Hey guys i really could use some advice from some of you.
I started in the trade 2 and a half years ago, may 2011 right after finishing a 2 year HVAC/R program. Started at a steady resi/light commercial company with the help of a close friend against my better judgement. I got hired with a commercial food equipment shop but a week before i was about to start the place im at today interviewed me and promised to register me as an apprentice. Im still there today, but its gotten to the point where i feel like im not where i want to be at all and the last 2.5 years has felt like a waste of my time. I regret not taking that first job offer. the shop i work at is a plumbing heating and cooling shop. when i first started they were transitioning away from new houses and doing more private jobs and renovations. id say about 70% of the work they do is plumbing.
Im a G2 fitter working towards my G1, i was registered as an apprentice under 313A Refrig/AC mechanic and i have my ODP. Now since starting i have yet to be sent to a service call on my own. Im always riding with someone else. They guy i usually work with is a plumber who only knows enough to get by. He has no licence other than his plumbing ticket. He doesnt understand 3 phase anything to save his life and he cant use a multimeter if his life depended on it. I have to constantly explain to him what superheat and subcooling are and when it comes to diagnostics on anything he usually changes parts till it works, while i try and solve the actual issue. The boss likes it this way. He controls all the service calls. The only ones that come in to us are ones hes already been to or ones he cant get to and he doesnt have a problem with the fact that his worker is a moron. Its almost like he wants to keep him just smart enough to change the parts he gives him. Essentially hes a monky who has been doing this for over 15 years at this shop. I am not. Obviously i have to figure out everything for myself. I cant ask questions to my co worker because he doesnt know and if i ask my boss most of the time i cant get the right answer out of him. He wants me to figure it out, almost as if he thinks i havent tried for myself. Its so frustrating! Im the apprentice. Im just trying to learn to make our company look good, my bad! Whenever the guy i work with makes a mistake i get blamed for not catching it.
The compy does very good work and i will give them that but its just not working for me anymore. when im not changing filters im doing pluming service calls with my coworker. I am not a plumber! They do keep us busy and never less than 40hours a week but i lay in bed at night worried that ill end up like the guy i work with. I want to be good at what i do. This is my career.
I just about quit my job in early august but i got a letter in the mail from the ministry of training. Im going to mohawk college in hamolton ontario for basic 313A. It was very encouraging to read. I didnt see the point in quitting for another job as ill be leaving soon for 2 months anways, but i dont want to come back to where im working if i can help it. To make matters more complicated my wife lost her job so im the sole income again.
About 2 weeks ago a friend of mine called me up. He bought out a resturant food equipment service company that was going bankrupt due to fraud and embezzlement within the company. He hired on there lead mechanic/service manager as a partner and all there clients came with him. He changed the name and its basicly a new company. He wants me to be the apprentice. This sounded like the big break i was waiting for! They do hotside, coldside, walkins, ductless split systems and some minor HVAC! This makes up for the oppourtunity i missed! But then i got to thinking:
- This guy has no HVAC experience whatsoever, hes just a business man who just wants to make money, this could fall apart fast!
- What if this lead mechanic is another moron?
- if hes just starting out will this mean unsteady hours? being the only income things could get tight
- If theres only a few of us, after hours calls are going to suck
- Im essentially starting over again
I could take it and see how it turns out but it could leave me homeless and hungry OR work me to death. Too many uncertantys. I definately need the change but at what cost. I have a wife to provide for. I dont have to give him my answer till january because hes trying to hire another seasoned mechanic before he gets an apprentice going which makes sense to me.
While im at school we will be living in a city nearby mohawk college with family because i live over 400km away from hamolton. I gave up my appartment (its a craphole anyways) and im putting my stuff in storage for a bit. The plan 2 weeks ago was to try and find a commercial company that does more refrigeration while im in school but im not sure anymore. HVAC doesnt bother me but I know i dont want to go back to residential right now. At this point im willing to move anywhere south of toronto if it means working for a company that has knowledegable mechanics who can pass on some wisdom. Id really like to do commercial food equipment but we will see.
Im just not sure what to do. Fortuantely we dont have children yet or anything to tie us down. I just needed to clear my head and get this all out. My wife is constantly reminding me to pray about it but it still gives me stress, anexiety and sleepless nights.
What do you guys think about all this? Has anyone ever been in a simalar situation? Any input at all would really help.