Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Stop for VCBT ~Interview with Construction Tales:Volume I author Leslie Jasper





 

·         What is your book about?

I became a female electrician at the age of 20 years old back in 1995.  I entered an apprenticeship where females were not wanted on the job.  Despite the resistance, I joined the 5 ½ year apprenticeship program.  My journey to complete my apprentice program is highlighted in my book.  The different jobs I worked on were touched as well as the crazy co-workers I met along the way.  I talk about the many challenges and the difficult people I work with over the years.  My story is unique and the jobsite encounters are fascinating and funny.  I completed my apprentice program and walked away from most situation triumphantly.  My legacy for my children would be that I paved a way for economic freedom and never giving up.  I want other women to know that it is possible to step into the construction industry and make their contribution to the building of America.

 

·         What inspired you to write this particular story (and/or series)?

I had never written a book before.  I knew that it was going to be a long process that was new, exciting, and scary at the same time.  I wanted my story to be told and my legacy to be on paper.  Perhaps wanting people to know what my career path was like was an inspiration.  I believed that women needed to know that they can embark on this journey as well was another inspiration.  My desire to turn the page in my own life and go in a different direction was also my inspiration.  Ultimately, I am very motivated and I wanted to make my mark in history and in society before my journey on Earth ends.  

 

 

·         Describe your writing in three words.

Strength, Endurance, Determination

·         Are your characters in the book based on anyone you know?

The characters in my book are real as well as real funny!  I know everyone that I wrote about in the book.  They are true to life and live their lives on their own terms.  Some guys are two steps away from prison life.  Despite their extreme nature or grumpy demeanor, I love them all and find them quite amusing! I am confident that the reader will find them funny as well.  I describe the book as pissing your pants with laughter while shaking your head in disgust.

·         Was there any research involved in your work?

There was no research involved!  All my writing was captured through on the job training and plenty of observations.  I didn’t have to travel far since most of my co-workers act crazy like clockwork and right on cue!

 

·         Where can readers find you and your book(s) online?

Readers can find my book on Amazon in paperback and for Kindle.  Barnes & Noble has my book available in paperback and for Nook.  I even have it in the iTunes store for ipods, iphones, and ipads.  I am working on making it an audio version in the near future.  The book can be picked up and shipped worldwide.
About The Author



Leslie is a journeywoman electrician who works within Westchester County, New York, Fairfield County, Connecticut, and the five boroughs of New York City. Leslie has worked within the construction industry for the past 17 years. She is also an evening OSHA instructor/writing coach working part time for Empire College. Leslie recently graduated and received an MBA with honors at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York. She lives with her two sons, Tom and Johnny, in Lake Carmel, New York. Leslie enjoys spending quality time with her sons such as snowboarding and visiting haunted houses throughout New England. She also enjoys cruise ship traveling around the world, renovating her home, and spending time lifting weights in the gym.

About The Book

Genre: Self Improvement
Publisher: Self-Published at CreateSpace
Release Date: August 6, 2013
Buy: Estore | Amazon

Strap on your work boots and put on your hard hat. Let me take you on a sheetrock dusted journey to
see what it is like to work within the construction industry. The work is hard, the environment is unforgiving, and the jobsite can be either extremely hot or cold. Almost 17 years ago, I stepped foot into a male-dominated work environment. Despite the lack of a warm embrace, I pushed my way into this world to learn the trade. I showed my many mentors that I wanted to be here and was ready to learn and work. After some grit and sweat, I worked my way out of my apprenticeship to become a journeywoman electrician. I earned a great working reputation within my trade and some aches and pains along the way. I work with guys from all backgrounds and all walks of life; and a few females that share my goal to be called journeywomen. Construction workers do not care that you do not feel up to the challenge that day. You must suck it up and get the job done! You will witness what it is like on a weekly basis to work within my industry. Every story in this book is real. The names of my co-workers have been changed to protect the innocent….or the guilty! I must warn you that this book is not for the faint of heart!

Excerpt

Chapter 3- The Big Job
Construction Tales: Volume I: A Woman’s Journey To Become An Electrician

I was sent to work on a brand new job coming out of the ground in Connecticut. This job would provide massive amounts of overtime and help my living situation tremendously. I learned real quickly that the pace on this job was very different from my last job. It was more of a laid back, easy-going work environment. I would have never guessed that I was about to meet a whole group of characters on this very large job.
I set foot on the largest construction job I had ever witnessed at this point in my apprenticeship. By this moment in time, the country was coming out of a recession and this massive deck job was going to catapult many trades’ people into a good financial position. My first day was in a giant room that was in the process of becoming the data center for a very large trading floor. As an apprentice, my first three hours of the day were all about getting coffee for a third of the crew of roughly 100 electricians. There were no elevators so two other apprentices and I had to walk up a minimum of six (up to thirteen) flights of stairs and provide coffee for the group of hungry and hung-over electricians each day.
The coffee trek was a half-mile walk to the deli each morning. I placed my order and sat there with the other apprentices until the order was ready. I had to make sure I had proper change for each person who ordered and double-checked all orders for accuracy. Coffee was the most important part of the day and screwing up the order could ruin the entire day. This was especially true when we went into overtime. If you got the coffee order wrong, plenty of these guys would react like spoiled children and have an actual temper tantrum. I started to get to know two fellow apprentices, Ryan and Todd, very well while getting our daily orders of coffee. I will never forget my friendship with these two fellow apprentices.

Ryan was a tall, dark-haired, and very hairy guy from a community normally filled with rich and upper-class folk. Ryan often reeked of body odor, cigarette smoke, or booze from the night before. He was and probably still is clearly a fish out of water in his community, yet he fit right in on a construction site. Ryan played in a band. He was very rough around the edges, with plenty of piercings all over his face. Ryan came in to work on a regular basis hung-over, often stinking as if a keg of beer had been splashed all over him.