A Shocking Tale…

Motor Control Centre

I became fascinated by electricity when I was a child and tried to understand it. It started with me plugging some Christmas lights that our dog had chewed up. In those days the lights were run in series and if one light went out they all went out. Full voltage and current fed through each light.

What happened was…

Our dog chewed up the string of lights. His teeth cut through the insulation and exposed the copper wire. In many places the copper connected with copper from different sections of the wire. I plugged in the string of lights and was thrown across the room by the electrical shock. The sparks from the open wiring speckled me with little black dots. The current coursing through my little body hurt.

When I was 17 I joined the Canadian Navy as a Marine Electrician. It was a fantastic career because of what I learned about electricity and because I got paid to learn. I enjoyed working on the ships. The logic of fixing and maintaining the different electrical systems was challenging.

I left the Navy after 12 years but stayed with ships and worked as an electrician in the dockyard. We were getting the last ship ready to head off to the first Gulf War. On the last day I was working in an awkward position and hurt my back. The pain of the injury was nothing like the pain of hearing the doctor say over a year later “You can’t be an electrician any more.”

I had to change careers but in all the different things I did I always felt a pull back into the electrical trade. I heard an expression once… “You can take the boy out of the trade but you can’t take the trade out of the boy.”

A few years back I had major back and neck surgery leading to another career change…

I took a course in electrical estimating. It was fantastic because it got me back into the trade. I now teach the courses I took. sudermanestimating.com

The upside of it is I get to combine my love of writing with my knowledge about estimating. I have articles published in Electrical Business Magazine in a regular column, Estimating 101. Here is an article I wrote for the May 2020 edition.
Is Your Estimator Making This Mistake