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Jobsite Etiquette For Beginners

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  • #388059
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I posted this on another forum a while back, and I thought it might help some of the new folks coming into the trade.

    1. Show up 10-15 minutes early. This gives you time to get your tools on, drink some coffee, listen to the older guys talk, and find out what is planned for the day.

    2. Don’t show up with your personal problems, your “I don’t do that kind of work” attitude, your construction degree, and your laziness. And don’t show up drunk, high, or hungover.

    3. Don’t bring your dogs, cats, fish, goats, or other livestock to work with you. My jobsite is not a kennel, and you don’t get to take extra breaks to take your doggy to go wee-wee. Besides, I don’t want my jobsite littered with dog excrement.

    4. Don’t talk on the cell phone, text, Myface, twit, and all that other crap on company time. That is what breaktime is for.

    5. Wear your tool bags most of the time. If you are given a job to hump lumber for an hour, by all means, drop the bags. If you have 30 feet of trench to dig, clip a tape on your belt and leave the bags close by. But most of the time, keep them on. Carry only what you need, and it won’t kill you to have them on all day.

    6. Anticipate. After the second or third time of doing the same thing, you shouldn’t have to be told to do it every time. If you are framing walls, for example, it’s the same routine: Lay out top and bottom plates, mark, crown your studs, nail them in place, etc. etc. You shouldn’t have to be told to go grab a pile of studs every time.

    Pay attention to what is being done, and learn all you can. Be a ‘self-starter’. If you don’t know what to do next, ask, clean something up, or pitch-in and help someone else.

    7. Practice good housekeeping. Don’t leave tools and materials laying around. It’s your job to clean up every night. Don’t sweep trash into piles and then leave them. Put them in the garbage. Lock up all tools every night. The tools on a jobsite are a sizeable investment, and without them, no one will have a job.

    8. Don’t spit inside of buildings you are building. Yes, I have actually seen that, which is why I had to mention it. Smoke only where permitted, and clean up your butts.

    9.Tattoos. This is an tough subject, because so many people have them these days, but the fact remains that many people find them objectionable. Don’t whine about it and feel sorry for yourself, you chose to get them because in your circle they were cool. Well, not everyone thinks they are as cool as you do. It’s not like you were born with a deformity, and people need to respect that.

    So, if you are working on a commercial concrete pour where clients are never seen, there will probably be no problem with your wifebeater shirts and facial ink.

    If, on the other hand, you are searching for employment with a plumbing company that does primarily residential service work, the boss is probably going to ask you to take the ring out of your nose and keep the tats under wraps.

    10. Respect the trade. If you don’t like the work, the hours, or anything else, do everyone, including yourself, a favor, and search for more agreeable employment. What we build affects future generations; they must either look at poor workmanship, tear down what was built poorly, or derive great pleasure from a structure well built. This trade has a history as long as human civilisation, and is intimately tied in with it. People from Imhotep, to Hadrian, to Brunelleschi, to Joseph Strauss, have left a legacy behind of the quality structures they have built. We all have that opportunity as well.

    11. Respect yourself. Don’t violate safety protocols for any reason, even when asked to do so by your employer. There have been many battles fought to get us OSHA, the EPA, Labor Relations Boards, Collective Bargaining Agreements, and so forth. Take advantage of the protection you have, and make it a priority to go home with all your pieces every night, even if you have to find a new boss.

    Don’t work off the clock. If you are doing a good job, get paid for what you do.

    Take your coffee breaks. Talk, catch up, learn something from the old guys on the site, or just sit back and admire what you are working on. Then when it’s over, get back to work, and no more shooting the bull.

    Buy good tools, and take good care of them.

    And above all, have fun. This is the perfect trade.
    __________________

    #388069
    Doobie
    Moderator

    Well Said. Betcha it’s a B-I-T-C-H to find somebody who satisfies all of the above. Every type of job will have its boneheads no matter what kind of employment/work.

    #388076
    cranbrook2
    Pro
    Belgrave, Ontario , Canada

    All very good tips for new rookies πŸ™‚

    #388099
    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    Thanks for posting this Delta. I may not be the oldest guy on a site, but I try to work more like one than a young guy…I feel like you’ll understand that.

    So many young guys are addicted to their cell phone or just plain leaning and watching rather than helping to get the job done. The more productive you are, the more you get paid in the end.

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #388100

    Great advice for anyone in any field!

    #388101

    Nice list. I would add, if someone is telling you how to do something…listean. Folks that think they know how may, but it may not be the easiest, fastest, or the way that they want it done.

    Don’t be afraid to laugh , even at your self. Don’t get offended to easy. There are many office jobs where you don’t need a thick skin to function.

    Don’t feel that equal is fair, do the job and get over it. Not paid to watch others and see what they are doing.

    #388144
    Toolshead
    Pro
    In the Rice Fields, South TX

    Well said, and too often needed.

    #388155
    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Moderator
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    Great list, I would add you have 2 ears and one mouth, listen at least twice as much as you speak.

    #388161
    utopia78
    Pro
    Toronto, ON

    Great list and pointers for new entrants into trades and a good reminder for some of us older tradesmen.

    A Working Pro since 2004

    #388303
    r-ice
    Pro
    Durham region, ON

    Great list and great reminder, I really like the buy good tools portion of this. sooo no harbor freight? lol

    #388431
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Excellente’ list, and I printed every bit of it out. We’ve got a really young guy now that has talent and shows promise, but my husband is tired of babysitting him regarding etiquette. When I go to the jobsite today, I’m taking him a copy.

    #388437
    ChadM
    Moderator
    Rogers, Ohio

    @seven-delta-fortyone, awesome post and thread.

    Don’t get mad because you het handed the “grunt” work. Every person on that site has done their share and will still do it when needed. Yeah, grunt work can suck but it has to be done; utilize that time – while you are moving a pile of 2x don’t grumble, use that time to think. I have made lots of job plans in my head while humping lumber.

    Chad

    A Working Pro since 1993

    Member since 12/07/2013

    #388466

    Great list, never to old to learn something new. Thank you for sharing.

    #388482
    Doobie
    Moderator

    Great list and great reminder, I really like the buy good tools portion of this. sooo no harbor freight? lol

    Thing is with some guys is fear of having their good tools stolen on some job sites. This I can somewhat understand.

    #388498
    cranbrook2
    Pro
    Belgrave, Ontario , Canada

    One thing I think is important is always stay one step ahead of what you are doing at the time . When you complete one job you should already know what you are doing next .Bosses hate seeing you standing around and wondering what you are doing next . Time is money ! πŸ˜•

    #388537
    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    Very well put D741. Once on the job site spend your time working and learning. I am always amazed on a job when people say things like I don’t do that because they think the task is beneath them.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    #388539
    Toolshead
    Pro
    In the Rice Fields, South TX

    I am always amazed on a job when people say things like I don’t do that because they think the task is beneath them.

    I may be naive, but I can’t imagine not doing what a supervisor told me to do. I may suggest an alternate way to something, but it’s while I’m jumping to do what he said.

    #388614
    jkirk
    Moderator
    halifax, nova scotia

    do not take another tradesmans tools without asking!!!!! this one drives me nuts.. guys do it all the time.. personally im just about ready to start telling my coworkers my tools are completely off limits

    one of our guys took my $90 japanese hand saw the other day to cut pressure treated.. i had already clearly told him twice.. do not touch that saw at all!!.. i keep it in my trim kit and i use it very sparingly for cutting small detail pcs and for finishing notches in pcs of hardwood transitions and what not

    heres a tip, dont fart in a space suit

    #388615
    kswiss
    Pro
    edmonton, AB

    do not take another tradesmans tools without asking!!!!!

    I think this is the most important rule of all. Especially with expensive tools.

    #388618

    do not take another tradesmans tools without asking!!!!! this one drives me nuts.. guys do it all the time.. personally im just about ready to start telling my coworkers my tools are completely off limits

    one of our guys took my $90 japanese hand saw the other day to cut pressure treated.. i had already clearly told him twice.. do not touch that saw at all!!.. i keep it in my trim kit and i use it very sparingly for cutting small detail pcs and for finishing notches in pcs of hardwood transitions and what not

    So, if you dont mind sharing, what tool did you use to dispose of his body? I presume the 18v sawzall?

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