Hey Johnny, please share your story with us. Why/how did you get into linework?
My name is Johnny Garcia, I’m from Southern California and I’ve been in the trade for going on 15yrs, I’ll be 47 in Dec. so I got a late start. After getting out of the Marine Corps. In 97’ I struggled finding a good job, worked in warehouses as a temp for a few yrs.then got into truck driving. A friend of mine was doing really well and I asked him what it was he did, he told me he was a groundman for Southern California Edison, so I asked him to help me get a job. So, he helped guide me on what to do, I kept updating my resume and after almost 4 yrs. I ended up getting hired. I honestly didn't know what I was getting myself into lol, but I really liked it. I topped out in about 4 yrs. which is really fast so I was fortunate, I’ve been working strictly distribution ever since. I parted ways with SCE last yr., and work for Riverside Public utilities in Ca, I actually like it a lot better, but my age is starting to show itself to me, so I’ve slowed down a bit. But my advice to anyone starting out is to not give up, this job especially starting out has to be a huge part of your life, you have to give it all you got or you simply won’t make it, it’s not a job you can half ass, you gotta be all in.
What do you feel are the biggest barriers today to lineman, in the industry or generally?
There are so many barriers that Lineman face it’s hard to come up with one, or some that have been and will always be there. I think safety is probably the biggest one, mostly personal error traps. Cutting corners when you know you shouldn't, maybe because you always have gotten away with it, or someone telling you that’s how we do it here, or that’s how we always done it. Those situations will always cause a problem at one point. It best to just take the time and do it the right way, it’s hard, I know I’ve struggled with it at times, but there’s almost no second chances in this line of work.
I have an instagram page @___socal_lineman___ where vie connected with a lot of people in the trade, and get a glimpse as to how they do things in other places since I strictly been in So.ca. But through instagram I met people that pushed me to start doing hats, shirts stuff like that involving our trade, so it did it for a while, and it was pretty cool, guys from all over supporting it. I’m not sure if I’ll keep it going, I just liked doing it because it’s stuff you just can’t buy at a store, it’s strictly for Lineman, for us.
What’s the craziest thing that has ever happened to you?
I had some cable fault as i was tapping it up with rubber gloves, all within in our rules, had a pretty good flash, luckily walked away haha