Electrical Blog 03 – Redundancy and a step into self employment.
So I am writing a series of blogs to demonstrate my journey in the electrical industry. This one is number three and will cover the time I was made redundant whilst in Vegas and my first steps into self-employment through an agency.
As with the previous blog, although this is not as ‘juicy’, let’s clarify some things….
I am going to be very honest, it needs to be. If you agree with the content, please don’t shy away from agreeing with it or liking it. Its more important for you to confirm the content as this will ultimately lead to a change that HAS to happen in our industry. The industry is blind to certain things but if we don’t speak up nothing will change.
I apologise to those people I am going to call out in these blogs. I won’t use your name directly but I will detail the things that have happened so readers can see how things working in the industry.
So what are we going to cover, see below:
1. Where my journey started and college – this blog has been published already.
2. My first employment as an electrician – its an eye-opener.
3. This Blog – Redundancy and self-employment
4. My first role as a Qualifying Supervisor – let’s expose what we all do prior to our assessments.
5. From sparky to compliance manager – this was my shock entrance to social housing and my trip away from our trusted wiring regulations.
6. The email, the meeting and then a national working group – Seeing the industry flaws opening up in front of me and then stepping into a different world of the electrical industry.
7. My application to JPEL64 – in detail
8. The future of our industry – my view and my opinion.
I remember a friend asking my wife and I if we would like to go to Vegas for a week for her 40th birthday (not my wife the friend). The answer was obviously yes but we had to look at the finances to see if this was possible. I mean, I’ve always wanted to go to Vegas as it looks incredible and everyone I’ve spoken to say’s it’s a crazy place. We decided to agree and we booked it, the reason for this was that I was in steady employment and the expense could be justified. I can’t explain how excited I was to be going to Vegas, no words can justify the feeling.
The day arrived and we set off. We were flying from Manchester to Philadelphia and then on to Vegas. I hate flying but was willing to accept the two flights simply because of the destination!!! Anyway, the journey from home to Vegas took 21 hours, when we eventually got there we decided it was only right to go straight out. Anyone who has been to Vegas knows that no one sleeps. I think the first night I just walked around the place with my jaw on the floor. I remember heading to our hotel room, which looked straight down the strip, and as with most nights on this holiday, I sat staring out the window for an hour or so before I could sleep.
The next few days we just walked around looking in the hotels and checking out all the crazy things they have in them. I mean the hotel we stayed in had a lion enclosure, actually in the casino where hundreds of people were. Quite strange but brilliant, if that’s possible.
I’ve told you I hate flying right? Whilst in Vegas my wife asked me if we could go on a helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon, even though I was scared of flying I agreed. It was about £250 each to fly in a helicopter to the Canyon, land, and then have a champagne lunch by the river. Sounds great right? I remember getting really excited because loads of people had told me that the Grand Canyon is so vast that it takes your breath away, in-fact some people have cried when they’ve stood looking at it. I won’t admit anything!!
The night before the trip we went to bed early (around 2 am instead of 5 am). I couldn’t sleep with excitement and was sat in my usual place looking down the strip. I’d say it was probably about 3 am when my phone rung and my brother’s name was on the screen.
Me: Darren, what’s up?
Darren: Have you seen the news?
Me: No, why, what’s happening?
Darren: We don’t have a job; the company has gone into administration. It’s all over the news.
Me: You know I’m in Vegas right?
Darren: Sorry, I’ll speak to you when you get home.
The above is not word perfect but pretty much covers the main points. Could you imagine, I had the greatest trip I was ever going to go on the following day and I had a few days left in Vegas. I had to tighten my belt whilst on the holiday. I couldn’t believe it.
The rest of the trip was good but the inevitable worry was something I couldn’t shift. The only thing that helped was the alcohol, although that got me into trouble whilst in the Irish bar.
When I got home I was called into the office and told. The instruction was to go home and do nothing, I mean this was strange. Everything happened so quick and in no time I had no job. I mean I had loads of work gear but no job!
I was on the hunt for work again and the only place I could go was an agency.
I remember walking into the agency and asking if they had any work. I was promised they had and spent around an hour filling in their forms to register. I was told they would call when something came in….. they never called. I remember I registered a few more times with a couple more but again, promised the world but given nothing. The last agency I went into was a well known one, they told me, like the rest, they have work “all you need is the 17th edition”, which I had. They took a copy of the 17th certificate and you know what…. The day after I was working in a block of flats second fixing all the accessories and consumer units. Amazing right. This was work through the agency but as a self-employed spark and you know what…. I was coming home with about £700 a week in my pocket (umbrella sorted everything else out).
To be continued…