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  1. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    42
    I'm a DDC tech, and if offered, I would more than likely turn down a PM job. Sure, the travelling sucks, but I think working in the office like our PM's do would be a fate worse than death. I can't remember who went on the rant about the office people, but I'm sure the grass is always greener on the other side. I get ragged on all the time when I show up to a construction site with my laptop and start looking for something I can make a table out of. We've all heard it, "Man I wish I could sit on my a$$ all day." Go ahead buddy, you learn all the stuff I know and you do my job. There are days I spend 8 or more hours programming and am physically exhausted at the end of the day, even though I barely got up from my bucket. There are good jobs and there are bad jobs. Just look for something you can enjoy. Work is only a four letter word to those who aren't smart enough to do something they enjoy.

  2. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    steeler nation
    Posts
    2,071
    hey joe,
    i am the guy with the "rant". i spend alot of time in the office and many hours sitting on a bucket. i came from construction and service side of this trade. i have worked both sides of this industry. i've been in this industry for 20 years. many have been at it for alot longer.
    my point of the rant was "appreciate what you have". i don't know how much time you spent on the business side of a torch or a chain fall, or a hammer drill. if you have been there, you know damn well we have it made.

    i have no grass is greener mentality. i have been on both sides of the fence. i aint going back without a fight. it has been pretty cold in the burg lately.

    i have never gotten frost bite in front of a laptop. as matter of fact i haven't gotten burned,cut,wrenched my back, crushed a toe or gotten sliced on a sharp piece of metal in a couple years.

    maybe you should put a couple 8 hour bucket days in the cathedral and finally get that mess to work.
    Last edited by viceman; 02-28-2008 at 09:13 PM.
    IV IV IX

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

  3. #29
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    9,564
    Sometimes it's nice to just pipe something all day go home and forget about it instead of programming, testing, and setting things up and wondering how it worked all night.

  4. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    19
    maybe time to switch a job? I get burned out and change job every 2 years. PM is probably the worst job I tried. Nothing but headaches all day long. Gave me fricking ulcers.

    Most fun job I had was doing integration work for a big telecom. Going around to different sites and connecting up all sort of monitoring equipment up to Tridium Jaces. Things like security, fire, power monitoring, switches, data centers, regular old controls. Never know what new piece of equipment you run into. Got to figure out all the network protocols, wiring, configuration. And when I wanted to take it easy, I can sit down and build pretty webpages for the operators to look at. A lot of fun but there was traveling involved.

  5. #31
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,720
    I always say, pick your aches, headaches or body aches. I do both and it helps keeps me sane. I'm still burned out some days.
    jogas

  6. #32
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Mount Airy, MD
    Posts
    7,281
    Hmmmm,, 20+ few years doing? fixing stuff.

    For me in this industry that's what the feeling of accomplishment (at work)has always been about, learning something new, applying that information and resolving issues, whether programming issues from the comforts of home or working on a problematic 2500+ Horse Power boiler (big fire). I have turned some big wrenches and have pushed the easy button(s)?? yea right the easy button, hahaha.

    Anyways, moved away from the big city and the big money and started doing other stuff like living? spending time with my kids, growing stuff in me garden, etc.

    The burn out feeling ever since, just not there. I used to and well still do work way to much, study to much, etc. but, finding time to do things with the family and for yourself, may just alleviate this feeling, I guess is what I am trying to say??

  7. #33
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    The Dungeon
    Posts
    21
    I didn't expect many responses, I was mainly venting. A messy divorce (recent) and heavy workload made me a tad burnt. I now have more time on my hands and have landed back in the "temporary" service managers postion again. It's not too bad and I can share my experience with the guys. I do not have the option in the current company to go back to turning wrenches so I will try to find the best fit.

  8. #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Planet Risa
    Posts
    14
    Glad I am not the only one who is 'burned out'. I started out as a controls tech after college in '87, became an application engineer a year later, then did both engineering and programming of DDC systems in '89. It used to be satisfying watching my jobs get done, seeing the awe on the customers' face at the graphics I created, and seeing my software creation work well.

    At the company I currently work, management has no clue as to how to make the employees feel valuable. Most of the good workers are gone. No one gets a good pay raise until they hand in their 2-week's notice, then management gives in. I got tired of engineering, so when I went to work for them, I was hired as a programmer. I was shocked at how terrible their engineering was, and made suggestions, then they asked me to help out the other 8 engineers temporarily. 5 of them have been let go since. Haven't gotten back into programming since then. It has been nearly 8 years now. Every new engineer that was hired was a dud and let go. Now I am way behind in technology.

    Every time I ask to be moved to programming, there is always the "oh please, we need you in engineering" statement. Supposedly it is much easier to train someone off the street to do programming.

    What is so bad about controls engineering, you may ask? Integration issues and POOR communication/coordination issues among contractors. Especially in the last few years. Everyone thinks that a JCI/Invensys/Alerton controller should be able to 'plug & play' with a Carrier/Trane/AAON rooftop unit, and have no idea what we are talking about when we bring up detailed issues.

    There....got that off my chest.

  9. #35
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    London, ON
    Posts
    497
    In this business I see no perfect jobs, and also no way to completely eliminate stress and be "perfectly happy" all the time. For me I try to never forget that I only do this stuff for a living. It is not who I am.
    My relationship with God, my church, and my family all come before this on my priority list, even though I spend a much larger percentage of time doing this than anything else, my focus is not here. This tends to help me weather the inevitable storms.

    I do generally enjoy working though and do my best to do a good job. I also enjoy a challenge, and when something gets too cookie cutter or too boring, I have always moved on. I think we all need the stimulation of challenge to keep our grey matter going--to keep healthy and alive. I got away from the big outfits and started my own little business a few years ago, and for the most part, I like it. I haven't been in a motel since and no boss is telling me I have to take on this project if I want to stay working for him!

  10. #36
    Thanks I read the last 2 1/2 months of posts in this thread. I wanted my ID to be controlmanwannabe but alas it was to long to fit. I have 15 years in the HVAC trade and found this site looking for info for my Sat. class. I've enjoyed the little exposure to DDC I've seen. I started the class with the intention of getting out of general service and into the control side. 7 years ago I took a stationary job and wound up totally bored. The plus' for that job included getting into the union, I enjoyed the commissioning of the building as I got there when it was still new, and the ALC classes they sent me to. I was always finding something in the BAS computer that needed tweaking. Unfortunetly they did not want the operators changing the programming as it was a critical site for the company. Those that were allowed to program I always got with when I found them onsite to look at what I ran across. Other times my boss just wanted to bury my findings until it became critical. Then I'd pull out my note pad and show him I was well aware of the situation.

    I think I am on the right track now will start shopping when the class is complete to get where I'm sure I'll enjoy my job more. Our teacher stated at the beginning of the class it is better coming in from where we are understanding the service side of the industry. He says a programmer can be trained in a year but we spend 5 years in our training.

    Thanks again for confirming that its everything else in life we do our job for and not the other way around. I feel its time for me to narrow the scope of my work a bit to be able to get more adept at it. Like one person posted it would have been better for them to have been in controls since the early 90's to better understand the reasons things were done then. The commercial side of HVAC is a hugh field and it does get overwhelming as no one can be proficient in all aspects of everything out there and everything being introduced everyday. I still enjoy going to work most days but think I can make more of a difference if its not always just putting out fires. I love the machines its just the whinnie people I can do without. Guess thats why I realized real quick in the field I wanted to stay in the field and out of the office. I've heard more than once lately that giving up some money to do what makes you happy is better in the long run. Not to say that a change may not pay out in spades over time. Hope everyone finds that place if they are not there already. Meanwhile I'll keep looking I know its out there.

  11. #37
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Planet Risa
    Posts
    14
    Quote Originally Posted by ControlsManPlus View Post
    ...... Guess thats why I realized real quick in the field I wanted to stay in the field and out of the office. I've heard more than once lately that giving up some money to do what makes you happy is better in the long run. Not to say that a change may not pay out in spades over time. Hope everyone finds that place if they are not there already. Meanwhile I'll keep looking I know its out there.
    There is some truth about working in the field vs. working in the office. Even though working in the field is hard & physical, at least you are concentrating on one thing at a time most of the time. Being in the office, especially sitting at a desk 8-10 hours a day, staring at Autocad drawings & blueprints all day, juggling 15 jobs at the same time for 20 years really gets to you.

    p.s. Guess what my ops manager said to me recently? I was assigned a $800K DDC job with about 800 engineering hours. He asked me if I can get it done in a couple weeks..........I laughed at him and said "Yeah, right"....and he was serious!!!

  12. #38
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Planet Risa
    Posts
    14
    Quote Originally Posted by deanmech View Post
    In this business I see no perfect jobs, and also no way to completely eliminate stress and be "perfectly happy" all the time. For me I try to never forget that I only do this stuff for a living. It is not who I am.
    My relationship with God, my church, and my family all come before this on my priority list, even though I spend a much larger percentage of time doing this than anything else, my focus is not here. This tends to help me weather the inevitable storms.

    I do generally enjoy working though and do my best to do a good job. I also enjoy a challenge, and when something gets too cookie cutter or too boring, I have always moved on. I think we all need the stimulation of challenge to keep our grey matter going--to keep healthy and alive. I got away from the big outfits and started my own little business a few years ago, and for the most part, I like it. I haven't been in a motel since and no boss is telling me I have to take on this project if I want to stay working for him!
    At least you are lucky to get your own business started!!! I am not in a position to do that. Long story, but for me, virtually impossible.

  13. #39
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    240
    Quote Originally Posted by sysint View Post
    Sometimes it's nice to just pipe something all day go home and forget about it instead of programming, testing, and setting things up and wondering how it worked all night.
    thats been my thoughts exactly lately, thing with controls is that the job can always go downhill, and its always your fault. I find myself fixing alot of mechanical issues just to "fix it" and not spend a hour explaining why the current
    issue is not "the controls"

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