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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Omaha NE
    Posts
    109

    Don't stand around !

    So, here is my story:

    I had 2 quarters of HVAC training under my belt, with a background in electronics. Then, through a local Good Will program, I got an interview with a local company for an "on the job training" position. The company (better not name them) had a position open for a sheet metal apprentice. Ultimately, I think I would like to do service work, but a foot in the door of a "good" company, sounded good.

    I get to the interview, and the HR lady tells me " I don't think you would be happy doing sheet metal work on commercial sites. I think you would be good with the customers." I am thinking, great, but are there any of these positions available ? She tells me about an opening in the install/change out dept. I have read on this site that a lot of techs start out with installs, so again, I am thinking great!

    I get hired at $12.50 per hour (not too bad to start) but I figure it is like getting paid for training, so I probably would have done it for $10. Anyone who has done residential installs knows this work can be physically demanding, and I did my best to keep up with seasoned guys in that part of the job. I was told that we have 2 guys on a truck, so we shouldn't have try to cart around those 5 ton ac's by ourselves. Some of the guys were doing it, even though the boss said don't do it.

    So, ok, this is my 2nd career and I am a little older than most of the guys in the dept., but I am still in pretty good shape. After 3 weeks on the job, boss comes up to me and says, "you have got to start picking things (knowledge) up quicker". I ask, "do you have any suggestions?" He tells me to go to Menard's and walk up and down the aisles to see the things we use on the job. I say ok, even though they have a warehouse on site that has all the parts we use.
    He also tells me "I see you standing around too much, get in there and do something, even if it is wrong." I tell him that I am observing the process and am trying to learn, but I assure him that I will start jumping in more as I learn better what to do.

    Long story short, I get the axe after 7 weeks. Even though, I started "jumping in" more, (even though the senior tech I was with didn't necessarily like it).

    I feel that I was not given a fair chance to learn the job, I mean 7 weeks ? I was never late, did not use my phone on the job, only missed 2 days to finish up 2 HVAC classes I was still in when the job started. Now, I probably would not have stayed in install/change out for more than 2 years, and then I would have tried to get on in the service dept.

    I guess it is back to school for me, too bad fall quarter has already started. Actually, I learned a lot while I was working, I just wish they would have given me more time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Upper Michigan
    Posts
    3,588
    If the head guy wouldn't teach you how do you learn? I'm in the same boat I'm the head guy and my helper I just can't give him anything to do because I'm too busy to watch him screw stuff up, and he basically has zero experience. I don't know how to teach people, I just like when people stay out of my way. He dosen't "jump in" or "stay busy" and it isn't my job to motivate him. Well that was a rant sorry.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Omaha NE
    Posts
    109
    Quote Originally Posted by Joehvac25 View Post
    If the head guy wouldn't teach you how do you learn? I'm in the same boat I'm the head guy and my helper I just can't give him anything to do because I'm too busy to watch him screw stuff up, and he basically has zero experience. I don't know how to teach people, I just like when people stay out of my way. He dosen't "jump in" or "stay busy" and it isn't my job to motivate him. Well that was a rant sorry.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    This is the reason that I was hesitant at first, to "jump in" and slow down the senior tech, as I know we have to get this stuff done. I worked with 3 different techs, all with different ways to do things, and different places they stored things on their trucks. I get the feeling that they were just "using" me during the busy season, only to dump me when it started to get slow.

    I understood that there were classes from manufacturers that we would have access to, during the slow season. I was looking forward to that.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    6,964
    were you older then the 3 lead techs...?
    "when in doubt...jump it out" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1qEZHhJubY

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    west burbs,il
    Posts
    145
    Straight from trade school I had a couple offers, one from a company that was on channel 9 news for scamming people lol and the other was a commercial sheet metal shop (russian mafia) lol good guys though. Went with the russians, there was a language barrier but we managed to communicate thru hand gestures and grunts. Worked with em for 6 months, had same problem you had with 2 of the guys. Working my butt off- got fired essentially, hired back on 2 months later for a year. I learned alot and eventually got along with all the guys. When dudes start talking crap about you to the boss its cause they're afraid to be outshined and maybe loose their job or stuck.
    Even after school you still settle for the undesirable and work your way up. But great experiences and knowledge to back pocket. Keep looking and keep trying, and ask if you can help with what ever. I started by blobbing mastic on duct seams.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Down by the river
    Posts
    1,650
    1- The residential worker always have the attitude the the person they teach is out to get their job. I never understood this mentality until I went into Industrial work, it really is an amazing fact of the trade.

    2- By the 4th week of work you should have had a nitch that you could do that did not have to be observed, coulda been your fault for not doing it as well as the lead man, but regardless in 4 weeks you shoulda learned a few things to do unsupervised.

    3-There is alway's 3 sides to a story, your side, the boss' side and somwhere in the middle is the truth. I don't give a damn what, where and who you do this is life.

    4- Whatever you do, do not stand around infront of the boss. Always make yourself busy
    It's hard to stop a Trane. but I have made one helluva living keeping them going.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Toronto Canada
    Posts
    1,090
    I agree after a Month you should be getting in thier on install's. I mean like New AC install guy inside guy outside doing stuff always something to be done. You can't just be watching the Guy lol. If he is brazing then you should be setting up the pump He says jump you say how HI.

    When I was doing co-op for gas meters the first guy i was with was in his mid 40 and his second career and hated it was miserable about it and sucked would do like 4 meters a day. I asked to be switched and got a gun hoe young guy and he was all about it we did like 12-20 meters a day guy had a system. It was fun and i liked it. You gotta find the system man and go with the flow.

    School never hurt Noone man and always take courses to better yourself but nothing will beat hands on Training man so find another job as a helper and keep at her always be thinking of what you can be doing after 2 weeks of watching the way this company does installs.

    If you wanna get a job standing around you need to be in road construction where you drive past and you see 5 guy's watching the one guy digging the hole.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Upper Michigan
    Posts
    3,588
    Quote Originally Posted by OldSchoolMech View Post
    If you wanna get a job standing around you need to be in road construction where you drive past and you see 5 guy's watching the one guy digging the hole.
    Damn ain't that the truth, we used to joke around, we would stand around and hold a shovel so we look busy like the road crews lol.

    After 2 months you should of had something you could do but who knows, in two months I was hanging and banging duct work but that ain't saying much lol.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Columbus Ohio
    Posts
    1,984
    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Mech View Post
    1- The residential worker always have the attitude the the person they teach is out to get their job. I never understood this mentality until I went into Industrial work, it really is an amazing fact of the trade.
    This is a major issue on the non union side of the trade and one of the major reasons I joined a union.

    I worked non union residential and commercial/industrial for 15yrs before realizing this was taking place. Run a call and get stumped, call the office for a senior technician's help, senior tech shows up and solves the problem but never takes the time to explain how he figured it out, that was the standard operating procedure. Come to figure out that they were threatened, if they taught me how to solve these problems then I could become as valuable as they were. It's a vicious cycle in this trade.

    Now that the guys above me aren't threatened by me as their jobs are 100% secure, they share a wealth of knowledge with me. I have all my apprenticeship teachers, engineers, senior techs, other companies techs, factory guys, and a union membership of over 1000 men just one phone call away if I need help.

    I cannot even begin to tell you how invaluable that is in this trade, it really makes my job a joy to do. I never have that hopeless stranded feeling anymore.
    UA LU189

    10mm, because it's better than .45acp

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    17,906
    In a union, its ok to stand around....especially when the wrench guy is waiting for the screwdriver guy to get back with the coffee.
    " Kill a Commie for Mommy! "

    - Colonel David Hackworth (1930-2005), Korean War Vet

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Down by the river
    Posts
    1,650
    Quote Originally Posted by coolwhip View Post
    In a union, its ok to stand around....especially when the wrench guy is waiting for the screwdriver guy to get back with the coffee.
    How do you think the D.O.T. guys learned it????
    It's hard to stop a Trane. but I have made one helluva living keeping them going.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    17,906
    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Mech View Post
    How do you think the D.O.T. guys learned it????
    Lolz!
    " Kill a Commie for Mommy! "

    - Colonel David Hackworth (1930-2005), Korean War Vet

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    California/Nevada
    Posts
    3,627
    i was treated with far more dignity and respect when i worked security.
    the people who ran the offices were far more mature.

    certain areas of the country , like los angeles, HVAC is a joke and no one knows what they hell they are doing

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