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This may seem like an off the wall question but....What are say the 3 MOST important things a Concrete Laborer, Excavating Laborer or Carpentar Helper (form work) should know. The reason i ask is because i hear alot of jokes about laborers being "dumb"...."or we are only good for carry things and picking up tools". I kept it to those three area's of work because that is the area's i work in. Right now i am trying to learn to read elevations but im just curious as to what you all think makes a good laborer.

And please don't say work hard or show up on time.....im looking for real world experience. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How about grammar, punctuation and spelling?
Its funny you should say that...i went to college as an english major....lol....this is just how i type...since most people don't speak in correct gramatical form do you go around correcting them?:thumbsup:
 

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General Contractor
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One thing. Try not to be a smart a$$. Try to look for the reasons behind answers you get. Ask yourself, "How can I learn or benefit from this reply?"... not, "How can I argue this point to make myself come out looking right?" One of the first men I worked for told me to stand up tall, and "quit bouncing when you walk!" I listened. Didn't like it, but I listened. It paid off.
 

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Watch, listen & learn. We have about 50-55 union laborers on the job I am on right now & more than 1/2 are just there to get a check. There are a few that really stand out & want to better themselves. If you work with carpenters learn their trade by working with them & know what to get to keep them set up & productive. If your doing excavation learn how to use a shovel to make grade & learn to work with the machine operator, learn hand signals ( very important ). I can't say it enough, use common sense, think for a second before you act & try to plan your next move. Remember the laborer is the backbone of the industry & a good labor foreman works as the right hand of the super to keep the project going. We have a few labor foreman & I usually got to them first for pretty much everything from unloading trucks to setting up a 500 yd pour. Also if you are serious learn on your own more about the type of work you are doing so you will be better informed. Education & experience can work very well together if you want them to.
 

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Crash Test Dummy
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Its funny you should say that...i went to college as an english major....lol....this is just how i type...since most people don't speak in correct gramatical form do you go around correcting them?:thumbsup:
I didn't correct anyone. You asked for three things to keep a laborer from looking dumb. I gave you three. Here's a some more:

Know the basics of the trade you are working in. Know/learn what the next step in the process is so that you can better help those that you are there to support.

Safety first-learn and practice safe working procedures

Learn how to properly set up a board stretcher. You don't want anything kicking back on you.

Positive attitude. Being a laborer, you're always going to get the sh*t end of the stick. Don't piss and moan about it. Don't let it get you down. Just do your job. You'll move up the ladder soon enough and have someone under you to abuse. :laughing:
 

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And he could have EASILY corrected you for not knowing how to spell GRAMMATICAL.......... since you set yourself up for it so perfectly. :clap::party:

As odd as it may seem, if you speak as though you are dumb... and you write the same way... you can usually expect people to tell "dumb" jokes about you.
 

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I have a good dog...he's a good dog because he's always got his eyes and ears tuned into me no matter what else is going on. As soon as he sees me give a que he's on it whatever that might be. If he sees me look at something...he looks to see what I am looking at. He is always ready and never misses an opportunity to get a pat on the head for a job well done.

He is a good worker.

Now I have to wonder...if a dog knows what to do without being told...why do I have to tell an employee how to be a good worker?
 

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As soon as he sees me give a que he's on it whatever that might be. If he sees me look at something...he looks to see what I am looking at.
:thumbsup::thumbsup:

I had a guy like that... It was like a silent machine.. we got some serious production done.. sure do miss him:sad:


Here's another one that bugs the hell out of me..

DON'T ARGUE!!!!
 

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General Contractor
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The most important things
This may seem like an off the wall question but....What are say the 3 MOST important things a Concrete Laborer, Excavating Laborer or Carpentar Helper (form work) should know. The reason i ask is because i hear alot of jokes about laborers being "dumb"...."or we are only good for carry things and picking up tools". I kept it to those three area's of work because that is the area's i work in. Right now i am trying to learn to read elevations but im just curious as to what you all think makes a good laborer.

And please don't say work hard or show up on time.....im looking for real world experience. Thanks
I’ve given you some rather cryptic replies to your original question. There’s a reason for that. Let me explain.

The whole tenor of your post, frankly, led me to question the sincerity of your desires. For instance, you began the thread with “The most important things “. You did not ask for whatever you could possibly do… You seem to want to zero in on only a few “important” things. As though you feel there are perhaps a small handful of quick fixes you could polish up on.

Secondly, you continued this line of thinking by specifying only three things… and in your view, there were to only be the3 MOST important thingsdiscussed here. If you don’t know what to do in the first place, it is a bit presumptuous to suggest that there are a certain number of things that will turn the tables for you.

Next, you spoke of specific trades. Again, as though there was some sort of magic answer to be given concerning methods or techniques that would make you shine. Well, you did get some answers along those lines, but these are but basic steps in learning any trade. They do not really address the underlying areas of the development you need to be thinking about.

The kicker wasAnd please don't say work hard or show up on time.....im looking for real world experience.Wow! Just what do you think “real world experience” is? Do you think any of us got where we are today because we found some gimmick or trick that made us into contractors? Hardly. We learned to work hard, keep our word, always be on time, resist whining and complaining. And then we learned something more important………….

We learned that when those things didn’t immediately get us what we wanted, we learned to keep right on doing them.

To get beyond being seen as just a laborer, you have to first be seen as the best laborer out there. And this means you labor. (“work hard”) And if your aspirations are toward being noticed as a cut above the average laborer, then you HAVE TO ACTUALLY BE A CUT ABOVE.

You DO NOT want to give the impression that you are too good for the job set before you. Because you are not. Not if you do not prove you are worthy of consideration for more responsibility. And you only do that by excelling where you are placed.

More than qualifications and skills, most employers prize attitude above all. And attitude does not mean “catching an attitude”. It means shutting your mouth, working hard, caring about MY job that I have entrusted you to help with.

It matters little what task you do in life. What matters is how you do it. And that entails a world of virtues that extend beyond mere technical proficiency in your job.

The secret to being a good laborer… or carpenter… or contractor… or bank president? Care more about what you are giving or delivering to other people than what you are getting for yourself.

It honestly boils down more to attitude than aptitude.
 
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Andy
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How about some things not to do.
Like don't try to catch the drop unless you are 100% positive you will not bind the blade.
If you see me carrying a piece of lumber don't grab the end to try and help, unless I ask.
Don't change my radio station.

"The only real valuable thing is intuition." Albert Einstein
 

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hurtlocker
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1 Do it before they ask
2 Have it their before they need it
3 And if you are caught up, dont stand there smoking and drinking mountain dew with your brain shut off until someone yells at you.
anticipate the next move and clean up
 

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Work hard and show up on time.
If you do that, and listen when someone tells you something, you'll get that real world experience.:thumbsup:
 

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I'm on a boat!
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1) Learn how the person you're working under works. As nailkiller said, learn to anticipate their next move and have everything set up for them.
2) Quality over speed. Speed will come with experience. If you start with speed, quality will rarely follow.
3) Listen and don't talk back. Despite what they may think, helpers rarely understand the big picture. Do what you're told to and try and learn while you're doing it.
 

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wannabe
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1. understand how to get things square 3-4-5...and corner to corner diaganols.

2. no bitching, crying or whining. don't stand around...do your job,you're only a laborer as long as it takes for you to figure out the big picture.

3. Don't talk about your education, 'cause it means sh!t...sit back, shut up and anticipate the next step.

Good luck, hopefully you're working with a teacher not a hot-head!
 
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Maker of fine kindling
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Constantly imagine yourself as the owner of the company.

Imagine you are the one everyone comes to for answers.

Imagine yourself as the guy that gets the call to do the job because you can make the whole thing happen, the whole thing, start to finish.

Then practice being that guy until you are.

There is no three most important things. They are all important things. You have got a lot of good replies here today. Try to be influenced by some of them.
 

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- Be last to break and first to leave, if you are on a roll work through the odd break without asking for compensation.
- Best way to get away from the broom is to always grab it whenever you can. Make a point of finishing your task first so you get to clean up. Help the carpenters look good by cleaning up thier work areas for them.
- Never talk negatively about any one else on the site and get into whatever music is already being played.
- Read about whatever you will be doing the night before and then share your knowledge in away that gives respect to those giving direction to you.

As a laborer you want the best carpenters to want to work with you and your boss to have faith in your work ethic. It really is more about your personality and ability to make others look good than bits and bites of technical knowledge. The best Carpenters and Operators get to pick what laborer they work with, and this comes down to personality.

Matt
 
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