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!
Re: Why I do this job....#74043 01/10/0709:02 PM01/10/0709:02 PM
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.
Luke Clarke Electrical Planner for TVA.
Re: Why I do this job....#74044 01/10/0709:49 PM01/10/0709:49 PM
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.
I truly love what I do for a living.
Re: Why I do this job....#74045 01/10/0711:44 PM01/10/0711:44 PM
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.
Re: Why I do this job....#74047 01/11/0704:00 PM01/11/0704:00 PM
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.
Re: Why I do this job....#74049 01/11/0707:33 PM01/11/0707:33 PM
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...
Re: Why I do this job....#74050 01/11/0707:42 PM01/11/0707:42 PM