Pack Your Own Parachute

I’m about four months old as a first term electrician apprentice and so far, I’ve experienced six different job sites and at least 18 fellow electricians (most of whom are experienced journeywomen/journeymen). I’m grateful to my shop’s construction manager for shifting me around like this because I’m getting a good taste of work styles, material lay-out and personality types. Also, I get really nervous when arriving to a new job and new crew and being moved around like this has helped me relax and gain confidence when jumping into a new site.

Most journeymen (journeywomen) have been really generous with their advice.  One thing I hear frequently – and it surprises me – is, “You are responsible for your own safety!”  Read the rest of this entry »

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What is that Smell?

It started this week: a smell that followed me. It was like rotten feet, with a tinge of mildew and every time I got a whiff of it, I almost gagged. Even though we work in sweaty, dirty conditions, I make sure I wear clean clothes every day and I shower each morning before work. For a while, I thought it was my co-worker who smelled so awful. It hit me full force one afternoon when I was taking my hard hat off: the culprit was my sweatband! I never knew an 8″ x 1.5″ strip of cloth could get so nasty so quickly. I’ve invested about $5.00 in a remedy: two washable and removable cotton sweatbands. The first has been installed, and the second is on stand-by because I’m certain each of these will get thrown in the washing machine frequently. Removing the old sweatband was a blast for the nasal passages! It went straight to the outside garbage bin. I can’t wait to wear my new (clean!) hard hat next week.

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