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  • Fwd: Some Quality Advice...

    Originally Posted by Jimmy_Plumbob
    Hello there Rick!
    My name is James, im 22years old, all the way from little New Zealand, and I have just found this forum which is really handy I must say. Anyway why I chose to send you an email was Im wanting to ask an expert for some tips.
    Im into my second year of my apprentiship here, and enjoy the work. The way its set up for apprentices here is usually done through a training organisation otherwise known as a "ito". They place you in different companys every so often which does have its ups and downs. I will get used to one companys style and work ethics and get along with the other employee's, and secondly its a good way to get a variety. But then it seems each time im starting again and not progressing, sort of like im new everytime.
    What im really wanting to know is how to be a good apprentice, I dont make a heap of mistakes but Im wanting to prove to these guys that I can do it too! And want to know what I should carry in the back of my mind. Im crazy about finishing anything I begin, and if I can learn a trade ill be very happy. It just seems hard to get my head around it now, like im going nowwhere in terms of that progression! Im guessing your've been plumbing for a while now, well hopefully, and have some good pointers that will im sure steer me in the right direction!
    Thankyou so much for anything you might suggest, I just want to be a good apprentice!
    Thanks Rick

  • #2
    Re: Fwd: Some Quality Advice...

    Originally posted by Jimmy_Plumbob View Post
    Originally Posted by Jimmy_Plumbob
    Hello there Rick!
    My name is James, im 22years old, all the way from little New Zealand, and I have just found this forum which is really handy I must say. Anyway why I chose to send you an email was Im wanting to ask an expert for some tips.
    Im into my second year of my apprentiship here, and enjoy the work. The way its set up for apprentices here is usually done through a training organisation otherwise known as a "ito". They place you in different companys every so often which does have its ups and downs. I will get used to one companys style and work ethics and get along with the other employee's, and secondly its a good way to get a variety. But then it seems each time im starting again and not progressing, sort of like im new everytime.
    What im really wanting to know is how to be a good apprentice, I dont make a heap of mistakes but Im wanting to prove to these guys that I can do it too! And want to know what I should carry in the back of my mind. Im crazy about finishing anything I begin, and if I can learn a trade ill be very happy. It just seems hard to get my head around it now, like im going nowwhere in terms of that progression! Im guessing your've been plumbing for a while now, well hopefully, and have some good pointers that will im sure steer me in the right direction!
    Thankyou so much for anything you might suggest, I just want to be a good apprentice!
    Thanks Rick
    Jimmy Plumbbob,

    First off I'm not Rick, but I am a plumbing foreman.

    Second, you are not emailing Rick, you are posting on a discussion forum. That means anyone can respond. If you want private advice from Rick you need to email or private message him (which this forum provides access to).

    But I'm going to answer your question,because I figure anyone who wants to be a plumber so bad they are willing to seek advice from foreigners on the internet must be at least partially on the ball.

    1) Understand that you are not going to be a plumber over-night, next week, next year, the year after that, the year after that, the year after that. So don't get too impatiant.

    2) Keep your mind open to all journeymen you work with. Pay particular attention to your foreman's advice. There is a reason why he's foreman, but he will probably have little time to instruct you himself. So when he does say something important to you, listen.

    3) Don't be afraid to research and read on your own. Read your local code book, read any book you can on plumbing, piping, and construction in general, read the posts on this forum. Post on this forum when you have a question.

    4) Take on the challenges. When a job is hard, take it on, that's where you learn.

    5) Don't be afraid of any responsibility your forman gives you, you will screw up alot of it, that's how you learn.
    the dog

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Fwd: Some Quality Advice...

      dog, this was my advise at 2:00 am this morning. as you can see from his private message to me, i suggested jimmy to share this post with everyone on the forum for their views, alon with mine. so jimmy was doing what i suggested, just like a good apprentice this was my 2am answer:

      jimmy, sort of the same way i went through apprenticeship back in 1981-84. every 6 months the union was suppose to send you to a different shop to gain experience in all the different fields. problem was the company wants to keep the good ones and you stay with the co. until they run out of work. mine was from 81-93 till they closed. they started in the 40's. i think it's a good idea to swap shops as an apprentice. it will give you the different areas of expertice. you don't want to keep doing the same thing. there is a whole lot more to plumbing than what 1 shop is teaching you.

      this would be a good question for the rest of the forum. i would like to see you post this on the open forum.

      rick.
      phoebe it is

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Fwd: Some Quality Advice...

        Jimmy,

        Your decision to reach out beyond your time on the job shows your passion for your trade.I commend your thirst for knowledge.

        When I started in the plumbing trade I stayed with shops until they were done with me.I picked up and carried some characteristics that could have been more refined.It probably would have been better for me to have worked more qualified craftsmen,this is a view of hindsight totaling 23 years.

        Be patient if you can,there is a lot to learn.Both Dog & Rick's advice is golden.You may find yourself outgrowing your current daily work atmosphere,but still pay attention,you can be suprised from time to time with what you can learn from what might seam to be a dead end.Even if it is to be there the day when a person like myself cuts himself wide open so you can learn to be cautious

        Read as much as you can of this forum.Read back through a year or so.I started reading here in febuary -07,these guys have re-ignited my faith in the best craftsmanship one can offer.

        Good luck Jimmy_plumbob.Stay close if you can.

        adam

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Fwd: Some Quality Advice...

          Jimmy, I am not a plumber, but before retirement, I was a construction superintendent. My advice to you, besides what the Dog and Rick and the others have said, is to pay attention to other trades as you learn yours. A good understanding of how plumbing needs to interact smoothly with the other trades will make your job easier and will make the whole project go better. Good luck and keep on piping.
          Jim

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Fwd: Some Quality Advice...

            All of these guys have given excellent advice. I wish I could find an apprentice that has your enthusiasm. These kids around here spend more effort trying to get out of work than doing it! If you want to learn from me you have to follow a few simple rules:

            You show up EVERY day on time at 6:30 ready to work tools in hand and a smile on your face. I don't care you went out last night with the guys and drank too much.

            Plumbing is not a spectator sport. I won't bite your head off for doing it wrong but I will if you just watched me do it and you still did it wrong

            If you don't know the answer ask me. If the customer asks you a question you don't know, don't make something up. Look them in the eyes and say "I don't know" but I will find someone that does.

            If you break something, for gods sake please tell me and not try to cover it up with lies.

            At the end of a long hard day don't complain about the sewer stoppage we are going to. It may look and smell like sh*t to you but it's our bread and butter

            If I catch you stealing from me or anyone else I will hurt you and then turn you in.

            I'm on my 5th helper this year...wonder why?

            BTW where do you all find new help?? I'm all tapped out

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Fwd: Some Quality Advice...

              Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
              dog, this was my advise at 2:00 am this morning. as you can see from his private message to me, i suggested jimmy to share this post with everyone on the forum for their views, alon with mine. so jimmy was doing what i suggested, just like a good apprentice this was my 2am answer:

              jimmy, sort of the same way i went through apprenticeship back in 1981-84. every 6 months the union was suppose to send you to a different shop to gain experience in all the different fields. problem was the company wants to keep the good ones and you stay with the co. until they run out of work. mine was from 81-93 till they closed. they started in the 40's. i think it's a good idea to swap shops as an apprentice. it will give you the different areas of expertice. you don't want to keep doing the same thing. there is a whole lot more to plumbing than what 1 shop is teaching you.

              this would be a good question for the rest of the forum. i would like to see you post this on the open forum.

              rick.
              Rick,

              If you are offering advice to apprentices at 2:00 AM you are even more disturbed then I thought.

              Rick, spend more time with Mrs. Seatdown, sleeping, etc.

              Get Better.
              the dog

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Fwd: Some Quality Advice...

                Thanks for advice so far, its really good for outside advice from you guys. The guys over here dont really take a heck of alot of there time to explain stuff, so im usually stumped......And it seems like they flipp out if you keep asking questions (not the same ones), but I do anyway
                Cheers again, keep the suggestions flowing! Thanks a heap

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Fwd: Some Quality Advice...

                  6) Don't be afraid to ask intelligent questions...and expect helpful answers. By the same token do not pester people with questions that you should know the answers to already.

                  I tried to learn at least one thing form each journeyman I worked with. I figured that everyone of them had at least one thing in them that they did well, and I wanted that piece for my bag of tricks to use until I found something better. I had a couple who were worthless when it came to teaching an apprentice, they knew their trade, but they either did not want to pass on what they knew (saw newcomers as a threat to their livelihood) or did not care to (had no interest in perpetuating the trade).

                  I got moved around a lot because I asked to be moved so I could learn new things and found the same pros and cons as you. But I made the best of it and luckily each job offered new chances to learn or improve my skills in some particular area of the trade. Even on a big job that lasted 18 months I asked the GF to move me every 6 months so I could learn something new. Usually he would accommodate my request when he could within a week or two.
                  ---------------
                  Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                  ---------------
                  “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                  ---------
                  "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                  ---------
                  sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Fwd: Some Quality Advice...

                    I`m a 28 year apprentice I have worked with the worst all the way to the best. I have learned something from all of em, even the worst plumbers. I`v been everything from a ditch digger to doing the work of a master plumber. I still to this day read everything I can and I`m even taking a test tonight as I signed up at PCDI (online schooling) to keep my brain learning and open to what I already knew. I`m working with a master plumber from time to time and I`m learning more then I ever thought I could. You never stop learning and if you do your DONE. Keep pounding the ground and stop, look, listen and watch what others do and you`ll learn a great deal more then you ever thought you would. BTW I`m gonna take my Journeyman test soon, I think I`v been an apprentice long enough....lmao
                    Last edited by All Clear Sewer; 04-12-2007, 11:08 PM.
                    http://www.all-clear-sewer.com/

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