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  1. #1
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    Aug 2018
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    Post Tech School Van Right Away/Job Advice

    Hey guys long time lurker and first time poster. After seeing a thread today about the length of time someone takes before they are set out alone. I was wondering if its normal for a company to throw a new employee in a van alone immediately. Literally the day after I graduated tech school I was put in a work van alone and so far it has been frustrating to say the least. I feel as if i'm not learning anything and just starting to stagnate. Do you guys think its worth to seek out a company that would train me rather than these trial by fire scenarios? I am leaning towards jumping ship and finding someone who would actually teach me. Thanks in advance for any possible advice

  2. #2
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    Sep 2015
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    It is not uncommon but no good company that values its reputation would do it. I was quickly put out on my own and I hated it because while the cleanings and filter changes were fine I was really out of my depth on the service calls and I started to really hate getting them. When I got on with a better company and got some proper one-on-one training service is where I actually excelled (but I still can't make a proper sheet metal transition). If you want to learn you need proper training see if your current employer is open to it and if not jump ship before you waste any more time I wasted 4 months which is 3.5 months after I figured out I was spinning my wheels.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2015
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    When I was in business, I wouldn't have put a new hire with 20 years under his belt in hvac without a few days learning my way with one of my long time techs or riding with me.
    They must be desperate, no offense to your skill or knowledge.

  4. #4
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    Aug 2016
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    My first company I was a helper as part of a work experience program through my school. I rode with a tech for 4ish months before getting hired on. After getting hired I rode with different techs on service calls for about a week until I could get all my tools rounded up. Then I was off on my own. There was alot I didnt know but the service manager and the tech I rode with for 4 months helped me alot via phone. It was fustrating and I learned alot but I wasnt good at sales so I was let go after 6 months.

    Company after that I got a van after about 2 days. But there I didnt do much service or anything because I got screwed over and was in the warehouse for 6 months before I was laid off.

    This company took them about 4 months to get me a truck. But those first 4 months at was at one site. This was my first real service job. I was basically thrown to the wolves there and had to adapt. I learned alot really quickly and my foreman trusted me soon after to be able to work on just about anything there. In talking with my foreman he says I just wasnt being challenged, so he challenged me and was surprised at how well I have done compared to every other apprentence hes seen in his career. Now I basically do only service and very few PMs, which I've come to realize is odd for a 2nd year apprentice. I run my own jobs a lot of the time and so long as I'm not micromanaged I get the job done.

    You're new, you're going to screw up. I've done it my share of times. Be honest with your boss about your concerns. If nothing changes go look for a new place to work. HVAC contractors are a dime a dozen. A good one is rare and finding one is hard and takes a while. While I dont care for my company or its management style, my foreman always has my back and listens to me when I have concerns.

    Good luck man I know the feeling and it sucks.

  5. #5
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    Jan 2015
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    JA1998
    No it's not typical to be placed in van alone with no in flield service experience. What are they having you do, PM's (filters and coil cleaning) or repairing equipment?

    MT1
    Your post sure sounds different than the "What To Do" thread

  6. #6
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    Aug 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by Answer-Man View Post
    JA1998
    No it's not typical to be placed in van alone with no in flield service experience. What are they having you do, PM's (filters and coil cleaning) or repairing equipment?

    MT1
    Your post sure sounds different than the "What To Do" thread
    How so? There I was just frustrated and venting and confused. This was just giving advice. I'm also a few days removed from that event, so I've moved on.

  7. #7
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    Jul 2013
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    Definitely not typical and I would suggest you find a new job. The owner or manager should know better than that, you shouldn't have to remind them.

    There's no one that should be put by themselves right out of school. Not only are you doing a disservice to your customers by not providing the expertise they expect, but it's dangerous. You need someone to show you how to work safely in addition to all the technical training that comes with riding with someone. Everyone progresses at a different pace, but 3-6 months is typical to ride with someone before going on your own.

  8. #8
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    Aug 2018
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by Sooty View Post
    It is not uncommon but no good company that values its reputation would do it. I was quickly put out on my own and I hated it because while the cleanings and filter changes were fine I was really out of my depth on the service calls and I started to really hate getting them. When I got on with a better company and got some proper one-on-one training service is where I actually excelled (but I still can't make a proper sheet metal transition). If you want to learn you need proper training see if your current employer is open to it and if not jump ship before you waste any more time I wasted 4 months which is 3.5 months after I figured out I was spinning my wheels.
    This is exactly what has happened to me the regulars PM's are no problem but service calls on the other hand are mostly a challenge. Either way I cannot thank everyone enough for their input. I definitely think within a month I will be leaving for a company that will actually train me and allow me to ride with senior tech so I can progress as a tech.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2010
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    I've never really been in a mentored environment. My first job out of trade school was with an outfit that mostly did bank work. I had no knowledge about open drive compressors, pnuematics, boilers, goofy barber coleman controls, energy management, vfd's, etc. I'd spend the day getting in over my head, spend the end of the day at the parts house making photo copies of literature (no internet or cell phones then) and read till I fell asleep then do it all again the next day. I carried more weight in literature than tools for a long while. If I got stuck, I'd call the foreman and he'd ask me questions, and I'd answer them, and the problem would get figured out. Before long I quit calling so much and asked myself the questions the best I could.

    You exist to make your boss money. Hopefully the knowledge you gain will help make that happen and you can earn your keep. Read, continue to take classes so that you understand loads/airflow/building science, follow the posts here where guys are spitballing their problems and how they relate to whatever you have going on. With any luck, a coworker will take you under his wing and help you but that's probably on a personal level, not a company culture thing....but who knows if he's steering you straight or just giving you bad habits. Learning and career development is always going to be on your shoulders whether you think it's fair or smart or best for the company or not.

    And if you're not in commercial/industrial work yet, do it before you get pigeon holed into resi.

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