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I've been extremely busy over the summer. Simply just not enough hours during the week. Been working Saturdays and some Sundays too. To top it all off have several big projects we are gearing up for for the fall. And then Irene decided to come calling. Threw my schedule all out of whack. Spent the last week climbing towers trying to fix what I could and at least get some communication back with quick fixes. Right now have about 50 antennas on order, average price around 1 grand.

 

Last week I put in about 90 hours. I'm not supposed to be climbing but really no alternative. If I waited for our normal tower crew I'd have several police and fire departments without comms, and that can't happen. Only reason I have today off is because it's a holiday. And almost didn't get it off anyways, but had worked the last 11 days so my boss and I decided we needed a break. (my boss has been working even harder - if that's possible)

 

In 2 weeks one project hits and that means working weekends for about a month. Was supposed to get tues/weds off but now because of Irene I'll probably work 30-40 days straight. And the Nuclear Plant now wants to add more days weekly as they are upgrading their entire pc network.

 

Soooo if I'm not around you know why :P Looks like it'll be awhile before I do any kind of Wiki work

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I feel your pain brother. Been working myself 6-7 days a week for almost 2 1/2 years now. In the last month we started getting Sundays off. Yay! Make sure you eat right and stay hydrated, it'll sneek up on you fast if you dont watch it. Hell set your watch and carry a snack or something in your tool pouch if ya have to.

 

Good luck Uncle Knuckles!

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Damn Knuckles, and I thought the Hospitality industry was a bit tough, but there they insist on you having at least one day a week off, even if the other days are 14+ hour shifts. The Winters are quiet here, but the Busy season is creeping up on us...

 

Good luck man! Hope you don't work yourself into a coma. :drunkards:

 

Delta!

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Wish we would hire a new guy. The 'newest' one has been here over 18 months but is afraid of heights, so there's only so much he can help with. To be fair he was hired to do vehicle installs. But even if we hired someone new, it would still take me 6-12 months training him so he could go off on his own. That's probably the hardest part. Trying to train someone on my schedule. I like to have them get 'hands on' training but we are simply too busy to do it for more than an hour or 2 each day.

 

If nothing else the kiddo is going to have a nice birthday (Nov 30th) and xmas. And at least I do have vacation scheduled between xmas and New Years (hopefully I'll get it)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Take it easy on those hours, much as possible. Maybe a letter written to the boss can help with making him see where you're coming from?

 

:)

 

gogo

 

We usually talk for 30-60 minutes in the morning before everyone else comes in, especially on Mondays to figure out the scheduling for the week. The prob is I enjoy working...I'm just one of those guys who goes nuts if he doesn't have anything to do. I used to start every morning at 8am but just kept coming in earlier til now it's not unusual for me to be in at 530-6am. I can get some work done uninterrupted by either customers or co-workers. I might actually be the most efficient when the sun is not shining :P It's kind of funny that I might see most co-workers for 15-60 mins total for whole week, except for Don (who is always with me) and the boss. I'm typically in, loaded and gone before everyone else and get back after everyone is gone. I'm always on the road, but I really like that. Every day is different - keeps everything fresh and exciting. Note: I didn't say FUN and exciting lol.

 

The weekend project got pushed back one week (again) as they decided to convert all the radios in to 2-piece models. Takes about 30 minutes to convert each one and we got 750+ in this phase. That and looking at old installs and the proficiency of the in-house techs isn't inspiring a lot of confidence. Looks like I won't be able to use anything from old radio system so everything will be new, and that'll add on to how long each one takes. Just hope the company told the guys to clean out their trucks. Nothing worse than sticking your hand into a 3 week old banana that fell under a seat (yes this has happened-more than once). More than likely I'll be babysitting everyone for at least the first weekend. (there goes my efficiency again). More than likely will just stay up there and get a hotel room. Put in a few 16 hr days and see how it goes. Hopefully I can at least get one day off during the week.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well 1st week under the belt. Ended up with 95 hours. I was supposed to get this last Monday off but the Nuke Plant called in and said the simulator wasn't working. So much for the off day. So I'm looking at at least 15 days straight right now. Really just have no time to hang out here for a bit. Will be on the road at 430 am tomorrow. Least the checks so far are nice.

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Still glad you could drop by though, even with that robbed day :oooo: And you can leave these notes even faster with our new servers! :dance:

I'm guessing soon as you get home from work, you eat, veg out in front of TV to energize, then early evening?

 

Don't burn out!

 

:pitcher:

 

gogo

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well still working crazy hours and haven't been in here at all in about 2 weeks....sorry about that....definitely getting burnt out now...Have had one day off since the beginning of September. On a sad note a guy I knew that also climbed towers lost his life about a week ago. Fell off a tower to his death. Has shaken up everyone pretty bad. While this job definitely can be very dangerous, death, and even serious injuries are very rare. Either he was free climbing and lost his grip or he had an equipment failure. Was out of town for a few days attending the funeral since he lived out of state.

 

I'm still going to be a stranger here until probably Thanksgiving weekend when I'll have 4 days off. Don't worry I'll stay safe, hope everyone else is too

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Oh... not good news, Knuckles. The biggest problem with safety equipment is getting it hooked up correctly. As long as you get that right, you can be quite safe indeed, but if it is not, the concequences can be very bad indeed.

 

Ack, enough with the bad thoughts, stay safe!

 

See you soon,

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Knuckles, news about your friends is heart breaking. Your job is so dangerous, something like this that happens must be devastating

with morale. My condolences on the loss, and hoping your keeping safe, both head an body until all this Overtime is over.

 

:)

 

gogo

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I never do what would be called overtime. Working with explosives is a lot of paperwork, and one paper is how many hours a day you can work befor you have to stop handling with explosives. I learned explosives at army firefighters/fireworkers at an airfield. One option was to blow out fire with explosives so there wasn#t a clear line between firefighting and fireworking. I left army, studied plasma physics/maths and was puzzled when I got a job with plasma physics and explosives. It's rather disappointing when you learn that the main reason was that I was signed for explosives and not that I had knowledge in plasma physics. The company considered plasma physics knowledge just as a nice addon.

 

Other people I knew from army went to firefighter/police as bomb experts. There are still thousands of non exploded bombs in towns. So when ever I hear at radio that a 1000+ pound bomb is found at earth works in a town - I hold my breath and wonder if I know the people who have to disarm it. 2 years back was the last time people died at an disarming attempt. The fuzes are so rotten after 70 years, that experts fear there will be lot og explosions now because of rotten acid fuses.

 

Our production stops in winter, so I do mainly sales travelling and simulations for pre-production runs but only as a half-job. So inwinter the second job kicks in: kinda a forest ranger in a private oenwed forest: plant trees, sell them, The owner sales mainly large trees for special purposes, so I have to do auctions: walking through the forest, showing trees and do the auction at place. Luckily I can do this at weekends so I can have my kids with me.

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Thanksgiving is on Thursday Nov 24th for us so I should get a nice 4 day weekend out of it. Could really use the break. Only days off I have gotten recently was to attend a funeral so they don't count.

 

And yup morale is pretty low. When something like this happens it makes you sit back and reflect on your mortality and the close calls you've had. And I've had a few where I have come close to falling. After the first one I never 'free climbed' ever again. I'm always attached to either tower or brake line at least one point. It did make me re-check all my gear to ensure it was all working and in good shape. Also caused us to go with a newer design harness. The hardest part now is I'm thinking about falling when I'm climbing and that's the wrong mentality to have. While we always know there is that risk it's more sub-conscious. You have to have respect for the dangers but if you become afraid of climbing then mistakes are made. Sure the feeling will pass soon - and usually as soon as I'm actually working or actively climbing my mind is pretty clear of any distractions.

 

At some point I really need to get out of climbing all together. Getting kind of old for it and the back isn't getting any better. Actually I've never been officially cleared to go back to climbing but I'll deal with that another day.

 

I don't climb nearly as much as I used too and for big commercial jobs we usually bring in a tower crew to do most of the work. I mostly climb now for small jobs or repairs but still climb over 500 feet on a regular basis.

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Thanksgiving is on Thursday Nov 24th for us so I should get a nice 4 day weekend out of it. Could really use the break. Only days off I have gotten recently was to attend a funeral so they don't count.

 

And yup morale is pretty low. When something like this happens it makes you sit back and reflect on your mortality and the close calls you've had. And I've had a few where I have come close to falling. After the first one I never 'free climbed' ever again. I'm always attached to either tower or brake line at least one point. It did make me re-check all my gear to ensure it was all working and in good shape. Also caused us to go with a newer design harness. The hardest part now is I'm thinking about falling when I'm climbing and that's the wrong mentality to have. While we always know there is that risk it's more sub-conscious. You have to have respect for the dangers but if you become afraid of climbing then mistakes are made. Sure the feeling will pass soon - and usually as soon as I'm actually working or actively climbing my mind is pretty clear of any distractions.

 

At some point I really need to get out of climbing all together. Getting kind of old for it and the back isn't getting any better. Actually I've never been officially cleared to go back to climbing but I'll deal with that another day.

 

I don't climb nearly as much as I used too and for big commercial jobs we usually bring in a tower crew to do most of the work. I mostly climb now for small jobs or repairs but still climb over 500 feet on a regular basis.

 

You gave me some deep insight into the mentality of a climber. I hope you're able to shake the spook, at least for a while till you're able to get off the tower climbing?

 

What about that tower crew you mentioned. What's the difference tween them and you? Why would they be refered to as commercial and you not?

 

:)

 

gogo

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Thanksgiving is on Thursday Nov 24th for us so I should get a nice 4 day weekend out of it. Could really use the break. Only days off I have gotten recently was to attend a funeral so they don't count.

 

And yup morale is pretty low. When something like this happens it makes you sit back and reflect on your mortality and the close calls you've had. And I've had a few where I have come close to falling. After the first one I never 'free climbed' ever again. I'm always attached to either tower or brake line at least one point. It did make me re-check all my gear to ensure it was all working and in good shape. Also caused us to go with a newer design harness. The hardest part now is I'm thinking about falling when I'm climbing and that's the wrong mentality to have. While we always know there is that risk it's more sub-conscious. You have to have respect for the dangers but if you become afraid of climbing then mistakes are made. Sure the feeling will pass soon - and usually as soon as I'm actually working or actively climbing my mind is pretty clear of any distractions.

 

At some point I really need to get out of climbing all together. Getting kind of old for it and the back isn't getting any better. Actually I've never been officially cleared to go back to climbing but I'll deal with that another day.

 

I don't climb nearly as much as I used too and for big commercial jobs we usually bring in a tower crew to do most of the work. I mostly climb now for small jobs or repairs but still climb over 500 feet on a regular basis.

 

You gave me some deep insight into climbers and what you're going through. I hope you're able to shake the spook, at least for a while till you're able to get off the tower climbing?

 

What about that tower crew you mentioned. What's the difference tween them and you? Why would they be refered to as commercial and you not?

 

:)

 

gogo

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The biggest difference between me and the 'tower crew' is that they do nothing but tower work. My job involves so much more, that tower work really only comprises maybe 10-15% of my schedule. So when we're doing a big job, like installing several antennas/coaxes we'll hire them to come in. They'll have 6-8 people working and can usually get the job done in one day. Plus they have the heavier equipment needed to do it quickly. Stuff like winches and heavy steel pull lines needed for the heavier antennas (some microwave dishes can weigh several hundred pounds).

 

But if it's just doing a small repair like replacing a small antenna or fixing the coaxial fitting then my boss and/or I will climb and take care of it. Sometimes if the coaxial run isn't that long (usually under 500') and only doing one or two we'll do it ourselves. A lot of it has to do with economics. Most jobs are for large corporations and have to be bid on. Adding a tower crew into the mix can increase out bid by hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. So it's real easy to bid yourself out of a job. The project we have been doing for the last few years is really huge so we have had a tower crew at all initial tower installations. Though if there is a change order and we need to add an antenna most likely we'll do it ourselves.

 

Another reason for using a tower crew as much as possible is due to insurance. If we climbed all the time then our insurance costs would be much much higher. Right now only my boss and I climb and we've kind of kept it under the radar. We try to use them as much as possible since neither me or my boss are getting any younger. I'm 47 and he is 52.

 

At least I got the day off today..we got up at 4am and took a look outside. Got 50-60 mph winds and about 8 inches of snow on ground so today's work was cancelled. So other than a 4 hour drive home I have the day off and can actually watch some football.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Almost feel like I'm writing a blog here....Well I got my 4 day weekend and I'm bored silly halfway thru it. My kiddo has gone to Florida with 2 of my sisters for vacation/birthday. I had originally planned on going til work got real crazy. One of these days I'll finally make it to Disney World. Never been though my daughter now has gone 4 times.

 

I was going to totally re-do her room. New paint/trim. New furniture/carpet etc. But most likely I'm moving in the spring. So it didn't make a lot of sense to do it. Need to move off the water as there really is too much maintenance to do and I really don't have the time for it. Just going to move a mile or two inland so not going far.

 

Least I won't be working weekends until the new year. The radio programming/modding/assembling is waaaay behind schedule so they didn't want half the fleet done then a holiday break, then the other half. Would be too much confusion running 2 different systems for 3-4 weeks.

 

I even almost fired up Sacred 2 last night :)

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Thx llama :)

 

Now that I have it I don't know what to do lol. Have a week vacation between xmas and new years then back to the grind. Need to start using up some of my vacation. Company policy prohibits rolling over vacation days from previous years but an exception was made in my case. I was going to take a day here and there and take 3 day weekends but Mondays are for meetings and Fridays are at the nuke plant.

 

All I know is I better get one hell of a Christmas bonus this year

 

I even played Sacred 2 for a few hours last night. Don't think I've played since around April

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