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for volunteer installers

As a volunteer installer, you are the public face of NYCMesh! Courtesy, respect, friendliness and professionalism will give new members a great first impression of our organization and will encourage them to become active contributors to our community.

Before the Install

Check the weather forecast the day before the install. If you have to cancel due to weather conditions, inform the install team on slack, email the installee member and send them a link to reschedule their appointment.

Before leaving for the install, hydrate and eat something. Bring bottled water and a snack with you.

Turn on push notifications on the slack app to communicate efficiently with your fellow installers.

Check MTA delays and allow sufficient time to get to the install. If you can’t help being late, call or text the installee member and update your co-installers on slack.

When You Arrive at the Node Site

When meeting the installee member, introduce yourself by name and explain how you plan to carry out the install. Ask them if they have any questions and confirm that they will be able to host you for the expected duration of the install. Be polite and friendly!

Be sensitive to cultural and social differences, such as:

  • Attitudes towards physical contact. For example, some people may not feel comfortable shaking hands upon meeting.
  • Wearing or not wearing outdoor footwear in the apartment. Ask for permission to wear shoes indoors if in doubt.
  • Language barriers. Be patient with members whom you don’t share a first language with.
  • Physical abilities. members who are elderly or have a medical condition may not be able to accompany you to the roof or help move furniture.

For rooftop installs, ask your installee member to lead you to their roof. If they are unable to do so, ask them to explain how to access the roof and request that they point out any hazards.

Ask your installee member to show you around their apartment. Ask where the bathroom is in case you need to use it. Remember to respect the member’s privacy.

Discuss options for cabling into the apartment with your installee member during your initial tour of their apartment. Ask for permission before carrying out any drilling.

Consider taking your boots off inside the apartment. Some apartments insist on this, and also your boots are probably dirty. Molten tar on roofs is a big problem in summer and will stick to everything. Snow in winter will melt.

During the Install

The install leader will assign tasks as per volunteers abilities. Minimal time should be wasted.

Maintain a tidy workspace. Clean up as you go. Keep an eye on wire casings you've stripped off.

Carry out the install quickly and efficiently but do not rush or compromise safety. Do not goof off or waste time.

If you need to move anything, ask permission or ask them to help you if they are able.

If you run into installation issues and feel frustrated, try to maintain a positive attitude when communicating with the member and with your fellow installers. Resolve issues efficiently and post questions to the #install-team slack channel.

If the install is taking longer than planned, tell the installee member. Confirm they will be able to host you for the extended install duration.

If for any reason you need to halt the install (eg. weather, unsafe conditions, night falling), respectfully explain the situation to the installee member.

At the End of the Install

Take photos of the install setup, the install team and the installee member (make sure to ask permission first). Photos are used to evaluate the install for problems, and the best photos are tweeted.

After finishing the install, have a friendly conversation with your member about the mission of NYCMesh and encourage them to get involved as a volunteer. Invite them to our next meetup. Avoid excessive casual conversation during install as this can increase install time by hours.

Politely remind your member to pay the labor fee and the installation fee.

Pat yourself on the back! You just helped NYCMesh grow by another node!