There is a new term today with which I am not familiar. It’s called “quitting in place” and substantial numbers of people are following this trend.
Linemen used to drag up years ago to get in position on the union books for big jobs coming up. First on and last off meant better jobs and more money would come your way. Tramping was a term used and lots of linemen would bounce the books together back in the olden days.
Companies had to adapt and time their hires when planning startups to pick up the right linemen. Of course, reputations, good and bad, created all kinds of games on both sides of that equation. Over the years, better systems of communication and resume tracking has improved the industry.
Linework is an essential trade, and nobody gets the luxury of not doing the job, as it depends too much on teamwork. Companies and employees need to know exactly what credentials, certifications and experience linemen have to plan effectively. Lots of companies demand guarantees, before workers arriving and after investing in training commitments, of these workers staying put.
Linemen and women are in great demand on a global scale, so handling oneself carefully if a change is going to happen needs to be professional. Quitting in place or planning to make a move needs to be thought out carefully. Respectful behaviors in the workplace, for new employees, needs to be managed. Getting criticism or being criticized is not a good reason to stop performing. Our line culture needs to be respectful as our lives depend on each one knowing the other and knowing what we are supposed to know! People turning over or dragging up for the wrong reasons is frowned upon. Old school antics of bullying people are, also, no longer tolerated. Thank God!
The websites and information available to everybody allows for better access and knowledge about jobs that are available and sharing of money and conditions are clearer. If someone gets into this trade and finds out they really were mistaken about how difficult it is, they only need to be honest with themselves. Linemen are some of the most honest trades people in the world and will admittingly realize to understanding if a person is scared or in the wrong place. It’s better to be honest than dead!
There are other reasons line workers get demotivated, like not being recognized for promotion or being stuck in a waiting role behind others. Feeling like there is no way to get a better position before others who had to wait their turn, some move out. Variety is the spice of life and many times we feel like it is the same old thing. All the more reason to talk things over before you get distracted or need to have a soother put in!
Quitting in place or not speaking the honest truth around electricity will only lead to dangerous situations. “Keeping the Lights On” requires huge efforts and time away from home to provide the essential service. Huge sacrifices are made by us and there is good money, which is also a reward.
But believe this old lineman, the rewards are more about the pride of doing the right thing for our people!
Bruce Masse - Trouble Technician