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Yet another kick to the nutsack: shoulder replacement

STUMPY

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So my great comeback at 49yrs old and plans to compete in Master Physique next year have been shot down in flames.

Woke up one morning back in late June w some major pain inside my left shoulder,figured it was just the way I slept (I've been a shoulder-sleeper my entire life). Have had 3 prior rotator cuff repairs on my left shoulder (and 3 on my right). Didn't pay much attention to it as I'm old AF and have daily chronic pain regardless. But it didn't get any better over time and got worse.

Stubborn as I am,I continued to train around it simply avoiding movements that aggravated it. Finally went to see my Ortho in August,he said another major cuff tear even though I can still internally/externally rotate my arm which I could not do with the other cuff tears I had. Got an MRI and the cuff is indeed torn and the ball of my shoulder is sitting halfway outside and up out of the socket and there's a huge chunk of arthritis on it as well.

Doc said after 3 prior cuff repairs,a 4th is not an option as the tendons have retracted and that's that. Says my only option is a reverse-total shoulder replacement which eliminates the cuff entirely and my delt muscles would take over moving my shoulder. Says lifting will be limited at best and this procedure is considered a last ditch,salvage effort. I'm meeting with the specialist who does the procedure today to discuss,but I don't think continuing to train is in my future.

In the past 10yrs I've had:
-proximal row carpectomy surgery,left wrist
-3 open repairs,right rotator cuff
-3 open repairs,left rotator cuff
-L5-S1 lumbar spine fusion
-L2-S1 lumbar spine fusion,revision
-distal biceps rupture,left arm (August '18)
-C4/5/6 cervical spine fusion (Oct '18)

And now this. I'm totally bummed out gentlemen....
Here's a couple of pics from a month ago,I was doing well despite all my injuries :banghead:
 

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epoxy

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So my great comeback at 49yrs old and plans to compete in Master Physique next year have been shot down in flames.

Woke up one morning back in late June w some major pain inside my left shoulder,figured it was just the way I slept (I've been a shoulder-sleeper my entire life). Have had 3 prior rotator cuff repairs on my left shoulder (and 3 on my right). Didn't pay much attention to it as I'm old AF and have daily chronic pain regardless. But it didn't get any better over time and got worse.

Stubborn as I am,I continued to train around it simply avoiding movements that aggravated it. Finally went to see my Ortho in August,he said another major cuff tear even though I can still internally/externally rotate my arm which I could not do with the other cuff tears I had. Got an MRI and the cuff is indeed torn and the ball of my shoulder is sitting halfway outside and up out of the socket and there's a huge chunk of arthritis on it as well.

Doc said after 3 prior cuff repairs,a 4th is not an option as the tendons have retracted and that's that. Says my only option is a reverse-total shoulder replacement which eliminates the cuff entirely and my delt muscles would take over moving my shoulder. Says lifting will be limited at best and this procedure is considered a last ditch,salvage effort. I'm meeting with the specialist who does the procedure today to discuss,but I don't think continuing to train is in my future.

In the past 10yrs I've had:
-proximal row carpectomy surgery,left wrist
-3 open repairs,right rotator cuff
-3 open repairs,left rotator cuff
-L5-S1 lumbar spine fusion
-L2-S1 lumbar spine fusion,revision
-distal biceps rupture,left arm (August '18)
-C4/5/6 cervical spine fusion (Oct '18)

And now this. I'm totally bummed out gentlemen....
Here's a couple of pics from a month ago,I was doing well despite all my injuries :banghead:

Man, so sorry to hear this. It scares me a bit myself as I have had chronic rotator cuff pain for a number of years now gone undiagnosed. I did the same, avoiding certain movements and staying away from certain exercises or heavier loads. I'm only 33, deca had been masking signs and providing relief, which I finally ceased use after almost 5 years of a steady 300mg a week dose. Now I'm back to chronic 'mild' pain, it's there, I can feel it, but I can work through it via prehab exercise and rotator cuff warm ups on a daily basis. But the pain is there, and does not at any point go away - and I am also a side sleeper and my PREFERRED side to sleep on happens to be this injured shoulder. Can't sleep on back/stomach under pretty much any circumstances. Looking into some pretty expensive pillows now that take the stress off of the shoulder while sleeping.
 

mytreefiddy

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I hate reading shit like this.......sucks.... was looking great too
 

johnjuanb1

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So my great comeback at 49yrs old and plans to compete in Master Physique next year have been shot down in flames.

Woke up one morning back in late June w some major pain inside my left shoulder,figured it was just the way I slept (I've been a shoulder-sleeper my entire life). Have had 3 prior rotator cuff repairs on my left shoulder (and 3 on my right). Didn't pay much attention to it as I'm old AF and have daily chronic pain regardless. But it didn't get any better over time and got worse.

Stubborn as I am,I continued to train around it simply avoiding movements that aggravated it. Finally went to see my Ortho in August,he said another major cuff tear even though I can still internally/externally rotate my arm which I could not do with the other cuff tears I had. Got an MRI and the cuff is indeed torn and the ball of my shoulder is sitting halfway outside and up out of the socket and there's a huge chunk of arthritis on it as well.

Doc said after 3 prior cuff repairs,a 4th is not an option as the tendons have retracted and that's that. Says my only option is a reverse-total shoulder replacement which eliminates the cuff entirely and my delt muscles would take over moving my shoulder. Says lifting will be limited at best and this procedure is considered a last ditch,salvage effort. I'm meeting with the specialist who does the procedure today to discuss,but I don't think continuing to train is in my future.

In the past 10yrs I've had:
-proximal row carpectomy surgery,left wrist
-3 open repairs,right rotator cuff
-3 open repairs,left rotator cuff
-L5-S1 lumbar spine fusion
-L2-S1 lumbar spine fusion,revision
-distal biceps rupture,left arm (August '18)
-C4/5/6 cervical spine fusion (Oct '18)

And now this. I'm totally bummed out gentlemen....
Here's a couple of pics from a month ago,I was doing well despite all my injuries :banghead:
Man, life is so unfair! I’m sorry this is happening to you. :(
You look great in your pics.
 

qbkilla

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Sorry to hear this, how do you train? Do you feel training style or overuse contributed?
 

STUMPY

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Man, so sorry to hear this. It scares me a bit myself as I have had chronic rotator cuff pain for a number of years now gone undiagnosed. I did the same, avoiding certain movements and staying away from certain exercises or heavier loads. I'm only 33, deca had been masking signs and providing relief, which I finally ceased use after almost 5 years of a steady 300mg a week dose. Now I'm back to chronic 'mild' pain, it's there, I can feel it, but I can work through it via prehab exercise and rotator cuff warm ups on a daily basis. But the pain is there, and does not at any point go away - and I am also a side sleeper and my PREFERRED side to sleep on happens to be this injured shoulder. Can't sleep on back/stomach under pretty much any circumstances. Looking into some pretty expensive pillows now that take the stress off of the shoulder while sleeping.
Damn man sorry to hear that. Anything you can do now while you're still young to correct the injury will reap benefits later on in life when you get to my age

I hate reading shit like this.......sucks.... was looking great too
Yeah it's been difficult to accept and thanks for the compliment brother

Man, life is so unfair! I’m sorry this is happening to you. :(
You look great in your pics.
Thanks my man,much appreciated!

Sorry to hear this, how do you train? Do you feel training style or overuse contributed?
I used to train very heavy back in the day. Doing behind the neck presses w 315lbs wasn't the best idea looking back lol....
I train light now and have since I got back in the gym 2yrs ago. Work injuries as well as beating my body up daily by throwing pipe on my shoulder at work,twisting and contorting my body doing position welds in fucked up cramped quarters as a Union plumber for the past 25yrs absolutely contributed to my condition.

So I just left my surgeon,good news is he said since I'm in great shape now I'll do very well after the shoulder replacement. He says I will still be able to train using light-to moderate weight(I do that now anyways) and I'll have excellent ROM and the pain will be gone. Recovery will be same as rotator cuff repair surgery;3-4mos.
 

johnjuanb1

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Damn man sorry to hear that. Anything you can do now while you're still young to correct the injury will reap benefits later on in life when you get to my age


Yeah it's been difficult to accept and thanks for the compliment brother


Thanks my man,much appreciated!


I used to train very heavy back in the day. Doing behind the neck presses w 315lbs wasn't the best idea looking back lol....
I train light now and have since I got back in the gym 2yrs ago. Work injuries as well as beating my body up daily by throwing pipe on my shoulder at work,twisting and contorting my body doing position welds in fucked up cramped quarters as a Union plumber for the past 25yrs absolutely contributed to my condition.

So I just left my surgeon,good news is he said since I'm in great shape now I'll do very well after the shoulder replacement. He says I will still be able to train using light-to moderate weight(I do that now anyways) and I'll have excellent ROM and the pain will be gone. Recovery will be same as rotator cuff repair surgery;3-4mos.
That’s great news! You’ll most likely be able to compete in physique. 👍
 

STUMPY

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That’s great news! You’ll most likely be able to compete in physique. ��

Yes Sir it sure is!! I was completely down in the dumps when I made this post early this morning,anticipating terrible news.

One big downside as he explained it to me is my relatively young age. Majority of reverse replacement candidates are much older(60's & 70s) and for them,the prosthetic will usually last the remainder of their life. Me,not so much.

He said the plastic ball they install will only last 10-15yrs,if I'm active in the gym etc,that time frame may decrease by 5-7yrs. But I simply can't live w anymore pain and the quality of life over the past few months has steadily decreased...Shit,I'm only sleeping 2-3hrs a nite and that's taking it's toll

I'm definitely going to attempt Masters Physique next season and that's all the encouragement I need to keep me motivated!!!
 
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11111

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Damn man sorry to hear that. Anything you can do now while you're still young to correct the injury will reap benefits later on in life when you get to my age


Yeah it's been difficult to accept and thanks for the compliment brother


Thanks my man,much appreciated!


I used to train very heavy back in the day. Doing behind the neck presses w 315lbs wasn't the best idea looking back lol....
I train light now and have since I got back in the gym 2yrs ago. Work injuries as well as beating my body up daily by throwing pipe on my shoulder at work,twisting and contorting my body doing position welds in fucked up cramped quarters as a Union plumber for the past 25yrs absolutely contributed to my condition.

So I just left my surgeon,good news is he said since I'm in great shape now I'll do very well after the shoulder replacement. He says I will still be able to train using light-to moderate weight(I do that now anyways) and I'll have excellent ROM and the pain will be gone. Recovery will be same as rotator cuff repair surgery;3-4mos.

damn stumpy, sorry to hear this man. wishing you the best of luck...

and i know 4 guys over the age of 50 who were union plumbers their entire careers and literally every single one of them is beat to shit. none of them even lift weights... just wear and tear from the job like you mentioned. knee replacements, hip replacements, bulging discs, etc...

hang in there man..
 

buck

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I had my shoulder replaced a few years ago. I would definitely recommend seeing another surgeon for a second opinion. Preferable an Orthopedic Sports Medicine one. Who deals with Pro athletes. I find their take can be different, and they know who they are dealing with. I was able to opt for the partial replacement (Ream and Run). If I would have waited another year or 2 I most likely would need a full replacement and the plastic part they use limits you to 25 lb's and not continuously. They micro fractured my shoulder so that stem cells could leak out and it helps make a thin fibrosis coating which isn't as good as cartilage but at least it isn't bone on bone.
 

johnjuanb1

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Yes Sir it sure is!! I was completely down in the dumps when I made this post early this morning,anticipating terrible news.

One big downside as he explained it to me is my relatively young age. Majority of reverse replacement candidates are much older(60's & 70s) and for them,the prosthetic will usually last the remainder of their life. Me,not so much.

He said the plastic ball they install will only last 10-15yrs,if I'm active in the gym etc,that time frame may decrease by 5-7yrs. But I simply can't live w anymore pain and the quality of life over the past few months has steadily decreased...Shit,I'm only sleeping 2-3hrs a nite and that's taking it's toll

I'm definitely going to attempt Masters Physique next season and that's all the encouragement I need to keep me motivated!!!
They’ll have better technology when it’s time to fix it again. You’ll probably be a cyborg and strong as silver back gorilla. 🦍
 

STUMPY

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damn stumpy, sorry to hear this man. wishing you the best of luck...

and i know 4 guys over the age of 50 who were union plumbers their entire careers and literally every single one of them is beat to shit. none of them even lift weights... just wear and tear from the job like you mentioned. knee replacements, hip replacements, bulging discs, etc...

hang in there man..
Thanks my man I appreciate the kind words!

Yeah its a tough trade,I worked in Jersey City in all the high-rise bldgs so its up and down the stairs all day carrying pipe,etc. When I was 21yrs old I was an apprentice&was sitting at 230lbs. So the foreman would have me do ALL the heavy lifting and buggy-lugging for the old timers which I didn't mind because back in the day you took care of the old timers and did the heavy lifting for them. Thinking back,probably wasn't the best idea. The Union construction trades have changed,it's not the same as it used to be back in the day. It's every man for himself and the attitude nowadays is "Hooray for me,fuck you". If I had to start all over,I'd choose a different path in life cause I'm paying for it now.

It's true,all the older guys I knew throughout my career are now damaged goods and have had all those issues you mentioned. The Ironworkers had it the roughest though,standing bent over tying re-bar on the deck before a pour...most of them had destroyed their backs by the time they hit their 40's.

I caught a break the last 10yrs and just welded pipe instead of on my knees roughing in cast-iron or bent over laying pipe in a trench. I made a decent 6 figure salary&the benefits/health care were good but it was fucking blood money dude. I should have went to college instead :banghead:


Only bright side to all this is,I officially retired from the Union today since I'm permanently disabled from all my injuries. I can now collect my pension&annuity as well as my workers comp and social security disability.
 

STUMPY

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I had my shoulder replaced a few years ago. I would definitely recommend seeing another surgeon for a second opinion. Preferable an Orthopedic Sports Medicine one. Who deals with Pro athletes. I find their take can be different, and they know who they are dealing with. I was able to opt for the partial replacement (Ream and Run). If I would have waited another year or 2 I most likely would need a full replacement and the plastic part they use limits you to 25 lb's and not continuously. They micro fractured my shoulder so that stem cells could leak out and it helps make a thin fibrosis coating which isn't as good as cartilage but at least it isn't bone on bone.

Thanks for your input,I appreciate all of it. I actually met with 3 different Ortho's. They basically all said the same,since I have already had 3 prior rotator cuff surgeries,a 4th repair is not a viable option. All the rotator cuff tendons that tore have all retracted and I have nothing to re-attach to the bone. It's pretty much beyond repair by using a conventional shoulder replacement. Trust me my man,nothing would make me happier than to not have a reverse replacement. But all 3 have pretty much agreed upon it being my only choice. The doc performing the procedure is one of the Ortho's for the NY Jets so he is definitely familiar with sports based trauma.
 

buck

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Thanks for your input,I appreciate all of it. I actually met with 3 different Ortho's. They basically all said the same,since I have already had 3 prior rotator cuff surgeries,a 4th repair is not a viable option. All the rotator cuff tendons that tore have all retracted and I have nothing to re-attach to the bone. It's pretty much beyond repair by using a conventional shoulder replacement. Trust me my man,nothing would make me happier than to not have a reverse replacement. But all 3 have pretty much agreed upon it being my only choice. The doc performing the procedure is one of the Ortho's for the NY Jets so he is definitely familiar with sports based trauma.

Sorry for your situation. But at least you will probably have the best outcome that can be expected. I had thought my life was over as I knew it. And it is not what it was but after decades of training heavy I never expected it to last forever. But I have found ways of finding some challenges and I am content enough. Good luck.
 

Reload

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Sorry Stumpy. I feel your pain.
Same boat. Multiple RC tears and had both shoulders repaired last year. First the right and then the left. Almost all of 2018 was spent working through physical therapy. Turning 50 was such a slap in the face. Now it's all about preserving the "good" I do have. Means training smarter.

Those of you with shoulder issues, have you tried one of these MedCline sleeping wedges? I'm thinking of getting one as I also have GURD issues but would like to know how well they work and if they're comfortable to sleep on?
 

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Reload

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STUMPY

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Sorry for your situation. But at least you will probably have the best outcome that can be expected. I had thought my life was over as I knew it. And it is not what it was but after decades of training heavy I never expected it to last forever. But I have found ways of finding some challenges and I am content enough. Good luck.
Thanks buck,I'm hoping it will all work out for the best. It was rough accepting that I would never able to train heavy or be as thick as I was before my lumbar fusions as that was literally a life-changing surgery that altered every aspect of my life,and not for the better. Like you,I moved forward,figured out new ways to train and was happy with my physique once I got past being hung up on throwing heavy weight around and comparing myself to what I used to be.

Sorry Stumpy. I feel your pain.
Same boat. Multiple RC tears and had both shoulders repaired last year. First the right and then the left. Almost all of 2018 was spent working through physical therapy. Turning 50 was such a slap in the face. Now it's all about preserving the "good" I do have. Means training smarter.

Those of you with shoulder issues, have you tried one of these MedCline sleeping wedges? I'm thinking of getting one as I also have GURD issues but would like to know how well they work and if they're comfortable to sleep on?
Couldn't have said it any better myself Reload,we have to adapt to our situations and figure out ways around our set-backs.

That sleeping wedge looks like something I need in my life ASAP!!!
Thanks for the pic,Im gonna look into one of those this evening since I'm a shoulder sleeper

Thanks for all the kind words,advice and encouragement gentlemen I really do appreciate all your replies!
 

qbkilla

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Thanks my man I appreciate the kind words!

Yeah its a tough trade,I worked in Jersey City in all the high-rise bldgs so its up and down the stairs all day carrying pipe,etc. When I was 21yrs old I was an apprentice&was sitting at 230lbs. So the foreman would have me do ALL the heavy lifting and buggy-lugging for the old timers which I didn't mind because back in the day you took care of the old timers and did the heavy lifting for them. Thinking back,probably wasn't the best idea. The Union construction trades have changed,it's not the same as it used to be back in the day. It's every man for himself and the attitude nowadays is "Hooray for me,fuck you". If I had to start all over,I'd choose a different path in life cause I'm paying for it now.

It's true,all the older guys I knew throughout my career are now damaged goods and have had all those issues you mentioned. The Ironworkers had it the roughest though,standing bent over tying re-bar on the deck before a pour...most of them had destroyed their backs by the time they hit their 40's.

I caught a break the last 10yrs and just welded pipe instead of on my knees roughing in cast-iron or bent over laying pipe in a trench. I made a decent 6 figure salary&the benefits/health care were good but it was fucking blood money dude. I should have went to college instead :banghead:


Only bright side to all this is,I officially retired from the Union today since I'm permanently disabled from all my injuries. I can now collect my pension&annuity as well as my workers comp and social security disability.

A little off the original topic, but I never understood unions. I am for the "every man for himself". I know for example teachers have unions (I am a teacher). I don't want to be part of a union, I don't want to be part of a democracy organization and be tied to others. I would rather negotiate
my own pay. I feel like if you believe in yourself and want to get promoted, looking out for the 10 guys around you serves no purpose. Unions can hold individuals back and like you said, they just made you carry all the other stuff cuz you were the youngest guy, you didn't owe the old timers anything and now you may pay for it. Just seems like an excuse for lazy and unskilled workers to benefit from group think so the better workers who will rise to the top stay down for the sake of unity. Maybe you agree or disagree since you were part of a union? Would like to hear your thoughts. I would be pissed if I wanted to work for amount X and thought it was fair but had to strike and lose money cuz some other guys thought they were worth more when they are not.
 

maldorf

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A little off the original topic, but I never understood unions. I am for the "every man for himself". I know for example teachers have unions (I am a teacher). I don't want to be part of a union, I don't want to be part of a democracy organization and be tied to others. I would rather negotiate
my own pay. I feel like if you believe in yourself and want to get promoted, looking out for the 10 guys around you serves no purpose. Unions can hold individuals back and like you said, they just made you carry all the other stuff cuz you were the youngest guy, you didn't owe the old timers anything and now you may pay for it. Just seems like an excuse for lazy and unskilled workers to benefit from group think so the better workers who will rise to the top stay down for the sake of unity. Maybe you agree or disagree since you were part of a union? Would like to hear your thoughts. I would be pissed if I wanted to work for amount X and thought it was fair but had to strike and lose money cuz some other guys thought they were worth more when they are not.
I used to teach. Most schools around here aren't right to work, so you end up paying union dues if you join them or not, so I always joined because I was paying anyhow. The union of course negotiates pay for all the teachers, and it was a bit annoying to me that a physical ed or music teacher got the same pay as a mathematics or chem/physics teacher. I think it would be nice if the teacher could negotiate their own pay.

There are some benefits to being in a union though. There was one time where the district was trying to screw us with crappy health insurance and the union fought it. In the end we kept our insurance the way it was. If it weren't for the union I would have lost that. We had to threaten a strike and only then did they negotiate in our favor. Being in the union you also get free representation by an attorney if you ever need one. Free legal help is a huge benefit. In today's climate you never know if you might need help fighting a parent or school district law suit.
 

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A little off the original topic, but I never understood unions. I am for the "every man for himself". I know for example teachers have unions (I am a teacher). I don't want to be part of a union, I don't want to be part of a democracy organization and be tied to others. I would rather negotiate
my own pay. I feel like if you believe in yourself and want to get promoted, looking out for the 10 guys around you serves no purpose. Unions can hold individuals back and like you said, they just made you carry all the other stuff cuz you were the youngest guy, you didn't owe the old timers anything and now you may pay for it. Just seems like an excuse for lazy and unskilled workers to benefit from group think so the better workers who will rise to the top stay down for the sake of unity. Maybe you agree or disagree since you were part of a union? Would like to hear your thoughts. I would be pissed if I wanted to work for amount X and thought it was fair but had to strike and lose money cuz some other guys thought they were worth more when they are not.
Sure,I'll discuss w ya..I can't sleep anyways lol

So,the Unions in the skilled trades/construction are a bit different then other Unions such as your teachers Union and the UAW etc. The difference is in the trade Unions,they teach you the trade with a 5yr apprenticeship(some trades such as the tin knockers may only be 3 or 4yrs) and during that 5yrs you're also learning on the job.

In my local,you are indebted to the plumbers Union for the 5yrs following the completion of your schooling;if you leave to go start your own business during that 5yr period you may be required by law (you sign an agreement)to repay the local for the education they provided.

However,after that 10yr period (5yr apprenticeship/5yrs immediately following) you are free to start your own mechanical contractor/plumbing business but they do encourage you to be a Union shop. The education they provide is top notch and the training facility is top notch w all state of the art equipment.

That being said,there is absolutely no room for lazy or unskilled workers in the trades here in the NYC/Tri-State area: if you fuck off all day and don't produce,you'll be laid-off within a day or two. If you are a shitty,sloppy worker,you'll be laid off quickly as well. There's really no place to hide between the skilled,professional plumbers in an attempt to skate by. We get paid top dollar;the mechanical contractor is not going to tolerate laziness when they're paying you $110/hr (that's our total hourly package including fringe benefits). The cream rises to the top,the same way it does in your field and other fields as well.

As far as strikes go,we've haven't had a strike in more than 30yrs,the contractors are making money hand over fist building high-rises and without a large,skilled labor force able to provide several hundred skilled plumbers at any given moment to complete the job,they aren't going to nail the required time frames without being penalized by the general contractors running the show. That can cost a mechanical contractor hundreds of thousands of dollars and could put them out of business rather quickly.

Hence,there is zero tolerance for lazy workers or guys that constantly show up late,call in sick etc. Also,unless you're a foreman we don't get any sick days,personal days or paid vacations: if you don't show up to work you don't get paid. You are an at-will employee and can be laid off at any given moment,the Union is not going to protect you.

All in all,I got in back in the early '90s when construction was booming and had a great career,made some lifelong friends,met a bunch of assholes too. Got into quite a few fist fights on the job over the years,made a great name for myself and had the opportunity to work on some very high profile,cool jobs. I've welded gas pipe (culinary gas mains,for kitchens) at the original Giants Stadium,the new Giants Stadium,Picatinny Arsenal (US Army base),NY Jets practice arena,Goldman Sachs bldg,NJ Transit tunnels under the Hudson River,Newark Airport,and most recently the American Dream Mall which will be the largest mall in the USA once completed in a few months.

I've attached a few pics,1st few are from the day I came home from the hospital after my second lumbar fusion (wanted to see if I lost my touch lol) high as fuck on pain meds and welded 2 Stanley stainless steel razor blades that are 0.024 in thick. Other pics are of me walking the roof joists 135' in the air putting up hangers for my gas main at the American Dream Mall in Rutherford,NJ
 

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