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Tricks Of The Trade For A First Year Apprentice

 
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Old 12-24-2011, 01:09 PM   #1
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Tricks Of The Trade For A First Year Apprentice


Not sure if this is in the right forum... but anyways some background info, I'm Dorian, a first year Gen. Carpenter's apprentice. I did an all-day house-building coop in highschool with the company Sal-Dan Developments Ltd. I wound up getting hired on as an apprentice straight out of highschool, and found myself on a foundations, footings, and framing crew. Now, keep in mind, before working there, i worked at Burger King, which is easy work. So upon being hired into the trade like that, with 400 free bonus starting hours on my apprenticeship, I thought I had it made.

So here's the problem I encountered. I was smacked in the face with reality when i realized how the working world works. My boss was constantly cursing me out and always yellin at me no matter how fast or hard I worked. I didn't realize that this was simply how the real world works, so I hated my job. I hated my boss and i think it showed, despite my attempt to hide it. So anyways, I had the audacity to go to the head SalDan office to try to get a crew change, and the organizer said, "This is the only crew available right now. Either be laid off or suck it up buttercup"

So basically, that brings me to my question. This summer, I'm going to apply for the Carpenter's Union. I've made alot of mistakes, and assumed that the world is picturesque and fair, but I know it's not. My question is, If I get hired, (the union is mostly commercial construction) any tips? How should I act? Should I ever try to befriend my supervisor/co-workers during breaks etc? What is most likely to be expected of me?

I had alot of pride going in, but it's time for me to humble myself and do this right. I always viewed myself as mature for my age, but I guess I was wrong. Dunno, makes me feel insecure I guess. Dont worry about going easy on me, leme know what I should do to gain the respect of my employer and fellow employees. Please


EDIT
I live in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. I chose to be laid off, the crew organizer told me that my boss (who's name is Frank Pozzebonn if anyone cares) was a jerk and that if I stayed with him I would never get anywhere, or learn anything.

I left SalDan to work for a small Finish Carpentry company named Quintinho's Carpentry. A total of 3 employees worked there, and I was Dismissed because the company's profits began to drop.

So im unemployed, doing odd jobs, waiting for the union office to open up this spring. And so that anyone who wants to know, knows, my attitude is like this:

I am optimistic. I try to smile and be friendly to people even when I'm sad or angry. I am TOTALLY willing to learn if someone has the patience to teach me. I unfortunately was blessed with ADHD. Im medicated and it helps me to focus (so im not a danger to others or a liability) but it does mean I'm rather talkative and excitable. Maybe It's hard for people to put up with me? Not too sure. But ill be frank, I couldnt hurt a fly. I'm too nice. Seriously, hard a hard time killing my first fish hahaha! I was taught to respect authority and to respect my elders, and I try to treat my superiors and parents as people, with respect. I guess you could say I'm a clean-cut kid

Last edited by Dorian; 12-24-2011 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 12-24-2011, 01:18 PM   #2
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Re: Tricks Of The Trade For A First Year Apprentice


plain and simple, screaming and cursing is not how it works!! and for what its worth (my 2 cents) you'd be better off finding a general contractor that needs a helper. If he's any good and your hungry, you'll learn much more much faster

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Old 12-24-2011, 01:29 PM   #3
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Re: Tricks Of The Trade For A First Year Apprentice


Although I don't agree with the screaming and cussing, (I just fire or lower wage), being personally responsible for your own actions will make all the screaming seem pale in comparison.

Example: You're spinning around with a 2x4 and whack the side of the bosses truck. Would you rather...A. Boss yells and screams or B. You take the bosses truck to the body shop and have the dent/scratch fixed for a cost TO YOU of $900.00.

Like I said, I don't like the screaming either and so I don't do it. I have been known to tell guys that work for me to "just go clean up the site while I fix this" and they know that I am worked up and it's best to just get a bit of distance for a moment.

My best advise would be this. Stick with it, keep your head down and arse up. Work as hard and fast as you can and limit the mistakes. I worked like a bull for many years before I learned to accomplish things with a bit more grace.
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Old 12-24-2011, 01:34 PM   #4
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Re: Tricks Of The Trade For A First Year Apprentice


Are you still employed at this company? Or did you quit/get laid off?
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Old 12-24-2011, 01:46 PM   #5
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Re: Tricks Of The Trade For A First Year Apprentice


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buttercup"
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Old 12-24-2011, 01:47 PM   #6
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Re: Tricks Of The Trade For A First Year Apprentice


In life we have many test Now pass the test or go back to burger king 20 years from now you'll see he was rightOK Buttercup
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Old 12-24-2011, 01:50 PM   #7
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Re: Tricks Of The Trade For A First Year Apprentice


Please change your user name to Buttercup We didn't give it to you your boss did
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Old 12-24-2011, 01:51 PM   #8
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Re: Tricks Of The Trade For A First Year Apprentice


Hey man, I had to google the company to find your location, but maybe if you add it to your profile, some guys on here may be able to help ya. I know there are some people here that live near you. Good luck. Cheers.
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Old 12-24-2011, 01:52 PM   #9
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Re: Tricks Of The Trade For A First Year Apprentice


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Please change your user name to Buttercup We didn't give it to you your boss did
Funny how those work nicknames just stick with ya, eh ya dirty white boy....
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Old 12-24-2011, 01:59 PM   #10
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Funny how those work nicknames just stick with ya, eh ya dirty white boy....
We could start a whole thread right there Skippy, Hollywood
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Old 12-24-2011, 02:05 PM   #11
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Re: Tricks Of The Trade For A First Year Apprentice


Sounds like your first boss was an A-hole. Yelling and screaming is not how most companies operate.

You are very fortunate to get on with the union. Just do your best, be polite, work hard. If you don't know something, ask. It's better to ask than to muck it up.

Take all the courses available. There are lots of them. Learn everything you can. The more you know, the more valuable you will be.

As an employer, I can teach the trade, but I cannot teach attitude. That's up to you. If you come with "an attitude", you won't last long.

On the other hand, if you show genuine interest and willingness, you may be surprised that a lot of guys will take the time to show you things.

And don't forget - work safe. Best of luck.
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Old 12-24-2011, 02:07 PM   #12
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Re: Tricks Of The Trade For A First Year Apprentice


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Hey man, I had to google the company to find your location, but maybe if you add it to your profile, some guys on here may be able to help ya. I know there are some people here that live near you. Good luck. Cheers.
So? Where is he?
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Old 12-24-2011, 02:25 PM   #13
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So? Where is he?
He's a few block over from you Kato Maybe you could show him a few things
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Old 12-24-2011, 02:31 PM   #14
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He's a few block over from you Kato Maybe you could show him a few things
Do you have any idea how big Ontario is? I can drive to Florida in the same time it would take me to drive out of northern Ontario.

He is about 6 hrs. north of me. He's in the real boonies.

Dorian - what local are you in and where exactly are you working? I've got a bud up there in the union. If you guys are in the same local, I'll hook you up.
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Old 12-24-2011, 02:33 PM   #15
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Re: Tricks Of The Trade For A First Year Apprentice


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Although I don't agree with the screaming and cussing, (I just fire or lower wage), being personally responsible for your own actions will make all the screaming seem pale in comparison.

Example: You're spinning around with a 2x4 and whack the side of the bosses truck. Would you rather...A. Boss yells and screams or B. You take the bosses truck to the body shop and have the dent/scratch fixed for a cost TO YOU of $900.00.

Like I said, I don't like the screaming either and so I don't do it. I have been known to tell guys that work for me to "just go clean up the site while I fix this" and they know that I am worked up and it's best to just get a bit of distance for a moment.

My best advise would be this. Stick with it, keep your head down and arse up. Work as hard and fast as you can and limit the mistakes. I worked like a bull for many years before I learned to accomplish things with a bit more grace.
It's one thing to dent the boss's truck, but my boss (before I laid myself off) was cursing and criticizing and belittling me before I had even begun working, first day. for the 3 weeks, I only messed up once, right at the end, when I shot myself in the hand with a nail gun because I was distracted by him throwing a degrading insult at me. Not overexagerating either, it was 9 hours a day of constant un-warranted criticism. I dont know if it were just a bad boss, or if that's the same with every boss out there


Edit:
OH by the way, I live in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, it's like smack dab in the middle of the 3 biggest great lakes. Population of 75,000, medium sized town.

And no, I chose to be laid off because I was tired of being disrespected. All i wanted to do was learn and do my job, get paid and go home to the family and for the 10.75/h i was getting paid i COULD go back to burger king for easier work haha. But I love working with my hands, so a dead end job like BK just doesnt do it for me D:

Last edited by Dorian; 12-24-2011 at 02:38 PM. Reason: bleh
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Old 12-24-2011, 02:42 PM   #16
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Re: Tricks Of The Trade For A First Year Apprentice


Go to college please and get a degree. If you really like the trade work on you vactions from school. Theres alot time in the trade for you but you only get one education. Dont waste your youth.
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Old 12-24-2011, 02:42 PM   #17
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Do you have any idea how big Ontario is?
I didn't But Google it and now know WoW
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Old 12-24-2011, 02:54 PM   #18
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Re: Tricks Of The Trade For A First Year Apprentice


when your starting out your gonna have to deal with a bit of that and grow some thicker skin.. you'll have guys who will scream at you all day no matter how hard you work,, these guys just like the sound of their own voice and seeing how far they can push people.

also it takes time to find a crew of guys you really get along with and work well with. for example my current company i get along great with most of the guys , of course there will be the odd bad day but thats life.. the best part of this company... the first time i got yelled at by the boss was for NOT telling him there was a slayer tribute band playing in town.. i went to the show and told him monday,, he was pissed as hes a huge slayer fan
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Old 12-24-2011, 03:00 PM   #19
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Re: Tricks Of The Trade For A First Year Apprentice


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when your starting out your gonna have to deal with a bit of that and grow some thicker skin.. you'll have guys who will scream at you all day no matter how hard you work,, these guys just like the sound of their own voice and seeing how far they can push people.

also it takes time to find a crew of guys you really get along with and work well with. for example my current company i get along great with most of the guys , of course there will be the odd bad day but thats life.. the best part of this company... the first time i got yelled at by the boss was for NOT telling him there was a slayer tribute band playing in town.. i went to the show and told him monday,, he was pissed as hes a huge slayer fan
Hahah, that's hilarious Yeah, I was able to take it for about two weeks, then it just got old. Yer right though, a thicker skin would do me wonders
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Old 12-24-2011, 03:07 PM   #20
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Go to college please and get a degree. If you really like the trade work on you vactions from school. Theres alot time in the trade for you but you only get one education. Dont waste your youth.
The education he will get to become a journeyman carpenter up here is equivelant to a college education. Usually takes four years. There is quite a bit of "book knowledge" to be learned along with the actual learning of the hand skills.

He will probably make more money when finished than someone coming out of college with a BA.

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