(No.6) "Need  a  Start ?"

(No.6) "Need a Start ?"

Nelson's Column

Blog No.6

"Need a Start?"

NB, this aint no blog it's a rant & a fucking angry rant too! Snowflakes beware...

Last week Friday at just after 4pm on bus home I was pumped via text.

This broke the holy grail of sparks most hated ways of having your employment terminated.

1. Just before Xmas.

2. On Friday after shift.

3. Via text message.

To be fair, this particular foreman has given me a weeks grace so I've got the next 2 days to get a worthwhile start.

Now, being a subby of significant years I've learnt to optimise my future placements by putting in the preparatory work.

Most of us can sense when a job has reached the  point of when pumps may commence.

This permanent state of paranoia (aka perfect awareness) comes from need to have a consistent wage coming in & to not be out for anymore than a week.

To avoid, becoming desperate & therefore the perfect candidate for opportunistic reps who can smell a blokes desperation within seconds of being on phone.

Whilst 'in work' I contact as many agencies as possible (usually 10+ per day) to register as 'available'. I also keep in contact with firms I've worked for to ascertain what contracts are upcoming & also let previous clients know I'm available.

All this proactively usually results in me being 1 step ahead of finding myself bricking it & questioning my ideals.

As we all know, procuring a start before Xmas can be like flogging a dead horse & the issue being that some agencies have resigned themselves to the fact that no labour is being sought whereas a few have a need due to pre Xmas deadlines to be met.

Unfortunately, these can be the worst jobs. Where you have to be "at it" & knocking your cunt out just to survive a pump happy foreman & underlying threat of the tin tak.

Usually doing longer 10 hour days & unwanted weekends too.

Also because I'm guilty too of accepting shithouse rates on basis that especially at this time, it's better to be 'earning something rather than nothing'.

I've come to terms with the above often as a result of my preparations coming up with diddlysquat.

This is currently the state of play that I'm sure will change but I've been on the dog for best part of the day & have just 3 possibles.

1st is on other side of London meaning a near 4 hour journey back'n'forth.

2nd is on a job doing 7am - 6pm.

3rd a shell & core site doing containment outside.

Not a my idea of a fun threesome!!!

Oh & 3 other jobs have been offered but the rate was 19s, another 11.5 hour days & last being Tottenham Stadium.

Now the thrust of this rant came about after I noted that a few job posts appeared for mates/improvers (if you've got an issue with the above terminology then wind your neck in & understand the context ok)

I called 1 agency & rep didnt know what I was. So I masqueraded as an improver/mate & he was most elated to have 3 different starts for a number of workers who must have installation experience.

In total there were 7 placements available with 1 being in my manor.

Rate paid was 16s on a 10 hour day based on 7.30-5.30.

Anyway, after keeping up the ruse I said I would get back to him after making a few calls to other lads I know. By close of business today there werent ANY left!

So these 7 jobs essentially should've & back in the day would've been seeking sparks not mates (often glorified labourers)

Crazy thing is I actually considered taking the start!?!

Since, with NO responsibility NOR qualifications required I could pull in £160 p/d.

This status quo has caused me in this instance to lose my rag. AGAIN!

An unfortunate rep copped an earful when I went on 1 about how he & his ilk were blantantly fucking sparks over & making the grade of electrician now incidental & borderline irrelevant.

To add insult to injury, 1 jumped up rep initially tried to convince me that I had aspirations beyond my station & to accept that sparks are nowadays 2 a penny. He said my minimum rate showed delusions of granduer.

Maybe if I was more flexible he could get me a start & in ongoing work for 18s.

I listened to his advice then asked did he come from the school of Reed & Jonathan Reilly.

Somewhat confused he then admitted he knew Mr. 'fucksparks' Reilly.

I then not necessarily calmly explained what issues face work a day subs on the grub & he was reticent after ward.

Especially whilst in mid rant he proudly confirmed he was 24 had business studies & media studies quals under his belt & in his opinion my position was untenable.

Sadly I reverted to type I told him my age, number of years in the game, qualifications & more importantly experience & how I'm supposedly only worth £20 more a day than an 'improver' all with a extra large dose of fucks & cunts in the mix.

To give him his due his business training kicked in & he remained calm which infuriated me even more.

End result was he sheepishly agreed I had a point & didn’t mean to be disrespectful BUT the market was ruled by supply & demand NOT what sparks 'think' they should earn & maybe I'd be less stressed if I just understood that I was in a minority. Stating he had 20+ "good lads" who were happy to be in continuous work rather than worried about what rate they are on.

Now he could've been telling porkies but I really dont think he was....

All in all my forthright pride in my trade is diminishing to the point where I'm genuinely thinking I will take a start as a mate!?!


This wont be the case until next week & I am quite optimistic that not only a start but a good 1 will manifest itself...

But taking ALL the above into account results in my take on this industry being an utter shit show run by fuckwits & eventually 75% of install being done by *Bengals & blaggers. Who are all happy as Larry when I'm as miserable as sin!


Nuff said

Thanks for listening.

Regards Mister Nelson Esquire

* Bengals is cockney rhyming slang it goes Bengal lancer means chancer

(No.5) "DORIS"

(No.5) "DORIS"