Here's the best thing that you can do, in my opinion. Use this thread where you feel like you have been unjustly characterized, use this as motivation. Early in my career at where I work, there were 3 guys well known for taking care of the larger machines. Effectively those guys were the "go to guys". When I interviewed for a promotion, my boss asked me where I saw myself in 5 years, to which I responded that I was going to be up there with the big 3. The boss responded to that with laughing and saying "you have a long way to go, I don't think you can do it." I used that as the cornerstone of my motivation, and not 4 years later I have climbed into a share of the top spot. If you have what it takes, it can be done. The ball is in your court.
Originally Posted by comoutsid322
Couple years ago I walked on site and the customer took one look at me and called my boss demanding to know why they sent this "young kid" out, and insisting they dispatch his usual tech. Boss convinced him to give me a chance, if after the job was done, he still was not happy, he would never see me again, and deal only with his regular guy from then on out. Well after about an hour or so he apologized for the assumption and now I'm the tech that he demands on site.
Originally Posted by ryan1088
I think that every generation thinks that the generations after them are lazy. I am sure that my grandfather thought that my fathers generation was lazy. We teach techs to work smarter rather than harder and yet when they show up already smarter than we were at their age, we bash 'em as lazy. The newer generations have cell phones and laptops to help them and we thought we were advanced because we wore pagers and then had to find a pay phone.
Granted, some are lazy and that's all there is to them. It is just more apparent with the newer generation because they don't try to hide it as much.
Since we're speaking in generalizations, why do the baby boomers all think that they are the only people in world who know what it means to work when they were handed a country at the peak of it's economic and military power? The boomers love to complain about the current generation, but really all they've done is ride the 50 year gravy train and cash in their inherited chips and the blood, sweat, and tears of their parents and grandparents for a few years of cheap thrills. They are the ones who have raised this current generation of entitled, lazy, unmotivated people.
Being 31, I'm on the older side of this much maligned generation. I see the same narcissism and entitlement everywhere. It's part of the culture in this country. It is not a generational phenomena.
I go with commercial. Your up on the roof by yourself,(mostly roofs) no homeowner looking over your shoulder asking how much is this and that.
And i'm assuming more money in commercial if your working for a company. If your doing all retail stores putting your ladder up 3X a day really sucks, or pulling up all your crap on a rope to change out a comp. on a 95 degree isnt all that fun. But its not all the time you have to do it.
When i did commercial work in DC during the summer it was mostly office buildings so i was inside most of the day. I do box stores now and its a lot more work.
Im 30 and see the same crap...then I prove people wrong, its fun!!!
Originally Posted by Tech Rob
I remember homeowners looking over my shoulder....
Originally Posted by phase24
One time i went to a house, the wife knew spanish, but the husband didnt. While i was checking the blower bearings, i heard something drop behind me. It was the husband watching me.
Because i turned around, he thought it was because i was doing something to his furnace... So he sttarted cussing in spanish, and throwing his hands up.... luckily his wife over heard, and stopped him... And he went upstairs.
Then, outside i was cleaning the coil, he was sttanding in the yard, but pretending not to watch me... What sucked was there was a bee nest right by the unit... I didnt want to say anything because i knew if i got sttartled or tried to say anything he would of probably hit me. So i was working next to this hive saying PLEASE DONT STINg ME, after soaking the nest in water from cleaning the coil.
1 time I had a guy following me through the entire tune up.... which didnt bother me. Even him asking 1000000000 questions didnt bother me.
But when i went out to the condensor, i unscrewed the unit (only 1 screw holding the whole cover up) to get the blower/compressor amps...
Then i as i was putting it back on he freaked out and said THERE WERE 2 SCREWS ON THAT, WHERE DID YOU PUT THE OTHER ONE, YOU BETTER NOT OF LOST IT!... I knew it only had 1 when i took it off...
What people do for free screws. I was going to put one on anyways, but how he over reacted, just astonished me.
I have worked residential, light commercial for many years. Enjoyed the commercial aspect more than residential. Two things made me go over to commercial /industrial. First, the customers. They ***** and complain and want something for nothing. They think you are trying to rip them off. Im tired of reminding them that "you called me, I didn't call you. " The final straw was a customer cussing me out because her 30 yr old system was going to cost thousands to repair. I packed my tools up and left. Called the manager told him what was going on. Customer called and said I was trying to rip her off. He wanted me to go back, do the repairs, he would take care of the billing, just to make her happy. I went to the shop cleaned my truck out and handed in my keys. They don't pay me enough to be treated like that by customers. Second, I was getting bored. I was not being challenged any more. I have been in working in a commercial shop now for 8 months. I love it. Im finally getting my own accounts, all different types of equipment. I do alot of reading and studying on my own. I find this work fascinating, challenging, exciting, and fun. Right now im a Commercial Mechanic. Started out doing alot of PM on equipment. Getting to know the equipment. The refrigeration theroy is the same only the size and the configuration of the equipment is different. Doing tons of rooftops, mau, boilers, steam, endless opportunities. I just wish I would have started this when I was younger. It don't matter to me if im on a rooftop and it is freezing cold or hot. I get the satisfaction of fixing the problem and getting my customer comfortable again. That to me is job security...... So don't try to figure out which one is better for you, which one makes more money, just do it and you will know in time and the money will come....
great post. Thank you.
Originally Posted by wuffdog
Your rightt, it does seem like residential is way more of a headache then commercial.
all of the residential customers want everything cheap.... Your %100 right, every customer wants you to prove your not ripping them off... its exhausting having to explain every little thing im doing.
I was poking TINY holes for my thermometer in their supply and return, because installer didnt do it... I had to explain to the customer for like 15 minutes why i had to do it, and how its not going to affect its operation... When i could of been working
I cant stand customers that want to help either.... your paying me to do this, i dont need you to help me take the fan off to clean the coil, i can put the hose back just where i found it. I understand your bored, and you want to see what i do and help.... but your paying me to do this! Just stay back, and ask me questions as i go along, or when im done.
Its fustrating, and i feel like its pointless for me to be there, when customers want to try to "help" me.
A good technician takes pride in his work.
I work on a lot of very old equipment.
I pride myself in knowing each unit I take care of.
I get mad when others screw around in my stuff.
To answer your questions on who do you call when things need fixing it all depends on the client.
In most cases it's either a building manager or owner.
It's almost never the tenant or caretaker.
Some companies will just give the go ahead others will want a written quote.
Sometimes the client will give the go ahead for a major repair but I will still call my boss to get his OK because even large commercial clients may be behind on paying their bills.
I have been in the commercial field for over 25 years.
You would need to shoot me then drag me kicking and screaming to do residential.
There is nothing worse than walking through people's homes.
Pets, clutter, wearing booties to go in and out.
Once you give them a price for a repair it sounds as if you're asking them to give you a kidney.
They may need to go to the bank or wait for their spouse.
With commercial it's sign the work order and on to the next one.
I am a plumber by trade and was recently hired by an HVAC company at the age of 45. I'm doing installs and the work is very physical, especially after doing commercial plumbing service for years. Luckily I'm in decent shape and am used to it after a couple weeks in. Installs and start ups are essential to being a good service guy in the future. Nobody is going to throw you a cushy service gig until you've proven your worth so don't even go there. Take the work that's offered and learn all you can. That being said, I far preferred commercial plumbing service over resi without question. Commercial clients are way easier to deal with and the work is far more interesting. It's hilarious working on residential equipment after commercial. Everything looks like it was made for munchkins.
Originally Posted by Tech Rob
We were handed a well-functioning country but yet we were scolded and then started scolding others about the status of that country. Even so, we went to work anyway.
Now all that hard work is being given away to people in your generation for doing nothing. We will never be given the things that we were promised for the work that we did.
That my friend is the sad sad truth.
You will never find more difficult people to deal with than home owners with a " downed " cooling system especially in the temperate south.
It can also be very difficult to deal with the subject and reality of bad installs that somehow now have to be owned up to and corrected.
It can become very unpleasant indeed to be the " truth " broker in these matters.
Some rural situations may have merit.