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Topic Title: Reasons to be Cheerful
Topic Summary: and count your blessings
Created On: 27 November 2012 08:18 PM
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 27 November 2012 08:18 PM
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Zs

Posts: 2859
Joined: 20 July 2006

THIS IS AN OLD THREAD WHICH HAS BEEN BUMPED BY ADVERTISING


Hello sparks, stories to make you love your job.

I'm off the electrical tools at the moment and I am in the priveledged position of being paid (not bad, but not like a lottery win) for some art work. I am making a seven storey staircase look like oak panels, from waist height down. The background is plaster with beading screwed onto it in squares and a dado rail. So, as BOD says in his texts to me over the last two days, I am Miss Muffet for the next three weeks. Sitting on my tuffet/butt on a staircase.

I have joined the commuter crowd. My journey from door to door has turned out to be 2 and a half hours each way, even though I live 15 minutes from a station which is on the end of the tube line or the train. The cost of parking and the risk of going over the time is too great for anything else but public transport. The slowness of making the three changes in a crowd,inhibiting.

So, The work is fantastic and I'm loving it. I have the iPod stacked up and am in listening heaven (on a ghost story from the library download service at the moment) but.....

The upstairs/downstairs thing which I used to note when I made my living out of art has come back instantly. The decorator has no brain you know, and is of and little value. If I need a wee I have to walk for ten mins to the public loo in Hyde park and pay 50p for the pee. There is no supply of tea, no conversation. Kind of no respect. This, by the way is the common area of an embassy building in Queen's Gate so it is not a domestic environment. I think it is appartments and most of the people who come in and out are Italian but I'm not sure. It is not an actual embassy.

But but but. What I notice immediately, after just two days is how unhappy the commuters are and I urge you to remember what being self employed offers you. Nobody smiles. Talk to a fellow commuter and you can sense the barrier going up between you. I have stopped doing it already. I have my fluke-off and leave me alone shields in place for the next three weeks. Unbelievable.

There was a lady doing soduku on the tube last night and her pen ran out. I watched her scribbling it frantically on the bottom of the page to no avail so I handed her one of mine and said she could have it. It was an amtech freebie. She took it, but looked at me as if I were a mad woman at first. The she said, 'really?' and then 'are you for real?'. Bizarre.

On my way back from the five star loo I saw a young man stop a pedestrian today. He was clearly brushed-off with anger. So he stopped me after but was so tentative. He simply asked for what I thought was the Natural History Museum in broken English. I said dinosaurs? His little face lit up so I just pointed down Queen's Gate, made hand signals for the traffic lights and the corner and the spires and off he went.


The buskers at Green Park tonight were doing a very passable everly brothers number. Well it would have been, but for the fact that they were so bloody unenthusiastic about it. They needed some space dust under their tongues and fingers, but were clearly talented. Buskers on the tube are auditioned and licensed these days. I got the impression they had turned up because they had to, or they would lose their pitch.

London. Oh, it has become a sad and angry place. How I am noticing the change from ten years' ago, after only two days as a re-observer.

So keep smiling and explaining RCDs to your customers, keep your little van, keep your special widget for socket screws that won't screw. Our lot really isn't that bad.

But the wood effect is fabulous. I shall be reet proud of it. I think I am better at it than I was when it mattered as my living. If nobody ever comments then I shall know that I have done a good job, for it will have convinced them.

But I think I prefer it when somebody says thank you for getting my electricity back on. Or thank you for the new garden lighting.

There you go. Just making sure you do not forget who you are and how talented you are.

Zs

Edited: 24 February 2013 at 08:57 AM by Zs
 27 November 2012 08:38 PM
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OMS

Posts: 19604
Joined: 23 March 2004

London. Oh, it has become a sad and angry place. How I am noticing the change from ten years' ago, after only two days as a re-observer


Curiously, I'm back in the great Metropolis myself - cliff edge job for somewhere hot and dusty and it's going to cost serious money to put this one right, very serious money.

It's probably about the same timeframe since i worked up here for any period. I've been here two weeks - and sad and angry sums it up.

I think the only happy people I've met are the staff at the hotel - and they are all Poles working for ***** poor money. It's been a complete revelation to share a cigarette in the wee small hours with the assistant night porter - trying to understand his life story over a cardboard cup of coffee I fetched from a little joint around the corner - they cost about two and a half quid each - you would think I'd filled them with a good single malt based on his gratitude
So, I thought it was just me - thanks for sharing that Zs

Regards

OMS

-------------------------
Failure is always an option
 27 November 2012 08:50 PM
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leckie

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Very kind and considered words.

Your a sparky, an interior effects designer and now a philosopher. And your right. My tip for self employment fulfillment is only work for people you like and who give you respect.
 27 November 2012 09:00 PM
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sparkingchip

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Some years ago I used to buy a couple of American magazines Fine Woodworking and Fine homebuilding

In one of them there was a article by a custom furniture builder who would go into fancy apartment buildings to install built in furniture that he had made in his workshop.

He was constantly hacked off with having to deal with rude concierges, building managers and the like also having to try and get his kit in through the rear entrances and up on the service lifts or worse having to carry his stuff up stairs when lifts were available.

His answer was to buy musical instrument cases and stage equipment cases to use as tool boxes, thus altering his image into that of a musician with immediate front door access and a polite "good morning sir!" from the doorman who was holding the door open for him.

Andy
 27 November 2012 09:08 PM
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normcall

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You have just reinforced my view that nuffick would get me working inside the North/South Circular (they are still there I take it?)

I'm trying top clear out some filing cabinets to gain some space at the moment and unbelievable as it might seem, I used to have to go down to the other side of Croydon on a regular basis a year or three ago and I used to go down the A41, through the city, past the Bank of England, over the Thames and toddle down the A23 (I think).
This was pre M25, of course!
I seem to be reading all the invoices and catalogues before shedding the things - no wonder it takes so long!

Between that, our blind spaniel forgetting why he actually went out into the garden for and then unable to find his way back, preparing to give a talk on Thursday evening, the local magazine want an article for next week, discussing the pros and cons of installing LED lighting with customers who protest they have no money there really isn't enough hours to actually collect the steps I left on a job this afternoon or sort out a report ' my neighbour says I should call you as I have bare wires left after another electrician installed an outside light a few months ago' - then explains that he can't come back to sort it as he's dead.

Why me??

-------------------------
Norman
 27 November 2012 09:11 PM
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daveparry1

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only work for people you like and who give you respect.
-----------------
I agree with that Leckie, i'm in the fortunate position of being a bit choosy these days, if I don't like the attitude of the customer or the sound of the job (in that order) I talk my way out of it!

Dave.,
 27 November 2012 09:29 PM
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tattyinengland

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It maybe that I do too much work in the big smoke.....I don't think it has changed at all in the last 10/15 years. It has alays been miserable.

The jobs thankfully remain (which is the only reason to work in the city) and so does the pain. Importantly the jobs remain. My next three projects are looking to be in Camden (office right on the river), Stratford (Office) and Darenth Valley Hospital (Canteen). Whether they all come through or not - time will tell, but they should do.

I will hate the commute every single day.
The work and the company of my fellow sparks will make it all OK I believe. If I could find consistent project work outside the city I would never go back.
 27 November 2012 09:39 PM
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Zs

Posts: 2859
Joined: 20 July 2006

That's quite funny Norm, I've steps as yet uncollected from a job near your house. I think Berko collects steps.

Where you working then OMS? Fancy a walk in the park ( in the direction of the public loo)? Lend me 50p will you? But no doubt your time pressures are the same as mine and never the twain shall meet.

Bunking off tomorrow to disconnect some circuits in an office in Birmingham with my fuse finder. Parking space already confirmed. Shhhh. they won't even notice that I am not there painting. Looking forward to it.

Zs
 27 November 2012 09:59 PM
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leckie

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Is your fusefinder any good? Mines a martindale and is indicative at best
 27 November 2012 10:06 PM
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MrOther

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I'm Supervising a larg-ish job at Vauxhall -- 6 flats. One old boy and one Apprentice. The joys of temps. electrical. But the managerment seem fair and that's half the battle won. Respect going both ways.

Zs - my dear, are you mad! Talking on the Underground. Cardinal sin!!! LOL.

I'm listening to Do Andriods Dream of Electric Sheep (Bladerunner) at the moment. I swing from listening to loads of music to hitting the audiobooks. One week it's Pink Floyd and Rolling Stone's "Gimme Shelter" the next it's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Makes the day go quicker though.
 27 November 2012 10:13 PM
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peteTLM

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After about a year off from london, i find myself in london for a few weeks.
I hate driving into london but its a necessary evil. We stand on the roof and look out over london at the view and we forget about what we had to do to get there that morning.
2 more weeks and back to normality into the countryside, and a quite a few kilos of pound coins lighter.
(earls court if anyone wants a greggs)
P

-------------------------
----------------------------------------
Lack of planning on your part doesn't make it an emergency on mine....

Every man has to know his limitations- Dirty Harry
 27 November 2012 10:30 PM
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dickllewellyn

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Conversely, I did three days in the east end between dalston and hackney, and couldn't believe how much friendlier than i remember everyone was. The cockney girl in travis perkins liked our country accents! It did make me yearn for my east end ancestors and wonder if any were still in Stratford, I think I may still have a great uncle and some second cousins somewhere around! There's also some beautiful old buildings there, I was working in the shadow of navarino mansions. If only they built social housing like that these days!

-------------------------
Regards
Richard (Dick)

"Insert words of wisdom and/or witty pun here"
 27 November 2012 10:57 PM
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AJJewsbury

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Thanks Zs - that's cheered me up indeed!

- Andy.
 27 November 2012 11:04 PM
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Fm

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Had a visit to the B.E.S.T exibition a few weeks ago.
Too many people, squeezing into tubes, rude etc. Still looking at scottish notes, and holding them up to the light etc!
Soho was ok
Flight home was rubbish
 27 November 2012 11:04 PM
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Fm

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Ps whats an ipod
 27 November 2012 11:34 PM
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alancapon

Posts: 5761
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I was in London last week too! I spotted more police in Parliament Square than I have ever seen before in one place - armed / unarmed / on horse back. I hurried back to Westmister tube station after my meeting, stopped in Chinatown to buy six special roasted ducks (whole), then returned home via London City Airport!

Regards,

Alan.
 27 November 2012 11:57 PM
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Legh

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Originally posted by: alancapon

I was in London last week too! I spotted more police in Parliament Square than I have ever seen before in one place - armed / unarmed / on horse back. I hurried back to Westmister tube station after my meeting, stopped in Chinatown to buy six special roasted ducks (whole), then returned home via London City Airport!

Regards,

Alan.


Lol, That's a long way to get roast duck. Ducks can't be too elusive in your part of the country.
Buy a pop gun and then treat your misses to a cookery course for xmas.

Legh

-------------------------
Why do we need Vernier Calipers when we have container ships?

http://www.leghrichardson.co.uk

"Science has overcome time and space. Well, Harvey has overcome not only time and space - but any objections."
 28 November 2012 07:22 AM
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Zs

Posts: 2859
Joined: 20 July 2006

At least Alan didn't go to New york for them Legh.

I'll send you a recipe Al, might save your fellow passangers, or is it passengers, must check that sometime, from getting hungry at the smell of them. Oh, how popular you must have been on the tube with that lot.

Probably just a rush hour thing and yes, it is beautiful, even in the rain. But grumpycapital. Suspicion

Oyster card and everything. Birmingham calls.

Zs
 28 November 2012 09:11 AM
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B67BU

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Originally posted by: Zs
Bunking off tomorrow to disconnect some circuits in an office in Birmingham with my fuse finder. Parking space already confirmed. Shhhh. they won't even notice that I am not there painting. Looking forward to it.
Zs


Hi Zs

Why don't you pop down to Electric Ave (B6 7BU) for a cup of tea?

We started a new 2396 course on Monday and the first thing we did was to mention you and your project which was pulled out briefly.

You could give another one of your inspirational talks on your 2396 project.

-------------------------
Why don't you rock down to Electric Avenue (Birmingham B6 7BU) And then we'll take you higher.

B67BU@ElectricalTraining.co.uk

 28 November 2012 10:19 AM
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OMS

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Where you working then OMS? Fancy a walk in the park ( in the direction of the public loo)? Lend me 50p will you? But no doubt your time pressures are the same as mine and never the twain shall meet.


Euston (nr Warren Street) - and a walk in Regents park sounds good. I'll bring a few 50p's along - there might even be cardboard cups of milky coffee (and an extra 50p for after)

Time pressures are mental as ever, Zs some very senior chaps looking increasingly worried - we may have to settle for being passing strangers (you can have either Ultravox or Pink Floyd on the iPod for that one - )

Right - say "don't know", "don't care", and "I've got to go, mate"

Regards

OMS

-------------------------
Failure is always an option
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