Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Today I feel the need to rant for a bit, so consider yourselves warned...

Today at work I was having an average day. My apprentice was constantly swearing and getting really angry over very small and common issues. He is like this most days. I am usually a very happy person and quite laid back. It takes quite a bit to get me stressed or upset and it is especially difficult to make me mad. Today, I was mad! I can remember how many times in my life I have felt this particular emotion and today's occurrence brings the total up to 5. I won't go into the other times in this blog, as at this point they would only divert from my rant. So anyways, we had two houses to do today, but we also had someone else's apprentice helping us as her journeyman is on holidays this week. She is a very experienced apprentice and has been doing electrical for nine years. She is also a very happy person. Having her work with us today was like a breath of fresh air for my soul! It was so nice to have a bit of joy and happiness at the workplace. It really made me realize just how stressed out my current apprentice makes me. So here's the deal with my apprentice, he is unfortunately my boss's nephew. His uncle gave him this job as a sort of second chance in an effort to get his nephew's life back on track. This apprentice has worked with me before at this company. It was around 3 years ago. He thought it was too difficult so after a couple of weeks, he up and quit. His uncle was quite unimpressed. After he quit he apparently got into a bad crowd and did lost of drugs and partied a lot. After he hit rock bottom he begged his uncle for a second chance and he got it. He worked with a few different journeymen at first but only lasted 3 days at the most before the journeyman complained about him and then he got switched to me. He has now been with me for just over 4 months. The shop asked me if I would do them a favor. I said sure, they then proceeded to ask me to train this apprentice since I have quite a bit more patience than most other Journeymen at our shop. So I agreed to try to train him. It turns out that his short term memory is pretty much pooched from all of the drugs that he's done. What should normally take a few days to teach someone is a matter of a few weeks for this apprentice to learn. It has been very trying but I have been giving him an honest effort.

So today he starts off a bit grumpier than usual but the three of us all are working hard. There was just a few things to finish up in the basement so I got my apprentice to do them while me and the other apprentice got a start on the next house which was right next door. This way we could get the lights done quickly since Adam doesn't know how to do lights yet, this seemed like a good idea. Also the houses were quite small so this way we would stay out of each other's way more. While I'm building lights and the other apprentice was installing them, my apprentice came over and basically said that he thought I was being lazy and not doing much work. He said this within earshot of the other apprentice. This made me really mad because I am quite a hard worker and there are many people at my work that will vouch for that. In this particular house we had run into a number of problems that required fixing. Most of those fixes took quite a while to do and my apprentice for some reason thought that I had just sat downstairs doing nothing. He also said that the reason that I was being lazy was because we had a third person with us today. This also made me really mad, because whenever I work with other people I work especially hard so that they don't have to do as much. So I kinda said a few choice words to him and he said some back. Then I was quiet and just ignored him for quite awhile, while I finished building lights. Then I went back to the basement that my apprentice had finished and I pretty much had to redo the whole thing because it was so sloppy and there were so many basic mistakes! He's done many basements and this one wasn't anything special. For instance, he ran the wire for the furnace (which came from the ceiling above the furnace) down in front of the furnace then around the hot pipes and the rest of the furnace in a big loose loop, then down to the floor with a few more loops of wire and then finally up to the switch on the wall, with no staples or straps! This is HUGE!!! You ALWAYS strap or secure your wire and you never leave any on the floor! He knew that! That basement was so full of mistakes that was there for over an hour just re-doing what he had done! It was ridiculous! He tries to tell me how to do my job! BAH!!!!

As I kept ignoring him and kept trying to come up with a decent way of handling the situation, he sort of apologized in that he said that he was sorry for hurting my feelings, that's not what he meant to do. He just calls things like he sees them. I had a few smart replies to this in my head but I kept them in there. His apology didn't really seem very sincere to me. My theory is that he realized that I was pretty mad and that I was probably going to talk to my boss about it and he doesn't want to upset his uncle again. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it. I am still going to talk to the shop about it and I'm going to let them know that I am at the end of my patience with him and that I don't want to work with him much longer. We'll see if anything happens, but I doubt it. The shop is pretty slow with apprentice complaints. I know that's pretty pessimistic of me but from what I've seen I think it's pretty realistic.

There! I'm done ranting! Sorry about that, but I needed to get that off of my chest, so that I could calm down and sleep tonight. On a lighter note, I recorded a video of Emma and I reading Mr Brown can moo, can you? and I'll be putting it on the videos tab, hopefully in the next few days. I'm having some problems with it right now. I did manage to get some new pictures of Emma up in the photos tab though! I hope it'll give you a smile before you leave my blog! I hope you all have a great week!


Emily Garvin said...

That sucks, Russ. One person can really alter the mood of a work environment and it sounds like this guy is a lot to handle.

Coralee Schindel said...

Sounds like Gods just refining your character Russ. I never would have been able to hold in my thoughts with the apology he gave. So that in itself, and the fact that you have handled his in-competencies this long is incredible. I would pray and proceed. Perhaps God will use His Holy Spirit to throw cold water on your boss (through you, lol) and wake them up! Whats it going to take? A house burnt to the ground for them to clue in he is not right for this job!