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For You Younger Guys...the Old Days

 
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Old 01-03-2019, 02:37 AM   #1
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For You Younger Guys...the Old Days


It was not glamorous.

Start when the boss said to start & quit when he said so.

You were expected to roll out and be ready to work at starting time.

Usually got about 5 minutes to roll up.

If you were lucky you got a couple of 5 minute breaks.

Lunch was as long as the boss said it was.

You took a couple of frozen gallon jugs of 50/50 water/lemonade/iced tea to drink all day long.

The only things that happened on a tailgate was lunch & beer after work.

77's had no guards.

You walked top plates, beams 1 or 2 story.

If you were on the ground getting material you ran.

No safety protection of any kind.

If you got hurt you went home and put ice on it and swallowed aspirin & bourbon.

Serious injuries you got marginal care.

Virtually no such thing as stitches.

Some hydrogen peroxide, butterflies & either duct or electricians tape.

Days off were usually Sundays.

No such thing as overtime.

Hurt feelings or thin skinned the crew usually sent you down the road.

Worked rain or shine, didn't care how hot it was or how wet it was.

No excuses for pretty much anything as you were expendable.

Not in any way shape or form knocking any of you younger guys.

Just letting you know how it was.

My time frame is early to late 70's.

Perhaps for some, time has not changed much.

But for most, working conditions have changed for the better.

Hopefully there are a bunch of younger skilled carpenters that will stick with it and continue to improve our profession.
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Old 01-03-2019, 05:59 AM   #2
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Re: For You Younger Guys...the Old Days


I remember well...it was why I didn't stay in construction the first time around.

I actually went up the path to the oil field....and was a machinist. And aside from differences in the work, the environment was the same.

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Old 01-03-2019, 09:29 AM   #3
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Re: For You Younger Guys...the Old Days


And donít forget , you got hollered at ,cussed like a dog, and treated like you didnít matter at all . This is when you did good. If you didnít do good , you got sent packing

I think they liked you mad , you worked harder.
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Old 01-03-2019, 11:15 AM   #4
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Re: For You Younger Guys...the Old Days


Wasn't much better for me coming into the trades. If at all. I'm the first residential contractor I have been around that takes out taxes and has workers comp and provides company truck, shirts tools ect... in my career other than my dad when I was in high school. He's always carried comp and taken out taxes, and he didn't make any money until this second business. Low threshold for business integrity in this line of work. Have to be in the upper echelon of buyers to make money doing it right against losers who do **** the wrong way

Personally other than safety I liked the trades better when I was a kid. Better class of tradesman overall. Less illegals. Less wusses. I'm only 35, went full time out of high school at 17, and I wouldn't want to hang out with most of the people I see in the trades now. Wasn't like that just 20 years ago.

As far as walking plate ect... never came up, I stacked some roofs but luckily I have been better at layout and big picture stuff my whole career than moat people i have worked with. Always got paid a little better and never caught much **** from my bosses other than one or two onery lead guys I learned to berate from .

I've also had The Steel Square H.G. Siegele and Carpentry H.G. Siegele, Framing Walls, Floors, Roofs JLC, Rob Thallons Frame Construction on my night stand in high school. My geometry teacher was a trim carpenter who worked on trimming houses my dad framed in the summers, and I learned math (which has always been my best subject by far) in a far different way than most kids.

You take the trade serious and it will take care of you.

My grand dad who just passed was old school back to hand cutting ****, and then learning production building in the 1950s. He used to walk plates in elephant ear boots with a Marlboro red hanging out of his mouth like I walk on a sidewalk. Never take the smoke out while working, just hung there.

He didn't know any of the business stuff we talk now, gross sales, completed construction, gross profit, overhead, net profit. He ran his books out of a Composition Book. He knew you had to sell it for more than you bought it for. Worked for him longer than most people in this thread have been alive. He knew the trades though.
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Old 01-03-2019, 11:18 AM   #5
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Re: For You Younger Guys...the Old Days


Quote:
Originally Posted by Idothat View Post
And donít forget , you got hollered at ,cussed like a dog, and treated like you didnít matter at all . This is when you did good. If you didnít do good , you got sent packing

I think they liked you mad , you worked harder.
I got a line from one old lead guy I still use when someone's messing up - Whataburger hiring, but unless you get in through the Make-A-Wish Foundation I doubt you could get a job there.

Good times
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Old 01-03-2019, 12:43 PM   #6
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Re: For You Younger Guys...the Old Days


Though a lot of what Griz said still applied, I guess I was lucky to have a little more enlightened boss on my first summer in the trades. The overall theme was that injuries cost time and money so safety was actually a money maker. No, we weren't wearing hard hats and high vis in the late 80's (though that color might have been fashionable then) but our saws had guards, you weren't allowed to do anything you didn't know how to do until you were shown the right way, and though we had to hustle we were reminded to pace ourselves and do it right instead of rushing and having to do it over.
It's a lesson I try to teach the new kids.
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Old 01-03-2019, 02:11 PM   #7
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Re: For You Younger Guys...the Old Days


Quote:
Originally Posted by SPG View Post
Though a lot of what Griz said still applied, I guess I was lucky to have a little more enlightened boss on my first summer in the trades. The overall theme was that injuries cost time and money so safety was actually a money maker. No, we weren't wearing hard hats and high vis in the late 80's (though that color might have been fashionable then) but our saws had guards, you weren't allowed to do anything you didn't know how to do until you were shown the right way, and though we had to hustle we were reminded to pace ourselves and do it right instead of rushing and having to do it over.
It's a lesson I try to teach the new kids.
I got this education as well.

Work safely and efficiently, but Jesus, don't whine about putting on a harness to go up on a damn roof for two seconds. Just get that **** done. hah
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Old 01-03-2019, 04:22 PM   #8
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Re: For You Younger Guys...the Old Days


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Originally Posted by SPG View Post
Though a lot of what Griz said still applied, I guess I was lucky to have a little more enlightened boss on my first summer in the trades. The overall theme was that injuries cost time and money so safety was actually a money maker. No, we weren't wearing hard hats and high vis in the late 80's (though that color might have been fashionable then) but our saws had guards, you weren't allowed to do anything you didn't know how to do until you were shown the right way, and though we had to hustle we were reminded to pace ourselves and do it right instead of rushing and having to do it over.
It's a lesson I try to teach the new kids.
I can't remember one discussion of safety other than calling guys who were scared pussies in residential "Go hide under the bed and watch if your scared, MF" I've said that more than I care to remember.

Osha had no presence out here back then and I guess it showed.

When I was a kid my dad wouldn't let me cut without a guard so I have always used a guard, how im used to it, only time I pinned it back much was cutting tails or something in place.

Commercial was the first time I ever had a tool box talk, mostly did state projects and as a lead carpenter and super i was also responsible for saftey so i learned to think different.

Now I have a safety compliance company we order everything from and keep **** up to date.
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Old 01-03-2019, 04:29 PM   #9
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Re: For You Younger Guys...the Old Days


Looking back, my dad is probably the only guy I've ever worked around that did not have that cowboy mentality that thought you were soft if you we're overly safe. LOL. Sounds retarded now looking back but that's just how it is. I still think it in my head sometimes when I see somebody be overly cautious. It doesn't stay long and I don't say it, but it's still there. LOL

My dad never pushed people on speed, he was just very efficient and that made his crew pretty quick. But I never saw him hollering at people like a lot of these dumbasses to move faster. It is generally a leadership problem not a crew problem.

If a guy was just slow natured he just run him off. He would also tell people to pick stuff up off the ground and cut it on saw horses and stuff like that. He took safety pretty serious I guess, just not the way it is now. We didn't sit around and talk about it, you just didn't tell people to do stupid stuff LOL
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Old 01-03-2019, 08:57 PM   #10
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Re: For You Younger Guys...the Old Days


Was just telling my kid a few months ago how lucky he is now you got nail guns and everything else nowadays, we had to carry 50LB 10P nails for framing, nail sheeting, and subfloor everything by hand, doing a house of trim nailing and setting every nail with nail-set, steel cut nails driven by hand for pressure treated plates, etc. I still have my Yankee screwdriver I used to screw kitchen cabinets.
Today with guns they shoot 100 nails and they miss 75 of them
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Old 01-03-2019, 10:56 PM   #11
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Re: For You Younger Guys...the Old Days


I didn't grow up in that type of construction environment.

But I did grow up dirt ass f&^ing poor.

When I started in construction, it was as a cleanup kid. I was 14. It was my 4th job for the week.

When I was finally able to afford a couple hundred in tools, to actually get into construction, I went to a Sears and bought the bare necessities to join the IBEW. Got laughed at for my tools.

But I worked my ass off, never stood around, was never late to the job.

And when I wasn't working, I was studying. I went home and read everything I could find. As I made more money, I bought every Professional Textbook I could find, for every trade. I've learned as much on my own, as I've learned on the job.

I was fortunate to get on with a Union outfit. We did nothing but Industrial, and safety was taken very seriously. But we didn't F&^k around, either. You showed up 10 minutes early, took no more than your allotted time for breaks, worked your ass off, and went home at days end.

There was no sitting around drinking with the boys after work. There was certainly no drinking, drugs, or hangovers on the job.

I don't walk walls. Never have, never will. But I'll stand toe-to-toe with any builder out there. There are faster, or more skilled, in certain areas, but I'll back down to no one.

I also don't know many builders who also know electrical, plumbing, tile, concrete, equipment operating, can drive a truck, or have the ability to restart your heart if you code on the job site.

Only 2 things I won't do. I will not endanger my life so the owner can make a few more bucks. And I will not be yelled at.

If someone raises their voice at me, they get the courtesy of a warning. Once. But I didn't give my bosses reason to yell at me, either.

I would have liked to have worked in the boom days. But I was born too late for that. But I don't think I'm any less of a builder, because I didn't.
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Old 01-03-2019, 11:03 PM   #12
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Re: For You Younger Guys...the Old Days


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I also don't know many builders who also know electrical, plumbing, tile, concrete, equipment operating, can drive a truck, or have the ability to restart your heart if you code on the job site. :eek
I pretty well have all that covered but the last one. If you can guarantee that, you're my hero.
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Old 01-04-2019, 12:46 AM   #13
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Re: For You Younger Guys...the Old Days


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It was not glamorous.

Start when the boss said to start & quit when he said so.

You were expected to roll out and be ready to work at starting time.

Usually got about 5 minutes to roll up.

If you were lucky you got a couple of 5 minute breaks.

Lunch was as long as the boss said it was.

You took a couple of frozen gallon jugs of 50/50 water/lemonade/iced tea to drink all day long.

The only things that happened on a tailgate was lunch & beer after work.

77's had no guards.

You walked top plates, beams 1 or 2 story.

If you were on the ground getting material you ran.

No safety protection of any kind.

If you got hurt you went home and put ice on it and swallowed aspirin & bourbon.

Serious injuries you got marginal care.

Virtually no such thing as stitches.

Some hydrogen peroxide, butterflies & either duct or electricians tape.

Days off were usually Sundays.

No such thing as overtime.

Hurt feelings or thin skinned the crew usually sent you down the road.

Worked rain or shine, didn't care how hot it was or how wet it was.

No excuses for pretty much anything as you were expendable.

Not in any way shape or form knocking any of you younger guys.

Just letting you know how it was.

My time frame is early to late 70's.

Perhaps for some, time has not changed much.

But for most, working conditions have changed for the better.

Hopefully there are a bunch of younger skilled carpenters that will stick with it and continue to improve our profession.


My Gawd! I remember most of that stuff! Early 80's.


Mike.
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Old 01-04-2019, 11:28 AM   #14
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Re: For You Younger Guys...the Old Days


Anybody remember "gas 'n wax" ?
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Old 01-06-2019, 08:22 AM   #15
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Re: For You Younger Guys...the Old Days


As Griz said.

Made me remember. We had to walk the walls. One day, while the wall was lying on the sub-floor, I said, "Why don't we lay out the rafters now?" Got some remark that was yelled.
Then, then next house the boss told us to lay out the rafters before we stood the wall up. It was his idea then.
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Old 01-06-2019, 10:32 AM   #16
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Re: For You Younger Guys...the Old Days


Quote:
Originally Posted by griz View Post
It was not glamorous.

Start when the boss said to start & quit when he said so.

You were expected to roll out and be ready to work at starting time.

Usually got about 5 minutes to roll up.

If you were lucky you got a couple of 5 minute breaks.

Lunch was as long as the boss said it was.

You took a couple of frozen gallon jugs of 50/50 water/lemonade/iced tea to drink all day long.

The only things that happened on a tailgate was lunch & beer after work.

77's had no guards.

You walked top plates, beams 1 or 2 story.

If you were on the ground getting material you ran.

No safety protection of any kind.

If you got hurt you went home and put ice on it and swallowed aspirin & bourbon.

Serious injuries you got marginal care.

Virtually no such thing as stitches.

Some hydrogen peroxide, butterflies & either duct or electricians tape.

Days off were usually Sundays.

No such thing as overtime.

Hurt feelings or thin skinned the crew usually sent you down the road.

Worked rain or shine, didn't care how hot it was or how wet it was.

No excuses for pretty much anything as you were expendable.

Not in any way shape or form knocking any of you younger guys.

Just letting you know how it was.

My time frame is early to late 70's.

Perhaps for some, time has not changed much.

But for most, working conditions have changed for the better.

Hopefully there are a bunch of younger skilled carpenters that will stick with it and continue to improve our profession.
Griz,
I remember those days, although I did not frame. The young kids of today, or at least the American ones, are not going to benefit from a lesson like this. They are not going to be doing this kind of work anyways. The young ones today are looking for a ride-along, not a job that requires hard wok.
The only ones doing this kind of work are latinos. Maybe you should re-post this in espanol.
Thanks for the memories though.
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Old 01-06-2019, 03:02 PM   #17
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Re: For You Younger Guys...the Old Days


Quote:
Originally Posted by griz View Post
It was not glamorous.

Start when the boss said to start & quit when he said so.

You were expected to roll out and be ready to work at starting time.

Usually got about 5 minutes to roll up.

If you were lucky you got a couple of 5 minute breaks.

Lunch was as long as the boss said it was.

You took a couple of frozen gallon jugs of 50/50 water/lemonade/iced tea to drink all day long.

The only things that happened on a tailgate was lunch & beer after work.

77's had no guards.

You walked top plates, beams 1 or 2 story.

If you were on the ground getting material you ran.

No safety protection of any kind.

If you got hurt you went home and put ice on it and swallowed aspirin & bourbon.

Serious injuries you got marginal care.

Virtually no such thing as stitches.

Some hydrogen peroxide, butterflies & either duct or electricians tape.

Days off were usually Sundays.

No such thing as overtime.

Hurt feelings or thin skinned the crew usually sent you down the road.

Worked rain or shine, didn't care how hot it was or how wet it was.

No excuses for pretty much anything as you were expendable.

Not in any way shape or form knocking any of you younger guys.

Just letting you know how it was.

My time frame is early to late 70's.

Perhaps for some, time has not changed much.

But for most, working conditions have changed for the better.

Hopefully there are a bunch of younger skilled carpenters that will stick with it and continue to improve our profession.
Big difference is you are a baby boomer, the supply of labour was high and the demand was low. You slack on any job back then and you were cut, next kid in line takes your space.

Different story now, we're short on labour and demand is high...you gotta be a real fvck up to get canned.
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Old 01-06-2019, 05:12 PM   #18
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Re: For You Younger Guys...the Old Days


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Originally Posted by rescraft View Post
Anybody remember "gas 'n wax" ?
???
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Old 01-07-2019, 09:23 AM   #19
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Re: For You Younger Guys...the Old Days


At the age of 11 I was hauling shingles up a 40 foot ladder, the bundle weighed 80 pounds so I had to split it in half, I think I was 80 pounds soaking wet....At 15 I started framing houses in Kissimmee Florida across from the gator land Park zoo, the houses were two and three bedroom single floor And walking the plate was mandatory
(Kid you’re not going to get hurt fallen 8 feet) boy do I remember those days !

I’ve done just about every trade there is, And if you can’t take a joke you shouldn’t be in construction....Snowflakes melt in a fast environment!
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Old 01-07-2019, 09:37 AM   #20
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Re: For You Younger Guys...the Old Days


90lb roll roofing was memorable. 2 hands on the roll sitting on your shoulder, none for the ladder. Get the ladder angle right, and it's just like walking up stairs.

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