20 August 2008

Today was a joke.


Immediately upon coming in to work I was told I had to go up and build a structural support so I can strap an MC cable that someone else ran yesterday. All yesterday I'd been going between all these floors to build supports, restrap, reroute, stablise, whatever, everything having to do with the major conduit run that goes up several floors. It's to the point that we had to check every screw in every coupling because some weren't even hand-tight. Plus, I've had to do this without some of the proper tools or material. I was fortunate to have an apprentice with me for nearly all of Monday, however. So anyway, even though building the support was simple, I was so completely pissed off that it wasn't done to begin with. Quite clearly, the NEC (National Electrical Code) states how far apart cable and pipe must be strapped. In fact that info is pretty well drilled into even 1st year apprentices' heads. And it's not as if the strap was off by inches...if it'd been strapped at 6'3" rather than 6', then whatever. Might be able to fudge it a little. But 14'?? Ridiculous.

Shortly after that I got back to my demo work...I have to remove all the conduit on a particular floor. Rumour is, we didn't get the contract for that area but I really don't know. I just know it all comes down. Perhaps an hour after break, my foreman calls me on my phone, thisclose to screaming that the inspector is up on one of the upper floors and he found loose screws in the coupling so I better get my ass up there right now. Which I did, and it's what caused my next issue.

As I contemplated running up several flights of stairs I saw the manlift come up to my floor and stop. I waited as patiently as I could while carts and boxes were loaded into the lift, then the operator asked if anyone else was going up. I answered yes. He asked again. I answered louder. He started closing his gate when I yelled out, right in front of him, "Hey! Going up!" He yelled back at me "Well where the hell do you think you're gonna stand?" I pointed out the expanse of empty space right next to him, then he rolled his eyes and closed the gate, going up. I turned and cursed (somewhat loudly) in my frustration. He stopped and started coming back down, screaming at me. I really didn't care, I was halfway up my first flight of stairs. When I got up to the proper floor, I saw Papa G--my general foreman--talking with the inspector. Papa G looked at me and told me it had already been taken care of but "when I say check every screw, that means fucking check every goddamn screw". Ouch.

I headed back down to talk to Jay, my foreman. He told me this is my first real taste of being a journeyman: something goes wrong, he gets his ass reamed by Papa G, then Jay reams my ass. I don't get to ream anyone's ass. It's never the apprentice's fault so long as it's not on purpose or maliciously done. And really I don't know who missed a screw but it was missed nonetheless, and as a journeyman, it's my fault no matter what. Damn.

Then, on top of all that, someone kept unplugging my scissorlift so its pretty much dead, and they weren't even unplugging it to use my cord, they were unplugging it and leaving the cord nicely coiled next to it. Assholes.

At very least, today is my third wedding anniversary and Tannah made reservations at Panevino. Neither of us have been there but he heard it was really nice, a restaurant and lounge and supposedly they're known for their wine. Actually, I should start getting ready so I'm not rushed later. My hope is that this night will totally make up for the hellacious day I had today.

1 comment:

rebturtle said...

What? Apprentices have no responsibility for their actions? I understand the trickle-down effect of ass-chewings, but they shouldn't stop until they hit the responsible party. If your crew is doing work that sloppy, you shouldn't be the one going back (alone) to fix it, and that is also something that reflects on the QC of the foreman running the crew.

I know this is stuff you already know. It's a sympathy rant. I'm well aware that the production crews steam ahead without ever having to slow down and look back. They get paid less, and are usually less widely skilled. They are financially efficient at doing repetitious things quickly.

We, on the other hand, are widely skilled, and are called upon in instances like this because we can be counted on without supervision to do the job right every time. We can also troubleshoot, read prints, and field engineer on the fly.

I am soooooo with you.

These are the kinds of days I don't miss about commercial work.

Happy anniversary!!!