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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Mechanical Contractor I work for had it's roots started in building high end homes and doing the plumbing and hydronic/geothermal radiant heating on the North Shore (North Vancouver, West Vancouver, BC) in the Lower Mainland (Greater VAncouver, BC). Since the company has grown literally exponentially over the past few years, we have taken on more and more different types of jobs. We no longer just do high end homes, but have taken on some real cutting edge mechanical contracts for these green condo type buildings as well as a geothermal project for a Church in Abbotsford (about 50 minutes drive from North Van), and I myself have become foreman on 2 restaurants we've taken on recently, not something we regularly do and it's been a learning curve for me a little bit but an interesting learning curve.

The original reason I applied at the company I currently work for was to take on high end homes and learn the cutting edge type heating and plumbing stuff. I even now have my hydronic designer ticket which I took last Fall which allows me to do a heat loss for a house and size the radiant panels, the indirect HWT, expansion tank, boiler, etc (this is something that is very applicable to what we do so it helped immensely). But as of late you don't see me doing what I would prefer to do - I'm running 2 restaurants, 1 in Surrey (about 30 minutes from North Van), and 1 in Langley (about 40 minutes from North Van) - both Mr. Mikes (a BC based restaurant/steakhouse) that are opening up soon. I am quite frankly with the downturn in the economy, just happy to be working, and have a job, and a company van, gas card, etc. I'm pretty fortunate and I appreciate it. I've also learned a lot even as a foreman (do you ever stop learning, really?).

But I'm getting a little sick of some of the attitude's of some guys lately. They expect the world but don't want to suck it up, especially with respect to the economy. Recently I had 2 apprentices, both 2nd years (1 has 1 year of school done, the other just finished his 2nd year of schooling), ***** about how they had to drive from North Van to Surrey to work and the gas, and the this, the that, and how it's BS, plus the one with only 1 year of school expiernece copped an attitude on site when I asked him to do something he didn't want to do, or at least believe in doing and how it was "BS" (really simple actually and I would have been happy as an apprentice to do it). And then another guy we just hired (10 years experience but hasn't finished his last year of schooling) who drives a brand new 2008 F250 Gas pig was *****ing today about having to drive out to our Langley location from North Van and how much gas it cost and the wear and tear on his truck, etc. Ok, perhaps I shouldn't talk - I have a company van and gas card (that I worked hard for mind you, and I own more personal hand and power tools that I carry in my van than anyone in the company!!!) and I live in more centralized Burnaby (about 20 minutes from both sites), but I'll tell you right now if I didn't have that I would still appreciate the oppurtunity to continue working in this poor economy. And look at me - I'm the one with hydronic heating training I took on my own with my own money because I like what I do, and all the tools to do the job, and I'm not even working on the north shore doing what we typically do yet these guys in North Van seem to think the world should center around them?

They said we lost something like 10,000 construction jobs in BC in January if I'm not mistaken. Thank god mine wasn't one of them!
 

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Scott K you are a good man. We do need to appreciate being able to work in this economy. We are blessed as a company to have enough work to stay busy with how things are as well.

In general apprentices have gotten quite spoiled. They have not experienced what a recession feels like. But they will learn soon, and hopefully will have saved money from the good years we have had (not likely).
 

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And just think, it'll start over again tomorrow unless you do something about it. Hmmm...I dont know, send them to the principals office or time out or something.:jester:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I just want to add I'm not a d*nk or anything to these guys and I like to joke around on the job site from time to time, bullsh*t, etc. But at the same time when we're on a job site that is quoted with little leeway for error because we have to outbid a lot of other companies out there, many of which don't have company vans, with gas cards, and infrastructure/capital to maintain, I have little patience and room to babysit or here sob stories (although if it's legitimate I understand too), BUT if a guy wants to learn I will teach them as best I can what I know, or find the answers for them from other guys I work with who may know better than me.
 

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Haha, I just came back to Saskatoon from Vancouver. Remember, you are in Vancouver and there are so many spoiled little ****s there its unbearable. The work ethic is complete crap. I cycled through a few apprentices before I had a few that I could work with.

I worked for a company there where I used my vehicle for the company, all they paid me was for gas, but I wanted the experience, so I understood the sacrifice. Lots of hospital and university lab jobs. Insane work. It sucked though, when my vehicle did break down, did you think the company would help you out getting it going and getting you back to the site? No.

So now I wont do it any more. A certain amount of respect has to work both ways. But again, You are in Vancouver, and there is a major influx of idiots that want to be plumbers but have no work ethic, smoke weed all the time, and would rather be on cypress snowboarding.

Vancouver is a tough place, especially now with all the crap, but it will weed out the good from the bad.

Good luck bro.

Where did you get that design course from? Which company were you working with? PM is to me.

Cheers

Jaret
 

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Heck fire, I have been in business for 14 years and did good untill recently. I now can't pay my bills and look every day for the repo man to come in and take my toys and every thing I worked so hard for. If I were an apprentice and drove a big brand new gas hog truck that mom and dad obviously bought for me, and more than likely paid all or most of my bills, then I suppose I would think that I owned the world and being a spoiled brat, would ***** about anything from gas prices ( some parents only go so far ) to breaking out in a sweat and getting my hands dirty. He better be thankfull he has a job and a nice truck. Somebody somewhere sure had to work like hell for it............Even if he doesn't have to. :hang:
 

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I have been laid off since Nov 08. I have my Journeyman card but I am nearly begging for some type of job. I have electricial experence also and nothing going on around here. At 50 years old I just can't up and move or I would. Sounds like those guys have not shoveled _ _ _ _ long enough.
 

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Right now my employees are treating me with a lot of respect. They know I'm doing all I can to get them their 40 a week. I'm down to one apprentice (having sent back to the hall the last 5 I've employed because they either couldn't or wouldn't get with the program) and I swear if he were to mouth off right now to one of the journeymen, to a man they would refuse to work with him, which in my shop is the kiss of death, even in good times.
 
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