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#74041 01/10/07 09:38 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Cat Servant
I spent yesterday, shovel in hand, digging a ditch. The project was to replace the badly degraded cable serving a mobile home with proper conductors in pipe.

Today, I ran my pipe (PVC BBQ anyone? [Linked Image] ), pulled my wire, hooked it all up, and everyone was happy.

Sure, there was no 'glamour.' I won't be called to Sweden to accept a prize. They won't even put up statue of me in front of city hall.

Yet, a certain fault was avoided, and a bad situation fixed. There is a certain satisfaction to finishing the job, flipping a switch, and having things work.

You don't get that satisfaction flying a desk.

#74042 01/10/07 09:56 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 176
reno - when I was out of a job and became the temporary local handyman (mainly paint, millwork, and fencing), I came upon a bad situation. A house I was working on had 3 wire outlets with only 2 wire NM, and some "smart" person decided to MacGuyver the ground by connecting a jumper from the ground screw to the neutral. The only thing is, the white wire wasn't really neutral, it had been switched halfway down the chain. Every outlet except one had a hot ground. I had grounded power tools plugged into both, and it's a miracle i didn't get shocked.

I discovered this situation when i took my no-contact citcuit tester (i forget the slang name) and it lit up almost everywhere. What's worse was it was the baby's room. I shut it off and told them to call an electrician and don't turn it on until it's fixed. (only because i'm too poor to be in a liability situation.) I feel like I saved a life, and there was no glamour or Nobel Peace Prize for Accidentally Finding a Problem. I pulled a Homer Simpson (i.e. the episode where he accidentally prevents a meltdown.) But I got the greatest prize of all.... the thanks of parents for possibly saving them and their only child at the time. Actually, i got another prize, because they named their second child Joshua Penn Saunders. And truthfully, there is no greater honor to me than all of this.

That's why us working men are so great (granted, most of you guys work harder than I do). We're not looking for medals, fame, or fortune (other than enough to provide for our families). We're satisfied by just doing our jobs.

Kudos to Reno and working men and women everywhere!

#74043 01/10/07 10:02 PM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 272
Good Topic Reno. I can relate to that feeling too, as I'm sure most others also could. Me and a few electricians installed a tailwater warning system on Chickamauga Dam 2 yrs ago. Two giant LED signs upstream and down, along with strobes and sirens. Neat feeling, after all is said and done, esp when it's dark you can spot our work from a good distance. [Linked Image]

Luke Clarke
Electrical Planner for TVA.

#74044 01/10/07 10:49 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 821
Beem me up, Reno!

There's nothing better than a satisfied customer. When a customer can sit in his/ her new outdoor jacuzzi and admire the new lighting in the yard and tell a friend of the great electrician who did the work. Yeah, that and $5,000 check makes it all worthwhile. [Linked Image]

I truly love what I do for a living.

#74045 01/11/07 12:44 AM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 356
Once somebody said:

"If you enjoy what you are doing, you never have to go to work"


Be kind to your neighbor, he knows where you live

#74046 01/11/07 12:20 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 20
Finding gratification in craftsmanship is not the thrill it used to be. It's extremely rare that anyone notices or cares these days. People are generally unwilling to pay for fine craftsmanship. It's about money these days.

I do a good job, better than most I'd say, but these days the gratification comes from counting my money. I hate to suck the fun out of this thread, but at the end of the day the only thing that really matters is the money.

Nearly every aspect of being an Electrical Contractor is a major PITA, I just need to see the money in order to delude myself into thinking I'm not wasting my time.

#74047 01/11/07 05:00 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Cat Servant
Maybe I've stumbled on something here...

Pop Stars and Pro Athletes seem to spend a lot of time jumping out and screaming "look at me!" For them, it is very important to be the "star," the center of attention.

At the other extreme, "special forces types" are content to do their jobs, and have little desire for any sort of recognition outside their own very limited circles.

When someone sees my work in ten years, I'd like their first though to be "it sure is nice to follow after a pro" ... rahter than "what was that hack thinking?"

Otherwise, I derive great satisfaction from knowing that I actually DID something, and the confidence that "my stuff works."

Indeed, it seem that we thrive on being invisible. That is, the only time our work is noticed is when something breaks .... so we're quite happy to remain anonymous.

#74048 01/11/07 07:55 PM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 228
Normally when I wire up a control panel for a card access system it is hidden away in a lan closet somewhere never to be seen again, but I take a lot of pride in my work and I think a neatly wired panel shows technical skill. I did a job at a radio station and was doing my thing with the panel when one of the engineers walked by and complimented my work, then brought one of the other guys over to show them. It was a good feeling.

#74049 01/11/07 08:33 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 52
I can relate. After four days of pulling cables in a cramped attic above a social hall for band lighting and sound controls, nothing was visible to anyone except some isolated ground outlets, some dimmers and low volt controls on small distant section of wall. Even the load outlets were hidden behind the recessed ceiling cove. I could only test my circuits before leaving and could not see any operable lights or equipment before I left. They wont be installed till next week by the "maintenance staff". Oh well... On my way out, one of the ladies stopped me and said, thanks - You are a great electrician! Knowing that she would never actually set foot in that attic to see my prideful craftsmanship, I could only scratch my head, smile and say thanks. I know I did a great job in a timely manner. Thats all that matters...

#74050 01/11/07 08:42 PM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 272
I hate to suck the fun out of this thread, but at the end of the day the only thing that really matters is the money.

I can't argue the fact about the money, however I would have to ask you what made you want to be an electrician? Was it just about the money?

Nearly every aspect of being an Electrical Contractor is a major PITA, I just need to see the money in order to delude myself into thinking I'm not wasting my time.

Well on that note, I understand that there are alot of people out in this world that don't like their jobs, guess the above is proof of that. Please correct me if I'm wrong in my assumptions.

[This message has been edited by Luketrician (edited 01-11-2007).]

Luke Clarke
Electrical Planner for TVA.

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