Alpha Dog: The Power of Direct Communication

Today was a stellar day at the job site. I wired fluorescent lamps, then flicked the switch and saw light emanate from the new fixtures. This is the magical part of being an electrician! A glamorous achievement? Probably not; but magical, in my opinion: yes yes yes! It was a reminder of why I was drawn to this trade. For a first-term apprentice, this moment of satisfaction is a rare one.

My journeywoman was looking out for me. Despite her blustery, gruff exterior, she has always been gracious (in her own way) in looking out for me; and I wish I could figure out how to express my appreciation to her. Today, she pointed out the semi-protected panels I should avoid, then she barked me into a “non-live” work area away from the panels. Read the rest of this entry »


40 Days Old

On Friday, I celebrated my 40th day as an apprentice electrician. I’ve come a long way in the last eight weeks! I’ve logged 324 hours on my first job site. I’ve gotten stronger, more comfortable on ladders, more confident drilling into concrete and more proficient in installing everything just right. Sure, I’ve screwed up and made some mistakes; and it takes me a bit longer to complete something I’m doing for the very first time. My mistakes have been mostly minor and have warranted a decent razzing from my co-workers, and I’ve taken it all in stride. They told me some of the blunders they made as a first term apprentice and at one point, I was crying because I was laughing so hard. I’ve been chewed out twice and forgiven – or so I thought – twice. Read the rest of this entry »