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  1. #1
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    What do YOU bring to the table?

    We see many threads here, where potential employees debate at length what they think they should or should not expect/require from an employer in the way of compensation and conditions when seeking employment in our trade.

    Let's turn the question around.

    What do YOU, as a potential employee, bring to the table? Why should I hire YOU, instead of one of the other 12 guys that applied for our current opening?

    What are your first questions of a potential employer during the interview process?

    Technical incompetence is NOT a sales tool....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Ontario Canada
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    1,339
    Questions first....

    1) Will you pay for my continuing education in the field or field related?

    2) Will you help repair or replace my tools that are stolen/broke on the job?

    These two question must be a yes answer or I walk.

    Will you let me do my job? This question was added to my list after the last company I worked for did not want me to follow all the "rules and regulations" for fear of losing customers. i.e. Shutting off gas to cracked heat exchangers when it is -30 out.

    I bring trained experience. I bring workmanship and pride in my work. I bring dedication to a code of conduct for my trade. I bring compliance to all codes and laws that govern my trade, even if it may not be in the best interest of the company.

    There are many more things I talk about...
    I am older now and have the FU money available to be able to ask these questions of an employer.
    When I was younger, I may not have had the leeway to be this strong.

    Then again, I now work for my self. I found I have a very understanding boss when it comes to doing the job Right as apposed to just doing the job.
    Never give up; Never surrender!

  3. #3
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    Oct 2002
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    Lady Lake, Florida
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    799
    Those are pretty good questions trouble. Straight and to the point. They're the kind of questions if not asked, you end up having to look around again later.

  4. #4
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    Oct 2001
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    6,945
    mine minutes into it...do you have GPS,gas cards,how much do you pay for being on watch...and how often do i get it.if they ask... do "you mind if we ask some tech questions" ...sure as long as i can ask you some.i had a owner with 120 union techs in a major NYC HVAC company,asked him who's your shop steward? his answer "i don't need one they come to me if there is a problem"... nice
    "when in doubt...jump it out" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1qEZHhJubY

  5. #5
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    Apr 2006
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    Toronto
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    trouble time - I had a prospective boss tell me that he sees a new trend, guys asking too many questions these days in an interview, he feels like he is being interviewed instead of the other way around. I guess he has not figured out that a good working relationship must work for both parties.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    6,945
    your right on that one,and yes they are being interviewed to see if they are worth working for we all have certain standards..but don't tell them that.asked a guy what's up with service trucks availible..OH i'm going to fire this one guy you'll get his...wow, was i impressed with this clown
    "when in doubt...jump it out" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1qEZHhJubY

  7. #7
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    Feb 2010
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    Ontario Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrmech View Post
    trouble time - I had a prospective boss tell me that he sees a new trend, guys asking too many questions these days in an interview, he feels like he is being interviewed instead of the other way around. I guess he has not figured out that a good working relationship must work for both parties.
    I have paid my dues. I have the scars to prove it. I have burn marks from the bridges I have burnt. Over 30 years! I have learned much about being an employee. To sum it up....

    It is your license! The employer is making money from you. That is a good thing because it can keep you employed and keep that mighty buck coming into your pocket.
    The Employer spends a lot of money to keep you employed: Training, truck, Christmas bonuses, uniforms, tools, ect. You as an employee owe him the best you can give him. Good trade.....!

    When it goes bad, Employer wants you to ignore Law and Code for the sake of his company. If you do not, you are a disloyal employee, and get short listed and the worst of the worst jobs. Not only that, if the "poop hits the ventilator" you are the biggest target standing right in front. You loss your license and can not work, the company owner maybe gets his wrist slapped.

    Point of all this rant is, IT IS YOUR LICENSE. (in my case three licenses and a technicians degree) When you are employed, you are paid you use your licenses to make the company money. Do not lose site of the fact that those licenses take a long time and effort to get. They can be taken from you for not following the rules...The employer says," crap now I have to hire someone else," you are left to finding a new career.
    Protect your livelihood and your license. Asking good questions and clarification right from the start is the best way. If you are real good you get them to put it in writing.
    Never give up; Never surrender!

  8. #8
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    Oct 2011
    Location
    N.E. Indiana
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    879
    Great post trouble. And, you are right, it is the tech's licenses on the line.

    I am mid way in life. One thing tha has been proven to me, and made ABUNDANTLY clear, you MUST look out for yourself. Despite what any employer tells you, you are not priority one to him. IF the employer "takes care of you", I am convinced it is only because they figure they can squeeze something more out of you to make a buck. They tend to drop you like a hot potatoe when they think the grass is greener, OR if they can get away with something.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
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    1,018
    I want my truck fix if it broke/unsafe and tools + training allowance. Boot allowance would be nice but not necessary. and I don't want the big E250, can't reach the ladder rack unless you give me one that hang on the side. gimme a transit or astro. and please do not micro manage me. I'll get the job done in a timely manner, but I can't deal with minute by minute detail.

    I bring to the table good manner, dedicated to my work, resourcefulness, reliable and dependable. Technical stuff can be learned by OTJ/classes, but not attitude and manners.
    Parts Changer Extraordinaire
    ------------------------------------------------------
    Have tools and gauges, will travel.

    RIDGID|YELLOW JACKET|UEI|TESTO|STANLEY|CPS|VETO| KLEIN|MILWAUKEE|MASTERCRAFT|

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    114
    Quote Originally Posted by John Markl View Post
    What do YOU, as a potential employee, bring to the table? Why should I hire YOU, instead of one of the other 12 guys that applied for our current opening?
    Twelve “guys” want to work for you…feel the power! That reminds me of a story I read recently, even you have a master:

    THE SLAVER
    by A. J. Ogilvy, of Tasmania

    Suppose I own a sugar estate and 100 slaves, all the land about being held in the same way by people of the same class as myself.
    It is a profitable business, but there are many expenses and annoyances attached to it.

    I must keep up my supply of slaves either by buying or breeding them.

    I must pay an overseer to keep them continually to their work with a lash.

    I must keep them in a state of brutish ignorance (to the detriment of their efficiency), for fear they should learn their rights and their power, and become dangerous.

    I must tend them in sickness and when past work.

    And the slaves have all the vices and defects that slavery engenders; they have no self-respect or moral sense; they lie, they steal, they are lazy, shirking work whenever they dare; they do not care what mischief their carelessness occasions me so long as it is not found out; their labor is obtained by force, and given grudgingly; they have no heart in it.

    All these things worry me.

    FLASH! ....

    Suddenly a brilliant idea strikes me. I reflect that there is no unoccupied land in the neighbourhood, so that if my laborers were free they would still have to look to me for work somehow.
    So one day I announce to them that they are all free, intimating at the same time I will be ready to employ as many as I may require on such terms as we may mutually and independently agree.
    What could be fairer? They are overjoyed, and falling on their knees, bless me as their benefactor. Then they go away and have a jollification, and next day come back to me to arrange the new terms.

    THEY BELIEVE ...

    Most of them think they would like to have a piece of land and work it for themselves, and be their own masters. All they want is a few tools they have been accustomed to use, and some seed, and these they are ready to buy from me, undertaking to pay me with reasonable interest when the first crop comes in, offering the crop as security. As for their keep, they can easily earn that by working a few weeks on and off on any of the plantations, or by taking a job clearing or fencing, or such like. This will keep them going for the first year, and after that they will be better able to take care of themselves.

    HOLD ON, NOW!

    "But," softly I observe, "you are going too fast. Your proposals about the tools and seed and your maintenance are all right enough, but the land, you remember, belongs to me. You cannot expect me to give you your liberty and my own land for nothing. That would not be reasonable, would it?" They agree it would not, and begin to propose terms.
    A fancies this bit of land, and B that. But it soon appears that I want this bit of land for my next year's clearing, and that for my cows, and another is too close to my house and would interfere with my privacy, and another is thick forest or swamps, and would require too long and costly preparation for me who must have quick returns in order to live, and in short that there is no land suitable that I care to part with.

    THE BENEFACTOR

    Still I am ready to do what I promised — "to employ as many as I may require, on such terms as we may mutually and independently agree." But as I have now got to pay them wages instead of getting their work for nothing. I cannot of course employ all of them. I can find work for ninety of them, however, and with these I am prepared to discuss terms.

    At once a number volunteered their services at such wages as their imagination had been picturing to them. I tell the ninety whose demands are most reasonable to stand on one side. The remaining ten look blank, and seeing that since I won't let them have any of the land, it is a question of hired employment or starvation, they offer to come for a little less than the others. I tell these now to stand aside, and ten others to stand out instead. These look blank now, and offer to work for less still, and so the "mutual and voluntary" settlement of terms proceeds.

    But, meanwhile, I have been making a little calculation in my head, and have reckoned up what the cost of keeping a slave, with his food and clothes, and a trifle over to keep him contented, would come to, and I offer that.
    They won't hear of it, but as I know they can't help themselves, I say nothing, and presently first one and then another gives in, till I have got my ninety, and still there are ten left out, and very blank indeed they look. Whereupon, the terms being settled, I graciously announce that though I don't really want any more men, still I am willing, in my benevolence, to take the ten, too, on the same terms, which they promptly accept, and again hail me as their benefactor, only not quite so rapturously as before.


    WAGE SLAVES? ...

    So they all set to at the old work at the old place, and on the old terms, only a little differently administered; that is, that whereas I formerly supplied them with food, clothes, etc., direct from my stores, I now give them a weekly wage representing the value of those articles, which they will henceforth have to buy for themselves.

    There is a difference, too, in some other respects, indicating a moral improvement in our relations. I can no longer curse and flog them. But then I don't want to; it's no longer necessary; the threat of dismissal is quite as effective, even more so; and much pleasanter for me.

    I can no longer separate husband from wife, parent from child. But then again, I don't want to. There would be no profit in it; leaving them their wives and children has the double advantage of making them more contented with their lot, and giving me greater power over them, for they have now got to keep these wives and children out of their own earnings.

    My men are now as eager as ever to come to me to work as they formerly were to run away from work. I have neither to buy or breed them; and if any suddenly leave me, instead of letting loose the bloodhounds, I have merely to hold up a finger or advertise, and I have plenty of others offering to take their place. I am saved the expense and worry of incessant watching and driving. I have no sick to attend, or worn-out pensioners to maintain. If a man falls ill there is nothing but my good nature to prevent my turning him off at once; the whole affair is a purely commercial transaction — so much wages for so much work. The patriarchal relation of slave-owner and slave is gone, and no other has taken its place. When the man is worn out with long service I can turn him out with a clear business conscience, knowing that the State will see that he does not starve.

    Instead of being forced to keep my men in brutish ignorance, I find public schools established at other people's expense to stimulate their intelligence and improve their minds, to my great advantage, and their children compelled to attend these schools. The service I get, too, being now voluntarily rendered (or apparently so) is much improved in quality. In short, the arrangement pays me better in many ways.

    REJOICE! I AM CAPITAL AND I EMPLOY PEOPLE!

    But I gain in other ways besides pecuniary benefit. I have lost the stigma of being a slave driver, and have, acquired instead the character of a man of energy and enterprise, of justice and benevolence. I am a "large employer of labour," to whom the whole country, and the labourer especially, is greatly indebted, and people say, "See the power of capital! These poor labourers, having no capital, could not use the land if they had it, so this great and far-seeing man wisely refuses to let them have it, and keeps it all for himself, but by providing them with employment his capital saves them from pauperism, and enables him to build up the wealth of the country, and his own fortune together."

    Whereas it is not my capital that does any of these things. lt is not my capital but the labourer's toil that builds up my fortune and the wealth of the country.

    It is not my employment that keeps him from pauperism, but my monopoly of the land forcing him into my employment that keeps him on the brink of it. It is not want of capital that keeps the labourer from using the land, but my refusing him the use of the land that prevents him from acquiring capital. All the capital he wants to begin with is an axe and a spade, which a week's earnings would buy him, and for his maintenance during the first year, and at any subsequent time, he could work for me or for others, turnabout, with his work on his own land. Henceforth with every year his capital would grow of itself, and his independence with it, and that this is no fancy sketch, anyone can see for himself by taking a trip into the country, where he will find well-to-do farmers who began with nothing but a spade and an axe (so to speak) and worked their way up in the manner described.

    ENTER THE LANDLORD ....

    But now another thought strikes me. Instead of paying an overseer to work these men for me, I will make him pay me for the privilege of doing it. I will let the land as it stands to him or to another — to whomsoever will give the most for the billet. He shall be called my tenant instead of my overseer, but the things he shall do for me are essentially the same, only done by contract instead of for yearly pay. He, not I, shall find all the capital, take all the risk, and engage and supervise the men, paying me a lump sum, called rent, out of the proceeds of their toil, and make what he can for himself out of the surplus.
    The competition is as keen in its way for the land, among people of his class, as it is among the labourers for employment, only that as they are all possessed of some little means (else they could not compete) they are in no danger of immediate want, and can stand out for rather better terms than the labourers, who are forced by necessity to take what terms they can get.
    The minimum in each case amounts practically to a "mere living", but the mere living they insist on is one of a rather higher standard than the labourers'; it means a rather more abundant supply and better quality of those little comforts which are next door to necessaries. It means, in short, a living of a kind to which people of that class are accustomed.
    For a moderate reduction in my profits, then — a reduction equal to the tenant's narrow margin of profit — I have all the toil and worry of management taken off my hands, and the risk too, for be the season good or bad, the rent is bound to be forthcoming, and I can sell him up to the last rag if he fails of the full amount, no matter for what reason; and my rent takes precedence of all other debts.

    All my capital is set free for investment elsewhere, and I am freed from the odium of a slave owner, notwithstanding that the men still toil for my enrichment as when they were slaves, and that I get more out of them than ever.

    If I wax rich while they toil from hand to mouth, and in depressed seasons find it hard to get work at all; it is not, to all appearances, my doing, but merely the force of circumstances, the law of nature, the state of the labour market — fine sounding names that hide the ugly reality.

    If wages are forced down it is not I that do it; it is that greedy and merciless man the employer (my tenant) who does it. I am a lofty and superior being, dwelling apart and above such sordid considerations. I would never dream of grinding these poor labourers, not I! I have nothing to do with them at all; I only want my rent -- and get it. Like the lilies of the field, I toil not, neither do I spin, and yet (so kind is Providence!) my daily bread (well buttered) comes to me of itself. Nay, people bid against each other for the privilege of finding it for me; and no one seems to realise that the comfortable income that falls to me like the refreshing dew is dew indeed; but it is the dew of sweat wrung from the labourers' toil. It is the fruit of their labour which they ought to have; which they would have if I did not take it from them.
    http://www.wealthandwant.com/docs/ajo_slavery.html
    Now think about how this same principle (privilege) applies to licensing and regulation.

  11. #11
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    Nov 2007
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    The responses pretty much all have a very predictable theme here....
    Technical incompetence is NOT a sales tool....

  12. #12
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    Apr 2006
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    Toronto
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Markl View Post
    We see many threads here, where potential employees debate at length what they think they should or should not expect/require from an employer in the way of compensation and conditions when seeking employment in our trade.

    Let's turn the question around.

    What do YOU, as a potential employee, bring to the table? Why should I hire YOU, instead of one of the other 12 guys that applied for our current opening?

    What are your first questions of a potential employer during the interview process?

    You should hire me because I care and actually like the job done well, I bring in billable hours like no other, I have fine eye for detail and can always find extra work, I yearn to learn in this ever changing trade, I appreciate the customer as I know without them there is no business and no job, I value a good company owner who has mutual respect and not look down on me like some pawn, I take care of company property like my own, I enjoy training my co-workers that know less than me and bounce off ideas with the ones that know more, my customer service is excellent....I'm sure there is more but its late

  13. #13
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    Nov 2007
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    Sherman, TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrmech View Post
    You should hire me because I care and actually like the job done well, I bring in billable hours like no other, I have fine eye for detail and can always find extra work, I yearn to learn in this ever changing trade, I appreciate the customer as I know without them there is no business and no job, I value the a good company owner who has mutual respect and not look down on me like some pawn, I take care of company property like my own, I enjoy training my co-workers that know less than me and bounce off ideas with the ones that know more, my customer service is excellent....I'm sure there is more but its late
    You're the first one here, to START with what you bring to the table....as opposed to a list of demands...as if you were doing me a favor by applying.

    When can you start?
    Technical incompetence is NOT a sales tool....

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