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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    136

    Project HVAC Job : Failed

    Well I finally got a job in HVAC and was summarily let go.

    Looking back it is somewhat hard to tell why I failed, but I think it was actually my own fault. Let me first list the reasons I got axed ( least why I think I did ):

    1. Acted like a know it all and actually knew nothing
    2. Slow on jobs
    3. Didn't mesh socially with the boss or lead technician
    4. Didn't go above and beyond to show my eagerness to learn

    I know that I acted like a complete know it all when I started, and I know that put off the lead tech ALOT... I eventually learned to keep my trap shut, but it was too late by then.

    I was slow on jobs, but in my defense they were jobs that I had never done alone before. I installed a heat exchanger on a Carrier 5 ton unit and it took me an hour... I thought that was reasonable, but I guess it wasn't. Few jobs I was installing all the flex in the attic solo and it took me quite a while.

    Didn't mesh with the boss or the lead tech... this one just falls into the realm of "not much you can do". It was like oil and water with us, and I think it was due to the age difference. I don't think this was a reason I got canned, but I don't think it helped.

    I didn't take the initiative to learn. I should have studied the manuals and literature supplied, but instead I chose to go home and spend time with my wife. I was already working overtime and my wife is very important to me, but I was told in the interview that he wanted someone that would go above and beyond and I agreed. So the fault was mine, and I understood that.

    I didn't argue and actually completely understood when he called me in and dropped the ax. I showed up at work everyday on time and never missed a day, but in the end I did far worse which was not really trying.

    SO anyway... I got a few temp apartment maintenance jobs after I got canned and didn't have a problem, but in the end decided that HVAC might not of been in the cards for me.

    Now the failure... I applied at a large company for a position that I used to hold ( before going to school for HVAC ) that makes a helluva lot of money, and has great benefits. I found out yesterday that I got the job, and now the last three years seem like a failed project. I'm really upset because I don't know if I cannot do the job, or if I just had a situation where I didn't fit in well. The horrible part is I love doing HVAC... whether I was on the roof, in the attic or under the floor I was always excited to be doing it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    DFW Metroplex
    Posts
    4,910
    This trade is not rocket science........... Yes it is, and will continue to be, technically challenging and require you to stay abreast of changes. It also requires a certain amount of intelligence and common sense, but again, is not rocket science.

    Your post gives me the impression that you have enough intelligence and common sense to learn and excel in the trade.

    A couple things I noticed here though:
    1. You contradict yourself by saying you love, and are excited to be doing HVAC but state that you did not go above and beyond or show an eagerness to learn.
    2. The 4 things which you indicate ended your employment in HVAC are probably the most important things any business owner in any trade looks at in respect to employee longevity.
    So, after reading your post, it seems clear to me that you have done some sole searching and aren't quite sure you like what you've seen. No amount of schooling is going to reverse the four problem areas mentioned (well, except for #2 maybe). Once you decide to do what it takes to change I would bet you will excel at anything you choose to do.

    Good Luck

  3. #3

    sounds very familiar

    It's kind of funny the way people that just get done with school think they know everything. I'm enrolled in school right now and I see this all the time. Some of the people (not me) actually think that when they are done with school that they will be able to start their own business without any hands on experience.

    I have never had a job in the hvac field so I will admit that I don't know a lot but one thing that I have learned after reading some of the posts in this web site is if you are a newbie never act like you know more than you boss. For one, you probably don't. For two, even if you did know more it would probably just pi$$ him off if you did something that made him look stupid.

    I can imagine when first starting out being eager to show your new employer just how smart you are. But chances are even though you think you know a lot, he doesn't and there is nothing that you can do to change that until you put in some time and he gains a little confidence in you. I guess what I'm saying is that it is better to be humble than to come off like an arrogant know it all.

    Just out of curiosity, how old are you? The reason I ask is in school the ones that seemed to be the most arrogant are the younger students.

    Also, if this was your first hvac job I'm really curious to know how much you started at and what part of the country you were working in.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    333
    Jingo, nothing personal- but I am also surprised at the young guys coming out of school with an "attitude". Of course every situation is different. Seems many new guys don't have the patience to learn O-T-J training or "pay their dues". Who doesn't want to be an expert or make lots of money- however, most in this trade have realized these two points don't come as immediate gratification. BS'ing quickly reveals itself. Decent of you to post your story though.
    meanwhile, back at the ranch.....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Parkersburg WV
    Posts
    345

    Young Tech teaching Apprentice.

    I have only been working with the company I'm with now for 9 months and what they do is something I had no exp. with coming in, I had 5 years of Light commercial/Residental exp. coming into it. They are a large Commercial outfit, from day one I was thrown in my own van and given a wheelbarrow full of trane IOM's and service bulletin, gas card and cell phone. Now by all means I did not go in blindfolded I'm a decent trouble shooter (even better now) and I knew the ins and outs of a DX refrigerant system. But chillers was a whole nother ball game to me, but I didn't ***** and I called for help when I needed it and got by.

    Then 6 months after I started I got an apprentice, I felt like an apprentice with an apprentice. But I feel what makes a good service tech is confidence, and that is something I try really hard to build in this kid, although I do tend to step back and laugh at him. He is completely green right out of school. The first time I saw him check for Voltage on a three phase contactor I was glad I was there, or else he would have been dead. He had taken my multimeter and was attempting to check for voltage with the amp clamp, and of course the unit was already off and he was in no harm, so I had to give him a in the field crash course on multi meters and electric.

    When ever I find him doing something I wouldn't, I try not to be harsh because the worst thing you can make a new guy think is that he is just never going to catch on. I try to instill confidence in him, and I think with that and a little bit of common sense and time you can make almost anyone a decent technician, maybe even a good one.

  6. #6
    Sorry, good luck....plenty of other jobs out there....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    136

    Yeah

    I didn't mean for my post to imply that i'm still a know it all, but rather I learned too late to keep my mouth shut. Once the snowball starts rolling ( in this case the lead tech writing me off on day 1 ) then its pretty hard to stop.

    I guess you could call this post "don't let it happen to you"... hehe.

    I was actually fully prepared to just write this off and start again at the bottom, but we found out recently that my wife is expecting! So right now money is actually a huge factor in my decision.

    Maybe school wasn't a complete waste though... I went from "what the hell is a ratchet" to rebuilding a five ton carrier pkg unit. I'll just pass what I know on to junior and hope he does something with it. =)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    DFW Metroplex
    Posts
    4,910
    Congrats on the pregnancy and I wish you the best of luck in whatever you do

  9. #9
    get a grip pal, the responsibility lies with the one who hired you.

    A) You dont bid the jobs.
    B) You dont make up the schedules.
    C) You dont establish who works together on what projects.
    D) You dont decide which materials to use on the jobs.
    E) You dont know the customers like the boss does.
    F) You dont have years of experience to tell you how to respond to each and every situation you are gonna encounter.


    your employer should go over any training materials he or she wants you to become familiar with in ADVANCE of field work on said equipment. Period!


    You are responsible for your own personal safety only AFTER your boss has done everything he can possibly forsee in advance, which is of course quite limited.

    You are responsible for your own attitude. For your own sleep and nutrition. Your responsible for dressing yourself and personal hygeine.
    If you drive, you are responsible for doing so in the best manner.


    You stoke the burner while your boss is the train's Engineer! He blows the whistle and decides who does what, where, when and why.



    Hiring an employee in this industry is kinda like getting a marriage license. You fill out a form, pay a small fee and violla...
    Divorse, the opposite of marriage, is also the opposite in the area of energy involved in disolving it.

    You must attend to all sorts of hearings and counseling.

    I just wish that before a boss could hire someone, they had to sign a contract guaranteeing they wouldnt fire em unless they submitted themselves to a meeting before a tribunal of their peers.



    There would be a lot less firing of good men in this trade, as the result.

    Personality conflict should NEVER result in a man losing his job!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    OZ Aka SW Florida
    Posts
    1,830
    Personality conflict should NEVER result in a man losing his job!
    __________________
    Tell that to my last psychopath , POS Human garbage, Who has been Fired from ever company he has touch In the last 6 years, and how many good men , went down the road because of Him,
    PPS,
    He carry s a gun, for fear of his life, for all the people he has personalty screw over.
    VENTING when I see post like this.

    MR R-12 how did you make out on that last job interview.
    Refrigeration...Finding the Wright Wrench to pound in the correct..Screw

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    358
    Great Post, R-12.

    Funny how just browsing around here often gets me just what I needed!

    I've been taken out of what I enjoy (service) and stuck in a position that I absolutely hate (bldg engineer). I've been kicking myself for disliking it.

    The last guy in this position left on short notice & I am the closest & know the property, so I got stuck with it. I didn't even find out what I was supposed to be doing with my time (between maintenance calls) until last Thursday. Then first thing Monday I got chewed out by the property manager for not doing it.

    It's like the Bad Job Fairy took everything I am terrible at or dislike & rolled it all into one job. I used to wake up excited about the challenges of the day. Now the anticipation level is somewhere between a root canal and a colonoscopy.

    Your post made me realize that MY job is to communicate with my boss, a good guy (and NOT the property manager). HIS job is to deal with the situation, hopefully in a way that works for all of us.

    Thanks for the perspective.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Chicago, N/W burbs
    Posts
    8,004
    Quote Originally Posted by jingoism View Post
    Well I finally got a job in HVAC and was summarily let go.


    I was slow on jobs, but in my defense they were jobs that I had never done alone before. I installed a heat exchanger on a Carrier 5 ton unit and it took me an hour.
    That took you only 1 hour????? I just changed a York RTU heat exchanger and it took me 7.
    http://www.hvac-talk.com/vbb/showthread.php?t=127849
    R2B4BTU

  13. #13

    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by cw0682 View Post

    Then 6 months after I started I got an apprentice, I felt like an apprentice with an apprentice.......

    Was that a case of two half wits equaled one whole wit?

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