Hey Bob, it worked!...kind of


Tried your suggestion, gentle persistence and making it to appear to be in "his best interest" to log my time but to no avail. I got nothing but the run-around. Yesterday morning I went in to work and quit. After much groveling and (no exaggeration) crying on his part, it got done. As I type this, there is a letter coming from Austin with my logged hours and application for Tradesman exam. After it is received my boss is going to pay my time off, travel expenses and provide the company truck to take my test. Oh yeah, got a pretty substantial raise too. What a scumbag.
I'm going to wave that carrot in front of him until I have proof and take my test. Then I'll take your advice and look for the next available exit.
Thanks Bob, you've helped me out tremendously. Michael
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You're welcome Michael. I know that I and the rest of the guys here hope it all works out for you. I am troubled by one of your sentences though. What is this "letter coming from Austin"? Is this more of the sleazeball's lies? The way it works is that you send in your application for the Tradesman license along with the employment verification form. All the forms you need are on the TSBPE web site and you fill them out and send them to Austin. The only thing Austin sends you is your test date. Or did I misunderstand you?
Anyway, no matter what happens just try to keep expanding your horizons. Try running a service truck for a while. Then try to hire on at commercial outfits. Get as much variety and knowledge as you can because that's the one thing no one can take away from you. Your know-how. I always tell my guys that the hardest working man on the job is usually the lowest paid. Think about it. You get paid for what you know, not for how hard you go.
Bob Wheatley
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To this date, I only have 3,600 hours logged instead of the -5,000 hours I had estimated because (you'll get a kick out of this) he's so cheap and crooked that *all* of my overtime is paid under the table in cash and not verifyable. Not enough to take a Tradesman exam yet, so I demanded at least an Apprentice card and documented proof that this was taken care of.

Possible but not probable. He is convinced, and rightly so, that unless this gets completed, I'm outta there. Believe me, when I went in to quit it wasn't a ploy. I suppose the smartest thing at this point is to hang on until my card arrives, I complete the remaining 400 hours, take my exam and then find something else.

More great advice from you Bob, and fortunately that is something that is inherent in me. I am a knowledge junkie and try to learn as much as I can about whatever it is that I'm doing and tend to get a bit obsessive about it. The stumbling block here being that I live in such an area where not much is happening besides residential construction. Short of moving out of this area, my options will be limited and I'll admit that moving is not an option. My wife and I moved here two years ago from Minneapolis, bought 25 acres and absolutely love it. Hell, I'd never even heard of camera snakes, ProPress and things like that until I started lurking on this newsgroup.
My boss (45 years old) does things the *old* way because that's how he learned from his father who built the business. I'm surprised we're not still wiping lead and running all water systems out of galvanized pipe. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but plumbing, like everything else, is constantly evolving and I want to be well-rounded as you suggest.
Michael
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I once had a boss that promised me the world.. I worked 12-14 hour days, He paid me a $1.50 less than what I asked for. I kept working for him ! shame on me. When I received an offer to go to a union company and the union was going to sign me, I told him I was leaving. Hollyshit the promises that came out his mouth and the bullshit he told me were unbelievable.. He tried for 2 days to keep me.. I had to say fuckit and leave right there and then.. He didn't send me the rest of my weeks wages or anything, just my termination papers..asshole... Anyhow he tried to screw me on my hours worked, thankfully the union took care of my hours...A year later I was a journeyman.. The one good thing from all of his shit was the fact that I was a better plumber because of his hiring and business practices..
Andrew

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>When I received an offer to go to a union company and the union was

What is your opinion of the Union having worked for them? My uncle retired with 50 years as a Union plumber and tells me that's the path I need to take while someone else told me that the Union can ruin a good plumber. Such mixed stories makes it hard to know the real scoop.
I've considered it, but living in the area I do would require me to travel. Something I'm trying to avoid.
Michael
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Michael,
Always go union if you're going to work for someone else. Union training is more extensive and varied than non-union schools, you can travel and find work more easily with a union card, and you can always work a non-union shop if work gets slow.
You'll rarely get paid well working for non-union shops (there are exceptions).
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The Union can never ruin a good plumber, you are what you are. If you get into a small Union shop then you'll be fine. It's the larger companies that you would have to watch out for, meaning you can end up being a specialist in just one of the many skills that it takes to be a plumber. By now you wouldn't have to worry about that. As for my old boss he told me that the union would make me lazy, become a specialist, work for free and some more bullshit... HA!
The Union treats me well and makes sure that I am treated fair.. I received my Gas fitter license and my Oil piping license thru the Union, something that I would have had to go and get on my own and with a much higher cost than what I paid for(free). I also plan on going to get my welding ticket, steam fitter, and everything else that applies to our trade.
Andrew

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