I've just mentioned over in the Non-US Area that my influence as a Line Mechanic was Ron Irving who recently passed away. Who gave you your "legs" as far as being an Electrician goes?. Mentors should not be forgotten, after all they got you to where you are now. Your thoughts and comments please.
As far as experience during my apprenticeship as an Electrician goes, I hand it all to a Dutch guy Willem, he taught me things I would not normally have learned with a New Zealand Electrician. Likes of with conduit work and his conduit spring (sort of like a fish tape). I bought one myself and boy is it handy. Amazing what you learn at work.
A Senior Chief in the Navy. He helped me rewire a chaff rocket launcher on the destroyer I served on. As my four years were winding down in the navy he showed me how to read electrical blueprints and basic wireing skills. Wish more electricians had the people skills he had. I miss him a lot and should have taken his advice 25 years ago. He was a great guy.
Short....local County Vo-Tech with some great instructors, and a 'few' EC's & Journeymen, and a lot of reading. I wish I could classify a person or two as "mentors", but I have to say it was basically all of those whom I have worked with & for over the years
BTW, as I have said in the past, this site, and it's "members" have extensive knowledge that we all share.
My most influential mentor was my grandfather. He was the perfect example of my comment in the career thread about having a lot of cards in your wallet. He entered the depression with an auto workers card, a IBEW card, a steel worker card, a carpenter card and sales skills. He never lost a day's work. He is the guy who taught me most of my basic skills and the importance of learning new skills whenever I could. Later when I was in the Navy and Coast Guard my mentors were anyone who knew something I didn't. It's amazing how much you can learn if you ask questions and actually listen to the answer. Put the emphasis on the listening part and folks well tell you everything they know.
My best friend from H.S. became an apprentice shortly after graduation, and finally talked me into it a couple years later. It was not an easy road for me, as I also worked as a "helper" in a machine shop at the same time. ....actually I swept the floors but he persevered...so I eventually quit the second job and stuck it out.
that was a long time ago and I have never looked back with any regrets, only because my buddy Orest wouldn't let me screw up !
I agree that we need to listen to others, simply because you never know who you are dealing with
I'd have to say it was a combination of people. I enlisted in the Navy to be an electrician with the Seabees and that's where I got my start. During my first year of military service, I got called up for active duty in Saudi Arabia. I worked at a fleet hospital in Al-Jubail. It was there where I got a real appreciation for the trade. Not that I knew much about it back then, but it was there that I realized how great an invention electricity was and how great a trade it is. The one thing I do remember learning was how a GFCI worked.
Several have made me what I am today as far as the trade goes. Lemme put them in order...
Mr. Opperman, taught therory and trouble-shooting in Marine Corps Engineer School. A bland and dry man, but made the complicated very simple. A great quality in a teacher.
Don Olsan, 300+LBS gave orders from the entrances to crawl spaces and attics, knew the easy way to do everything, everything that wasn't easy I had to do, but would give good clear instruction on how to do it. "Doing is learning - watching is not." Also knew the buissiness end well.
Joe Hayes, (Uncle Joe) well into his sixies at the time (over 10 years ago - and still working!) taught me that it's not just electrical its craftsmanship.
Kieron S. "WORK HARDER-FASTER" - "You do great work, just wish you do more of it - you're sacked. But Tom in the truck across the street needs a guy like you." Learned alot about production..... Very usefull knownledge when in a pinch.
Tom (Same guy above) taught me to run crews, and organize large jobs. Also on several occasions ended up in the drunk tank with him and the rest of the crew....
Mark Heller "Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
My dad taught me the basic principles of electricity, and under his supervision I started my first house wiring adventures at the age of 6. Of course his DIY training didn't cover the last finesse of code, but it got me interested and I got a very good basic picture.