Snow Day

December 19, 2008 at 2:57 pm (Uncategorized)

As I write this it’s going on 11:00a and I’m still pretty much stuck in the house.
The weather forecasters around here are known for being a bit overly dramatic when it comes to estimating snowfall – we’re usually lucky to get half of what they estimate will come down during their “storm warnings,” but it looks like they were pretty close last night – I’d estimate there’s about 8″ of the white stuff out there (it’s up to the bumpers on the cars parked outside).
I ended up having to call into work this morning – it was after 9:30 before the city even bothered to plow the street out front, and as of right now the guy that plows the parking area for these apartments still hasn’t gotten here, so even with a plowed street I still can’t get my car to it. Normally this would kind of irk me as I usually get paid much better for working than I do for PTO (to the tune of several dollars an hour more – in fact my last paycheck was the smallest I’ve seen in ages because I took nearly two weeks of PTO in a row) – but this new “assignment” they’ve got me on pays so shitty there’s not that much difference anyway, so pay-wise I’m only missing out on maybe $15 difference between working and staying home. I do have this annoying work-ethic thing that’s making me feel a little bit guilty, but it’s not like I can do a hell of a lot of it – if I had a 4×4 I probably would have tried to go in anyway regardless of the snow, even though I hate the work they have me doing right now. When I called I got the boss’ voicemail though anyway, so I figure chances are she didn’t show up either.
So hell, I might as well spend a little of my time stuck at home by blog-babbling.

I spent a lot of time last night looking around the internet for stuff on electrician training, both through trade schools and through union apprenticeships. I’m still not sure what to think about it, and there are a lot of factors to consider.
Among trade skills, electricians are supposed to be one of the better paid, and there is supposed to be reasonable growth in the field over the next several years. However, right now the demand for new electricians is probably not that great, as although there will always be some market for electricians to maintain the systems already out there, the larger majority of their business comes from new construction. And new construction, as we all know, has been at a near standstill for a couple of years now thanks to the country’s economic crisis. I’m sure it will pick up again once the economy stops tanking, but who knows how long that will take.
Also, the union sites themselves admit that getting an apprenticeship isn’t as easy as just going in and signing up – they have to be convinced that you can handle it. It requires knowing about the tools and materials, how to read diagrams (and in some cases blueprints), sometimes requires physical work such as lifting and dealing with the outside elements, and on top of that an understanding of how electricity works and is used, which dips into math and physics. You may not have to be an expert on all that (otherwise you wouldn’t need the apprenticeship) but they do say that any prior knowledge or experience will be helpful in being accepted.
On top of all that, even if you are accepted into an apprenticeship with an employer, apprentices start out making pretty much barely over minimum wage, which pretty much amounts to not being able to pay my bills. The pay does go up slightly every six months as your skills improve, but it takes a full 3-5 years to get up to full pay.
All this together makes me think that taking a correspondence certification course to start out might be the best way to go – the courses seem to mostly run anywhere from $700-850 and are usually broken into monthly payments – which at first hit me as seeming like an awful lot, until I remembered that just the two classes I just took at the college cost me nearly $600 alone, and it had jack squat to do with preparing for a career – so maybe it’s not that bad of a deal after all. Either way trying not to rush into anything though.

Just got a call from my landlady – apparently the plow dude’s truck broke down, and he might be able to get over here by sometime in the afternoon. Greeeat.

Christmas gift exchanges start in three days, and I’m stressing. So far the only people I’ve got gifts for are the girlie and my nephew.

[1:25p] Took a break from blogging to get some stuff done around here. Plow dude came, and did a half assed job – there’s still a huge pile of snow behind my car that I’m going to have to shovel. Great.
Tried my first attempt at making my own corn tortilla chips and failed miserably. I don’t seem to be able to find that where they’re fried enough to not be soggy any longer but yet not be burned.

Welp, spose I should get to shoveling, dishwashing, maybe some laundry, and maybe some gift wrapping. Seems that just because I’m not at my job doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of work to do.

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1 Comment

  1. Petey said,

    some unions are better than others about training to begin with and continuing the training later. If you really want to be an electrician, other than the market for them absolutely sucks right now, private contractors that will train you can be a good option that pay better than the unions to start.

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