsme=an like work. It's ok to make mistakes just make sure you find it before I do.

#65430 05/03/06 07:49 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 193
I'm just worried about the lack of young faces.

You know, I really don't think this should concern anyone. Being in an apprenticeship I have seen many "young" people come and go. I really don't think this trade is for very many young people straight out of highschool.

Very few of the highschoolers have hung on in our class. The rest of us are a little more traveled and understand where this can take us, with the proper training.

Personally I think it takes time to mature and appreciate this trade for what it is.

"If common sense was common, everyone would have it"-not sure, someone here

#65431 05/03/06 08:58 PM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
e57 Offline OP
Sat down with the brothers (Really, they are related type brothers) and gave them one of my hand-outs.
Then some basic circuit design.....

And questioned them both on the goings on.... Found out a lot about how the job went!

The 2 of them are "rope-pullers" from the speculative side of the trade, and from way out in the boonies. They only come so far to the city for the higher wages. But they are just that, "rope-pullers" with State issued Certification cards, that say "Journeyman" on them. Niether makes any bones about what they know either, which is not much. They probhably learned more today than they have in thier five years of doing the same things over and over again in open framing on low ball contract work.

Apparently, they kept asking about how things were supposed to be, and got answers like "yeah, sure, fine..."

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

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