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They send you on calls alone as an apprentice? Just alone for drain calls? I'm surprised you're on OT call at all yet. Our guys don't go on the OT call list until they get licensed.
My @ss was running on call after only apprenticing for two months

Takes four years to get licensed in UT
 

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Reverend, R.S.E., Master Plumber
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1,277 Posts
When it's 2:30 on Friday, you finished your last call, get all excited planning on getting a jump on the weekend, and the dispatcher decides to put you on the call that just came in instead of telling them to wait until Monday. It's an hour the other direction from home, and a toilet issue in a house with 3 bathrooms. Yeah, I love that.
Then you get there and the cutomer says they were surprised that you could get there so quickly, they were expecting not to get an appoitment until next week!

This is why I work for myself!
 

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Today, probably sometime this Saturday afternoon around 4.30-5.00 pm someone will call me
and ask if I can still come out now and help them out of a jam.... Well, of course
I will ask them when they noticed that they did not have hot water and they usually say
that they noticed it at about 8.30 am this morning.....
Then I will politely ask them why they did not call me this morning around 9.00 ??? Of course
they reply that they had to go to the mall to get their nails done or they had a golf outing
with their buddies..... and how soon can you be out?? .....

I tell them we can be there first thing monday morning.....
I had someone this morning about not so hot water. It's a water heater brand sold in just one place, not sure if I should turn him down or take on the job and get parts anyway as I will have to spend time going there and returning what I don't need in several weeks because these stores because of covid don't accept returns. I would have to explain to him the extra 1 hour charge for this time.
 

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I had someone this morning about not so hot water. It's a water heater brand sold in just one place, not sure if I should turn him down or take on the job and get parts anyway as I will have to spend time going there and returning what I don't need in several weeks because these stores because of covid don't accept returns. I would have to explain to him the extra 1 hour charge for this time.
Is it electric? Usually it's just the thermostats but if you're lazy and don't want to diagnose anything you can risk the bungs leaking after and just change the elements too.
 
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4th year apprentice
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601 Posts
Where I live it is very common for apprentices to be sent out on their own, if you have half a brain. Luckily I skated by with 51%. "Supervision" is by phone, or sometimes someone is available to stop by a job if we get stuck on something.It does vary by company. Some will send anyone with a driver's license out, and you wonder how they don't run into problems when you see some of their guys and their work. Some will send no apprentice out no matter how good. They are usually the ones who used to go hog wild and flaunt the rules at every opportunity and got their pee pee slapped hard when they got caught one time. Most are careful yet practical and weigh the risks and benefits to do what they need to to get the job done.
I think I told this story before, in my first year I was left alone on a water piping job on a remodel. Awesome I thought. The guy I was working with was getting on my nerves and I needed a break from him. Old, old house with all of the pains in dealing with what goes along with that, but otherwise I was in heaven. Working along and the electrician shows up with an inspector. No problem I think, he's not there for me anyway. Nice, nice old guy. They do their thing, then start shooting the **** with me. Then he asks me if we have a plumbing permit. Of course I say, the boss handles all that stuff. He wouldn't send me on a job without a permit. Where is it he says? Oh, it must be in the office. We have no record of you having a permit. You need to stop working. So I pack up and leave. Get sent back a week later. I specifically ask the boss if he has a permit this time. Oh, no problem, the office manager takes care of all that. So guess who shows up again that same day? Same inspector, this time not as friendly. You still have no permit. No that can't be right, I specifically asked the boss. No you don't, and it supposed to be posted on the job site. I apologized profusely and luckily he believed me that I was an innocent pawn. Apparently he knew how my boss operated. Man was I pissed. Called the boss but couldn't get ahold of him. Turns out no one had talked to him for 2 days. He was on a bender. It was on a Thursday morning, and I was so pissed I made myself a long weekend and didn't go in on Friday. Not a word was said when I went in on Monday, but I had another job and gave my 2 weeks. I am still on good terms with him, because he knows that he effed up. He's actually a great guy, just has his issues.
 

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Those who call "hey can you unhook the sink late in the afternoon, tomorrow the counter top guys are putting a new counter with an undermount sink and re-pipe in the afternoon"? Then if by miracle it does fit the schedule no way will they want to lower the drain pipe in the wall, then they try to get the cheapest plumber or hack. Whichever is cheapest, you know plumbers should be next to free because the counter was expensive at 7-8-9-10 thousand dollars.

Seems like no one plans anything ahead, they don't call any plumbers in advance and they expect the countertop guys on doing the plumbing for free. They are then insulted to have to pay a plumber. A plumber should be like pizza delivery, 20 minutes or it's free, they are outraged you got there in 19 minutes and have to pay it..

Good news however I think most countertop companies have stopped doing plumbing on their own, one of them got a 21K fine a year or two ago and I think they spread the word.
 

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Reverend, R.S.E., Master Plumber
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1,277 Posts
A lady called me this morning around 6:30 (I usually work 9am -9pm), going on about how her cleaning lady accidentally flushed some type of tub/shower hair catcher down the toilet.
She had a plumber come out and he said the toilet is fine but he can’t guarantee to her that it won’t cause a problem down the line.
She ask me if it was going to cause a problem.
I told he I don’t know. I don’t know, I wasn’t there, I don’t know you or your home, I don’t know what type of hair catcher was flushed, the age/condition of her piping etc.. she was like ok, it was a hair thingie and the plumber said it was ok..

I was like ok....
Crickets, then she said thanks for your help! click.

3 mins of wasted sleep.
 
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