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Electricians - an awkward bunch to deal with

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Having just had a forum on a local electrical suppliers around an inverter install it would seem the best way to piss off an electrician is to start trying to work out what it is they do in front of them.

A sub-set of them litterally start turning purple in the face and spitting venom at you.  "HOW DARE YOU!  HOW DARE YOU COME IN HERE TRYING TO UNDERSTAND STUFF!"  "BE GONE!  SPEND your £500 on ALL the manuals and ALL editions of the code and learn it by rote and by rhyme, no understanding required, just follow the letter!", "YOU ARE NOT QUALIFIED TO READ THE DOCUMENTATION OF MY TRADE!"  "I HAD TO GO TO TECH 3 DAYS A WEEK TO GET MY QUALIFICATION!  How dare you come in here and try and learn it DIY!",  "You aren't qualified to understand!"

They really do bump themselves up, don't they.  I wish there was a big manual I could read and remember for my trade.  I wish it was only 3 days and only one tech course and not 4 full time tech courses and 4 years of degree to get in the door, and a total of 8 years of advanced education to do my job.  Oh and you don't like people poking their nose behind the curtain to see the "emporor" and what he really does?  Guess what.  I'm a software engineer, everyone invites me into the business.  It's one of the perks/hells of the job.  Everyone opens the door and asks US to understand their business, understand everything that they do to the N'th degree, asks us to redesign their proceedures, business processes and data so they can be more productive.  I really wish I was in a professional so tightly guarded I could, like they do, put my head in a book and live by it as a bible.  If I obey the great book I am a good spark, no engineering required.

It's quite different than in here with actual electrical/electronics engineers.  I think installers "sparks" have a bit of chip on their shoulder as kids getting into it they probably thought they would become an engineer, when all they really do is follow a book written by others and are almost encouraged NOT to understand what they doing, for fear they make a decision which is not in line with the good book.

Once upon a time, I was living in a rental.
The owner had hired some idiot to remove some tree stumps from the garden, and the idiot ripped up an underground cable.

So, responsible adult as I am, I taped up the bare ends of the cable. (It was on its own circuit, so the breaker was out. But since it was on a single pole breaker, it still caused a ground fault. Yes, the Main Switch board in this rental was ancient)

Comes the cousin twice removed from the gardener, who happens to be a Certified Sparky.


Apparently, he (correctly) assumed I checked the breaker before isolating the wires.
Alternatively, he was more concerned with the rules and regulations and less with the actual safety of people.

Later, I moved to .NL where I'm legally allowed to isolate bare mains wires without prior trade group approval.

Yeah, sparkies do tend to have a jumped up sense of self importance, particularly now they have all that complex test equipment to play with!!
And yet I've seen more utter botchery on domestic wiring installs than in any other electrical or electronic systems!

"asks us to redesign their proceedures, business processes and data"
Lucky! I thought software engineers were usually asked to make a solution which would magically work despite all the problematic procedures, processes and data which the business doesn't want to change.

"more concerned with the rules and regulations and less with the actual safety of people"
Just a guess, but was this a younger electrician speaking? I have a suspicion, it certainly applies to other jobs, that education thesedays is making people more and more thoroughly in to rule-following-machines with no initiative of their own, the younger often seem more indoctrinated with these managerialism-derived attitudes.


--- Quote from: paulca on March 28, 2023, 06:49:55 pm ---Having just had a forum on a local electrical suppliers around an inverter install it would seem the best way to piss off an electrician is to start trying to work out what it is they do in front of them.

--- End quote ---

In my opinionated opinion, sparks (electricians) come in two flavours. Those who know exactly what they are doing, understand the practical aspects of installation and, can give you a theory lesson on earth leakage current - written on the back of an envelope. And then there are those who went on a course and payed the fees. Funny how these guys never have anything in their van that is needed for the job they came to do? Not even half a yard of T&E cable. Time served? In prison I suspect.

Either species bang on about "the Regs". Some know the regs, even the latest ones, know why the regs exist and how the regs are often written by 'engineers' who have never used a Fluke installation tester in their academic lives. And then there's those who just bang on about the regs. Yes, anyone with overpowering aftershave can use a bleeping plug-in socket tester. Remember, to most people electrics is voodoo.

Regardless of the manpower quality though, you'll own a recent electrical inspection certificate which validates your insurance :-DMM

As a side: I note my autocorrection keeps trying to change the word electrician to electrocution?


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