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  1. #1

    Grass greener on the other side?

    Hello,

    This is the first time I've posted, been viewing since I got into the trade a few years ago. Great place.

    I've come across an opportunity for a change in companies and I'm trying to weigh the options for my future.

    Small background...started as commercial and later, shift electrician, then went into controls. Then changed over to HVAC, did commercial refrigeration, mostly supermarkets and restaurants, at a mom and pop place.

    So at my current job, I do anything from restaurant service and maintenance, supermarket service and occasionally construction, and some RTU's. Pretty much work my ass off, never have the stuff for a job, always on call it seems, have a huge territory - some stores are 2 hours away. I could probably go on and on.

    Other company, only does supermarkets. They are much larger and have licenses in other states. They have now made it where each tech gets 5 stores. Set your own schedule, run your calls, schedule parts and follow up. Also do any rack/refrigeration maintenance need. Leak checks, oil changes. Help others as needed. Also on-call often, but stores all in same area.

    So I'm realistic, I know I can't keep up with supermarket refrigeration forever. It will run you into the ground. Forget about a life, your on-call. I do want to one day, start my own business. For now, I still have time to put in, I'm 26. I would most likely do residential/commercial.

    So is it wise to stay with a company that would keep me into a little bit of everything, but just be miserable with the way they run the show. Or go with a new company that stays in just one field, same stores, day in - day out.

    Is it true, the grass is never greener?

    Thanks everyone.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Down by the river
    Posts
    1,622
    Been in your shoes. The restaurant work is crap, I hate working in a nasty ass kitchen.
    Being a jack of all, you never master a specialty.
    Again having been there done that , I stand firm to pick a talent. Restaurant, supermarket. , residential and light commercial or industrial and master it.

    I started in residential , went partners with my brother in restaurant, residential. Bought out the residential side then had an opportunity to work fora mfg in industrial. Very happy and would like to say I will not go back to residential but I will do what needed to pay the bill.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Kansas City, Kansas, United States
    Posts
    13,832
    Wait for a better job!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Manchester NH
    Posts
    208
    Welcomed to the site. It would depend on some other things for me to really give you an a answer. Do you have a family? Do you plan on it in the future? I know many guys may not say that matters but for me it would. I like making money but my family is more important than any amount of money. I would prefer to stay with the company that does a bit of everything. Can work and get experience on all different equipment. I have tossed up the idea of looking into a hospital that is 5 mins from my house, would save 100$ week in gas $10 in tolls and 50$ in taxes. But I love where I work, OT when we want it but not crazy, 100hrs this year, guys I work with are great and all different equipment. Try to search the new company name in the search bar on this site and see what come up. Good Luck!

  5. #5
    Thanks guys.

    No I don't have a family, I plan on it someday though. I don't think my current job has helped any with my current relationship. Again, on call alot. Sometimes night work, weekends, holidays. I get a TON of overtime, I'm at nearly 600hrs this year. Near 700 last year.

    Other company averages about 50-55hrs a week, on call every 3 weeks for entire week. Less windshield time. Would likely receive same hourly pay, possibly a little more.

    And yes restaurants are the worst. I think some of the managers are worse than the grease.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Western KY
    Posts
    1,221
    I doesn't sound like your crazy about either option. Don't limit yourself to them. There is alot of grass out there. I guess it really depends on you and what your goals are. I wanted, and still want, to be challenged. When I get bored I get sloppy. I know that so I like variety, residential excluded. I started in resi and have no desire to do that anymore. I got into refrigeration and I love that. But continued to learn other areas, commercial, industrial, ULTs, and so on. Mostly industrial now but still get to do some refrigeration, ice machines, and RTUs and I'm pretty happy. The variety forces me to continuously learn and grow as the industry changes. I would say find out what grass you find the greenest and go to it. Going from a job your not crazy about to another job your not thrilled about is like going from a gravel parking lot to a dirt lot.

  7. #7
    Don't get me wrong, I love a challenge. Current job I have to deal with a lot of crap mixed in with the juicy calls. This outfit does Walmart so they have their own techs, and well, you know what, rolls down hill to the contractor.

    Other job I would be in house contractor, and have to deal with all issues. Probably more responsibility, preventing leaks and compressor failures. But no more fix this soggy door frame or roll on this card board next to the cooks line. I'd really have a change to learn racks in and out.

    But I would never start a biz in the supermarket field. Too much money to start and talk about really not having a life. It's strange I've gone from industrial, to commercial, never worked a day in resi, but it seems like it would be a good honest way to make a living.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Chicagoland Area
    Posts
    4,510
    Work is work. If the customer wants to pay my mortgage, put food on my table, pay for my truck and boat and all the fuel to put in it who am I to complain? I don't have a problem with the work I do or asked to do. PROVIDING I HAVE A SHOP/MANAGER THAT BACKS ME UP. I have that. I chose my career. Whether I'm on a roof at 10 below, 110 above, or rolling around in chicken blood and cockroaches, working months without a day off, weeks without work, or get called out in the middle of the night. It all averages out, and I am much better off than most.
    Officially, Down for the count

    YOU HAVE TO GET OFF YOUR ASS TO GET ON YOUR FEET

    I know enough to know, I don't know enough
    Liberalism-Ideas so good they mandate them

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    steeler nation
    Posts
    2,045
    We spend more of our lives working than any other activity. If your miserable at work it means the majority of your life is miserable.
    IV IV IX

    use your head for something other than a hat rack.......Gerry

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Chicago area
    Posts
    1,439
    I never make a change without a pay raise. I would stay where you are at. Restaurant work is crap, but the supermarket is no picnic either. If all the work is limited to the mechanical room, then it would be gravy, but its not all in the mechanical room.

    I agree resi is a good way to make a living, for a buisness owner/operator, but make no mistake if you run the show, its 24/7 and to be a full service operation, there is quite a bit of start up cost.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Manchester NH
    Posts
    208
    Quote Originally Posted by viceman View Post
    We spend more of our lives working than any other activity. If your miserable at work it means the majority of your life is miserable.
    Agree 110%!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    evansville indiana
    Posts
    943
    Sometimes the grass looks greener ,so you go there,and alll you find is painted dirt.

    I have also found the work is the same in a different lettered truck. I will not use the "work" as a deciding factor .
    mikeacman

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Kansas City, Kansas, United States
    Posts
    13,832
    X2

    Quote Originally Posted by HVAC-matt View Post
    Agree 110%!

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