I cannot stress enough the utillity of taking daily notes at work and keeping them after you move on.

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  1. I used to keep a daily log at work back when I was an electrical foreman.

    Every day I would write down the general conditions of the job, weather, notable events, deliveries, job-meetings, and what not. I’d also write down all the guys I had working for me and the hours they worked on what tasks and the job codes. This was invaluable for me on Monday morning when I had to fill out time cards. My memory sucks big time and I can’t remember what I did yesterday morning or what I had for breakfast -much less what I had 4-18 guys doing each hour of the day and who went home early or missed a day.

    This log saved my ass on more than one occasion when it came down to disagreements about what happened on a particular day and some verbal agreements I had made with my guys, and other trade foremen on the job. I used to keep a 3-hole notebook in a 3-ring binder and inside that I’d also keep all of my day-to-day paperwork.

    The log was a lifesaver at one sticky point where I had a problem guy who got into a lot of arguments and I eventually had to let him go. When the union representative came to talk to me about the incident I was able to document all the issues I had experienced this this guy right down to the time and date and the specific problems. It turned a hostile encounter where the rep was obviously gunning for me into him fully understanding and him taking my side.

    I got into the habit of keeping the log and still will do it on short-term gigs now even though I’m not a supervisor. It really helps when the boss comes over and asks what you have gotten done this week. I also like to document safety violations with time/date stamps and pictures on my phone. Not that I’ll ever use them but they think twice about screwing with you when you have dirt on them. OSHA fines really add up.

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