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The Professional Advice Thread


fat ralphy
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I was hoping this would be a place that we can seek professional input from one another. There are plenty of talented people here and we can use our community to help each other.

 

Bounce estimates around to see if costs are reasonable, help with DIY projects, real life connections if doable - basically a place to seek and share professional input or collaboration. 

 

 

For example:

 

@Mercer - you work as an electrician, right?

 

Yesterday I was upgrading the security light on my front porch. I switched off the breaker but it still seemed like I got a small  shock when I came in contact with the black wire.

 

Is there residual power left over even if a circuit is turned off?

 

 

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I’m not an electrician but have done some advanced electrical work setting up the screen printing stuff. 

 

No, if you cut the circuit breaker, then all power is cut. For “residual” power, you’d need a battery or capacitor to store it. Wires conduct electricity but cannot store it. 

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Electrician here - If you're getting zapped then the circuit is definitely still live, as @misteravensaid its definitely worth getting a cheap mulitmeter to check the circuit it dead before working on it. 
Sometimes its easier/quicker to just turn off the main switch/whole house rather that tracking down the individual circuit, but always worth testing first I've worked on some sketchy houses thinking they were off but they were stealing power from the neighbours and had live cables everywhere still  

Edited by aimer
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@fat ralphyThe circuit you're working on is either: a) not on a breaker at all (dangerous AF), or more likely just on another mislabeled breaker. Either way the important thing to remember here is that circuit is live, don't touch it until you get it shut off properly.

 

For reference:

  • Black wire: 110v hot (ouch)
  • White wire: 110v neutral (also ouch)
  • the green/bare copper wire: ground (no ouch).

 

I'd either shut everything down as @aimersaid, and then test to make sure it's off by grabbing the exposed wire with your bare hands (just kidding don't, you'll die and it will be very painful) while standing in a puddle, or using electrical test equipment like a meter to make sure it's off before proceeding, risking your life, or risking your arm again like Kase 2. Although it wouldn't be a bad look to be the first one armed Purple Belt king of Styyyyyyyle.

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  • 1 month later...

Any tips on healthy ways to set boundaries at work? Clients/ Higher ups, all that. Learning to say no more often but realized I can be a little snarky after some "new details" or wants emerge. I guess I really need tips on keeping emotions intact and segregated while navigating through creative industries. I have no patience when it comes to other parts of a "team" being lazy and not taking accountability and I often find myself succumbing to stress and anger.

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2 hours ago, cruzxctrl said:

Any tips on healthy ways to set boundaries at work? Clients/ Higher ups, all that. Learning to say no more often but realized I can be a little snarky after some "new details" or wants emerge. I guess I really need tips on keeping emotions intact and segregated while navigating through creative industries. I have no patience when it comes to other parts of a "team" being lazy and not taking accountability and I often find myself succumbing to stress and anger.

I've only been working in the creative industry for about eight years but in my little experience here's what I've found:

 

1. Some agencies will take any gig if the client is big enough. This usually leads to fire drills, which leads to long hours, which leads to burn out, which leads to stress and anger. If you're in a position to - set boundaries up front. These are the hours you'll work, this is how you'll handle changes, this is the time you'll need to complete the work. Changes will be considered but at a cost. Quality of life is more important that graphics for a pop up shop. If the client won't give you enough time to be successful with their project there's no point in taking it. 

2. It's easy to be snarky when a client asks for something ridiculous (because they do it all the fucking time), but hold your comments until after they have left and you've had time to go over the ask with others in your group. Then the project manager/producer can address the team's hesitations with the client in a logistical sense... and probably with the snark. 

3. Lazy team members is a hard one. I've not worked anywhere that had this. Again, if you're in a position to - give that person less to work on or make sure those higher up know how little they do. You can do this without coming right out and saying "Kevin sucks and spends his day reading Hypebeast and listening to shitty rap". 

 

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I really don't want to make this a thread on electrical DIY, but...

 

I replaced two three-way switches from old toggle to newer paddle. The problem is now only one switch turns the light on, the other does nothing. I've tried moving wires from one spot on the switch to the other - thinking I put the wires in the wrong spot - but it's still not working. And yes, I used three-way specific switches. Is there a way to tell if the black wire I'm connecting at one switch is the same as I've connected it at the other switch? 

 

 

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18 minutes ago, Joker said:

I really don't want to make this a thread on electrical DIY, but...

 

I replaced two three-way switches from old toggle to newer paddle. The problem is now only one switch turns the light on, the other does nothing. I've tried moving wires from one spot on the switch to the other - thinking I put the wires in the wrong spot - but it's still not working. And yes, I used three-way specific switches. Is there a way to tell if the black wire I'm connecting at one switch is the same as I've connected it at the other switch? 

 

 

Unsure, usually its the opposite of what you describe... When a switch is off, the rest of the circuit is off too. That's an easy fix and has to do with the fact that you are closing the circuit with the first switch in the series.

 

By paddle, do you mean a dimmer switch? If so, not all lightbulbs are compatible with that.

 

They do in deed sell voltmeters and electrical testing tools that allow you to trace a circuit since its usually behind drywall. I learned a ton from one specific guy at Home Depot. Usually those guys know a little more than the average worker and sometimes you can get them to help out under the premise of making a buying decision. The ones that don't know will feed you a line about how its against store policy to provide electrical advise. If so, find a different guy or a different store, but yeah... Also, tons of info on Youtube. I actually created a new service entry to a building, as well as a new breaker panel, wired about a half dozen outlets, several switches and a bunch of shop lighting in addition to a bunch of 240v electrical drops for the screen printing equipment. Hardest part was unraveling the dumb little code requirements. Actual work was pretty easy (minus trenching out the run to the transformer box in sub zero weather).

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@JokerI appreciate you, OG. I'm learning to pick and choose my battles more wisely. 

 

The only good from seeing all the laziness and fuck ups is that I can take that knowledge with me and apply logic and discipline to maneuver around issues smarter. Learning from other's mistakes as well as my own.

 

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So uh I got this promotion to a role that actually has specialized skills and potential growth instead of being an executive assistant.

The workload is really light right now and I want to do more, but dont wanna fuck up the mojo. Burn myself out like I have previously.

 

Should I just stay patient and wait as my role developes?

Don't want to ask for a ton of work then fuck myself. 

 

Compliance related in Finance industry. Started as guy stocking fridge and answering phone calls, then helped with HR and Sales Team support. Now im basically the feds. 

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  • 1 month later...

Chicks I work with are normal people. My supervisor is a girl that’s younger than me but she did Harvard, was an advisor to a high court (our version of Supreme Court) judge and a cabinet minister in the govt.

 

Fuck that, I jump at the chance to work with her, I learn a lot and she listens to our input. 

 

Are you sure that you’re not the problem in this picture?

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15 hours ago, Hua Guofang said:

Chicks I work with are normal people. My supervisor is a girl that’s younger than me but she did Harvard, was an advisor to a high court (our version of Supreme Court) judge and a cabinet minister in the govt.

 

Fuck that, I jump at the chance to work with her, I learn a lot and she listens to our input. 

 

Are you sure that you’re not the problem in this picture?

Counters his anecdotal evidence with your own, 👌🏻

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On 8/27/2019 at 11:58 AM, cruzxctrl said:

Any tips on healthy ways to set boundaries at work? Clients/ Higher ups, all that. Learning to say no more often but realized I can be a little snarky after some "new details" or wants emerge. I guess I really need tips on keeping emotions intact and segregated while navigating through creative industries. I have no patience when it comes to other parts of a "team" being lazy and not taking accountability and I often find myself succumbing to stress and anger.

I have zero experience in creative industries (in terms of art) other than the fact that I have to come up with creative solutions to solve technology problems.  "Scope creep" is an industry term we use when the scope of a project begins to expand naturally as the client asks for more and more things or the project your trying to complete begins requiring other things to be done first that were planned for.

 

My suggestion is that you intend to be firm and assertive, people will respect you but you must navigate this carefully to not come off like a hard headed asshole.  It's not easy for someone else to tell you how to establish your position within the work place (not quite the same as kicking someone's ass on your first day in prison) without knowing your co workers and workplace specifically.  I've gotten way more respect from people higher up than me by saying "no" when I felt it necessary along with having good reasons why "no" is the answer.  I know that's vague, but I hope it helps you.  Main point:  having a back bone makes you seem more like a partner than a peer or subordinate.

 

I make it very clear to everyone I work with that once I leave for the day I'm doing me shit..... and not thinking about work shit.  I don't want to stand around outside talking shop.... if i'm not at my desk working on computer shit, I don't want to talk to you about computer shit outside.  I work to live not live to work, I will never understand people that let their job consume them when their job is working for someone else.  Running your own business, fine work long hours talk shop all day if you want..... but don't spend yourself like this one someone else.  You only get to live one time, is this how you want to spend your time?  If the answer is ever "no" to that question, that's a clear sign that it's time for you to figure something different out.

 

On 8/29/2019 at 10:10 AM, +plus+ said:

So uh I got this promotion to a role that actually has specialized skills and potential growth instead of being an executive assistant.

The workload is really light right now and I want to do more, but dont wanna fuck up the mojo. Burn myself out like I have previously.

 

Should I just stay patient and wait as my role developes?

Don't want to ask for a ton of work then fuck myself. 

 

Compliance related in Finance industry. Started as guy stocking fridge and answering phone calls, then helped with HR and Sales Team support. Now im basically the feds. 

Don't rock the boat.  Wait for your boss to give you tasks.  I made the mistake of thinking I wasn't doing enough at work, but if you go making it obvious that you need something to keep busy, they will find something for you (and not in a good way).  The part that is worse than that is that you may be highlighting that your boss doesn't have anything for you to do to others.  For instance, my team is small (5 people) and we have one boss.... there are several other managers that we work with from other teams.  The last thing I want to do is make any of those other managers think that our department is slow or anything about what we're doing is "not enough".  So, I find things to occupy myself that are related to work while I wait for my manager to give me things to do.  The fact that I complete the tasks I'm given so quickly and properly means that I get more time to figure other things out and do what I want while waiting for the boss's next tasks.  I'm on an R&D team so it's probably a little different than other roles people are in but the same ideas should apply.

 

On 8/29/2019 at 10:11 AM, +plus+ said:

Also do any of you have any salesforce experience? 

I have salesforce experience.  I think it's garbage software but  it's very widely accepted.  I never wrote custom add-ins for it but I did use it quite extensively before.  Honestly, I'd go another route if it's up to you.  I don't like all the 3rd party "hosted in the cloud" services that people use all the time now for business reasons.  Atlassian software is a perfect example of an entire software ecosystem that I think is straight hot trash.

 

11 hours ago, auf said:

How do you cope working with women in a professional work place? They constantly demand affirmation, like a fucking dog needs to be pat on the head. Not trying to sound like an incel, but  I've met some girls who get offended if I don't say thanks.  Any tips appreciated.

 

edit: if it were up to me they'd be at home nurturing the children making sandwiches.

I've had some pretty poor experiences working with women in my profession, and I've had some ok experiences.  I've had way more poor experiences than not though.  I'll say straight out, I'm not a sexist person.  I believe everyone deserves a chance to do any profession they want to be a part of..... but I will say that in my profession, there is absolutely zero room for emotion.  We don't use emotion to fix computer problems ever and when your chemical makeup is prone to making you react to problems in an emotional manner, it creates issues for people like me.  At one of my last jobs, the directors said they wanted "people managers" that weren't technical to manage my department.  Welll, here's the problem with that, what we work on is HIGHLY technical and if the manager has no clue what we're doing, how can they manage us or know if we're doing our jobs right?  They cannot.

 

Anyway, my last job, I dealt with being under 2 non-technical female managers.  On more than one occassion I was ready to walk out of the job because of how they were acting about our technical problems for the day and lack of respect for work life balance.  I had to tell one manager that belittling me on the support floor is not something that I'm going to be ok with.  I told her that the  way she talked to me in front of others was absolutely unprofessional.  Of course she said sorry in a 1 on 1, but that's no the point..... the point is that she thought it was ok in the moment to make a scene. 

 

I've also had "technical" female coworkers before.... in software support roles.  They were ok but I saw them getting a LOT of coddling from males in the department due to them being the only female working as a peer with us.  Constantly being asked for "friendly" lunch dates and stuff, guys trying to be cool and shit.... whatever.  I only go to work for the money.  In the future if my manger is going to be a female, I'm going to think very very very long about whether or not it really is a job I want.  I've just had bad experiences I think, I'm sure there are great women managers out there..... I just haven't worked with them yet.

 

Now, one last thing.... now that I'm in an R&D dept, I'm working with a different caliber of professionals.  The women that work here as software engineers are smarter than I am when it comes to writing code..... and they don't act like a bunch of hormone driven kiddos.  It's nice and comforting, I would probably be ok with working under one of them because I know they think logically and rationally about problems.

 

@auf- my suggestion on the "saying thanks" thing is ..... for one, don't say "thanks".  It's lazy and sounds like you aren't really all that grateful.  "Thank you" is what you should say when you intend to express gratefulness for something someone has done for you.  With that said, I'd use good manners in the professional space all the time.  It will get you much further in life and people within earshot will recognize that you're not a cave person when it comes to the pleasantries of communicating with others.  The best tip i could give you for navigating difficult coworkers is to focus on your work and minimize the damage they can cause to your progress.  This comes in many forms from distractions, long conversations that don't have to do with work, the coworker that constantly complains about SOMETHING, the guy that takes 4 cig breaks every hour, etc..... avoid all that shit and you'll shine in the eyes of your superiors if they're not morons.

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Definitely don't share personal details of your life with coworkers.  I am not suggesting being cagey and weird.  It's way too easy to think someone is your "true friend" when they're just being friendly to you at work.  Anything personal people know about you can be used for ammo later on if they decide they don't like you.  This also means don't go out to drinks with coworkers that have nothing better going on in life than to spend their free time away from work drinking all the time.  These people are not going to be CEOs anytime soon.... they're the "regular workers".  If you want to be associated with them, make a point to be hanging out with them all the time, and be seen where they are.

 

My suggestion, however, is to avoid them completely.  This may paint you in the light of being the "no fun" person that doesn't like to go do social things.  My rule on this is, I don't care about drinking beer with you after I just looked at your ugly ass for 8 hours today..... but if my boss or director says "Hey DHabz, let's go get a beer after work."  I'm 100% going..... because this means it's an excuse to talk about something important.  Your peers that invite you out are only inviting you to gossip or to get into some stupid shit, it won't be serious business like it will be if your boss asks you to go have a beer.  Anyway, I don't mean to go off on a tangent there.  It's better to not be viewed at work by your superiors as part of the party fuck boi crowd that they hired for less than market rate.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/27/2019 at 3:24 PM, Joker said:

I really don't want to make this a thread on electrical DIY, but...

 

I replaced two three-way switches from old toggle to newer paddle. The problem is now only one switch turns the light on, the other does nothing. I've tried moving wires from one spot on the switch to the other - thinking I put the wires in the wrong spot - but it's still not working. And yes, I used three-way specific switches. Is there a way to tell if the black wire I'm connecting at one switch is the same as I've connected it at the other switch? 

 

 

The black screw should NOT get the same wire at each box. The two wires on the brass screws should be the same . Ohm-ing out with a meter is relatively simple,  just make sure your power is off and be safe. I can explain how if you want, but I assume there are youtubes that would do so more clearly. 

 

There are a couple things potentially happening here, without seeing in the box and not knowing the age of wiring or who wired your house it's hard to say for sure, but--likely you mixed up your common and travellers in one or both boxes. Newer switches typically have a black screw and two brass. The two brass at each switch should get the travellers--these are paired together (usually a black and red) the black screws at each box will either get a hot or a switch leg, usually black and is less likely to be part of a clear pair.

 

 

There are so many ways to pull wire, though. Also realized this is 2 months old. It's also possible that you did everything right and have a bad switch. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hopefully one of y’all tech geniuses can answer me this? Is it possible to jump in front of big money advertisement agencies on google searches or do I just have to pay to join like everybody else? Probably not making sense, per usual since I don’t really know wtf I am talking about. I’m going off the deep end but couldn’t seo marketing help a guy like myself. 

 

I am in limbo with a lot of shit at the moment so I figure the best time to start a business would be now. 😂. In all seriousness, I’m really trying here. Decided to put a lot more effort into not working for anybody else in the house painter business and really give it a shot on my own. I started with making my own logo which came out pretty fuckin nice. Built a online portfolio of work samples. Made a very presentable and eye catching flyer. Printed out 250 copies and went rogue advertising all over the town and the next town. I then got on the internet and created a free yelp listing and paid for a Craigslist ad. Nothing. Places like Angie’s list, Yelp, home advisor, and thumbtack seem to hav that shit on lock. 

 

I fully understand that life’s greatest achievements typically don’t come from corner cutting

nor do I think this endeavor will be, but, gahd damn is there no internet hackery to boost a guys small business to a more viewable place instead of dead last? How does that shit work? What do y’all think is the better move? Just pay for the leads and the placement or try another route?

 

 

84C7CD77-3FE7-442D-A9DA-526DB1CFE0F6.thumb.jpeg.32280aa94ec72f3fde0f3957b96b653c.jpeg

0961CDB1-A549-404C-B071-B9007BB9EC06.thumb.png.b89bfa0e4f1554590112f431465c4d78.png8948F259-5680-4FF6-BE47-37743733EDD1.thumb.png.8d657c569e01c09760a35a7a670fda30.png

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

@NightmareOnElmStreet

 

I started my own painting company about 7 years ago. I did all of the things. I had terrible luck with both angies list and home advisor. Home advisor will miscategorize your services and you will get a bunch of nonsense leads and on several occasions I had people tell me they were just messing around on the site tk see how it works and they went far enough to trigger a $35 lead my way.

 

Angies list feels like its more geared towards people that are looking for handyman services and coupon shoppers as opposed to people looking to renovate their house.

 

At one time I was spending close to $3000 a month on an all out advertising campaign that in the end netted me less than break even. When i get done with work today I'll share my recipe for how Im getting work flow now and for free.

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