Meet Our Masters of Reliability: Aulda “Johnny” Young – Lineman
Welcome to Meet Our Masters of Reliability, a Novinium blog series highlighting our team members from all around the company.
Our inaugural interview is with Aulda Johnson Young, also known as “Johnny”, a lineman and team lead currently working in Arlington, TX.
Johnny, when did you first start your career as a lineman? How did you get started?
I started working as a lineman on August 17, 1987. Before then, I worked with my father doing construction jobs. After a while, like many young men, I wanted to do something besides working for my old man. At a poker night with my dad and his friends, one of his buddies suggested I get into line work. The next day, I started the job. It doesn’t work like that anymore!
What is an often overlooked aspect of lineman work from both lineman and from those who work in other fields?
An often overlooked aspect of lineman work is all of the long days and the long nights we have to work to keep the lights on for the neighborhood,. Being away from our families during these times is very hard. I live in North Carolina but have worked full time out in Arlington, TX since 2009 because there is a lot of work out here.
What do you have to say about the danger of lineman work? How does Novinium differ in its thoughts on safety?
There are many dangers every day on different power company systems. You never know what you will see. Novinium puts incredible emphasis on their safety rules and does not tolerate any shortcuts. As such, Novinium linemen learn how to do things the right way the first time. I started working for Novinium in 1995, and I can say that their initiatives as far as lineman safety goes have been tremendous to say the least. Much different than it was like in 1987.
What is the best piece of advice you could give to aspiring linemen and lineman apprentices?
The best piece of advice I could give someone aspiring to be a lineman is not to take any shortcuts. Follow all of the safety rules, even when you think you don’t need to. Not only will your job depend on it, but so will your life. Efficiency always comes after safety.
Oh, and try your best to get along with your crew. It makes life and work so much better.
With that said, please describe a perfect day at work.
I know it sounds simple, but a perfect work day is when we all go home knowing we did a good, safe job without any incidents. I already like to be at work, so as long as I’m home in one piece and not worried about doing a bad job on site, I’m great.
After over 30 years as a lineman, what would you say makes you unique as a lineman and the best at what you do?
Over my career, I’ve seen many lineman who approach jobs with a ton of negativity. These lineman always look for reasons not to do a job, or use the negatives to inaccurately impact a job’s assessment. I’ve learned early on to approach all my work with positivity. I want to fix the problem, so I’m not initially looking for reasons I should not do so. Instead, I assess what’s working first, then work from there. I try my damnedest to make it happen.
For your team, what makes you all unique and the best at what you do? How does that make Novinium better at what we do?
I love working with my crew–we get along great. Being able to chop it up with your team helps you keep your mind on work. You’re not bickering with your crew or not talking, which could make a 10-hour day feel like 15+. Instead, you look forward to coming to work the next day, and the day after. Novinium only can benefit from fostering workplace cultures like this company-wide.
Thanks for your time today, Johnny! Any final thoughts?
If I had to choose any career in the world, I would still chose to be a lineman!
We hope you enjoyed this interview with Johnny. Stay tuned for our next installment of Meet Our Masters Of Reliability, coming soon.