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Breaking in a new helper.  

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holy cow
Posts: 16110
10,000+ posts
Joined: 10 years ago

Starting from zero attempting to educate a new part time helper. Things like, "This is a 60d nail, this is a 1-1/2" MAG nail and this is a 2-1/2" MAG nail. Remember that."

Believe this 15 year-old has the potential to become a good worker after only two days in the field. He also works part time for a friend of mine who runs an auto repair shop. Between the two of us he will get the chance to learn a ton of things that will be beneficial over a life time. First and foremost will be how to deal with the general public. That's something that he won't learn at home.

I realize how tough it is to pick up on the lingo used daily is a job setting. Terms we throw around amongst ourselves are lost on others. But, I think he can adapt rather quickly.

I have gone through this training process several times with sons (and a daughter) of local friends or former schoolmates around my own age. This is the first grandson of a classmate. Will attempt to avoid telling tales from the days when we were riding our dinosaurs to school. You know-- way back before cell phones, the internet, 300 channels on the TV, etc.

One big thing in his favor is he comes from a humble background and is accustomed to doing what it takes just to get by. Day one he makes the six mile journey to meet up with me in a Jeep that has seen better days. At the end of the day, his departure included raising the hood and doing the magic required there to start the engine which happens for most people by simply turning a key while in the driver's seat. Then he reached into the front seat and grabbed a coiled air hose. He plugged it into a connector under the hood and proceeded to reinflate the rear tire that goes down every day. His family has three old Jeeps because the quarter-mile long driveway is far too rough on a good day for common cars.

6 Replies
Just A. Surveyor
Posts: 1820
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Joined: 3 years ago

Good luck with the new hand.

I had one of those old jeeps and got quite good at bridging the old Ford starter solenoid with pliers and rubber band and starting it.

Andy Bruner
Posts: 2032
1,000+ posts
Joined: 9 years ago

I have, on more than one occasion, hired rodmen with absolutely no experience.  I found it was easier to train them correctly (or at least my way) than it was to break bad habits learned from others.  A hard working, alert, ignorant person can be taught what he needs and be an asset to you.


A Harris
Posts: 8466
5,000+ posts
Joined: 10 years ago

Teens make good helpers when they are interested and want to help and learn.

The summer is hardly long enough for them to grasp the situation before they are back to school.

Years ago a football coach ask me to put several of his players to work and I introduced them to hard labor and chopping brush and clearing around fence corners and splitting firewood and some days I would take them out and simply pick a few trees for them to cut down with an axe into loadable length to keep them in shape. They were proud when two a days came.

All that phased out 30yrs ago and those guys don't do normal labor anymore.

Today is very hard to find anyone that needs a summer job that is able to get anywhere without being picked up every morning and then taken home every afternoon.

It is always a pleasure to teach our youth and help them along their way.

flyin solo
Posts: 1270
1,000+ posts
Joined: 6 years ago

Re: industry specific jargon-

in my experience, using the term “balls” as often as possible helps keep the young new guys amused and interested, for some reason...

1 Reply
Field Dog
Joined: 5 years ago

250+ posts
Posts: 469


I was a bit uncomfortable using this when a female was on my crew.

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